Journey for caffeine
What is the first thing that probably comes to your mind when you wake up in the morning? Coffee. No, sorry, let me try that again. Coffee! The drink that makes our heads clear(er), keeps us sane(r), and gets the day going better. Not only in the morning, it is also enjoyed throughout the day, pretty much globally.
Even in Salzburg, coffee is an integral part of everyday life. While some people only drink homemade coffee, others prefer sitting down and ordering their espresso in a coffee house. Although Salzburg’s variety of coffee houses is relatively wide, café Mozart is one of the most unique. Not in vain, as it offers more than just a cup of hot beverage, namely a cup of hot beverage filled with stories, traditions, and culture. Let us go on a journey and try it out together, shall we?
Entering the nostalgic Café
Located in the Altstadt of Salzburg city, in the middle of the famous shopping street Getreidegasse, visiting café Mozart should be “a must” on every tourist’s bucket list. There are two entrances to the café, which is in the first story of the building. One entrance is from the Getreidegasse, in close proximity of Mozart’s house of birth; and the café is also accessible through a small passageway between two buildings.
Walking up the red carpet-covered stairs, one can already feel like time has stopped. When observing the classic interior of the café with admiration, guests feel like they traveled through time: the elegant chandeliers, beautiful wall arches, marble tables, and comfortable leathered booths give a feeling of warm nostalgia and bring back the rich and turbulent history of the café.
Mozart café was not the first coffee house in this building. The history goes further back to its predecessor, “das Gerlich’sche und das Erich’sche Kaffeehaus” which was up and running since the middle of the 18th century (Fun fact: The then owners were even related to the family Tomaselli, owners of the oldest coffee house in Salzburg). In 1824, the coffeehouse was moved to the current building. However, due to bad management, the reputation of the coffeehouse was on bad terms and changed only in 1923 when new owners renamed it Mozart café.
During the following years, the café became a meeting place for singers, poets, writers, and artists and was even the home of Salzburg’s famous chess club at the time. In the 1970s, the café became an important location for celebrated artists, which include, but not limited to:
- Thomas Bernhard,
- Manfred Koch,
- Fritz Kohles,
- Dieter Hildebrandt,
- Andre Heller.
Unfortunately, during 1995-2006, the café closed and even turned into a clothing shop. In 2006, Kurt Ratzenberger reopened the Kaffeehaus to its former glory and even re-established readings of “literature in café Mozart,” which are still a vital part today. However good sitting in the café and “living out” a part of its history is, the better part awaits us – ordering.
Tasting the culture
Just looking at the menu, one feels welcome to spend an entire day and try all delicacies. As the saying goes “enjoying life one cup at a time”. The café offers a great variety of hot, cold, soft, and alcoholic drinks together with breakfast and lunch options. Moreover, let us not forget the best part – freshly in-house made desserts. A traditional local specialty that calls to be tried is the famous Salzburger Nockerln, a sweet puffy dessert made out of egg whites, sugar, and raspberries; shaped into three mountains surrounding Salzburg: Mönchsberg, Kapuzinerberg, and the Reinberg. They also have seasonal menus, offering specialties such as Mozartknödel (dumplings with chocolate sauce).
Moreover, to honor their place in the coffee culture of Salzburg, they offer a wide selection of various coffee specialties that come with a Mozartkugel, a special chocolate praline. One can also choose from a range of other “Mozart beverages“: Mozart Kaffee (filter coffee with liquor and whipped cream), Mozart Beer, and Mozart Liquor. I am confident that the menu is well adjusted for all tastes – they even offer tofu! And speaking of tofu, they also offer soy or lactose milk to enjoy in your coffee.
All in all, an exciting and memorable coffee
While some argue that Mozart café is a tourist trap, I oppose it. The location makes it easily accessible for all guests, and even though there are mainly tourists visiting, the spirit and ambiance of the coffee house make everybody feel at home and nostalgic. The variety of beverages and dishes makes the café approachable for young and old, while the quality dishes are served with a professional touch and friendly attitude. Once again, the Mozart café proves that it belongs in the selection of the best coffee houses with culture in Salzburg.
For more information and a better experience, I recommend watching this video. If you are interested to try other cafés with unique coffee culture in Salzburg, check out other blog posts such as café Sacher or café Fürst. You can also leave a comment and share your recommendations and experiences 🙂