The sheer grandeur of Café Central makes it well worth queuing for. Established in 1876, this quintessential Kaffeehaus was a popular hangout among intellectuals in turn-of-the-century Vienna. Sigmund Freud, Leon Trotsky and architect Adolf Loos are all known to have taken coffee here. Order a Melange, a Viennese take on a cappuccino, choose a cake from the stand and laze the afternoon away under the pseudo-Gothic vaulted ceilings of the Palais Ferstel.
There’s a reason Vienna is known as the coffee centre of Europe: this city knows its stuff. The legend goes that a Viennese local grabbed the final bag of coffee beans left over by the Ottomans in 1683 and started serving it up, and whether that’s the whole truth or not, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to the quality here.
If you’re visiting Vienna, drinking coffee will be higher on your ‘to do’ list than any other city, not least because a lot of the time, the cafés are the attraction (some of them have UNESCO status, don’t you know). The traditional Kaffeehaus is to the Viennese what the pub is to the Brits, a social institution that transcends eating and drinking, and the cafés here are unmissable. Here are the best cafés in the Austrian capital.
This article was recently updated by Susanne Garber, a writer based in Vienna. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.