Vienna’s best traditional Coffee Houses
10 Viennese Coffee Houses you have to visit
Viennese Coffee Houses are some of the most famous establishments in the city, just think of Sacher or Demel. To experience the lifestyle of real Viennese and sample Vienna’s typical atmosphere, it is essential to visit a traditional Coffee House in Vienna at least once during your stay. The special flair and old-fashioned furniture of a classical Coffee House will sweep you away not only because of their historical significance, but also because of their delicious specialities on offer.
Inhabitants know that when we speak of traditional Viennese Coffee Houses, we don’t think of simple restaurants or bars, but of locations with their very own character. Therefore, visitors often stay long after finishing their coffee or meal, as it is typical to take your time while enjoying the calm atmosphere or to meet with friends. This tradition goes back to the time when Coffee Houses in Vienna were numerous and considered very modern. Their popularity reached a peak at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
This era even has its own designation: the Wiener Kaffeehauskultur. These cultural aspects ensure the secure existence of these old Coffee Houses, as they weren’t only used for eating and drinking, but also as places to write, compose, or to experience creative inspiration in general. Numerous artists, musicians, poets and writers visited their favourite Coffee Houses on a regularl basis.
Fort instance, the famous writers Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Stefan Zweig all relaxed or worked in Viennese Coffee Houses (some of them are now called Literarenkaffees) while the writers are called Kaffeehausliteraren. Artists such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele also enjoyed the Coffee Houses’ atmosphere. In addition, these places were also used for creative and philosophical exchanges amongst the artists.
As you can see, art and culture were strongly connected with Coffee Houses at this time, as they were places where one could forget about the outside world, along with their worries and duties.
Unfortunately, Kaffeehauskultur was replaced with modern bars and Coffee House chains. The Kaffeehaussterben (coffehouse-dying) started in the 1950s and left the Ringstraße with only 4 Coffee Houses instead of 15. Now, the remaining ones have an exceptional value and are still well attended – likely because you can easily imagine the old, relaxed Vienna instead of today’s bustling metropolis.
Now, have a look at these 10 Coffee Houses that you can visit when you are in Vienna.
1. Cafe Hawelka
The Cafe Hawelka in the first district was one of the most famous Künstlerkaffees in Vienna. Once visited by Helmut Qualtinger and Oskar Werner, this place is characterized not only by its comfortable and cosy atmosphere, but because of its legendary Buchteln – typical bohemain sweet delicacies. They were once made by Josefine Hawelka herself and should not be missed.
Where: Dorotheergasse 6 , 1010 Wien
Mo – Th, 08:00 – 00:00
Fr – Sa, 08:00 – 01:00
Su, 10:00 – 00:00
on holidays, 10:00 – 00:00
2. Cafe Central
Especially around 1900, the elegant Cafe Central was regularly visited by intellectuals as the architect Adolf Loos and the psychologist Sigmund Freud. It is also in the first district, and has an impressive effect on visitors because of its noble design and huge portico. You can taste the original Patisserie Cafe Central Torte or classics like Marillenpalatschinken or Apfelstrudel. A rather unusual peculiarity is the Patisserie Sisi Punschkrapfen – like the empress’ favourite flower lavender, the cake is lilac in colour.
Where: Herrengasse/Strauchgasse, 1010 Wien
Mo – Sa, 07:30 – 22:00
Su, 10:00 – 22:00
on holidays, 10:00 – 22:00
Piano music: daily from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
3. Hotel Sacher
In the past, Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Sisi were delivered with the most delicious sweets from selected bakeries and confectioneries. One of them was the Hotel Sacher, which is especially known because of its Sachertorte – a chocolate cake with an unmistakable taste, and certainly one of the most famous chocolate cakes in the world. Tourists love them as well as locals, and a visit at Hotel Sacher to taste the original Sachertorte with a Viennese coffee is a must when in Vienna.
Information: Cafe Sacher
Where: Philharmonikerstrasse 4, 1010 Wien
Opening Hours: daily, 8:00 – 24:00
4. Zuckerbäckerei Demel
A second bakery favoured by the emperor was the Zuckerbäckerei Demel, which has existed since 1786 at the Michaelerplatz. Even as a child, Emperor Franz was thrilled by their refined prepared sweets, and he favoured Demel his whole life. It was also a meeting place for the Viennese nobility in general, and was famous enough to remain popular even today. Although every offering at this bakery is surely delicious and the cakes lovely decorated, their hot drinks are beloved. Beside the typical Austrian Heferlkaffee or the Kleiner Brauner, you can also choose coffee with alcohol, like the Anna Demel Kaffee, made with fine orange liqueur, or the Fiaker (made with cherry booze). If you prefer hot chocolate or tea, you will also find an impressive selection.
Where: Kohlmarkt 14 , 1010 Wien
Opening Hours: daily, 09:00 – 19:00
5. Cafe Landtmann
The Cafe Landtmann is one of the last remaining Kaffeehäuser at the Ringstraße, and is still very popular. It advertises the typical Kaffehauskultur from long ago, as it has existed since 1873 and has been managed by the same family for the past 40 years. You really are encouraged to take your time and stay long after you finished your coffee, admiring the furniture and interior design, and the mirrors and walls from the golden 1920s. The noble benches are even protected as a historic monument! Furthermore, celebrities like Paul McCartney and Hillary Clinton have dined at the Cafe Landmann, which is regularly visited by Austrian politicians celebrities.
The food is excellent – you can start with breakfast at 7:30 and order dinner until 23:30. Whether you desire snacks, soup, a main meal or cake, baked goods, drinks and coffee – you could stay the whole day eating traditional Austrian food such as Schnitzel, Gulasch, Backhendl or Tafelspitz.
Where: Universitätsring 4, 1010 Wien
Opening Hours: Mo – Su, 07:30 – 00:00
Piano music: Su, Mo, Tu 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm (summer: only Mo, Tu)
6. Cafe Imperial
Where: Kärntner Ring 16, 1010 Wien
Opening Hours: daily, 07:00 – 23:00
Piano music: Sa, Su 3:30 pm -7:30 pm
7. Cafe Museum
Where: Operngasse 7, 1010 Wien
Opening Hours: daily, 08:00 – 00:00
Piano music: Fr – Su 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
8. Cafe Prückel
Where: Stubenring 24 (Luegerplatz), 1010 Wien
Opening Hours: daily, 8:30-22:00
9. Cafe Schwarzenberg
Where: Kärntner Ring 17, 1010 Wien
Mo – Fr, 07:30 – 00:00
Sa – Su, 08:30 – 00:00
Piano music: Th, Fr 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Sa, Su 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
10. Cafe Hofburg
Where: Hofburg, Innerer Burghof, 1010 Wien
Opening Hours: daily, 10:00 – 18:00
Piano music: Su 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Have fun while filling your belly with Vienna’s most delicious delicacies in these typical Viennese coffeehouses!