Coffeehouses have been an institution in Austria since the 17th century. Stefen Zweig, the famous Austrian novelist and playwright, described Viennese coffeehouse culture as “actually a sort of democratic club, open to everyone for the price of a cheap cup of coffee, where every guest can sit for hours with this little offering, to talk, write, play cards, receive post, and above all consume an unlimited number of newspapers and journals.”
Today, customers linger for hours reading international newspapers and the cafés remain lively social venues.
The oldest coffeehouse in Austria, Café Tomaselli, sits just a few steps away from the Salzburg Cathedral and keeps 300 years of coffeehouse tradition alive. When the café was founded in 1705 it was a favorite of Mozart and Max Reinhardt, as well as other prominent figures of the time. Still the place to be seen in Salzburg, the tuxedo clad waiters and women in “cake-maid” uniforms bustling around the marble tables with silver trays, passing out homemade strudels and deeply aromatic coffee drinks, invoke an old-world feel. A symphony of chatter and clinking teacups complete the charm, while old-style newspaper stands and ornate wall designs add a touch of elegance.
In summer months, especially during the Salzburg Festival (July-September), Café Tomaselli is filled with opera stars and local politicians. The terrace is superb. Affording a perfect view of the square below, it is highly coveted and one of the most relaxing spots for a coffee or tea in all of Austria. The “kiosk,” a garden shaded with chestnut trees, is equally lovely.
For a bit of history, a fantastic assortment of coffee and cakes, and a true Viennese coffeehouse atmosphere, make Café Tomaselli a mandatory stop on your next trip to Salzburg.
7am – 9pm (open until 12am during festival season)
Alter Markt 9
5020 Salzburg, Austria
+43 662 8444880