9 traditional Viennese coffeehouses that are over 100 years old - Vienna Würstelstand

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9 traditional Viennese coffeehouses that are over 100 years old

There’s something to be said about the fact that there’s a collection of Viennese traditional coffeehouses that have survived, as they are, for over 100 years. Some of them have been around for more than 200!

There’s also something to be said about this quote from the Dutch writer, Geert Mak – ‘Without coffeehouse there is no Vienna. Without Vienna, there is no coffeehouses.’ This is so true. The city’s soul has lived, and been brought to life and hotly discussed, in these holy places that serve coffee for many, many years. This would partly explain why their timeless charm survives today, making them just as beloved as they were when famous artists that are now printed on t-shirts once sat in their booths.

Here’s a list of Vienna’s oldest traditional coffeehouses that are over 100 years old:

 

Cafè Ritter – coffeehouses over 100 years old

Since: 1867

Cafè Ritter is one of those more quiet and reserved coffeehouses one retreats to for those moments that require a good read in one hand and an Einspänner in the other.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Vienna’s finest literary experts and art enthusiasts spent plenty of time, here.

Cafe Ritter is no run of the mill coffeehouse, and never was. Its interior was stylised by Josef Zotti, a student of none other than Josef Hoffmann, himself. The building’s structure possesses elements inspired by the Rococo Revival age that can be admired even today.

Throwback fact: Cafè Ritter, also known as simply, ‘The Ritter’, is one of the few remaining larger coffeehouse establishments along the shopping boulevard, Mariahilferstraße, which originally hosted many more coffeehouses.

 

© Vienna Würstelstand | Photographer: David Schneider

© Vienna Würstelstand | Photographer: David Schneider

Cafè Savoy – coffeehouses over 100 years old

SUN–FRI 10am–1am
SAT 9am–1am 

cafe-savoy.at

Since: 1897

From outside cafe Savoy, there’s no chance you can realise what lives inside this 18th-century building. When the café decided they wanted an imperial theme in 1896, their architect, Franz von Neumann, definitely replied with `Say no more.’

The coffeehouse welcomes all who walk through its doors with bright and heavy chandeliers and walls and walls of majestic mirrors.

On their menu, you can find the typical Verlängerter and Melange, but also fancy liquor and rum-infused hot beverages, like the classic Viennese Pharisäer and Maria Theresia Kaffee.

These days, while it welcomes all kinds of people, it’s a popular amongst the city’s LGBTQ+ community.

Throwback fact: before being renamed, Cafè Savoy was originally called ‘Cafè Wienzeile’, due to its location on Vienna’s left river bank incidentally a hub for popular Viennese gay bars

 

© Vienna Würstelstand | Photographer: David Schneider

© Vienna Würstelstand | Photographer: David Schneider

Cafè Imperial – coffeehouses over 100 years old

Since: 1873

For decades, Cafè Imperial has welcomed many famous visitors at their tables, and takes the saying, ‘the customer is king,’ very seriously.

With that being said (or rather written), the notion of the typical Viennese grumpy waiter does not apply to this specific coffeehouse. Wishes and individual requests are gladly carried out by the waiting staff. As for some name-dropping, the likes of Sigmund Freud and composer, Gustav Mahler & Johannes Brahms, were big fans of this place.

Throwback fact: for decades, the ‘Imperial Torte’ has been the coffeehouse’s signature cake.

 

 

© Vienna Würstelstand | Photographer: David Schneider

© Vienna Würstelstand | Photographer: David Schneider

Cafè Frey – coffeehouses over 100 years old

MON–FRI 7am–9pm
SAT–SUN 9am–8pm

cafefrey.at

Since: 1895

Like many other older coffeehouses in the city, Cafè Frey has been a family business for many years. Up until 1980, that is. The coffeehouse had experienced its share of foster care (it went through at least three different owners) until it found its new home with the family Lehocky. All the while, its flair for the traditional Viennese coffeehouse remained untouched, which includes homemade pastries and typical Viennese dishes.

It’s nothing special to look at, however, it’s got plenty of character that has been added to over the many years of its life.

Throwback fact: the no-longer-existing train station, Südbahnhof, was bombed during the Second World War and a bomb also fell on the coffeehouse, but thankfully, it was a dud.

 

Cafè Frauenhuber – coffeehouses over 100 years old

Since: 1314

Frauenhuber was one of the first established cafès to bring to life the Viennese coffeehouse culture and is seen as the OGs amongst the scene.

Being in existence for so long, the establishment naturally had to undergo many rounds of renovations, but it managed to uphold its original elegant and traditional interior, nonetheless.

This applies to the café’s kitchen, as well, with many of the typical Viennese dishes served back then are still being served today (with up to ELEVEN variations of egg dishes).

Café Frauenhuber is not only the oldest coffeehouse in Vienna, but it’s also known for having had W.A. Mozart and L. van Beethoven play table music for the dining guests in this café time and again between the years 1782–1791. OK, full disclosure, they played table music in the cafe that stood in the same place before it became the Frauenhuber, but still, two of the most famous names in music busked here!

Throwback fact: Cafè Hänisch, Kaffeehaus Herzog and the list goes on – the coffeehouse underwent numerous identity changes in its +500 years of its existence

 

Cafè Korb – coffeehouses over 100 years old

MON–SAT 8am–12am
SUN 10am–11pm

https://cafekorb.at/

Since: 1904

The insides of Cafè Korb really brings back 60’s nostalgia, with its characterful design and original vintage interior.

It is one of the few coffeehouses that doesn’t necessarily exude the traditional, wood-covered, creaky floorboard, classic Viennese charm, but more its own flavour of spunk.

This may have something to do with its owner, Susanne Widl. This lady has lived many lives as a actress, model, and coffeehouse owner. A true one-of-a-kind personality.

For its opening in 1904, none other than the emperor himself, Franz Joseph I, turned up and kicked out some moves on the dance floor (ok, maybe he just showed up). A few years later, the café became one of the first weekly meeting points for Freud’s “Vienna Psychoanalytic Society”. And to this day, this location is the favourite haunt for Elfride Jelinek, author and Austria’s exclusive winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Throwback fact: Cafe Korb was one of the few cafès in the 19th century to host women as guests

© Vienna Würstelstand | Photographer: David Schneider

© Vienna Würstelstand | Photographer: David Schneider

Zum schwarzen Kameel – coffeehouses over 100 years old

Since: 1618

Since its beginnings, ‘Zum schwarzen Kameel’ has been a place for those who enjoy the occasional goose liver in their diet, and higher level of service and class with their coffeehouse. Well, Zum schwarze Kameel isn’t just a coffeehouse, but also a highly respected restaurant. Its owners actually claim it to be a precious world of unearthly delights…and we’d say, if they deflate this claim from all of the marketing hype, they’d be almost right.

It was opened by a guy named Johan Baptist Cameel – yep, no camels here, this is where the name of the place comes from. It was actually originally a spice shop. Then a guy named Joseph Stiebitz took it over and formed it into the institution of the city’s dining scene that it is today.

The crowd who run this place have put in great effort to preserve the idea that this should be a place of sensual pleasure that turns on all of your senses.

It was in 1901 that it got its Art Nouveau interior design and this truly is a pleasure for your sense of sight. The whole experience here speaks of spice markets in faraway lands and the elegance of a noble Viennese coffeehouse slash restaurant.

Throwback fact: the store still sells spices like the original version of the place did all those years ago

 

© Vienna Würstelstand

© Vienna Würstelstand

Cafè Goldegg – coffeehouses over 100 years old

MON–FRI 8am–8pm
SAT 9am–8pm
SUN 9am–7pm

cafegoldegg.at

Since: 1910

In Cafè Goldegg, there has been so much history written, that the coffeehouse has been officially declared as a cultural monument. It was initially founded under the name, Cafè Dobner, and served as a local cafè for railway employees for a long while. It became a meeting point for revolutionary Socialists during the NS-Regime.

The only people you encounter nowadays in this Jugendstil-looking coffeehouse are those eager to munch away on the wide breakfast selection, or to hide away in one of their cosy green velvet booths for a while.

Throwback fact: the art nouveau cafè is on the list of the Vienna Film Commission and has been used as a motive for various international productions

Cafè Central – coffeehouses over 100 years old

MON–SAT 8:30am–8pm
SUN 10am–8pm

cafecentral.wien

Since: 1876

For nearly 145 years, the famous Cafè Central has been one of the principal places tourists discover the panache of the old Viennese coffeehouse. We’re using fancy words like ‘panache’ because that is what best describes one of Vienna’s oldest traditional coffeehouses.

The cafè is situated on the ground floor of Palais Ferstel in the city center (hence, the name) and often has a line snaking out of its front entrance.

Many of Vienna’s famous personalities, out-of-the-box thinkers and authors (including the likes of Freud) have been regulars at the cafè. No doubt, one of the many reasons they came was for the extraordinary selection of extraordinary cakes. The ‘Centralists’, as the Café’s regulars were known as, came here because of the tranquillity, cigars, chess, billiards, and of course, the coffee. Writers and poets such as Alfred Polgar, Stefan Zweig, Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and architects like Alfred Loos, and philosophers and revolutionists including Trotsky, Lenin, and Stalin held court and traded in wild discussions at the tables at CC (yes, we’re regulars there for the cake and we’ve got our own nickname for the place!).

Throwback fact: While sipping on your Melange in the former stock market’s ground floor ,you are taken back in time to when writer Peter Altenberg happened to walk out without paying his bill. If you’re feeling daring, perhaps you can try the same*

*we, of course, do not promote such behaviour, but if you do try it, do send a video of the Viennese waiter chasing you up the street

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