Coffee and cake is not a luxury in Vienna. It is essential, perhaps every day, sustenance.

The first roots of Vienna’s coffee houses reach back to 1683, the year the Siege of Vienna ended. It is said that Viennese citizen Georg Franz Kolschitzky was rewarded for his heroic actions by being the first person to be given a licence to serve coffee in the city. Coffee left by the repelled Turks was of great interest to the people of Vienna, but Kolschitzky didn’t actually get to open a coffee house.

Armenian spy Johannes Diodato is said to have been the first to do so, in 1685, though were coffee houses in other parts of the world before Vienna (Venice had the first in Europe in 1647; the first in London opened in 1650).

There are claims that Viennese cafes progressed coffee making by inventing the process of filtering coffee and there are still lots of traditional coffee houses in Vienna’s Old City.

Discover Stephen Scourfield’s Top 12 Viennese cafes and more at West Travel Club.

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