The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

  • Publish date: Sunday، 10 October 2021 Last update: Saturday، 16 October 2021
The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

A great cup of coffee can enlighten the soul and bring joy to our hearts. And if you’re not yet aware, some people travel to experience coffee in different countries because of the rich taste they offer. Austria is definitely one of the best for a coffee travel experience.

Vienna in particular Cafes are an everyday part of life. Throughout history, the Viennese developed an integrated culture centered on drinking coffee, and then spread it to all other aspects of life.

Since 2011, the traditional Viennese coffeehouse “Kaffeehaus” culture has been included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The History of Coffee

The coffeehouse culture in Vienna was born in the most unimaginable way. Back in 1683, the Ottmans failed to capture Vienna when a general found strange looking beans in the abandoned Ottoman encampment.

He decided to experiment by adding sugar and milk to the then bitter brew, and eventually created a new beverage: coffee and it was huge hit!

In 1685, coffeehouses opened quickly all over Vienna and the coffeehouse culture was born. During its hey-days in the 1910s, Vienna was home to about 600 coffeehouses.

The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

Coffeehouse at the Art History Museum © Wien Tourismus, Peter Rigaud

What makes a coffeehouse Viennese?

Imagine sitting in laid back environment while drinking coffee served on a silver tray, with a glass of water.

You’ll be shocked but waiters are still dressed in black vests at a Viennese coffeehouse.

The interiors are even more enchanting with marbled tables, upholstered sofas, the famous Thonet chair #14, and local as well as international newspapers in their own bentwood holders can be found in some of the to-date most famous cafés in Vienna’s city-center.

The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

Konditorei Gerstner © OEW, Harald Eisenberger

Visit Café Landtmann, Café Central or Café Demel for the ultimate traditional Viennese coffeehouse experience.

However, there are always great exceptions: the design of the Café Prückel, across the street from the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) is 1950s inspired and therefore very unique indeed.

The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

Café Prueckl © OEW, Harald Eisenberger

How about a candy color pink café? Aida coffeehouse chain, was founded in 1925 and is popularly known for it’s pink exterior and interiors.

Around 1900, a group of authors went down in history as coffee house literati: they not only socialized in the Kaffeehaus but used it as their workplace. Before writers claimed the Kaffeehaus as their own, composers had also discovered its charms for themselves: Johann Strauß, father and son, introduced new works here; even Mozart and Beethoven performed in a Kaffeehaus.

More than 300 years later the Kaffeehaus is still an institution.

What coffee should you order?

Vienna Melange: espresso, milk, topped with milk foam

Einspaenner: espresso, hot water, and lots of whipped cream

Grosser Brauner: double portion of mocca and heavy cream

Kleiner Brauner: single portion of mocca and heavy cream

Kapuziner: small mocca, with just a few drops of heavy cream

Franziskaner: small mocca, hot water, hot milk, and whipped cream

Iced Coffee: espresso, cold milk, 2 scoops of vanilla icecream

A particular joy of the Viennese Kaffeehaus lies in its service: the opening times alone, from early morning until midnight, are impressive.

Sweets Sweets and more Sweets! Cakes and pastries are of course a special attraction of every Kaffeehaus.

We can almost say that every coffeehouse has its own old guarded recipe of home-made delicacies.

The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

Sacher Cake at Café Sacher © OEW, Harald Eisenberger

Take the world-famous Sacher Torte for example, whose original you can only eat at the Café Sacher on the corner of Kärntner Street behind the Opera House.

The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

Apple Strudel © Wien Tourismus, Paul Bauer

While Café Sperl offers an amazing Sperl-Schnitte“, the best Apfelstrudel in the city is found in Café Korb.

The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

Café Sperl © OEW, Harald Eisenberger

On the other hand Café Hawelka serves the coveted Buchteln mit Powidl a specialty bun with plum jam, hot from the oven which you get to enjoy in a Jugendstil decor almost overlooked in a room full of patina-darkened wood.

The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

Café Hawelka © OEW, Harald Eisenberger

We also suggest to order another of Austria's favourite sweets available in any of the Viennese cafés: a Gugelhupf, which was one of Emperor Franz Josef's favourite desserts.

The Most Aromatic Coffeehouses in Vienna

Guglhupf © OEW, Wolfgang Schardt

Main Image:

Café Cetral © OEW, Popp-Hackner