Cafe Shakespeare is a cafe and bar named after the Bard, with a healthy dose of anti-American alternative art for good measure. The outdoor terrace has a clear view of the Mirabell Palace, while the interior has comforting wood paneling that’s overlooked by a distressed bald eagle and a choice four-letter word to describe patriotism. The bar is where the youth gather to smoke and drink white beer after white beer, but the menu has some special items—the Hausgemachtes toast is a small but simple step in your pursuit of happiness.
*Bus #1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 25, or 32 to Mirabellpl. (Schloß). It’s on the left side of the church. Entrees €8.50-12.40. Dessert €3.20-4.20. Open M-F 10am-1am, Sa 4pm-2am, Su 4pm-midnight.
Ristorante da Alberto
Occasionally, it’s nice when the menu is in eight different languages or tries to attempt three different cuisines, but most of the time, it ends up feeling like a bad trip to Disney World. Fortunately, Alberto is full-and-out Italian—none of those shenanigans of overly deferential cuisine to suit the capricious whims of English speakers. The restaurant is secluded in a quieter part of the New Town, and the pizza is crispy, delicious, and cheaper than what it’ll cost you to enter most museums in the city. And who’s to say that a good pizza isn’t a comparable form of art?
*Bus #2 or 4 to Wolf-Diestrich-Straße. Walk in the direction the bus came in and turn right onto Franz-Josef-Straße. Pizza €8-11. Pasta €9-12. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30-10pm.
It’s a bit bizarre that you might be sitting in the same seat that Marlene Dietriech once lounged in. However, the only angels you’ll be seeing presently are the fantastically down-to-earth waiters and waitresses at this classiest of cafes in the New Town. The menu is the typical toast, soup, and occasional entree that so defines the Salzburg scene, but the hanging newspapers, free-standing coat hangers, and wood-and-gold decor give the guests an easier time of imagining what the cafe was like in its heyday as the center of artistic thought.
*Bus #27 to Landestheater. Walk down Schwarzstr.; the cafe is on the left. Small eats €4-12. Coffee €2.70-6. h Open M-Sa 7:30am-11pm, Su 9am-6pm.
The name means “Ice Cave,” but the theme of this gelato joint is more ’50s diner, with neon signs and the svelte red leather seats we’ve come to associate with soda fountains. During the day, the servers dole out scoops like mad to clamoring tourists, but if you go during slower hours, after the nearby shops have closed around 6pm, you’ll have a chance to breathe and enjoy your ice cream in your own personal cave of happiness.
*Bus #3, 5, 6, 8, 20, 25, or 28 to Rathaus. Walk away from the river into the Old Town and turn right onto Getreidegasse. The store is on the right. 1-scoop cone €1. Open daily 9am-midnight. www.eisgrotte.at
Cafes and bakeries are like rabbits in Salzburg—they multiply like crazy and their food is super-light. Pamina is what you could call an antithetical hearty cafe, with some of the best ice cream variations around (try the eponymous, big-as-your-face Pamina with frozen yogurt, strawberry ice cream, strawberries, and whipped cream). The location on the quiet Judengasse is ideal for enjoying Salzburg without feeling rushed by tourists waiting outside.
*Bus #3, 5, 6, 8, 20, 25, or 28 to Rathaus. Walk away from the river and into the Old Town. Turn left onto Getreidegasse, which becomes Judengasse. Ice cream €3-7. Open M-Sa 9am-6pm. www.cafepamina.at
Carpe Diem takes its name seriously, making delicious gourmet food available for the seizing at every price range. If you live by a YOLO philosophy (carpe diem for stupid people), find a friend and order the €98 menu for two. If you’re not insane, you can order something nice like strawberries with white chocolate and basil (€13.50) or one of the many finger food options for under €10. The best part about a restaurant that goes from €10-100 is that the decor has to suit the people paying €100, so relish the classy, super-modern black leather furnishings.
*Bus #3, 5, 6, 8, 20, 25, or 28 to Rathaus. Walk away from the river into the Old Town and turn right onto Getreidegasse. The restaurant is on the right. 3-course lunch menu €19.50. Desserts €11.50-13.50. A la carte €5.40-10.90. Open daily from 8:30am-midnight. www.carpediemfinestfingerfood.com
Republic, conveniently, is more like its own little republic than a cafe. The sprawling, orange-themed cafe takes up most of Anton-Neumayr-Platz and publishes its own magazine, has a radio channel, bar, restaurant, and club. Packed at all hours, it’s great if you want to have large chunks of time to people-watch, as the waiters aren’t rushing to get you out of your seat despite the teeming crowds.
*Bus #3, 5, 6, 8, 20, 25, or 28 to Rathaus. Walk away from the river into the Old Town and turn right onto Getreidegasse. Walk all the way down and turn right once you hit the mountain. Republic is in the plaza. Sandwiches €4-13. Meat entrees €14-19.60. Open M-Th 8am-1am, F-Sa 8am- 4am, Su 8am-1am. www.republic.at