One of the greatest ways to experience the Viennese culture is by going to a traditional coffee house. Drinking coffee in Vienna is literally the opposite of the take-away coffee culture in the United States. Costumers like to stay for hours while enjoying their coffee, reading newspapers, or just having conversations with friends. We created a list of Vienna’s most famous traditional coffee houses that you must visit.
Visually, it is definitely one of the most beautiful traditional coffee houses in the city center. And since it is in the very center of the first district, it is always crowded by many tourists. The wonderfully decorated interior dates from the turn of the century, the waiters wear tailcoats and are so unfriendly as you rarely see it in Vienna today. And even if many reviews say something different: We were always very satisfied with the – of course, quite expensive – cake specialties.
Cafe Museum is a simple, very stylish variant of the traditional coffee house. In a larger group you sit very nicely in one of the niches. The program has also been carefully considered: readings by some very famous authors take place here on a regular basis. Incidentally, like Café Landtmann, Café Mozart and Café Residenz, the museum belongs to the Querfeld dynasty.
The Café Diglas is located behind St. Stephen’s Cathedral on Wollzeile. The Diglas is always full and it is sometimes really difficult to get a seat. But don’t worry – there are alternatives, because you can now enjoy the special atmosphere of the traditional coffee house at three more locations. At the “Fleischmarkt” there is another branch that spoils you with traditional pastries from the in-house patisserie – these are conveniently delivered to the Diglas in the Schottenstift, which has one of the most beautiful pavement gardens in Vienna. The Diglas dairy in the Türkenschanzpark is a popular location for events such as weddings.
The beautiful Cafe Central is at the top of to-do list for tourists so you have to wait in line at the entrance. Fortunately, it usually doesn’t take too long, and you are rewarded for the waiting time as soon as you enter: As part of the Palais Ferstel – a magnificent palace in the style of the Venetian Trecento – the Café Central offers a unique setting for the obligatory mélange. In addition, you can enjoy a little delicacy from the lavish cake showcase and you feel transported back to the decadent fin de siècle, i.e. the time around 1900, when Café Central experienced its heyday.
Café Landtmann was opened by Franz Landtmann in 1873 and claims the title of “Vienna’s most elegant coffee house”. And indeed: As a venerable Viennese Ringstrasse café, it is not only one of the oldest coffee houses in Vienna, but also has the flair of a real Gran Café. Take a seat on the original Thonet armchairs from the imperial era or in one of the cozy, listed seating areas and let your gaze wander over the opulent mirrors from the Roaring Twenties. Probably many illustrious personalities have done the same thing…