sunday morning

Viennese coffee houses

Cafe Sperl, Vienna.
Cafe Sperl, Vienna.

VIENNA — Sunday is the perfect day to visit one of the historic coffee houses in the old city. Bring your favorite book (perhaps some Kafka would be appropriate?) and while the late morning away sipping cafe latte, a Viennese mélange (similar to cappuccino), or Rudesheimer Kaffee, made with espresso, brandy, whipped cream, and a dusting of cocoa. In recent travels, two late-19th-century establishments lured me inside with their opulent, old-world interiors — high ceilings, chandeliers, dark wood, enormous windows, marble tables, gold and red window drapes — and menu offerings that were equally sublime. Try traditional classics such as linzer torte, sachertorte, apple strudel, and pancakes with jam. For something savory, there are small hot dishes such as dumplings with egg, fried Emmenthaler with cranberries, or an omelet with ham. You’ll find Cafe Bellaria nestled between the Museum Quarter and Parliament (6 Bellariastrasse, 011-43-1-523- 5320, Cafe Sperl (pictured below), slightly off the beaten path not far from the Naschmarkt, also has billiard tables (11 Gumpendorferstrasse, 011-43-1-586-4158, Both open at 11 a.m.