Mythical world famed Paris Cafes. The old and stately historic center of Vienna is home to dozens of splendid traditional cafes that retain the original look and luxury of the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In this tour of the Austrian capital, you will visit three of its most iconic cafes: Café Mozart, Café Central and Café Hofburg. These spaces seem frozen in an era that embodies the very essence of Austria.
Café Mozart opened in 1794 inside a building that had been a convent and a hospice founded by Duke Rudolf III in 1305. The iconic Café is closely tied to the classic film, The Third Man (1949) directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles. It is said British author Graham Greene, who lived in Vienna’s Hotel Sacher in 1947, wrote the screenplay at a table in Café Mozart. But Greene was not the only literary figure who was captivated by the beauty of the place: Anton Karas, author of the film’s unforgettable musical score, was so delighted with the site that he composed a waltz dedicated to Café Mozart. When you go, try the mouthwatering tray of varied sausages featuring Klobasse (spicy), Debreziner (lightly smoked with pepper) and a Frankfurter served with mustard and horseradish. To finish, enjoy a cup of Maria Theresia coffee flavored with orange essence. At Café Mozart, this sophisticated infusion becomes a unique pleasure.
Café Central dates from 1876 and has been the meeting place for historical personalities such as Adolf Loos, Sigmund Freud and Leon Trotsky. Its Viennese cuisine, homemade cakes and piano music delight its loyal clientele, as well as the many tourists who sit around their tables every day. The pastry chef at Café Central, Manuela Radlherr, revives the opulence of 19th century patisserie with her Wiener Apfelstrudel mit vanillesauce oder Vanilleeis (Viennese apple strudel with vanilla ice cream and syrup) or her beautiful wedding cakes and fruit pies fit for grand celebrations.
Michaelerkuppel, Hofburg, Innerer Burghof 1
Strategically located, the Café Hofburg is a short walk from the famous Empress Sissi Museum and the imperial apartments, which makes it the ideal place to relax and have a snack before or after a visit to the Imperial Palace. Facing the Palace’s courtyard, the privileged position of the Café’s terrace offers the opportunity to relive 600 years of Habsburg history while drinking a cup of classic Viennese coffee and enjoying a slice of freshly baked Sacher torte, a renowned Austrian treat. ■