Kaffee Capital

Vienna

Vienna’s coffee house culture is an integral element of the local identity. Since the 1800s, opulent Historicism-styled cafes served as common meeting places for artists, politicians, and philosophers to exchange ideas. Typical elements such as newspaper tables, Thonet chairs, and live piano music (in the evenings) still compose the usual set-up, complementing exquisite cups of kaffee (German for “coffee”). The social practice was even recognized as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage” by UNESCO in 2011! Take part in the tradition at Vienna’s best cafes. The city is generally composed of classic spaces, but we’ve found a few contemporary options in case you need to be brought back to the 21st century!

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lemi

Updated a year ago

Café Central

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

Opened in 1876, Café Central was frequented by the likes of Russian revolutionist Leon Trotsky and Austrian novelist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Its old-school charm is well-preserved through its stunning architecture, complete with marble columns and vaulted ceilings. The place is a popular tourist destination, especially amongst history buffs! Your best bet to avoid the long queues is to come before lunch time. Order the Salon Einspänner (large espresso with whipped cream) and Café Central Torte (chocolate cake) for a best-selling combo!

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Café Landtmann

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

The warm, elegant interiors of Café Landtmann tempt each guest to linger. It’s easy to see why psychoanalysis founder Sigmund Freud spent his days cozied up in their booths! Take your cue from the legendary theorist and sip on the cafe’s delightful coffee selections. By all means, pick one of their delectable cakes to pair with your drink. In the summer, take your experience outside for gorgeous views of Ringstrasse!

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Café Sacher Vienna

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

Sample Vienna’s world-famous Sacher Torte (chocolate cake with apricot filling) right where it started—Café Sacher Vienna! Situated in the historic Hotel Sacher Wien, the shop still uses the original secret recipe for the dessert concocted in 1832. Be prepared to wait for a table! Those pressed for time may head straight to the hotel’s Sacher Shop to take home a box. They’re sold in different sizes, but we suggest buying the bigger portions!

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Café Prückel

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

Head to Café Prückel to feel the classic Viennese kaffeehaus (German for “coffee house”) atmosphere! The place has been in operation for over a hundred years; and, despite changing times it has maintained its original glory—from its vintage interior to the tuxedo-clad staff. Drop by on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday evening to be serenaded by twinkling ivories as you sip your java!

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Café Leopold Hawelka

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

A Bohemian charm endures in Café Leopold Hawelka. Old posters adorn the walls, while Thonet chairs continue to occupy the floor. Take your Wiener Mélange (Viennese cappuccino) to one of the booths and observe locals enjoying spoonfuls of the coffee house’s famous Buchteln (sweet rolls filled with plum jam)! The staff here are rather friendly, following the footsteps of founder Leopold Hawelka who, up until his death in 2011, would always welcome his patrons with a smile.

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Kleines Café

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

Living up to its name (“kleine” means “small” in German), Kleines Café is a tiny kaffeehaus nestled in the picturesque Franziskanerplatz square. Expect to sit outside on the cobblestone, embraced by the air of nostalgia brought by the area’s various traditional facades. Here, afternoons often involve a pairing of coffee and Austrian sourdough bread with different spreads and toppings. A bonus for movie buffs, Kleines Café was featured in the 1995 film “Before Sunrise!”

  • Franziskanerplatz 3, Vienna, Austria

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Balthasar Kaffee Bar

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

The heart of Balthasar Kaffee Bar lies in the La Marzocco coffee machine that dominates the mosaic counter. Friendly baristas expertly maneuver the contraption to craft strong and smooth javas. Beans are sourced from parts of Africa and South America, then roasted by an artisan German roaster. The relaxed Scandinavian-style joint, with its light wooden floors and baby blue accents, will put you right at ease. Partner your cuppa with a slice of Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) and you’re good to go!

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kaffeefabrik

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

Sunny days call for a trip to kaffeefrabrik in Vienna’s fourth district, Wieden! Tables and chairs are set up on the sidewalk—perfect for a day of people-watching. The cafe doubles as a roastery, which means you have the chance to take some beans home. They regularly rotate their selections, so every visit is a treat! Note that on bad weathered days, the spot keeps everything inside their small space. That means that you’re better off taking your drink to-go (unless you’re willing to wait for a seat)!

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Café Sperl

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Vienna, Austria • Recommendation • 

Café Sperl’s easy-going vibe makes it Mariahilf’s favored neighborhood java spot! Come for the classic decor, emphasized by darkwood panels and smoke-stained ceilings. Then, stay for their delicious cakes and pastries! Established in 1880, the kaffehaus was a favorite amongst the region’s musicians. Every Sunday, they honor Hungarian composer Emmerich Kalmana (a known regular) with musical sets of operetta tunes!

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