Vienna’s beauty is in great part due to its rich traditions and culture that have made Vienna and shaped the Viennese experience for hundreds of years. And an inevitable part of Vienna’s traditions and culture are typical Viennese cafés. So much so that the Viennese have coined the term Kaffehauskultur (coffee house culture). Few Cafés embody and carry on this tradition as beautifully and authentically as the Café Schwarzenberg, the oldest Ringstraßenkaffee active today.
Founded in 1861 during the construction of Vienna’s Ringstraße, one of Europe’s most notable and beautiful boulevards, this café has truly stood the test of time and has become a staple in the landscape of Viennese coffee houses. A detailed history of Viennas Kaffeehauskultur and the café itself can even be found on its website!
The high ceilings and windows, the dark wood, the grand chandeliers, the big cake display, and the waiters in their traditional three-piece suits with the inevitable bow tie really keep the tradition alive and make you feel transported in time. The interior, which is in many ways true to the original furnishings, is elegant and beautiful and perfect for doing all the things visitors have done for many decades in Viennese cafés, eating a good lunch, having great coffee, gossiping with friends, reading the newspaper or a book. Experiencing the café in its authenticity, as it has been for more than a century is unforgettable and truly something you can only do in Vienna.
Traditional Viennese cafés distinguish themselves from coffee places around the world by their value of loyalty and feeling of community. Some of the staff have worked in Café Schwarzenberg for over twenty years and it has many regular guests that have become staples.
Even though their strong commitment to tradition is what makes this café so special its longevity has been achieved by being able to adjust to the Zeitgeist.
The menu includes breakfast, a weekly menu, and the staple coffee and tea menu. Just like the restaurant itself, the items on the menus are Austrian staples that are done well and contribute to the authentic experience. At Café Schwarzenberg you can enjoy traditional coffee specialties, fine pastries, and delicious dishes from Viennese cuisine. And you should!
For us, it is definitely one of our go-to places if we are looking for a truly Austrian experience and when we want to be reminded of how great Viennese culture is. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
written by Maike