Eight of the best places to eat cake in old Vienna. Baking cakes is a long held tradition of Austria and Vienna has become famous for particular tortes and the coffeehouses and cafés they are served in. This grand and elegant city is devoted to all things sweet.
I’ll teach you the traditional cakes of Vienna and, most importantly, the best place to eat Sachertorte in Vienna. Sachertorte is the most famous cake of all. I’ll share with you all my top coffee shops, bakeries and cafés that serve the best cake in the older areas of Vienna.
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Before we start talking about the best places to eat cake in Vienna, you really should know the names of some traditional cakes to look out for…
Traditional cakes of Vienna
The Austrian tradition of baking cakes goes back through centuries. Towns and cities would compete to produce the finest. Even in villages, bakeries would try to produce better cake creations than each other.
Now pretty much every Austrian city has a trademark cake.
- The most famous, and one I learnt at pastry school, is the Sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake topped with an apricot glaze and chocolate glaze.
- Punschkrapfen (‘punch-cake’) is a bit gaudy looking and very sweet. They are small squares are made up of layers of cake crumbs, nougat, chocolate and apricot jam.
- Mozart-torte is a cake named after the famous classical composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who came from the Salzburg area. Expect layers of chocolate, pistachio and marzipan.
- Esterhazytorte is named after a diplomat of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Generally, it consists of buttercream infused with liqueur sandwiched between very thin layers of almond or hazelnut meringue dough (similar to macaroons) and topped with a white fondant icing with a distinctive chocolate pattern on top. The sides of the cake are covered in nuts, usually flaked almonds.
- Dobostorte is everywhere. There are layers and layers of very thin cake and chocolate buttercream. The cake is often wrapped with more buttercream and chopped walnuts on it’s side and has a layer of caramel on top.
Best places to eat cake in old Vienna
Hotel Sacher – Café Sacher Wien
This is one of the most famous and best places to eat cake in old Vienna and is one of Vienna’s most stylish venues. The queues are long though so expect to wait.
TOP TIP: Check with the concierge at your hotel to see if you can queue jump. We asked if our concierge could make a booking on our behalf and were told to head to the main entrance and say the name of our hotel. They took us round the back and we got seated straight away! Sorry to everyone who queued x
This the THE place to try the Sachertorte because the original was invented here. Original Sacher-Torte has been the most famous cake in the world since 1832 and the original recipe remains a well-kept secret of the Sacher hotel.
The dining rooms are very quiet, possibly because the Sachertorte, which most people come here to eat, is rather filling.
Service is friendly and efficient.
The waiters and waitresses are dressed in a traditional black and white uniform.
Try the Sacher coffee for the whole experience. It comes with the Original Sacher liqueur, whipped cream and a piece of Sacher chocolate. If you go on a cold day, be aware that your coffee will get cold very quickly with the copious amount of cream on top!
The Sacher cake is really lovely – the apricot jam is wonderful. But actually, we both preferred this Sacher Punch Dessert, which is definitely still a cake. It is richer, boozier and denser (yummier).
This is the shop and restaurant of one of Vienna’s greatest pastry and chocolate makers. In the 170 years Gerstner has provided it’s sweet delights to the highest levels of Vienna’s society.
There are tables just upstairs from the store which are fairly casual, there’s even a table half way up the stairs, if you love people watching.
Posh and elegant dining can be found in the dining room but we opted for a casual bite. There is nothing casual about the cakes, however. The banana and passion fruit one was exceptional.
It is one of my very favourite places to eat cake in old Vienna.
Kärntner Str. 51,
This small and simple looking compared to other more opulent interiors. But despite it’s easy going sweet treats there is no denying the quality of the traditional pastries and cakes on offer here.
It is a family run business and the art of baking these sweet treats has been in this family for generations.
They have a reputation for combining the tradition of old Austrian confectionery with the needs of the present.
Therefore, they have tended to make light versions of the traditional favourites and have kept to the original forms.
L. Heiner Kärntnerstraße
A friendly little bakery tucked down a little street behind the Jewish geto area. There are only a couple of little tables, but it is worth heading in for some incredibly good down to earth bread, pastries and cakes.
You’ll see a stream of locals stepping in for their fresh bread and choosing an irresistible slice or two of cake.
This was once a gathering place for luminaries in art, literature, science and politics including a revolutionary (Trotsky) and a psychoanalyst (Freud).
It is now a cathedral for cake and one of the very best places to eat cake in Vienna.
Many people choose to eat the excellent lunches served here but the cake takes the limelight.
The atmosphere is buzzing with cheerful waiters twirling through the tables.
The time-honoured Viennese tradition of artisanal baking is still going strong at Café Central.
The cakes we chose were absolutely divine!
Corner Herrengasse / Strauchgasse
This is very popular and is a treasure trove for any one with a sweet tooth. The quality of the cakes are not the highest in this list, but the outside terrace is a pleasant place to rest up and indulge.
There is a tremendous choice here though all with the promise of no artificial colourings or flavours.
Neuer Markt 16
Oosing in old grandeur style and finesse, excellent cakes have been served here since 1786. There is some seating outside on a pleasant street making this one of my best places to eat cake in old Vienna.
It has kept its title of ‘Imperial and Royal Court Confectionary Bakery’ even just after the collapse of the monarchy when it was officially forbidden to do so!
At this one, you can watch the Master bakers at work (with their traditional hats on).
This place is a class act. It’s very elegant inside. Over lunch and through the evening you can relax to subtle piano music.
As far as the cakes are concerned they are served freshly baked from Grandma’s recipes. You will find them on display inside.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my best places to eat cake in old Vienna. What’s your favourite place to eat cake?
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