Which Sacher Torte is better: Demel or Hotel Sacher?

When we were in Salzburg, we tried the famous Sacher-torte chocolate cake at the Sacher hotel. According to history, it was invented by Franz Sacher, who made the cake in 1832 for royalty. He later completed his training as a chef, moved to Budapest before settling in Vienna.

Sacher’s eldest son Eduard carried on his father’s culinary legacy, completing his own training in Vienna with the Royal and Imperial Pastry Chef at the Demel bakery and chocolatier, during which time he perfected his father’s recipe and developed the torte into its current form. The cake was first served at the Demel and later at the Hotel Sacher, established by Eduard in 1876.

Both the Demel and the Sacher hotel claim their cake was the original, and taste much better. Stephen wanted to taste and judge it for himself.  When you walk inside Demel, you’ll first smell butter, then you’ll find glass cases filled with desserts. It seems this is for those who wish to take food away, as they ask you to move along to the upstairs.


So if you wish to dine in, head to the end of the walkway and wait to be seated.  The staff is not helpful at all, and you just stand there like a dummy.  The front hostess did mention to go upstairs for a better chance of seating, so we by passed the downstairs line, and surprised!! there’s a line at both places.

There is a sign to wait, but apparently that’s for tourists.  A group of 4 skipped the line and walked past the ropes for a table.

Service is not this place strongest asset. In fact, they treat tourists poorly, or at least that is what I discovered. After the aggravation of seeing the “locals” by pass the line, we were given a table next to the waiting line. Yes, see the striped sofas in the photo below? Those tables!

Those tables are in a dimly lit, full of foot traffic location… No thanks. Stephen was going to settle for those awful tables, but I asked for a table with natural sunlight. Without bothering to check of any tables were free, she said we had to wait, despite all the empty tables we could see from the waiting area… And wait we did, until some other waitress finally got us a table in a near empty room.


We ordered the famous Sacher cake, plus some 2 Viennese coffees.  Stephen said this cake was moist compared to Sacher Hotel, but lacked a thicker layer of apricot. He preferred the Sacher Hotel more.

We are happy to have tried it, and now crossed its off our list.  I hope never to step foot in that restaurant again.