tomaselli iced coffee
MSMU Travels Salzblog 2018 Salzburg, Austria

Eating with Emma: Cafe Culture in Austria

I have been able to try lots of different foods while studying abroad, from going to traditional Austrian restaurants for dinner on the weekends to finding sushi at the local grocery store to eat for lunch after class during the week. One of my favorite places to go have been cafes. There is definitely a “café culture” in Austria, and I am really digging it. I have been able to go to four different cafes so far: Café Tomaselli, Café Bazaar, Café Central, and CoffeePress.

Café Tomaselli and Café Bazar are the two best cafes in Salzburg. Café Tomaselli is very traditional; the wait staff still dresses up in traditional attire. There is a server who will bring around a cart of various desserts including cakes, strudel, and pastries, and you can pick what you would like from there! It was established in 1700 making it the oldest café in Austria.

Café Bazar also fits into the Austrian café tradition. Established in 1909, Bazar is not as old as Tomaselli, but still has lots of class. It is a very friendly atmosphere and sits on the Salzach River. The views of the Old Town from the outside patio of the café are beautiful. At Café Bazar, I ordered an iced coffee. Little did I know that iced coffee in Austria would be different than iced coffee in America! The coffee was served with ice cream at the top of the glass and no ice at all! In fact, if you asked some of my classmates the thing they miss the most about home, it’s probably ice (or air conditioning)! There was also whipped cream on top of the ice cream. It definitely was different, but it tasted delicious!

Café Central in Vienna was probably my favorite café I have been to thus far. I ordered the warmer alt-wiener schokokuchen which was a warm chocolate cake “Viennese-style” with vanilla ice cream. I haven’t really ordered dessert so far on the trip so it was the prefect treat to top off an afternoon of exploring Vienna. Café Central is also said to have a rich history. Famous historical figures such as Freud, Trotsky, and Zweig are said to have spent lots of time at this café, talking over coffee and cake.

The fourth café I have visited is called CoffeePress, and it is also located in Salzburg. It is an American style café for American students who are traveling internationally. I spent two afternoons there this week studying for my history of brewing midterm which was yesterday. Here, I was able to order a “frappacino” which is a standard coffee drink that I would get at a Starbucks back in the U.S. It looked and tasted the same which was a refreshing feeling. When I was in the café studying and sipping on my frappacino, it was the first time I did not feel like I was in Austria. It made me feel like I was back home in America at a small local coffee shop. It was nice to have something like a little piece of home.

Coffee Press interior
Coffee Press in Salzburg – a great place to study!

I would definitely recommend visiting each of these cafes if you are planning a trip to Austria! Cafes are a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of traveling and touring. A great thing about restaurants in Austria is that you can spend as long as you like at a table. The wait staff is paid a living wage unlike in America, which allows for customers to not have to leave a tip. Because of this, waiters don’t mind if you stay at a table for 25 minutes, or 2 hours! In fact, some times we’ve been left alone so long at our table we weren’t sure how to ask for the bill. Numerous times on the trip we have gone out to dinner and have ended up staying for 3 hours just talking and enjoying each other’s company which has been really nice.

It is so sad to think that next week is our last week in Salzburg. This trip has gone by way too fast, but I have loved eating my way through Austria. Check back next week for my last blog post from the trip. Make sure to follow @msmutravels too to see my #FoodieFriday posts!

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