Founded in 1786, Demel pastry shop is a legendary institution in Vienna, located near the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) to which it was an official purveyor during the glory days of the Empire. The Baroque Revival interior, the crystal chandeliers, the apron-wearing servers are as much a travel back in time as the experience of waiting out the line outside alongside fellow tourists is not.
Today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the Viennese upper crust here, but the pastries are still delicious – most famously the Kaiserschmarrn shredded pancake with fruit preserves. And of course expensive. (Those with an interest in Jewish-Austrian cultural history might want to try the Fächertorte, a delicious layered cake once popular by Viennese Jews.)
To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you're enjoying this article, please consider making a one-time payment (PayPal, Venmo) or becoming an Offbeat Patron.