The coffee is so strong that it comes with a little glass of water, and the cakes are unbelievably decadent.
Though you may have a Starbucks addiction, the one thing you cannot do while in Vienna is go to Starbucks. Don’t even think about it! The city is known for its world famous cafés that have been frequented by countless artists, composers, writers, and other celebrities for decades. The coffee is so strong that it comes with a little glass of water, and the cakes are unbelievably decadent (warning: if they bring you a basket of bread, you will almost always be charged for each piece you eat). In Vienna you can’t walk more than a few feet without seeing a café, but here are a few of my favorites:
1. Café Central
Herrengasse 17, 1010 Wien, Austria
This is probably the most famous Viennese café, which is why it is usually filled with tourists. The entire menu is incredible for breakfast, lunch or dinner and the display of cakes will make your mouth water. I recommend the Café Central Torte, though you really can’t go wrong with anything you order. The Café has served Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler and Leon Trotsky. As you listen to the piano in the magnificent room, you can almost imagine Freud scribbling away next to you.
2. Café Sacher
Philharmonikerstraße 4, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Sacher is home of the world-famous Sachertorte, which was created there in 1832. It is a chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam and chocolate icing. Café Sacher is located right behind the Staatsoper (Vienna’s Opera House), so it’s a great place to go before or after your show.
3. Café Hawelka
Dorotheergasse 6 1010 Vienna, Austria
Hawelka is located on a busy side street in the first district (the center of Vienna). The atmosphere is cozy, dark, and artsy and it is always crowded with tourists as well as locals and regulars. The family-run café has been serving their delicious piping hot jelly-filled donuts (Buchteln) at ten every night for years.
4. Café Sperl
Gumpendorfer Straße 11 1060 Vienna, Austria
Sperl is a great place to get eine Tasse Kaffee (a cup of coffee) or mélange (half coffee and half hot milk) and relax. It is not in the center of the city so it usually isn’t as crowded as the others. The café often has more locals than tourists and you’re welcome to join them for a round of billiards.
Burggarten 1 1010 Vienna, Austria
Palmenhaus is between the Hofburg Palace and the Albertina Museum. It looks like a giant greenhouse. Light streams into the Café, which is filled with trees and ivy. It is attached to a butterfly house that is fun to walk through. The cakes are delicious, but the dinner is to die for.
Viennese cafés are not places to grab a latté on your way to work. The Viennese like to sip a coffee and enjoy a sweet treat for hours. So sit down and prepare for your stomach to be amazed!