Vienna is certainly famous for its coffee houses and the atmosphere that you get while sitting in one of them. At the time, there was a real “café culture” that we somehow lost. Politicians, authors, journalists were coming in cafes to discuss and debate about political and life issues.
Even today, this is not just about sipping your hot chocolate; there is an Austrian life/heritage that you feel while entering into these coffee houses. I made a list of some of my favorite coffee shops of the Austrian capital. All of them are obviously legendary and here’s why.
Café Central is more of a monument than just a coffee place. History literally took place there. When you know that Trotsky came here and played chess or that Hitler regularly came to read his newspaper – and they were not alone. Theodor Herzl, Joseph Stalin, Peter Altenberg had also their habits there… It is actually crazy to think that the biggest figures of the 20th century might have bumped into each other at Café Central. We decided to go for lunch and I must say that food is pretty amazing; I warmly recommend you to taste their fresh pastries and homemade cakes.
People queuing to enter the legendary Cafe Central
Café Landtmann has been my favorite spot during the whole trip. The café inside is very beautiful; if you pay attention to all the little details, the walls, the couches, the refinery of the plates, it leaves you amazed. And their hot beverages look just incredible. Here too, History made its mark as Sigmund Freud regularly came to Café Landtmann. More recently, Romy Schneider, Hillary Clinton and Paul McCartney have passed by. And still today, Café Landtmann has a big place on the Viennese cultural life as many students sit and debate over a cup of coffee there since it is located in front of the University. If you’re looking for tasting the best “apple strudel”, the one they serve will rejoice you.
The Viennese myth, the ‘Apple strudel’
Das Café Residenz
Daz Café Residenz is located in front of the Schonbrunn Palace (you know, Princess Sissi’s castle). Food and beverages are a bit more expensive than other typical coffee houses as you pay the price of the touristic location. However, food was extremely tasty and once again, like other Viennese coffee houses, you get amazed right at the entrance by all the fresh pastries exposed. The Café calls itself the “residence of imperial pleasures”: you can be served with imperial delicacies such as their coffee speciality, the Maria Theresa or Prince Franz Joseph’s favorite dish, the Tafelspitz.
Of course, this is a non-exhaustive list as you will find plenty more of other incredible coffee houses in Vienna. It can easily be understood as coffee houses are a typical institution of Vienna that played an important part in shaping the past and present Viennese culture.