Café Central


Copyright: Clayton Tang/

Café Central

Boasting 130 years of history, Café Central has seen countless personas from the world of art, literature and politics sitting under its vaulted ceiling. Despite being extremely popular with tourists–there's often a queue, but it moves quickly–this is everything but a tourist trap. The magnificent architecture of this legendary coffeehouse is the setting of top-quality coffee specialities, traditional Viennese cuisine, and mouth-watering pastries from the in-house patisserie. Don't leave without trying the chocolate-truffle Altenbergtorte.


Since 2011, the traditional Viennese coffee house culture has been regarded as part of the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. Legend has it Vienna's café culture had its beginning back in 1683 when a sack of coffee beans was left behind by the retreating Ottomans. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, coffee houses became the go-to places for intellectuals and creatives, including the likes of Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, James Joyce, and Leon Trotsky. Traditional cafes entice visitors with a wide variety of coffee-based specialities, heavenly pastry creations, and a unique cosy and friendly: Austrian gemütlichkeit. If you are in the mood for something more modern, there are hundreds of third-wave coffee places in Vienna.