Secluded spots and genuine local recommendations can be hard to come by. With Vienna’s stronghold of famous coffee joints, such as Café Mozart or Dommayer, it can be tempting to stick to the tried and tested. However, a ‘third-wave’ of coffee shops has arrived in Vienna — a trend helping the city break away from the comprehensively well-trod traditions and experiment with modern ideas.
Delicious coffee and crepes are just a few of the highlights at Cafe Z — a delightful addition to Vienna’s largely devoid-of-tourists 15th district. Friendly staff and a calm atmosphere make this one a hit with the locals — check it out for yourself.
Nt Bánh Mì
A somewhat alternative option for those who want a total departure from the Viennese traditions, this sandwich shop makes the best Vietnamese baguettes in town, combining the zesty freshness and spice of Asian food with the comforting softness of French bread. Pair your sandwich (vegan tofu options available) with a cooling pink grapefruit juice or a Vietnamese coffee for a superb and inexpensive lunch.
People On Caffeine
This tiny coffee shop, POC for short, doesn’t accommodate too many, but its modest size only adds to its appeal. Tucked away in an old church in Vienna’s 8th district, this unique café has an intimate, ambient atmosphere. Most importantly, it serves excellent artisan coffee and cake. One of the city’s ‘third-wave coffee bars’, POC manages the difficult task of being simultaneously stylish and unpretentious.
In German, ‘kleine’ translates to mean small. This café certainly lives up to its name. Often full of locals, this place has authentic Viennese vibes — it’s smoky, charming and delightfully low-key. It is the place to be if you want a break from the well-trod tourist track. Located a stone-throw away from the action on the bustling Kärntner Strasse in the 1st district, Cafe Kleine feels a world away from the madness, in the tranquil, private square of Franziskanerplatz.
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 of 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 yoghurt.
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.
Not a café belonging to the ‘third-wave’ trend, but a delightful one nonetheless. Café Jelinek is a lovely, old-style joint with a warm character and traditional stance on coffee culture. Vintage neon blue letters beckon you inside, where you will find shabby-chic chairs and wooden décor. They are rightfully proud of their coffee — a special blend of varieties hailing from Africa, South America and India. Although not exactly ‘hidden’ as it’s located nearby the buzzing high street, it is definitely one of Vienna’s lesser known coffee houses.