And the sweets just keep on comin’! Today is National Sachertorte Day, a cake that has a pretty impressive pedigree and gets a lot of drama and respect around the culinary world. Created in 1832 in Vienna by the pastry chef of the Prince of Austria, the sachertorte is comprised of two chocolate sponge cakes with a layer of apricot jam in between them; the whole thing is then covered with dark chocolate icing and served with whipped cream. It sounds delicious! But the history of the sachertorte is anything but a cakewalk: the descendants of the creator, Franz Sacher, held disputes over who had the recipe for the “original Sacher Torte,” and now only one restaurant in Vienna, the Sacher Hotel, is allowed to call their torte “original.” You can order their sachertorte through the mail if you’re a staunch believer in authenticity, but, because the sachertorte is so popular in Austria–especially in the Christmas season–it’s doubtful you’ll be able to get one by 2013!

The Sacher Hotel’s sachertorte is indeed the most “authentic” sachertorte you’ll be able to find in the world, with three types of chocolate used in the icing alone–chocolate that’s produced exclusively for the hotel by three different manufacturers. They keep their original production under tight scrutiny, let me tell you! But if you can’t snag one of these Austrian originals, head to the one place in New York that makes the best Austrian desserts and treats you could ever find this side of the Atlantic. Cafe Sabarsky has every Austrian goodie you’d want to try, from the rustic apple strudel to chocolate marzipan cakes. And this is the closest to Sacher Hotel’s sachertorte you’re gonna get in New York: their apricot confiture is fresh and house-made, sitting between two moist, delicious layers of chocolate cake. While the “original” sachertorte’s cakes are slightly dry, Cafe Sabarsky adds liqueur to the mix, making them moister and more palatable to the American tongue. Head to the Neue Galerie today for the best Austrian art gallery in the city, and make sure to stop by their Cafe Sabarsky for a slice of sachertorte and a cup of robust coffee, flown in directly from Vienna.

Cafe Sabarsky
1048 5th Ave

“The house specialty is a Klimt torte, neatly stacked layers of hazelnut cake alternating with firm, bittersweet chocolate. It deserves classic status, along with the linzer torte and the Sacher torte, both flawless. The coffee at Cafe Sabarsky comes from Meinl’s in Vienna, and it may be the best coffee in the city: rich, robust and deep.”–The New York Times

“If you plan on visiting Cafe Sabarsky NY, do yourself a favor and save your appetite for the Sachertorte, a classic Viennese dark chocolate cake with homemade apricot confiture.”–NYC Tourist

Some reviews from

“Your $5 cup of coffee (that’s right, coffee – not cappuccino or latte) will arrive in a silver tray with a spoon placed atop a glass of water – much like they did in the old Kaffeehauses. The coffee is excellent – strong, much like a double espresso. Enjoy it with the traditional desserts and pastries of Vienna: Sacher Torte, Apfelstrudel, Topfontorte (Pear Cheese cake) and Klimttorte – chocolate butter cream and hazelnut ganache. I’ve loved the Sacher Torte – chocolate cake with a tart apricot filling and semi-sweet ganache topping.”–Atif I.

“COFFEE: Apparently just so-so, but I can’t really comment as I always drink tea, which is done pretty well here (you get your own pot). I had the Sacher Torte the other day and it was extremely good, with a great depth of flavor from the apricot and liqueur, though I’m sure it does not quite compare to Vienna.”–George S.


Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!