Salzburg’s renowned pastry chef Tina Tagwercher gives Culture Trip the lowdown about the must-visit cafés in the city. From traditional coffeehouses to modern coffee shops, this list has you covered when searching for the best place for a cup of coffee in Salzburg.
Austria is famous for its unique coffeehouse culture, and where better to experience the scene for yourself than the pretty, historic city of Salzburg. And who better to share her tips for the best cafés in Salzburg than renowned master pastry chef Tina Tagwercher? Culture Trip spoke to Tagwercher about her favourite places to go. Whether you plan to while away the hours over a newspaper, meet friends for a slice of Sachertorte or hunker down to some work in a cosy spot, Salzburg has it all. “Having travelled the world,” Tagwercher says, “I can tell you Salzburg really stands out for quality. Whether people visit the city’s traditional cafés or the new, they’ll get to taste some of the best cuisine anywhere.”
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Café Tomaselli upholds the tradition of café culture in Austria – where fine food and pleasant company are held in equal esteem. With glass cabinets filled with delicious pastries, dark-wood panelling, arched windows and smartly dressed waiters carrying silver trays, a visit to Café Tomaselli offers an enchanting trip back in time. Along with its popular pastries such as Sachertorte (Viennese chocolate cake), apple strudel and cream slice, it also offers a range of mouth-watering specialties including the Salzburger Nockerl slice (Austrian soufflé). Centrally located on Alter Markt, Café Tomaselli is only a few steps away from many of Salzburg’s popular sights. Prices are reasonable, but not for the budget-conscious.
Situated on Linzergasse, Konditorei Fingerlos is renowned in Salzburg for its high-quality pastries and other sweet treats. “The pastries are close to perfection,” Tagwercher says. “And they don’t just offer traditional pastries like Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel or Linzertorte – they also have a selection of cheeky modern pastries.” Owned by Marie and Josef Fingerlos, the café has won countless awards over the years. Popular with tourists and lauded by Salzburg’s well-heeled for the tradition it upholds, the café is a great choice for coffee and cake or even for a quality breakfast or lunch. Prices are moderate for Salzburg standards, but not for the budget-conscious.
Coffeesmith is the new kid on the block in Salzburg, and was launched in June 2019 by English barista and avowed coffee-bean fanatic Paul Marsden. “The café offers the best specialty coffee,” Marsden explains. “The arabica beans have more than 80 points out of 100 on the specialty coffee scale. All have distinct and desirable flavours – fruity, nutty, chocolatey to name a few.” The interior of Coffeesmith is enfolded in a beautifully restored golden-and-green Gustav Klimt forest motif. Visit for the coffee and allow yourself to be carried away by the magical forest surrounds.
This historic café overlooking the Salzbach river is one of the stalwarts of Austrian café culture. Frequented by poets, artists, actors and many of society’s most influential people since 1909, a visit to Café Bazar is as much a cultural as a culinary experience. “It’s lovely to sit outside in the warmer months beneath the chestnut trees, to chat with friends and look out over the old town to Fortress Hohensalzburg,” Tagwercher says. “And the cakes are large and scrumptious. Saturday brunch is popular. People start with coffee and soon move on to beer!” Café prices are moderate for Salzburg standards, but not for the budget-conscious.
This comfy little café owned by Miriam Weinert lies on the eastern bank of the Salzbach river, a leisurely 10-minute stroll up Elisabethkai from the Staatsbrücke. With its array of dangling orange lights like glowworms in a cave, the café hints at the history of the location, fondly remembered by locals as Lichthaus – the prominent lighting store that once stood there. Come for the riverside walk and the coffee, stay for the scrumptious homemade cakes and Miriam’s glowing hospitality.
Situated on Franz-Josefs-Kai just around the corner from Museumsplatz, Café Bar Glüxfall is one of Tagwercher’s favourites: “They do a great job of combining café and bar – offering delicious savoury snacks as well as cakes and sweets. And the cuisine is international – the flavours of Italy, Spain.” Glüxfall is particularly popular for its unique cuisine and as a meeting place to share stories with friends, accompanied by a glass of wine and perhaps a Flammkuchen (German Pizza) or similar savoury offering.
Right in the heart of the historical city, Café Glockenspiel offers the most delightful outdoor dining area with a sweeping view of Mozartplatz and the imposing Fortress Hohensalzburg. Constructed in the 17th and 18th century as horse stables, and later converted into an ice-cream parlour, it wasn’t until 1925 that the café inherited the café culture it embraces to this day. The homemade ice cream is a treat, as are many of the pastries and meals on the café’s expansive menu. Prices are moderate for Salzburg standards, but not for the budget-conscious. For fans of anything Christmas, the Salzburg Christmas Museum is located directly above the café.
As the name of this cosy café suggests, Kaffee Alchemie is all about the coffee – high-quality, fair-trade specialty coffee. Among the enthusiasts behind the counter is award-winning Norwegian barista John Stubberud, who also happens to be a World Coffee Events head judge, judging in a dozen countries alone in 2018. With such expertise and quality on hand, the coffee served at this café really has a special alchemy. Kaffee Alchemie also serves a range of pastries to accompany its brews.
Café am Kai is the perfect place to chill out by the Salzbach river. It also happens to be one of Tina Tagwercher’s favourite cafés. “It’s young, fresh, and it breaks from tradition. In summer it even has a beach bar! I go there to have a good time and hang out with happy people, maybe grab an ice cream and chat with the friendly staff.” Being such a popular and cosy café, it’s a good idea to book for breakfast on weekends. Along with coffee and cakes, it also offers snacks and salads.
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