Austria is widely known for its coffee culture and, more specifically, its Kaffeehäuser (coffee houses). Unlike some other parts of the world, in Austria, people don’t just buy coffee as a quick takeaway or something to quickly drink to wake up – it is instead a drink that makes up a distinct and essential part of their culture.
In fact, it is such an integral part of Austria’s culture that UNESCO has added it to their list of intangible cultural heritage.
[Coffee houses are places] where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.UNESCO
Although Austria is not the pioneer of coffee house culture, the coffee house tradition they have sparked is like no other in the world. The country has truly elevated coffee to an art form.
Most prominent coffee houses typically have an air of elegance associated with them – but don’t let that make you hesitate from entering one of these establishments. They are places where people come together to socialize, where they take a few hours to relax, or to catch up on some literature. What’s the best part about them? If you purchase one cup of coffee, you can stay there for as long as you’d like!
A great variety of coffees
Visiting coffee houses is an integral part of your trip should you choose to visit Austria. The struggle begins when you try to decide which coffee to get once you’ve been seated.
Austria prides itself in the extensive choices of coffee that it has, which is a blessing because there is something for everyone. Whether you like your coffee sweet or bitter, with whipped cream or milk, extra strong or light, there is something there just for you.
Some classic coffees you’ll find will include:
- Schwarzer – a single or double espresso
- Brauner – a single or double espresso served with cream on the side
- Verlängerter (Café Americano) – a small cup of espresso served in a large coffee cup with hot water added to it or on the side
- Melange – A small espresso served in a large cup with half-steamed milk topped off with milk froth
- Kaffe Verkehrt (Latte Macchiato) – one shot of espresso, 1/3 hot milk, 1/3 milk froth
- Franziskaner – 1/3 coffee, 1/3 milk, 1/3 whipped cream
- Einspänner – double espresso and water, with dollop of whipped cream
Each coffee is served with a glass of water. This serves two purposes: (1) to clean the palate before drinking the coffee, which will allow you to better enjoy the taste, and (2) to compensate for the thirst that comes after drinking coffee.
If you stay at the coffee house for a longer period of time, your water will be continuously topped off.
The coffee is always enjoyable – but on its own, it can sometimes feel a bit incomplete. Thankfully, coffee houses typically also offer an assortment of cakes and desserts.
Coffee houses to visit on your next trip to Vienna
Café Central is one of the most prominent and popular cafes in Vienna, and rightly so.
Their menu includes a broad selection of classical Viennese dishes, traditional coffee specialties, and pastries from their in-house patisserie.
Fun fact: Café Central was frequented a lot by Sigmund Freud!
Sunday and Holidays: 10:00am – 10:00pm
Monday – Saturday: 7:30am – 10:00pm
For more information about Cafe Central, click here.
A pastry and chocolate shop on the ground level, a coffee house on the first floor, and a café-restaurant on the upper level – Gerstner has it all.
Whether you’re feeling like having lunch, dinner, or a quick refreshing snack, Gerstner is the place to be. The staff is friendly, the food comes out very quickly, and everything is delicious and aesthetically pleasing to look at.
On your way out, grab a souvenir or a delicious snack for later!
Open daily from: 10:00am – 11:00pm
For more details about Gerstner, check out their website here.
Open since 1873, Café Landtmann definitely knows what they’re doing. Their vibrant and friendly atmosphere will make you feel right at ease as you enjoy your coffee.
Make sure to also eat an apple strudel while you’re there!
Open daily from: 7:30am – midnight
For more information about Café Landtmann, click here.
Phil was one of my favourite coffee houses to visit. On top of their great selection of coffees and treats, they’ve also integrated a bookstore within the coffee house. While you drink your coffee and enjoy your meal, you’re welcome to choose whichever book to read. If it’s to your liking, you can also buy yourself a copy!
Sunday: 9:00am – 12:00am
Monday: 5:00pm – 1:00am
Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00am – 1:00am
Do you have a favourite type of coffee?
Let me know in the comment section below!
Join me on my Vienna adventures here!