Austria is renowned for its café culture and wide variety of traditional kaffeehauser coffee houses where, particularly in Vienna, the venues historically served as a meeting place for eminent politicians, artists and other noteworthy figures.
Patrons of these coffee houses would typically linger over their coffee and soak up their surroundings, rather than rushing to drink up and carry on with their day. This attitude is still apparent today and cafés take pride in producing elaborate coffee-based drinks and delicious treats to entice customers to stay a while. Breakfast is a highlight of the day at the country’s best cafés, where skilfully made coffee and freshly squeezed juices are served alongside a range of dishes, from wholesome bowls of fruit and muesli to indulgent freshly baked chocolate croissants, continental-style platters and substantial, flavour-packed all-day breakfast sandwiches.
220 Grad takes its coffee seriously, and its superb range of blends is made using beans roasted on site. This distinguishes it from other Austrian coffee houses where drinks are often served piled high with cream or as an accompaniment to an indulgent sweet treat. The café has its own decked terrace which features cheerful orange chairs, awnings and blankets – a great breakfast spot. The menu is wholesome and tasty – start the day with muesli and fruit, fresh spelt bread baked in house, or set yourself up with the more substantial Maxi plate. The café’s own version of a continental-style breakfast, the dish includes ham, cheese, jam and a selection of breads.
220 Grad, Chiemseegasse 5, 5020 Salzburg, +43 (0)662 827881
Motto Am Fluss
A modern interpretation of a traditional Viennese café, Motto Am Fluss occupies an enviable location on the banks of the Donaukanal (the Danube canal). The building, which houses a café, restaurant and terrace, is appropriately designed in the shape of a boat and guests can enjoy fantastic waterside views. The café is on the upper deck and the breakfast menu is popular for very good reason. Tuck into superfood granola and home-made chocolate almond croissants, or sample savoury dishes such as smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with baby spinach, or a mighty all-day breakfast sandwich filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce and spicy Habanero mayonnaise. Wash it down with a glass of home-made lemonade or a made-to-order detox smoothie.
Motto Am Fluss, Franz-Josefs-Kai 2, 1010 Vienna, +43 (0)1 252 5510
Crema is a new addition to Innsbruck this year and it’s quickly becoming a favourite hangout for the city’s coffee lovers. The light-filled café has a clean and modern décor with thoughtful touches such as pretty vases of fresh flowers on each table. Crema has already earned a reputation for its expertly made cappuccinos, cakes and freshly baked pastries. For later in the day, or for those looking for a hearty brunch, there’s an appetising menu of home-made quiches which changes daily, as well as pasta dishes.
Crema, Maria-Theresien-Strasse 49A, 6020 Innsbruck, +43 (0)676 511 4992
There can surely be few better places to start the day than the Palmenhaus café, located in an art nouveau former tropical greenhouse on the side of Vienna’s imperial Hofburg Palace. The building was originally used by the emperor as a place to relax and entertain guests. Breakfast is a highlight at the Palmenhaus, which also features a restaurant and lounge bar alongside the popular café. Early risers can expect a Viennese menu with a twist. Breakfast like a local with a traditional Viennese-style breakfast of hand-made croissants, organic butter, blossom honey and home-made jam, or opt for the café’s signature breakfast of organic scrambled eggs with goat’s cheese, handmade roll with jam and a mango smoothie with organic wholemeal bread.
Palmenhaus, Burggarten 1, 1010 Vienna, +43 (0)1 533 1033