Not surprisingly for a man who needed 100% concentration as he regularly risked his life in the more dangerous days of F1, Lauda‘s perfect choice for a nutritional start would suit any health-conscious foodie. His favourite breakfast dishes include a soft-boiled egg, buttered sourdough bread with chopped chives and an organic yoghurt with grated apple and raspberries. He also favours a ”Wiener Melange“, a Viennese coffee specialty with foamed milk.

The ”Niki Lauda breakfast“ is an addition to Café Imperial Wien’s daily selection of morning offerings, including the regular Champagne buffet breakfast that guests of Hotel Imperial Vienna can enjoy.

But visiting the Hotel Imperial and its gracefully restored café does not only guarantee for a nutrition-packed power breakfast for long-time regular Lauda. It is also a trip down memory lane. “When I was young my family would always celebrate Christmas Day at the restaurant of the hotel,” he remembers. “Us children were required to be on our best behaviour and honour the place‘s long tradition.“


Although this must have proven to be quite a challenge for a young boy, Lauda has always treasured the Hotel Imperial and its gastronomic offerings. He attributes this also to the associates. “Many of the waiters and waitresses have been here almost as long as I have, and their special way of caring for their guests is part of the unique charm of this place.”

Lauda came close to winning the Formula One World Championship in 1974 but secured the coveted title the next year with a stellar season for Ferrari. He was well on his way to winning again in 1976 but was nearly killed in a fiery crash at Nurburgring, Germany.

In a miraculous comeback, Lauda was racing again in six weeks despite being scarred in the face from his burns, yet nearly won the title, losing by only a single point to Britain’s James Hunt.

Lauda recaptured the F1 world title in 1977 then raced one more year before retiring in 1978 to devote more time to his fledgling Lauda Air. His retirement was short as he came back to race, this time for McLaren, in 1982. With McLaren, Lauda won his third and final championship in 1984, and retired for good in 1985 with 25 career wins and the admiration of the racing world.

The Café Imperial Wien is to be found within the former Wuerttemberg Palace, which became today’s Hotel Imperial on the occasion of the Universal Exposition in 1873. Many great poets, musicians, maestros, artists, philosophers and tycoons have been and still are regular guests at Hotel Imperial’s coffeehouse. Spending time at a Viennese café has always been a favourite pastime for Vienna’s citizens as well as visitors, and today the Café Imperial Wien pays tribute to this tradition. Viennese Coffeehouse Culture is now even regarded as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.


Café Imperial Wien is a magnificent example, and whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner or just to enjoy the exquisite aroma of Viennese coffee, time there becomes a highlight of the day. As well as the Champagne buffet and Niki Lauda breakfasts, they offer an à la carte selection of early morning delights and, during the day and into the evening, also serve Viennese culinary classics, from the delicious boiled beef dish Tafelspitz to fluffy pancake dessert with raisins Kaiserschmarren to apple strudel to arguably the best Viennese Schnitzel in town, fried golden brown in clarified butter.

From noon on, guests may also purchase Vienna’s sweet temptation, the famous handmade “Imperial Torte”, or enjoy it over a cup of aromatic tea.

CAFÉ Imperial

Kärntner Ring 16, 1015 Vienna, Austria

Open daily 7am to 11pm

Tel.: (+43-1) 50110389

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