This semester I am studying abroad in Vienna, Austria. I chose this location for many reasons, but one of them was the influence and presence of coffee on the culture. In Vienna, coffee unites people, exemplified by the century-old coffeehouses that are still booming with business today. The same coffeehouses that held meetings of famous philosophers, scientists, and politicians have doors open to tourists and locals alike in Vienna.

Cafe Central

We are starting off strong with probably the most famous coffeehouse. Established in 1876, Cafe Central is one of the most visited places in Vienna. The line is almost always out the door, so when I visited, I was determined to judge whether it was worth the wait. You can order all of the Viennese classics here: apfelstrudel, sachertorte, kaiserschmarrn, Wiener schnitzel, and more. In my opinion, Central is worth the visit for those of you who are going for the vibes. The interior is stunning, so if you are the photo/view motivated traveler, Cafe Central is for you. I really enjoyed sipping on my melange enjoying the ambience. If you are looking for the best food, read on.

Sophie Packman

Cafe Demel

I would say Demel has the most prime location. It is situated just off of the Hofburg, while very close to Stephensplatz. Overall, Demel has a very nice, cozy environment. The cafe is located upstairs, away from the busy street. I would highly recommend stopping at Demel for a coffee and cake, and definitely stop by the kaiserschmarrn window on your way out.

Hotel Sacher

Hotel and Cafe Sacher are the place to be for sachertorte. Named after the family, this dry, dark chocolate cake sandwiches a layer of apricot jam, all covered in dark chocolate ganache. Some people dislike the dry texture or think the cake should be sweeter, but I am a big fan. My recommendation is stopping into Cafe Sacher at evening to avoid wait time

Sophie Packman

Cafe Landtmann

You have made it to my highest rated coffeehouse on the food scale. Cafe Landtmann makes for the perfect lunch. They have an excellent Wiener schnitzel, and the rest of the menu follows suit. I also believe the Landtmann kaiserschmarrn to be the best in the city. Finally, you can drink the coffee that is known to be Sigmund Freud's favorite.

Sophie Packman


While Aida is not exactly a traditional coffeehouse, I had to include it. Aida is home to the best apfelstrudel in Vienna, in my opinion. The pink interior of this local chain makes for a lovely setting, and the coffee and cakes are all wonderful. Another benefit of this being a local chain as opposed to a stand alone coffeehouse is the lack of wait time. My recommendation is stopping in for an afternoon strudel and melange.

Sophie Packman

Overall, you can't go wrong with any coffeehouse in Vienna. After all, these gathering places are rooted in the city's culture and have succeeded for 100+ years. One of the best ways to experience Vienna is by coffeehouse hopping, so the ideal situation is sampling a few different ones. I hope my breakdown helps to serve as a guide.