SPOTLIGHT: CAFE CENTRAL AND DEMEL IN VIENNA
Two of my favourite traditional Viennese coffee houses happen to be two of the busiest. You can fully expect to have to queue to get into both; heaving with both locals and tourists.
However, they are well worth the visit, for the historical buildings and beginnings alone, if not the stunning array of cakes and coffees.
Following my last post, ’24 hours in Vienna,’ these are both ideally located for a short trip whilst still sampling two of the best coffee houses in the city. Both are a stone’s throw from the Hofburg Palace complex.
DEMEL BAKERY, BAR, SHOP & COFFEE HOUSE:
For a taste of a coffee house that’s as famous for its building as its coffee and cakes, you mustn’t miss Demel on Kohlmarkt.
Outside, shrieks of joy permeate the streets as a delighted tour group are about to enter. It is busy and attracts a lot of tourists. Inside, it’s like an early Christmas.
The shop is a fantasy of pastels in pencil and rose etchings. Chocolate bars, cakes and Violet sugar are displayed. Inside, a tiny olde-world saloon bar comes first. Behind it lies a large open plan kitchen where I can actually see the bakers, chocolatiers and Patisserie chefs cooking up a storm.
The coffee house just keeps on unfolding, as it spreads over 3 floors. Lots of sepearted cabins, saloons and rooms create different atmospheres for different moods. On the ground floor, a cosy saloon bar leads through to a deep blue seating area, sectioned off into various rooms.
Upstairs, if you get a seat, grab it. The best seats in the house are in the central room by the window. It can be crowded but it’s delightful. And there’s nothing more exciting than placing your order and awaiting delicious food, coffees, hot chocolates and patisseries. It makes a child of every grown up, as I walk up to the cake counter, gaze at the selection and choose the one (or tow, threee…) I like.
SPOTLIGHT RATING: 4.5/5
This is a firm Viennese favourite. Just entering it feels an occasion. The building is idyllic, located between a fork in the road, and in winter it looks ‘Christmassy.’ Inside, waiters dressed in traditional attire tempt me towards an extensive cake selection. I opt for a Rose & Raspberry giant Macaroon. Just be prepared to wait a while as the queue backs out of the door.
Inside, the arches of the beautiful ceiling and old lamps create a mesmerising and warm atmosphere. Decoratively, this building is very pretty, both outside and in. The large open-plan ground-level room centres around a musician or piano.
As it is very busy, I find service to be a little slow. The food and drink, when it arrives, is beautifully presented and very fresh. But it can take a while to be noticed, to place the order.
SPOTLIGHT RATING: 4/5
- 24 Hrs in Vienna? Head to the Hofburg (ani-shah.com)
- For Every Sight, a Coffee House: Vienna Insider Tips 1 (ani-shah.com)
- Vintage Smoking Shops Meet Antique Map Shops in Vienna’s Back Streets (ani-shah.com)
- Dawn of the Coffee Craze (londonhistorians.wordpress.com)