a café guide to Vienna, Austria: UNESCO cafés + modern brunch spots in the Austrian capital

Vienna, Austria, is home to UNESO protected cafés that date back over 100 years. Coffee houses are, quite obviously, an essential part of the Austrian cultural identity, particularly in Vienna. Writers, philosophers, psychologists, and diplomats have all enjoyed a seat at at least one of the beautiful cafés the city has dotting its sophisticated streets.

I didn’t much enjoy the café culture in Vienna. A little too sophisticated for me, I hate over-paying for coffee that isn’t fantastic {I know, I’m a total coffee snob}. However, I somehow managed to put together a list of my favourite coffee houses in Vienna that include both the hisotric {cough, overpriced, cough} places in town and the more modern brunch spots for the new wave of travelers eager to enjoy a Viennese coffee.


here’s my list of the very best cafés in vienna


café central

Famous for it’s elegant interior and notable patrons, Café Central is the quintessential coffee shop in Vienna. With over 140 years of café history, this place has been the venue of many intellectual discussions over delicious cake and {below average} cappuccinos. The red plush seating and fancy arched ceilings give you a seriously swanky setting to eat seriously decadent cake. After World War II, Café Central was closed for about 40 years until it finally reopened in 1986. Today, everyone wants a seat at a table here, so make sure you go early or prepare to wait.

OPENING HOURS: Monday through Saturday from 7:30 AM- 10 PM , Sunday from 10 AM- 10 PM

GO FOR: The intellectual history that’s attached to this gorgeous place.

demel

Demel isn’t a great spot for coffee, but it is a great place to break for some of the best chocolate in Austria. In fact, it’s a great place for anyone who loves sweets like gelato and, you guessed it, cake. Demel tends to be a tourist favourite, thanks in part to its close proximity to the Spanish Riding Centre in the heart of the city.

OPENING HOURS: 8 AM- 7 PM daily

GO FOR: Sweet treats in the heart of the city.

kleines café

Since 1970, Kleines Café has sat hidden away from tourists as a counterculture haven. It’s small and smokey, but has a cool vibe that Come here for Viennese famous sachetorte for a fraction of the cost that other cafés charge. This was probably my second favourite café I went to in Vienna. I liked how small and lowkey it felt, like I had stumbled onto a secret {even though I had totally mapped out visiting before hand}. The coffee here is actually good, so I recommend any baristas looking for a decent brew stop here.

OPENING HOURS: 10 AM - 2 AM daily

GO FOR: Good coffee and a local vibe.

Café Sperl

Cafe Sperl, located near Naschmarkt, is a ways outside of the city center, but well-worth the visit. This local spot, which has been in business since 1880, is void of crowds and other tourists, giving it an extra calm atmosphere. There is live music on Sunday afternoons and

OPENING HOURS: Monday through Saturday from 7 AM- 10 PM , Sundays from 10 AM- 8 PM {closed on Sundays in July + August}

GO FOR: A historic coffee house that’s less crowded than Central.

vollpension

Without a doubt, my favourite café in Vienna is Vollpension. This café aims to be a place that bridges generational gaps so that people of all ages can gather and share their stories. They hire people without discrimination of age. The place is decorated like your grandparents house, but the music that’s played rotates modern hits— another way of connecting young and old. This is the place to go if you’re wanting a proper brunch in a quirky setting.

OPENING HOURS: Monday through Saturday 7:30 AM- 10 PM, Sunday from 8 AM- 8 PM

GO FOR: Delicious brunch, a good playlist, kind wait staff.

Gerstner

Gerstner is a pastry-focused café that makes specialty cakes. The café has a view of the Vienna Operahouse. After ordering your cake on the beautiful first floor, you can walk up the spiraling staircase to the small seating area that is comprised of plush armchairs, funky wall decorations, and a piano.

OPENING HOURS: 10 AM- 11 PM daily

GO FOR: Cakes and an Instagram-worthy interior.

a café guide to Vienna, Austria: UNESCO cafés + modern brunch spots in the Austrian capital

paim espressobar

Paim Espressobar is one of the only cafés in Vienna that is open on Sundays. As fate would have it, I was in desperate need of a refreshment on a Sunday morning and stumbled upon Paim near my AirBnB. The menu boasted a bevvy of affordable breakfast options, including vegan and vegetarian meals. Chai, coffee, and fizzy lemonades will help you wash all the food goodness down.

OPENING HOURS: Tuesday through Thursday from 9 AM- 10 PM, Friday + Saturday from 9 AM -11 PM, closed Mondays, Sundays from 10 AM- 7 PM

GO FOR: A Sunday coffee, void of tourists outside the city center.

Zweitbester

Zweitbester is set in an exposed brick bunker of sorts. The industrial-style café stands out amongst the other more traditional coffee houses in the city thanks to its concrete floors and minimal interior design. The food is farm-to-table and the brunch menu is all locally-sourced. Zweitbester is also a plastic-free establishment, which wins points in my book.

OPENING HOURS: 11 AM- 12 AM daily

GO FOR: The hipster interior and sustainable menu options.


need help finding your caffeine fix? i’ve mapped these cafés for you, no worries!


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a café guide to Vienna, Austria: UNESCO cafés + modern brunch spots in the Austrian capital
a café guide to Vienna, Austria: UNESCO cafés + modern brunch spots in the Austrian capital