There are many reasons to visit Vienna, and coffee is definitely one of them. The city is, in fact, brimming with historical cafes which, along with its pastry shops, are a real institution.
Due precisely to its ancient tradition, drinking coffee in Vienna is a very special experience, almost like being immersed in another era.
And those of you who are not exactly crazy about the idea of drinking espresso outside of Italy, since 2011, some of Vienna’s best-known cafes have been on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Let’s discover the three best-known, most popular cafes in Vienna.
A timeless classic: Café Sacher Wien
If we’re talking about cafes and Vienna, we can’t help but start by mentioning the Café Sacher, the most famous coffee house in the city and the most popular with tourists from all over the world. Why is it the most famous? Simply because many years ago, this was where the Sachertorte originated.
The prestige of the cafe is also notable from its luxurious decor, which is extremely elegant and sophisticated, enhanced by period furniture. To blend in easily to the atmosphere inside, don’t forget to follow the rules of etiquette regarding coffee.
Demel: the pastry shop at the service of the imperial court
Yes, that’s right, the Demel salon was once the official pastry shop of the imperial court. Over the years, although the clientele has changed, the high quality of the products and service on offer has remained unchanged.
You might be in for a long wait to get in, but it’s worth just dropping by even only to take a snapshot of this charming place. An interesting fact about Demel is that in the 200 years since it opened, it has always only employed female staff, both for serving its patrons and selling.
Since 1876, history and tradition at Café Central
A veritable leap back in time: entering Café Central means plunging into an ancient atmosphere, full of history and memories. The story goes that many great names in history regularly came here to write, debate politics, read a good book and play chess.
Marble columns, crystal chandeliers and grand arches make this cafe a real combination of elegance and magnificence. In the afternoon, live piano music accompanies tourists as they sit down to sip a cup of tea or coffee, and taste some delicious cake.
Not sure what to order? Let us fill you in on the types of Viennese coffee.
Coffee in Vienna: which one should you choose?
Coffee is international, no doubt about that, but in every country we visit, we are sure to find many very tasty, fascinating local variations. In Vienna, if you want to order a typical local coffee, you can choose from:
- Mokka: plain black coffee.
- Brauner: black coffee with cream. You can ask for a klein (small) or gross (large) one.
- Einspänner: with whipped cream.
- Verlängerter: the classic brauner with the addition of warm water.
- Kapuziner: coffee with milk and a sprinkling of cocoa.
- Eiskaffee: cold coffee with vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream.
- Melange: a Viennese classic, similar to a cappuccino but with milk foam.
- Maria Theresia: with orange liqueur and whipped cream.
And after treating yourself to a slice of cake with your coffee, you’ll be more than ready to drink in the atmosphere of Vienna.
If you love travelling and are a true coffee lover, don’t miss our guide on how to order an espresso in the different countries around the world.