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Sweet Life of Vienna – Famous Viennese Pastry and Coffee Shops

Coffee has been a significant aspect of social life in Vienna since 1683, when Polish-Habsburg army liberated Vienna from Turkish invaders. They found sacks of beans by the city gates that they initially thought to be camel feed. Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki pioneered the first coffee house after he was granted the sacks by the Polish king Jan III Sobieski. The Viennese cafés are known for their casual, cheerful and pleasant ambiance as the oases of gemütlichkeit. Traditional cafés lure the customers with various coffee flavors, pastries and international newspapers. Along with pastries, pies and cakes are also available at the pastry shops. Sachertorte and Bundt Cake are the essence of Viennese dolce vita. Check out the top ten pastry and coffee shops in Vienna.

Heiner on the Kärntnerstraße is comfortable and peaceful, but the one on Wollzeille is wonderful. Both the locations serve traditional cakes such as Dobostorte, Esterhazytorte and Sachertorte. The café also serves warm pastries like Dukatenbuchteln, Topfenpalatschinken and Kipferlschmarrn, Schönbichler Tea Melange Coffee and homemade ice creams. You can also get various artistic cakes like butterscotch éclair and layered cake in a crystal chandelier for baptism, Thanksgiving and various other festivities.

Café Sacher
It is one of the most popular cafés in Vienna known for serving Sachertorte which was first baked in 1832. The Café still bakes Sachertorte in-house with the original recipe. Sachertorte is a meringue based dense chocolate cake layered with apricot jam and coated with dark chocolate icing. It is served with whipped cream. The Sacher shop offers cake tasting and purchasing.

The elegant interiors and wood panel façade of Gerstner reflects the modern architecture of Kärntnerstraße. The hand crafted pastries, cookies, cup cakes, truffles and cakes are a divine treat for the taste buds. In 1847, it was a pastry shop opened by Anton and Barbara Gerstner in central Vienna. The Imperial Court commissioned this shop to deliver desserts to the Austrian Royal family.

Alongside handmade pastries and cakes, Sluka is famed for delectable hot meals and open sandwiches. Various famous personalities including Oskar Kokoschka, Empress Kaiserin Elizabeth (Sisi) and writer Thomas Bernhard have visited the shop since 1891. Thomas Bernhard has even mentioned this pastry shop in his well-known play, “Heldenplatz”.

Aida is a franchise with 34 espresso bar and pastry shops branches in Vienna with pinkish interiors. Aida at the junction of Singerstrasse is quite popular with white marble façade, pink canopy, pink staff uniforms and pinks chairs. The coffee made at Aida is unique with beans imported from South America. The menu includes Original Viennese Mozart Cake, Apricot Torte, Aida-Vienesse Sausages with Bread, Schinkenstangerl, Hand-Pulled Apple Strudel and Cake in a Glass.

Demel Konditorei
A classic and a wonderful patisserie also known as the Imperial and Royal Court Confectionery Bakery features cake buffet, huge chandeliers, stucco decorations, ornate decorative characters made of colored sugar and chocolate. The menu includes Dobostorte, Gerollte Mandeltorte, Gulaschsuppe and a lot more.

Café Gloriette
Fischer Von Erlach built this café in 1775. It is one of the best cafés in Vienna with an imperial setting in glassed central section. With spectacular views of Schönbrunn Palace, the café serves breakfast buffet, a variety of freshly baked cakes including the specialty, ring cake with candied violets. The café serves unique hot desserts including Topfenknödel mit Erdbeersauce which is Curd cheese dumplings with strawberry sauce. The balustrade terrace is perfect to enjoy the skyline of the city in summers.

Diglas is a classic coffee house near St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It is open every day with many international newspapers for the readers to peruse. Live piano music plays through the lunch and evening. The menu includes traditional Viennese cuisine– sausages, Wiener schnitzel, sauerkraut, tafelspitz and one of the most delicious pastries.

Kurkonditorei Oberlaa
This patisserie and confectionery shop is spread across ten different locations in Vienna including the Neue Markt and the Naschmarkt. Oberlaa specialties include Christstollen which are seasonal Christmas fruit cakes loaded with hazelnuts, citron, candied orange, spices, orange marzipan and spices; nine flavors of Laa-Kronen which are crisp and creamy macaroons made with almond flour, butter-cream and sugar. Oberlaa Kurtorte, the walnut sponge cake with nougat and chocolate mousse topping is the signature cake and cures all the sweet tooth ailments.

Café Mozart
Café Mozart was founded in 1794, three years after the legendary composer’s demise. Many Austrian, musicians, composers and writers have frequently visited this café for a specially blended coffee or Original Wiener Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel). It was here that Graham Green wrote the screenplay for “The Third Man’ in 1947. The movie even features the street serving area of the café. One of the breakfasts served at the Café is Third Man Breakfast. If you ever visit this café, don’t forget to try Mozart coffee which is a double mocha coffee served with Mozart liquor in a tiny bottle.

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