“Fiaker”, “Einspänner”, “Kapuziner”, “Melange” - the countless varieties of coffee are a fixture of Vienna’s traditional coffee houses. In this blog post, we will show you five Viennese coffee houses where you can enjoy delicious cake, good coffee and a charming atmosphere.
Admittedly, this coffee house hardly counts as an insider’s tip. Café Central was opened in 1876 and was a meeting place of many famous people. Its regulars included Peter Altenberg, Alfred Adler, Sigmund Freud, Egon Friedell, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Anton Kuh, Adolf Loos and Alfred Polgar. The authors Arthur Schnitzler, Franz Kafka and Stefan Zweig could also often be found here. And famous Viennese writer Peter Altenberg still greets you at the entrance. If you asked Altenberg where he lived, he'd reply: “In the first district, Herrengasse, Café Central.”
Peter Altenberg sitting in the Café Central in Vienna (c) VIENNA SIGHTSEEING TOURS
The café has a very friendly service and delicious home-made cakes, which go well with the “Einspänner”. Named after the one-horse carriages that were once a popular mode of transportation in the city, this large coffee topped with whipped cream was the best way for drivers to keep their coffee warm.
Café Central in Vienna (c) VIENNA SIGHTSEEING TOURS
Another café steeped in history is the former court confectioner K. u. K. Hozuckerbäckerei Ludwig Heiner. It was founded in 1853 in Wollzeile. Emperor Francis Joseph I himself named its owner court confectioner. Today, there are several cafés in different locations in Vienna. Its delicate little cakes are irresistible, and the “melange” – coffee with frothed milk – served in their signature cups is delicious. The atmosphere of the café in the Kärntnerstraße is reminiscent of an old, comfortable living room, making it a wonderful place to while away the hours.
Café K.u.K. Heiner in Vienna (c) VIENNA SIGHTSEEING TOURS
This café in the old Viennese style near Mariahilfer Straße is very popular, especially with the younger crowd. You might have to wait a while to be served, but it is worth a visit. The charming and cosy atmosphere of this coffee house takes you back in time.
Café Jelinek in Vienna (c) VIENNA SIGHTSEEING TOURS
This favorite haunt of Viennese artists in the first district was opened in 1939 by Leopold and Josephine Hawelka. The interior decoration is supposed to have remained unchanged since 1912. The famous Austrian pop star Falco (“Rock me Amadeus”) celebrated his 30th birthday here. This café is a meeting place for artists and journalists looking for inspiration. Its most famous treat are the Buchteln – baked, jam-filled yeast rolls served with vanilla sauce – that are still made to Josephine Hawelka’s recipe.
Café Hawelka in Vienna (c) VIENNA SIGHTSEEING TOURS
This charming café in the 4th district was founded by the Viennese Dobner family in 1910. Back then, it was a favorite with railway workers and the revolutionary Socialists. The green upholstery, the lamps and chandeliers on the ceiling and the parquet floor all give this traditional Viennese coffee house a charming and pleasant atmosphere. There are plenty of newspapers to read at leisure and the menu offers not just a tasty breakfast but also burgers and sandwiches. Café Goldegg is off the beaten tourist track, making it the perfect place to visit if you want to experience an authentic Viennese coffee house. For this Café take the YELLOW LINE on the HOP ON HOP OFF bus to “Schloss Belvedere”.
Café Goldegg in Vienna (c) Café Goldegg