viennese café

The Viennese café

……   (German: (Wiener) Kaffeehaus) is a typical institution of Vienna that still plays an important role in Viennese culture and tradition.

Unlike some other café traditions around the world, it is completely normal for a customer to linger alone for hours and study the omnipresent newspaper. Along with coffee, the waiter will serve an obligatory glass of cold tap water and during a long stay will often bring additional water unrequested, with the idea being that you are a guest who should feel welcomed and not pressured to leave for another patron.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, leading writers of the time became attached to the atmosphere of Viennese cafés and were frequently seen to meet, exchange and to even write there. Literature composed in cafés is commonly referred to as coffee house literature, the writers thereof as coffee house poets. The famous journal Die Fackel (“The Torch”) by Karl Kraus, is said to have been written in cafés to a large extent. Other coffee house poets include Arthur Schnitzler, Alfred Polgar, Friedrich Torberg, and Egon Erwin Kisch. Famous writer and poet Peter Altenberg even had his mail delivered to his favorite café, the Café Central.

The furnishings of a Viennese café can vary from plush and comfy to coldly modern and stylish. The classic look includes Michael Thonet chairs and marble tabletops.

Many cafés provide small food dishes like sausages as well as desserts, cakes and tarts, like Apfelstrudel, Millirahmstrudel (milk-cream strudel) and Linzer torte.

In many classic cafés (for example Café Diglas, Café Central, Café Prückel) piano music is played in the evening and social events like literary readings are held. In warmer months, customers can often sit outside in a Schanigarten.

…   and this pretty much sums it up …

Kaffee – Café

A list of Viennese Coffee Specialties

Kleiner/Grosser Brauner

Small/Large Espresso with cream or milk

Café Royal

Sugar cube soaked in brandy, set alight and covered with coffee

Doppel Mokka

Very strong mocca in mocca cups served


Black coffee served in a glass with lots of whipping cream

Espresso gross/klein

 Espresso Large/Small


Black coffee served in glass, with Kirschwasser or rum


Boil 4-5 coffeespoon coffee with cold water, let sit for 5 min, strain and serve with hot milk

Kaiser Melange

Large mocca with fresh egg yolk, cognac or brandy and honey


A with little water prepared espresso


Verlängerter served in “Laufglass”


Small espresso with a few drops of cream

Kaffee verkehrt

Small mocca in tea cup, filled up with hot foamed milk

Café Konsul

Large espresso with cream


Espresso with foamed milk

Mokka gross/klein

Very strong espresso

Mokka gespitzt

Espresso with rum or brandy

Obers Milch gespritzt

A glass cream/milk with a shot of coffee


Large mocca with 4 cl rum and whipped cream served in special glass

Schale Gold

Espresso mixed with cream until it appears golden

Kleiner/Grosser Schwarzer

Strong coffee (Espresso) without milk


Turkish coffee

Kaffee Maria Theresia

Large mocca with 2 cl orange liquor in stem glass,

served with whipped cream and colored sugar vermicelli

St. Stephan

Espresso with mint liquor


Cold coffee with maraschino, sugar syrup and spices, ice cubes

Wiener Eiskaffee

Cold coffee with vanilla ice cream and whipping cream

Wiener Special Eiskaffee

Wiener Eiskaffee with mandarin liquor

Berliner Eiskaffee

Large cold mocca with coffee ice cream and whipped cream  

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sigi says:

    Nice Coffee menu Thomas – Happy to see that you make this effort to keep the great Viennese coffee traditions alive. How about some pictures .

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