Viennese coffeehouse culture: meetings & cake

A dessert paradise with tradition and history

The Viennese coffeehouse culture is characterised by big names such as the likes of Demel and Sacher – and neither tourists nor true Viennese locals can resist it! Coffeehouses and their sweet desserts – as well as breakfast or small coffeehouse dishes such as sausages – are part of Vienna’s cultural heritage.

Whether for breakfast, a shopping break or relaxing and reading the newspaper: Austrians love their coffeehouses! What may be unimaginable in other countries is practically custom in Austria and especially in Vienna: here, not only private meetings, but even professional meetings are enjoyed and preferred in the café.

Cafe Central mit Kellner und Gästen (1., Ecke Herrengasse/Strauchgasse)
Cafe Central © Schaub-Walzer / PID

Vienna’s traditional coffeehouse culture

Aside from the famous Sacher Torte (Sacher Cake), which is today sent out across the world by Konditorei Sacher and is known for its simple design and unparalleled flavour, names such as Café Imperial are also considered typical of the city: in this traditional coffeehouse at Kärntner Ring 16 in the city centre, coffee connoisseurs in particular are sure to get their money’s worth. The café offers a choice of more than 40 different coffee varieties!

And here too, there is a sweet showpiece, based on the Sacher Torte: the Imperial Torte. This cake was invented by a kitchen boy for the Imperial’s opening.

A true classic is Café Central: With a huge selection of cakes and other desserts, the popular coffeehouse has been run for 130 years now at Herrengasse 14 in the 1st district. The Konditorei Oberlaa is also one of the most prominent coffeehouses in Vienna – with numerous locations throughout the city. In addition to the classic Oberlaa Torte, it also offers many other home creations such as Irish cream cakes or – as an homage to French coffee culture – macaroons.

In turn, the Aida confectioner’s with a total of 30 locations has become an inherent part of Vienna’s coffeehouse culture. The rosily furnished cafés are a household name for all Viennese locals. The Aida branch on Wollzeile in the 1st district was once the first confectioner’s in Austria to have an espresso machine. Finally, cake fans will find the “best Gugelhupf in Vienna” in Konditorei Fercher in the 20th district.