Address: Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Vienna
Vienna is steeped in ancient history. Its architecture, previous influential residents, and all-round vintage charm make it a popular destination with tourists from within Europe as well as around the world. As is the case with their heritage, the Viennese take their cafe culture seriously. Cafes in Vienna are not merely places to grab a quick bite. Instead, they are social establishments where people come to appreciate the deliciousness of food and cherish the laid-back atmosphere that results in hours of conversations, with friends or strangers, about the complexities and beauty of life.
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The most known cafe in all of Vienna, Cafe Hawelka started operations in 1939 and has ever since been an indispensable part of the local coffee shop scene, passed down from one generation of the family to another. Its central location makes it a favorite with locals and tourists, while its past as a gathering point for notable thinkers and artists has earned it the title of a UNESCO cultural site.
Stepping into Cafe Hawelka is a journey back in time. The old clock on the wall, tattered yet surprisingly comfortable furniture, and the omnipresent intellectual aura that still flows in the air, makes having something as simple as cappuccino, or their special homemade sweet dumplings, Buchteln, a truly memorable experience.
Address: Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Vienna
It would be a mistake to assume that Vienna is locked in time. A visit to Cafe Phil, with its contemporary interiors, bookshop-café setting, and hipster vibe, will have you believe the opposite. Vibrant, literarily significant, musically inspired, and a delight for foodies, Cafe Phil is modern in its outlook, they sell books, vinyl, and furniture, but carries traditional hospitality ethos when it comes to welcoming guests and serving the very best on offer. Try their hot chocolate with rum, freshly made pastries, or the Alpinophil breakfast with eggs and cold cuts, and you will not be disappointed.
Address: Gumpendorfer Str. 10 - 12, 1060 Vienna
In truth, you are less than likely to find "quirky cafes" in Vienna, but one that comes close is Cafe Neko. As Austria's first cat cafe, one of the owners being Japanese probably had something to do with this concept, the establishment does deserve a mention. Home to five beautiful felines, adopted from a shelter, the cafe is a must for cat lovers or families with children who like a little bit of fun with their breakfast or lunch.
A separate play area for the cats means they are not always around you while eating. The food is presented with a lid, just to be careful, whereas the menu includes a small yet sufficient selection of typical coffeeshop bites. Try their Japanese rice tea or cold coffee for something a little different.
Address: Blumenstockgasse 5/Ecke, Ballgasse, 1010 Vienna
It doesn't get any more historically momentous than Cafe Frauenhuber, the "oldest coffee house in Vienna," where at one time Mozart and Beethoven performed their musical creations. Dating back to 1824, the cafe still carries a nostalgic appeal, be it through its iconic chandelier, stained glass windows, or the preservation of old-fashioned coffee house style through its décor. The menu at the cafe is standard European fare with eggs and breakfast options in addition to small plates and main courses that include fish goulash, beef cutlets, soups, and salads. Their homemade desserts and Mozart coffee, a tall mocha with Mozartliqueur and whipped cream, are particularly popular.
Address: Himmelpfortgasse 6, 1010 Vienna
For a break from the old-style environment of Vienna, head on out to Cafe Mendez, and immerse yourself into a lively, Mexican-inspired atmosphere. The cafe does have its hands full, as it is a street food joint and coffee shop by day that transforms into a smooth cocktail bar as the sun goes down. The colorful interiors have a very chic appeal to them, think luchadores masks, calaveras, and lots of color on the walls, which further reflects on the menu.
In addition, Cafe Mendez is child-friendly, with the staff going out of their way to keep the tiny tots busy. Quesadillas, burgers, and plates full of spicy chorizo nachos, it's all here, and it's all finger-lickingly tasty.
Address: Karlsplatz 2, 1010 Vienna
Another one of Vienna's acclaimed coffee houses with a unique setup, Das Möbel, has been impressing coffee drinkers as well as furniture buyers for over 20 years. The concept of the cafe is simple, all the furniture in the store is available to buy. Thus, the interiors change drastically whenever you wander into the cozy establishment after a little time.
Famously known as "the furniture cafe," Das Möbel is typically very busy with locals leisurely spending time on their laptops, thanks to the fast WIFI, or conversing with each other. The menu here comprises of tea, coffee, cakes, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Their weekend breakfast buffet is especially good with lots of variety, and in the words of the owners will "knock your socks off."
Address: Burggasse 10, 1070 Vienna
Burg.ring1 is a cafe with oodles of character in the center of Vienna. Situated close to Burg Kino, one of the oldest cinemas in the world, its corner location lies on the city's tourist route, making it a must-stop when sightseeing around the cobbled streets of Austria's capital. The interiors of the cafe are an homage to Vienna's classic coffee houses with destressed and bare brick walls and an atmospheric ambiance ideal for a date or a quiet sit-down with a book.
The menu at Burg.ring1 is quite extensive with breakfast, lunch, and dinner options aplenty. Visitors can enjoy bagels and organic yogurt in the morning, drink a Pimm's or a spritzer for lunch, and finish up with a beef goulash or a juicy pork schnitzel in the evening. Burg.ring1 does take reservations, and it is a good idea to book in advance since it can get crowded during meal times.
Address: Burgring 1, 1010 Vienna
Cafe hopping in Vienna is always full of surprises. One minute you can be a part of history, drinking hot chocolate on a marble top table where music and literary greats sat centuries ago. Whereas, the next second, you can be photobombing an Instagram influencer as they take a selfie amidst a vibrant and stylish background. No matter the mood of the place, the two things guaranteed when visiting a Viennese cafe are enjoyable bites of comforting delicacies and a heart-warming cup of coffee.