Although Vienna is renowned for its traditional coffee house culture, a heritage built on tuxedo clad waiters and antiquated ideals, in recent years there has been a surge of coffee shops opening up whose philosophies break away from convention. Known as “third wave coffee shops,” this movement is dedicated to bringing customers artisan coffee in a hip setting. Vienna’s timeless and sophisticated venues shouldn’t go amiss, but here are some of the best new digs to try out.
POC is an intimate and stylish little joint, tucked away in a former funeral parlor of the Dreifaltigkeitskirche (a church) in Vienna’s 8th district. Despite the somewhat gloomy and unusual nature of its former premises, the café has a distinctly cheerful atmosphere—with friendly and attentive staff and beautifully smooth coffee. The tables and the staff’s counter are situated snugly side by side, giving it a cushy and cozy feeling that will make you want to make it a home away from home.
Situated in the up-and-coming 2nd district of Vienna, this innovative and chic café has a clean and uncomplicated feel—it is reassuringly clear that they are focused on the art of coffee alone. The interior is elegant and thoughtfully designed, with smooth gray walls and a few unusual and intriguing features, such as the golden, crinkly light shades that hang above the counter. With cheerful and attentive staff and coffee with a strong yet smooth taste, this isn’t one to be missed.
This modest coffee house, incidentally Vienna’s smallest, is very noble about its craft, with their website proclaiming they serve “coffee, and nothing else.” The interior is simple and refined, with a blackboard detailing their simple menu—with no hint of any fancy American-ized drinks. The café collaborates with Quijote Kaffee, a Hamburg based direct-import roastery, and on occasion selected guest roasters.
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This micro roastery was founded in 2014 by Nikolaus Hartman, who has a great passion for sourcing the very best beans for his blend. The Süssmund Kaffeebar in the Old Post Office is a hip, stripped down venue with a simple yet elegant layout—white and baby blue walls and chipboard flooring. Its minimal appearance is perhaps a nod to what really matters—the quality of the drink itself. The coffee is ethically sourced, with the company playing close attention to the processing and cooperation with farmers.
Located on one of Vienna’s most trendy streets in the 7th district, Kirchengasse, Fürth Kaffee sells single origin, 100% Arabica coffee beans, with each being “traceable to its original location.” The aromas of all the different exotic blends are sure to entice any coffee lover and there is, of course, the chance to sample the freshly roasted blend.
This conscientious coffee shop knows the intricate details behind the art of making coffee—from the roasting to the drinking. All besides one blend, the shop imports all their goods from a handpicked selection of producers and cooperatives, meaning you can be rest assured that your brew has been ethically sourced.
There are two different types of blends available at Cafe EL.AN, one from Brazil and one from Costa Rica; both equally delicious. This calm, cozy, and unpretentious joint in the 1st district was set up by two coffee enthusiasts, Elke and Anna, who have a passion for the world of caffeine.
Opening in 2004, this unique joint is decked out in 1950s style, with an eye-catching neon sign and red plastic seats inside. It has a relaxed ambiance that will entice you to stay for a while and a great selection of “cult coffees”—including a wide variety of caffeinated beverages, from vanilla lattes, white chocolate, and carajillo (espresso with Spanish brandy) to the more traditional Viennese favorites.
In the backstreets of Vienna’s famously touristy district of Hietzing, home to Schonbrunn Palace and the city zoo, Waldemar is a departure from the nearby Viennese Dommayer, with its strict formalities and dainty, decorative cakes. The interior is minimally modernist—you certainly won’t find any frills belonging to the traditional Kaffeehaus here. Everything looks clean-cut and fresh, with jugs of tap water laced with mint, citrus, or stems of rhubarb as well as clean corners, and neon lettering on the concrete walls. The menu follows suit when it comes to contemporary vibes, with a weekend special of pancakes with maple syrup, berries, and Greek yogurt.
If drinking a coffee in Das Augustin, you may find yourself occasionally accompanied by one of the handsome cats that can be seen wandering around. The essence of homely, this place allows you to sink into one of their squishy armchairs and enjoy a long brunch. The simple fried potatoes are lovely and the chai latte is a comforting combination of cardamom, vanilla pod, cinnamon, and organic milk. This feline-friendly café won’t be a secret for long so be sure to visit before the word gets out.
Compact, tidy, and clean, the interior of Kaffeemik is decked out in white and blue tiles with simple yet elegant furniture. With ideas to revolutionize Vienna’s antiquated coffee culture, this forward-thinking establishment serves lots of modern variations, including the (relatively) recently introduced flat white. The coffee is of an exceedingly high standard and sourced from a small-scale European roastery.