The Coffee House Tradition in Vienna
Vienna and its coffee houses – many pages could be written on this subject. Because of this, we have already prepared two articles on this extensive topic: The “Coffee House Tradition in Vienna” as well as “Hipster Cafés in Vienna”. Since a centuries-old and still loving relationship exists between the Viennese and their coffee houses, we would like to continue where we left off – namely, to introduce you to some more traditional coffee houses – and some which could still become such!
Café Oper – the most musical café in Vienna
Only a very few coffee houses are located in such a prominent location as the Café Oper – namely directly (!) in the Viennese State Opera. The coffee house is well worth a visit. Within the café you will experience the true Viennese coffee house tradition. High ceilings coupled with classical interior design to make you feel truly comfortable.
In summer, you can while away the hours in the generous outdoor area which is situated directly on Vienna’s Kärntner Straße and observe the comings and goings on this impressive Viennese street. The coffee served here comes from the traditional coffee producer, Julius Meinl. And, as is fitting for a truly Viennese coffee house, you will have a wide range of coffees to choose from – whether a kleinen Braunen (caffè mocha), an Einspänner (espresso crowned with whipped cream), or a Fiaker (a large espresso served with sugar and a shot of rum), you are sure to find something here.
As a perfect accompaniment to your coffee, you can treat yourself to something sweet – in Vienna, referred to as Mehlspeisen. You will find everything that your (sweet) heart desires, from cakes and gateaux to traditional Kaiserschmarrn (thick pancakes with raisins, chopped up and served with stewed plums).
Café Oper Wien
Address: Opernring 2, 1010 Vienna
Monday – Saturday: 8:30am – 11pm
Sunday, Public holidays: 9:30am – 11pm
Café Ritter – in the heart of Mariahilfer Straße
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Café Ritter is located exactly in the middle of the shopping mile, Mariahilfer Straße. And anyone who likes to go on shopping tours, knows that breaks are also needed! This traditional coffee house is perfect for such a break.
In summer, you can sit outside and watch the comings and goings on Austria’s longest and largest shopping streets from a (short) distance. The interior of the Café Ritter is traditional as is fitting for a truly Viennese coffee house. Here you can choose from the wide range of coffees, cakes as well as coffee house dishes, such as Frankfurter served with horse radish or a typical Wiener Schnitzel.
Address: Mariahilfer Straße 73, 1060 Vienna
Monday – Saturday: 7:30am – 10pm
Sunday: 9am – 9pm
Café Eiles – a highlight in Josefstadt
Due to its proximity to Vienna’s town Hall and the Austrian Parliament, Café Eiles, located at the bottom of Josefstädter Straße, is particularly popular with, among others, politicians and familiar faces from the world of culture and business. For this reason, you may even be able to witness a press conference and the accompanying hustle and bustle in this coffee house.
The Eiles, as the locals refer to it, was recently totally renovated and the results are impressive. The interior is oriented towards classical Viennese coffee house furnishings and it is a wonderful and comfortable place to while away a few hours.
Eiles has two separate outdoor areas for guests in summer; one is directly on the pavement and, because of the highly frequented street, it can be quite noisy at times. The second and larger outdoor area is located in a quiet side street around the corner from the main entrance. A perfect spot to relax, talk, philosophise, and, of course, to enjoy some coffee and cake. The Punsch-Krapferln (a cake filled with cake crumbs, nougat chocolate, apricot jam and then soaked with rum) are particularly popular in the Eiles. And if you are peckish, there is a variety of traditional coffee house dishes to choose from, for example, Eiernockerl served with a green salad.
Address: Josefstädter Straße 2, 1080 Vienna
Monday – Friday: 7am – midnight
Saturday – Sunday, Public holiday: 8am – midnight
Café Ritter in Ottakring
In the 16th district of Vienna, you will also discover a wonderful coffee house, which is very popular with the people who live in this district of the city. A real secret tip for visitors to Vienna. Café Ritter is located in the heart of the Ottakring district, close to the famous Ottakring brewery and the Manner factory, which is another landmark in this district. Here you cannot only enjoy breakfast all day but there is also an amazing selection of both national and international newspapers.
The area at the front of the coffee house is furnished in a classical yet modern style. At the back of the café there is a children’s area, where the little ones can play while their parents enjoy a typical Austrian Melange (described by the Julius Meinl coffee company as “one espresso shot served in a large coffee cup topped with steamed milk and milk foam“).
Café Ritter in Ottakring
Address: Ottakringer Straße 117, 1160 Vienna
Monday – Saturday: 8:30am – 11:30pm
Sunday, Public holidays: 9am – 10pm
A visit to a coffee house is a must for every visitor to Vienna. Delve into the world-famous Viennese Gemütlichkeit (literally, cosiness) with apple strudel and coffee. You will be spoilt for choice!
Title image: © Café Oper – Photographer: Philipp Lipiarski / www.lipiarski.com