Vienna cafe scene

Coffee breaks in Vienna have shaped culture and history. I was expecting to see Starbucks or McCafes on every corner,yes there were a few, but unique and elegant places were more common.

Sadly, I didn’t have time to visit them all; I did visit several coffee houses and have listed my favourites below:

Haas & Haas

Hidden behind St Stephen’s Cathedral in a small corner lies a doorway. One side is a tea shop, the other is the coffee shop. I was lucky to get a table. The pot of coffee and hot chocolate were great drinks to warm up with after wandering through the Christmas markets. I also ordered a slice of orange cake. I was surprised when I got two pieces. I was sceptical about visiting due to some of the TripAdvisor comments, such as being pricey and on parr with other coffee houses. But, I found these incorrect. Given the location I was honestly expecting higher prices.

Best for: Escaping the Christmas Market crowds.

Cafe Central

Post dinner wanderings in search of the Am Hof Christmas Market, led me to stumble upon this incredible place. Initially built to be a bank, it changed hands and the Venetian-esque building became part of the Palais Ferstel. This traditional coffee house has inspired some of the world’s greatest poets, storytellers and philosophers. Once you have entered, it is easy to understand why. I visited in the evening as the queue was small, though the selection of cakes was large. Viennese coffee and festive themed cakes were washed down with classical piano music. The staff were attentive and helpful on both of my visits. All four of the cakes were so good, I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite.

Best for: Experiencing Vienna’s Coffee Culture.

Cafe Residenz

Located in Schönnbrunn Palace is a nice cafe. Only downside is paying for the location. I made the mistake of believing I would be escaping the crowds but the cafe itself is just as busy. The staff were friendly and the service quick, which I am glad because I didn’t want to spend time in the cafe which was crowded with tables. The coffee was good, only a shame it was snowing so I couldn’t sit outside and enjoy the view.

Best for: drinking coffee in a palace.


An old glasshouse which once housed tropical plants belonging to the Emperor lies unassumingly in Hofburg Palace gardens. A must visit in Vienna because not only is it super instagrammable. It also does a mean vegan pumpkin soup. The cocktails and cakes also looked rather special but I chose to sip tea in this ornate and ancient building.

Best for: Instagramming your coffee.

Conditorei Sluka Kärntner Straße

Without a doubt THE BEST CAKE I have ever eaten. Well the cafe has had 125 years of experience. I jumped into one of the 2 entrances purely be accident because I was sick of shopping. I was not expecting the lavish interior nor the place to be as big. Both the raspberry slice and Curd cheese, poppy seed and apricot cake were heavenly. I washed these down with a hot chocolate and cappucino. This cafe had one of the cheapest coffees I had in Vienna and is in a great location for the main shopping streets and sights. Only one minor grumble; the waiter asked for a tip.

Best for: a well earned slice of cake after shopping

I can imagine there are many more great places to stop for coffee in Vienna. I’m just sad I didn’t have enough time to try them all. On my mission to eat a slice of cake in each country in the world, so far Austria has given me the best choice.

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