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Vienna Strudelicious! The Best Strudels in Town
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Vienna Strudelicious! The Best Strudels in Town

There is nothing more beautiful than a slice of apple strudel warm and fresh from the oven, ideally served with whipped cream on the side. Here are some of the best places to get one of Vienna’s most traditional sweets.

It’s the simple things in life that can really sweeten your day, and while it’s difficult to navigate Vienna’s jungle of cakes, tarts and other treats, there is one light that shines bright like a beacon on a cloudy autumn day: the sizzling, golden crust of apple strudel. As with many other things, the Viennese claim they invented this delicious dessert, and as so often, they are wrong: apple strudel probably originates from the Arabic world and made its way to Europe via Turkey. The strudel was born as a variation of the Turkish specialty Baklava and reached Vienna around 1453, where it remains a favourite today.

Café Korb

There are not a lot of places that can claim an emperor showed up on their opening night, but Franz Joseph I indeed made an appearance here back in 1904, as have numerous other celebrities over the years – including the owner Susanne Widl, an actress and model who took over in 2000. It is one of those places where you can still hear the faint sound of heated debates between members of the Vienna Circle, smelling the smoke of cigars that burned out decades ago. Today, the aroma is muc more pleasant: it comes from one of the best apple strudels in town, which is served with a thick layer of powdered sugar on top.

Café Prückel

To be one of Vienna’s most traditional coffee houses means that a lot has happened on your premises. Contrary to many other similar institutions, Café Prückel made the news just recently for causing a scandal when a waiter asked a lesbian couple to leave in 2015. A public outcry followed and many regulars decided to drink their mélange somewhere else… until the draw of one of the best apple strudels in town became too powerful. The owner apologized for the incident and people of any gender can now enjoy their iconic desserts in peace.

Café am Hof

You don’t have to travel all the way to France to order a café au lait; instead, visit Vienna’s self-declared first boutique café in the heart of the historic inner district, which recreates that famous 19th-century coffeehouse ambience and adds a modern twist to it. Boasting iron stairs modelled after the famous Coco Chanel staircase in Paris, Café am Hof has a wide selection of high-quality coffee, where you can pick from Arabica or Malaba beans, and even select a different serving style (try the extra strong Turkish coffee if your heart can handle it). For dessert, take a look at their spacious cake counter, which includes modern creations such as mascarpone raspberry éclairs or strawberry cheesecake alongside traditional items like apple strudel and Viennese chocolate cake.

Gregor’s Konditorei

While many bakeries in Vienna simply process industrially-manufactured cake mixes or defrost bread, rolls and desserts that were prepared days before, Gregor Lemmerer is a shining light on his profession. Only using regional ingredients that he chooses personally, everything here is handmade and you can taste the difference. If you want to surprise your loved ones with a beautifully-crafted birthday cake, you can pre-order one and turn it into the star of any celebration. Their nut-croissants and gingerbread are also excellent, as is their homemade ice cream during summertime.

Aida

A Viennese institution providing an authentic local experience in all of their twenty-six stores throughout the city. Aida’s bright pink and extremely old-fashioned interiors became as iconic as their desserts. In particular, their apple strudel isn’t in the typical Old Viennese style but it’s battered out and flattened – and definitely worth a trip. Grab a seat and a newspaper and listen to senior citizens exchanging the latest neighbourhood gossip.

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