Long before there were pumpkin spice lattes or double espressos with shots of peppermint, there was Viennese coffee. Coffee culture in Vienna has been popular since the late 19th century when writers and philosophers would linger in the city’s coffee shops to discuss theories, share stories, or just kick back amongst friends. This tradition still stands today, and everyone can enjoy it. If you found a great flight deal to Austria or you’re in the area and curious to try Viennese coffee in Vienna for yourself, don’t miss these unique spots.
What is Viennese coffee?
Before we dive into where to try Viennese coffee in Vienna, let’s look at what Viennese coffee actually is. Essentially, it’s strong black coffee topped with whipped cream and served in a glass instead of a mug. Although this local specialty is served throughout town, true Viennese coffee houses serve a long list of coffee drinks including:
- Kleiner Brauner: Espresso or strong coffee with cream
- Verlängerter Schwarzer: Austria’s Americano, or espresso with hot water
- Verlängerter Brauner: Espresso, hot water, and cream
- Kaffee Verkehrt: Essentially a latte, or steamed milk and espresso
- Uberstürzter Newmann: A mug with a generous dollop of whipped cream and coffee on the side
What Makes a Viennese Coffee House Unique?
What should you look for in a Viennese coffee house? Typically, a true coffee house should have the following:
- Marble tabletops
- Piano music
- Pastries and cakes like Linzer Torte and strudel
- Thonet chairs
- Plenty of international newspapers
- A selection of coffee
Where to try Viennese Coffee in Vienna
The idea behind early Viennese coffee houses was to offer a place for intellectuals to gather and discuss without spending much. Although prices may not be as low now as they were back then, the following cafés are still great places to try Viennese coffee.
Centrally located yet seemingly worlds away, Café Hawelka is a Viennese institution. This iconic coffee shop has been owned and operated by the same family for three generations, yet it still maintains its original charm and character.
This is a classic Viennese coffee house complete with red velvet booths and live piano music. Café Diglas also features an extensive lunch menu and sidewalk tables where you can enjoy the afternoon sun.
Café Frauenhuber once held performances by both Mozart and Beethoven. How many places can boast that? This historic coffee house is also centrally located and close to plenty of great hotels in Vienna’s Innere Stadt district.
Café Landtmann is another intriguing choice, as Sigmund Freud was once a frequent patron. Wrap your head around that while enjoying your Viennese coffee!
Although it lacks the charm and character of a true Viennese coffee house, Café Sacher is worth a visit for a side of Sacher Torte. This dense chocolate cake pairs nicely with Viennese coffee. Although this history is heavily debated, this Viennese specialty is said to hail from Café Sacher.
These are just a few of the city’s best cafés and coffee houses. From family-run cafés to the Sigmund Freud’s old hangout, there is no shortage of unique and traditional spots to try Viennese coffee in Vienna. No matter where you choose, don’t forget the strudel!
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