Winter in Vienna: There’s hardly snow but lots of grey clouds. It’s usually cold and quite depressing. People prefer to stay in during this season and if they’re getting tired of their own homes, they escape to their “extended lounge” – that’s what a Viennese coffeehouse is called here. Once entered, it becomes pretty clear why: The Viennese café is the opposite of rush and rapidness. It’s a place to unwind, to chat with friends, to read the newspaper and to forget about time. It’s a place full with tradition, history, yet timeless. You won’t find any cold-brew-hipster coffees, but lots of inspiration, charm and pastry. Oh the pastry! If you’re having a sweet tooth like me, you’ll be in heaven! Luckily my friend Marion from marestella.me helped me out by sharing the calories and now I’m going to show you the result of our coffeehouse tour 😉
Let’s start with one of the most famous ones: Yes, Café Central is frequented by lots of tourists and sometimes you have to line up to get a table. But the reason why I have this on the list is the unique architecture and their amazing cake assortment. The prices are a bit higher than in other cafés but it’s unlikely you’ll find a classier place to enjoy your melange (typical Viennese coffee with milk foam). Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Sisi are joining too (as paintings though). However, the frequency of guests is very high, so it’s not too inviting to stay there for hours… – https://www.cafecentral.wien/en/
Spending hours and loosing track of time is most likely to happen at this place: Café Hawelka. It’s cozy, dark and the audience is way more mixed than at Central – besides of a few tourists you may also meet some original (I don’t wanna say weird) characters, especially during the later hours. A famous Austrian song sings about “a nude at the Hawelka”, but as far as I know it’s not based on a true stoy, however it resembles some interesting things that could’ve taken place there over time. Just as legendary as the café itself were the owners who run it literally until their end of days (and one of them became 100 years old!) and until today, it’s still family-operated. They know how to keep traditions: Their famous, homemade “Buchtln” – a kind of yeast dough filled with plum jam – are served freshly everyday at 8 pm like they’ve done for decades! – http://www.hawelka.at/cafe/de/
A little off the beaten path, nevertheless in the city centre is Café Sperl, another Viennese jewel inside a beautiful building with classy interior. It’s wonderfully quiet and they offer a slightly wider menu than other places. We had a classic Viennese dish and of course some curd cheese cake topped with lots of vanilla sauce… We just can’t leave a coffeehouse without having dessert 🙂 And while you’re waiting for your food, it’s easy to kill some time with plenty of magazines. Caution: Another place that invites you to stay longer than planned 😉 – http://www.cafesperl.at/html/CSkap1.html
Exploring the coffeehouses of Vienna is a fun mission and of course, there are many, many more places that need to be mentioned… We’ve actually started our “research” for part 2 and I can’t wait to share it with you soon 😉 Stay tuned! What is your favourite coffeehouse? Let me know in the comments!