If you are only going to visit one of Vienna's famous coffee houses, make it this one. It's a glorious cafe, with a grand interior of high ceilings and long and illustrious history. Looking around at its exorbitant fittings, you'd be hard pressed to believe that this was one of the favourite hang outs of the father of the world's greatest Communist state, Vladimir Lenin himself.
The food is excellent, the ambiance perfect, and the prices are not unaffordable, although on the expensive side even for Vienna. The place gets very busy around lunchtime, so get their early or call to book a seat. I ended up sharing my table with some young travellers who were hovering about waiting for a table to clear, and I felt guilty hogging one all to myself.
Even if you haven't got a lot of cash, you can at least afford a coffee, and maybe one of their excellent pancakes.
You will find this Cafe & restaurant in the Palais Ferstl - and it is a typical Kaffeehaus with a very long tradition :
All sorts of Coffee and some cakes, and the coffee is of course served with a small glass of fresh water and they also serve small dishes for lunch and dinner - but on the small tables of a Kaffeehaus eating lunch or dinner is not always a pleasure, so its best to go there for a coffee.
The very best about Cafe Central is the "Ambiente" in the great architecture of Palais Ferstl.
In my last picture: a sculpture of the austrian poet Peter Altenberg (1859–1919), he was also called a Kaffeehaus-poet, because he spent all day long in the cafe writing poems and love-letters for other people there against some coffe or spirits !
Favorite Dish: I normally take a "Grosser Brauner" - a strong coffee with a bit of milk.
After my friend Astrid and I ate at Figlmüller, we headed over to the famous Café Central which, as its name suggests, is centrally located in the 1st district. The exterior of the building is beautiful -- and the interior is equally impressive with its vaulted ceilings. While we were there, there was a piano player -- which added an air of class.
Near the front door, there is a life-like mannequin of Peter Altenberg -- a writer who was a regular patron at the cafe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After Astrid and I enjoyed our coffees, Astrid (the local) took photos of me (the tourist) near the mannequin. As we were leaving, a few other people copied us and did the same.
When in Vienna, remember the phrase "mit schlag". If you include this phrase when ordering your coffee, they will include delicious whipped cream.
With this tip, I have included the link to the Wikipedia entry for Café Central which lists some of the famous people who have enjoyed a coffee here over the years.
Once you step inside this cafe, you can sense the phantoms of all the writers and intellectuals of the past who used to meet there. The decoration is like nothing you have ever seen, especially the high ceiling. Every detail is important there. The service was impeccable and so was the ambience. There was a pianist playing song pieces on the piano which added to the splendour and magic of the moment. Really, our experience in Cafe Central will always be memorable to us.
Moreover, the coffee was excellent, served with a cookie and some water. The waitors were polite as well as helpful since we could not speak any German.
This cafe should not just be added to the list of coffeehouses of Vienna but it should also be considered one of the city's most important historical places. Adolf Loos (the famous Viennese architect), Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, Leon Trosky and so on..are just a few names of important people who used to visit Cafe Central.
If we are ever in Vienna again, we will definitely go back to this place.
Favorite Dish: We have tasted Sacher Torte and apple strudel which were fantastic! There will be no sign of guilt after you have your dessert there!
Cafe Central is one of the most famous coffeehouses in Vienna. It was originally opened in 1876 and during its heyday was a meeting point for writers, politicians, and intellectuals. Viktor Adler, Theodor Herzl, Leon Trotsky, Josef Stalin are just some of the names that used this cafe at the start of the century. Adolf Hitler used to come into the cafe and try to sell his paintings before he was rejected by the art school. Peter Altenberg made it his favourite coffeehouse and his statue sits by the doorway. Cafe Central was closed in 1943 and didn't open again until 1982, although the restoration of the building wasn't completed until 1986.
Although the interior is beautiful and the coffeehouse is full of history, I didn't particularly fancy Cafe Central. It has become more of a tourist attraction than a real coffehouse and the prices and atmosphere reflect this. If you really want a good coffeehouse to hang out in, go to the Hawelka or Westend.
This cafe - restaurant is one of the first cafes in Vienna and it's very close to Hofburg palace. On the wall there are portraits of Emperor Franz-Joseph and Princess Sisi! The whole place is very imperial!
The food is delicious and also the desserts. We ate traditional schnitzel with fried vegetales and potatos salad. It also offers a great variety of beers and wines. It's an expensive place, though and you have to know that if you want to eat there you will pay about 20euros per person.
However, it's a must go place even if you don't want to go there for lunch you could go and try the coffees and the dessrts! It worths!
Our local friend advised us to go here even though it’s always full of tourists. He said that this is the quintessential Viennese coffee house experience. There are huge marble columns and huge decorated ceilings. The desserts are to die for.
Favorite Dish: Coffee and desserts
Cafe Central is an institution in Vienna with a long tradition and famous regulars like Trotsky. This was where I had my first VT meeting with Vienna members Alusru and Globetrot and I think the stimulating discussion we had there was well in keeping with Cafe Central tradition. This was also my first introduction to Austrian cakes so all in all it was a completely pleasurable experience. At around 3.30 a distinguished looking man in dress suit opened the Grand piano and began to play. I was happy beforehand but this was definitely the icing on my dobostorte. The whole atmosphere of gentility and bonhomie in Cafe Central was everything I had expected and more.The impeccably dressed waiters were busy but friendly and at no time made any effort to hurry you up. You can have lunch and snacks here as well as coffee and I had the first soup I actually liked in Vienna. A potato soup with chunks of bacon and not a dumpling in sight.
Favorite Dish: My favourite dish here is without doubt the exquisite gastronomical experience also known as the Dobostorte. About five thin layers of biscuit sponge and caramel/chocolate frosting with a carmelised toffee-type glaze on top. Further words fail me - come to Vienna and try it for yourself !
Cafe Central is an institution in Vienna. It's been there since 1860, at changing locations though. It used to be a meeting point for the literary scene of Vienna, the list of famous people who drank their coffee here include names like Kafka, Stalin, Trotzki, Kokoschka and Hitler. After world war II Cafe Central was gone. It came back only in 1975 at its current location in Palais Ferstel. It's popular with tourists and locals ever since.
Favorite Dish: I really enjoyed the paintings of Sissi and Franzl at the wall, the grumpy charme of the waiters, the typical atmosphere and the cakes here. I had Marillen-Palatschinken (apricot pancakes). They were nice but a bit sweet maybe (OK OK now, what did I expect? ;)
This cafe was wonderful. We happened upon it by accident, but we were glad we did! The place is beyond gorgeous, with large cathedral-like cealings and comfortable chairs and couches. The atmosphere was perfect.
The coffee and pastries were excellent.
Favorite Dish: The applestruedel was wonderful. Everything you heard about Viennese pastries is true...we couldn't get enough!
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