Familiarity is not a justifiable reason for going to a coffeehouse. You go for good coffee and ambiance. Occasionally, good food enters into the mix. Most coffeehouses in Vienna are modern and lacking in character, hence the popularity of Starbucks, especially among the young and university crowd.
There are only a few of the traditional Viennese cafes remaining. One of them is Cafe Sperl, located in the museum quarter. Stepping through the front door takes you back a century in time. You immediately feel comfortable, warm and at home. Old but well-maintained billiard tables occupy part of the floor space. The seats are upholstered in thick traditional fabric. The 20 plus foot ceilings are ornate plaster. A table holds the days edition of practically every German language newspaper and at least one English paper (The Financial Times). The waitresses are accommodating but unobtrusive and the coffee is to die for. If Maxwell House and Folgers is your cup of coffee, you are in the wrong place. The coffee is made from a special blend roasted exclusively for Cafe Sperl. You may find great coffee elsewhere in Vienna, but you won’t find better.
If you have a sweet tooth, try the Salzberger cheesecake. Skip the sachertorte, a Vienese traditional chocolate torte. The cheescake is slightly crumbly and delicious and probably the best dessert on the menu.
Relax, enjoy, slow down, read. No one is rushing you. Cafe Sperl is the place for you to unwind after sightseeing and shopping – a place to regroup and contemplate the joy of being.