When were you last in a restaurant that was first mentioned in documents fifty years before the discovery of America and has been in the same place ever since?
Or in the one where Ludwig van Beethoven regularly ordered his indispensible dose of red wine and coffee?
And what about the coffeehouse that Adolf Hitler and Gustav Klimt visited at same time for years?
A Long Tradition of Quality and Class
Some restaurants in Vienna are so unique that they can’t be appraised properly with just toques or stars. A big part of their glory is their blend of exeptional quality, cultural history and moderate prices.
These are a few restaurants, cafehouses and cake shops in Vienna where Mozart, Beethoven, Empress Elisabeth, Emperor Franz Joseph, Gustav Klimt, Adolf Hitler or Sigmund Freud eat and drank on a regular basis.
Griechenbeisl – Since 1447
The first mention of the Griechenbeisl is in a document from 1447. From around 1500 the present Griechenbeisl was called The Yellow Eagle.
Over the years the building appears in chronicles as an inn with the names Red Roof, Golden Angel and Reichenberger Beisl.
Griechenbeisl, Vienna (Photo: Maximilian Just)
In the mid 17th century Greek and Levantine merchants settled near the meat market and the area became to be known as the Greek Quarter.
Thus the inn got the name it carries today, which means Greek Tavern.
Some of the most famous guests include Franz Schubert, Richard Wagner, Johann Strauss, Johannes Brahms and Mark Twain.
Address: Fleischmarkt 11, Vienna/Austria
Opening hours: daily 11am – 12.30am
Kitchen hours: daily 11am – 11.30pm
Closed: only December 24
The k.u.k. Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel, the Imperial and Royal Court Confectionary Bakery, is located at Kohlmarkt 14, right before the Michaelerplatz.
This bakery is where Empress Elisabeth ordered sweets to accompany her morning coffee, for court festivities, imperial birthdays and the annual Kaiserball.
Her favorite dessert was a sorbet made out of violet blossom extract, spun sugar and a few drops of champagne. The violet sorbet is still served at Demel today.
Demel, Vienna (Photo: Maximilian Just)
Emperor Franz Joseph I on the other hand only ever wanted to eat the carnival doughnuts from Demel.
Back in the day the waitresses were recruited from convent schools and called Demelinerinnen. The Demelinerinnen have always and still today address the guests with the impersonal construction: “Has the lady already made a selection?”
That was the way, during the time of the monarchy, one addressed aristocrats without being too personal and offending them.
Address: Kohlmarkt 14, Vienna/Austria
Opening hours: daily 09am – 09pm
For the whole story about the most unique historic restaurants and cake shops where Mozart eat and Beethoven drank plus the Hitler’s, Klimt’s and Freud’s preferable coffeehouses, you need to search in the section Extra Walks for Special Interests of our Vienna guidebook.
If you want to explore more about the imperial castles, art and architecture or Viennese famous composers, take a look at this guidebook and read first chapter on Amazon for FREE!
Vienna Under The Surface – Palaces, Streets and Squares