Drinking coffee and going to a café there is an art.
It is the Turks who brought coffee to Vienna in the 17th century. It happened when the Polish/Hapsburg army pushed the Turks away from Vienna in 1683.
The new drink was right away very well accepted by the emperor Leopold I. Two years later in 1685, opened the first coffee place in the capital.
When the monarchy fell and moreover with World War II, the popularity of the coffee places diminished. By the 1950’s there were almost no more Kaffeehauser in Vienna. Fortunately for coffee lovers, it looks like it is coming back. Vienna has now places in the old city and around in the other districts. Depending on the café one can either listen to piano music, eat ice creams, pastries or just check emails.
In Austria a coffee has to be drunk sitting down. If Vienna has espresso bars like in Italy, it is more common to sit down than to stand. Enjoying a coffee is done while reading a book or a newspaper or talking or observing others.
One can take time and no one is looked at funny if he or she stays at the same place for hours with only ordering one coffee! Coffee is served with one glass of water and most of the time people like to order a piece of cake with it.
Coffee in Europe:
Before coming to Austria, coffee had arrived in Italy. The first coffee place was in Venice in 1645. It became very popular among writers, poets and artists in Europe. It was the place to gossip and exchange ideas. People such as Molière and more recently Oscar Wild, Edward Munch, Sigmund Freud, Salvador Dali and Simone de Beauvoir all frequented the cafés.
Here are a few cafés which were once famous:
Typical Viennese coffees:
According to `Suite 101′ website there are more than 30 types of Viennese coffees. So if you don’t like just black coffee, you will be able to ask for milk, ice cream, whipped cream, cacao powder, rum, cherry and orange liquors and much more.
Look at the coffee carte from Landtmann. You can some of the coffee specialties.
Famous coffee places/Kaffeehaüser in Vienna:
Three places I recommend:
During my visits in Vienna I visited several coffee houses.
Landtmann: Dr.-Karl-Lueger Ring 4 in 1st district – great location and atmosphere
Demel: Kohlmarkt 14 – great choice of coffees and pastries