"Cafe society" Kaffeehaus Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Kaffeehaus, Vienna: 16 reviews and 19 photos

  Cafe Central
by TheWanderingCamel

Coffee has been a way of life in Vienna since the 17th century. Legend says it was the would-be Turkish invaders who brought their coffee beans with them and left sacks of them behind when they retreated from their seige of the city who started the city's love affair with the bitter bean. (The croissant is said to have first been baked by the city's bakers as a celebration of that defeat, its shape a replica of the Ottoman crescent) Whatever the truth of that, by the more leisurely days of the late 19th century, there were over 500 cafes in the city, and even today there are over 200.

Cafes are places to linger in, a home from home, somewhere to meet a friend to talk or play chess or cards, or to come on your own to read the newspaper or a book, stay as long as you like even if you only order a single coffee and sit on it all afternoon. You can have a meal, or enjoy a glass of wine. Food is fairly simple, and if you're after a decadent cake you'll need to head for a cafe-konditorei.
Cafes like the Central were once very clubby, different cafes attracting their own particular like-minded clientele. Those days are not quite gone, but the old-style cafes themselves are dwindling in number as city property values rise and the pace of life increases.

Coffee is still served Viennese-style, strong and black with some variation of whipped cream topping being a favourite, but a "Kapuziner" is akin to a cappucino and an espresso is an espresso wherever you are though here a "Mokka" will give you a good caffeine hit too.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 11, 2006
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