Viennese Coffee Culture – A Way of Life

Tiếng Việt

Apart from the imperial palaces, Vienna is also globally known for its coffee culture. Through centuries, the Viennese has elevated the hot beverage into art and its consumption into a delightful way of life. And a traditional Wiener Cáfe (Viennese cafe) is more than an ordinary coffee shop, it is a cultural establishment in which the Vienna’s dolce vita is reflected.


Described as a place “where time and place are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill” by the UNESCOWiener Cáfe is an oasis of cosiness. For the price of a cup of coffee, one can freely linger under the high ceiling and elegant interior decoration for hours (even the entire day) to talk, write, and above all to study the omnipresent newspapers. In some cafes, guests can also enjoy piano music or participate in a social event such as literary readings.

Cáfe Central
Cáfe Central

There are dozens of traditional coffee houses in Vienna’s Old Town. However, none has claimed (or I could say… dare to claim) itself as the best establishment in town because everyone has their own favourite, and the sympathy to the café is often to the point of obsession. For us, the legendary Cáfe Central is our preferred location and we visited the shop every single day during my stay.

Cáfe Central
Cáfe Central

Opened in 1876 at one of the most prestige corners in Vienna, Cáfe Central is perhaps the most monumental coffee house in the city. The cafe is characterised by impressive stone columns support high vaulted ceilings, marble tabletops and a grand piano sitting in the centre of the room. The menu in Cáfe Central includes a wide array of Viennese dishes, coffee specialities and pastry creations from the in-house patisserie. The sweet treats are eye-popping, flavourful, melt-in-the-mouth and you can find at least one new sort of cake in the vitrine each day. One of their best-sellers (and my absolute favourite) is the Schokoladenzauber – magic made of pure dark chocolate.


Address: Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien



Văn hóa cà-phê ở Wien – Một phong cách sống

Khi nhắc đến Wien, cái hình ảnh lắng đọng trong tâm trí của nhiều người là một tách cà-phê khói nghi ngút trong một quán cà-phê cổ vào một chiều mưa ảm đạm. Qua nhiều thế kỉ, những cư dân ở đây đã biến cà-phê từ một loại đồ uống thông thường lên thành một loại hình nghệ thuật và việc uống cà-phê đã trở thành một phong cách sống. Từ đó, những quán cà-phê cổ ở Wien ko chỉ là những quán giải khát đơn thuần, mà nó là một nét văn hóa không thể thiếu ở thủ đô của nước Áo.

Cáfe Central
Cáfe Central

Được UNESCO miêu tả như là một nơi mà “thời gian và không gian được sử dụng, nhưng chỉ có cốc cà-phê được tính trên hóa đơn”, những quán cà-phê cổ ở Wien chính là những ốc đảo giữa lòng thành phố. Chỉ với giá một cốc cà-phê, khách có thể ngồi hàng giờ hay cả ngày để nói chuyện, đọc báo, viết lách, nghe nhạc piano, hoặc chỉ đơn giản là thích ngồi để thưởng thức cái ấm cúng của quán.

Cáfe Central
Cáfe Central

Có khoảng hơn chục quán cà-phê như thế ở Wien nhưng với tôi thì Cáfe Central có lẽ là nơi mà tôi thích nhất. Mở cửa từ năm 1876, Cáfe Central là một trong những quán cà-phê lâu đời nhất ở Wien. Quán mang phong cách thanh lịch với mái vòm cao và đồ nội thất theo kiểu cổ. Chính giữa quán có đặt một cây đàn piano lớn để khách có thể vừa thưởng thức cà-phê vừa nghe tiếng piano du dương. Thực đơn của quán khá phong phú bao gồm nhiều loại cà-phê, bánh ngọt và cả những món đặc sản của Viên như Schnitzel – thịt heo bọc bột chiên. Cáfe Central có thợ làm bánh chuyên nghiệp nên phần lớn là bánh tự làm và mỗi chiếc bánh đều là một tác phẩm nghệ thuật.


Địa chỉ: Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien



  1. sunnydaysinseattle

    Looks delicious. Honestly I was disappointed with the sache torte at Hotel Sache. But this place looks better and I would love to try it on my next trip, if I would ever go back there again. Thanks Len!

    1. Len Kagami

      You welcome! Actually, the cafe in Hotel Sacher was first on my list, because many people recommend it. But the queue was too long, so I skipped it and went to Cáfe Central. I was “glued” there 🙂 The cakes are so good!

  2. Mel & Suan

    Oh yes, having afternoon tea in Vienna was one of our sweetest moments! Pity we could not stay long, because we were being “herded” like cattle to the sights!

    1. Len Kagami

      Such a shame 😦 That’s why I dislike tour! I only joined when there is no other way. Tour is indeed informative, but it is annoying. You have to rely on 1) your guide and 2) your fellow travellers.

  3. Jolene

    We didn’t try the other ones in your photo. I’ve also been trying to find the famous Black Forest cake but no luck…

    1. Len Kagami

      Other cakes are good, but in my opinion the Schokoladenzauber is the champion! The waiter insisted me to try that 🙂
      Regarding the Black Forest Cake, cafes in Stuttgart and the surrounding area (Baden-Wüttemberg) will surely have it. In Bavaria? I am not so sure… But I must admit, Black Forest cake is hardly comparable to Schokoladenzauber 😉

  4. Bama

    Oh, I think I had Sachertorte at Cáfe Central! Although I don’t think I tried their coffee, I don’t know why. Your photos from Vienna really make me miss that city.

      1. Bama

        The thing is I’m easily pleased by any food! I remember it being really good, though. Next time I should try Schokoladenzauber.

  5. erik sax

    I recently read that Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in vienna in 1913. I wonder if they ever happened to have a coffee at the same cafe without knowing about it…

    1. Len Kagami

      Probably 🙂 I think Stalin and Trotsky could sit together to talk about revolution and communism. Hitler, at that time, was still young and poor, might not be invited to this table, but he somehow made a pact with Stalin – a pact that he broke several years later 🙂

  6. Covert Novelist

    Loved the photos and the history on coffee in Vienna. I LOVE my coffee and I hope, in my next life, I’ll get to go experience Vienna. xoxo Thank you for sharing. Delightful and quite beautiful.

  7. Mabel Kwong

    Wow, Vienna’s cafe and coffee culture seems so similar to Melbourne – a pasttime, drinking and having a pastry or cake or two is a time of appreciation. The Schokoladenzauber looks amazing, like a mouthfuls of magic right there 😍 I am sure one wasn’t enough 😀 Also wonderful photos. Very brightly done given they were indoor shots.

    1. Len Kagami

      Many thanks! And you are right. I ate three Schokoladenzauber during my visit. Each for every single day 🙂 I know it’s not good for my body, but it’s hard to resist 😛

      1. Mabel Kwong

        Three Schokoladenzauber sounds like quite a few…but not enough 😛 I am sure all that walking around taking photos was great exercise after each sweet treat 🙂

  8. twobrownfeet

    Fantastic captures! I just read about the Viennese coffee culture on another blogger’s post. 🙂 Coffee is catching up around the world. It’s big in Korea too.

Leave a Reply to easterntrekker Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.