Vienna’s coffee houses can be steeped in history or freshly minted venues ready to serve you the low down on their single origin beans. It’s worth dropping into both types to really get to grips with this city’s coffee culture. Though, fair warning, the Viennese tend to label bars as cafes. Wine, spirits and beer may be temptingly close, but that shouldn’t stop you from sipping on at least a couple of Cortados during your stay. Cool cafes in Vienna aren’t in short supply. So to spare you the horror stopping by any slick but shocking coffee bars, we’ve got the inside intel on the best beans in Vienna..
Gota Coffee Experts
Normally, it pays to be wary of anyone popping expert above their trading door. But the good folks at Gota have the shiny trophy cabinet to back this one up. Regulars on the Barista competition circuit, they know their beans and fancy frothy milk stylings. Not that it matters a jot for you when you’re browsing the Vienna coffee scene. Happily, the flavours shine through – and, when it comes to cool cafes in Vienna, they’re up there with the best of them. Small, a bit busy but a great spot to pop in and grab a latte – just how you like it.
Orbzii tip: Gota aren’t coffee snobs – which means they are more than happy to switch out milk for oat milk and may even have a vegan cake or two on the go.
If you’re looking for a third wave coffee house to serve you the strongest cold-brew in Europe, Cafè Savoy isn’t it. Instead, it’s a historic cafe brimming with nostalgia, vintage flair and antique chandeliers – and a very respectable coffee menu. This is the kind of Vienna coffee house you book a table at – rather than dash through on your way to the Imperial Palace. Serving coffee since 1897, it sits right at the heart of the local LGBTQ+ scene, has an impressive line–up of spirits and wine – if your lunchtime needs a little zhuzhing up and serves a rather fabulous Sunday brunch.
Orbzii tip: If you’re looking to tie a visit to Cafè Savoy with a scan of the local architecture, don’t miss the nearby Majolika House by Otto Wagner. It’s a Vienna attraction that’s not quite worth a special trip for – but makes a lovely surprise when you pass by.
That third wave spot we mentioned earlier? This is it. Kaffee Modul has looked at all the cool cafes in Vienna, distilled down the essentials, and neatly wedged them into the smallest coffee house in the city. Even the menu is miniscule. You’ll find nought but coffee in the listings, though of course, the beans are supplied by their own roastery. Just seven options make the tiny board, though they do include a Cortado if you’re feeling a little daring. In truth, it’s akin to a macchiato but Cortado does distance you just a little from the familiar arms of Starbucks and their syrup shots. Pop in – but prepare to get your coffee to go.
You’d never guess from the premium branding at J Hornig’s that there’s a 100 year history of bean brewing behind the scenes. Instead of clinging to the wooden panelling, plush velour and parquet flooring you’ll see in other Vienna coffee house, Hornig have reinvented themselves so often, they now lure in Macbook clutching hipsters looking for a clear desk and a steady supply of caffeine. So what’s in it for Vienna visitors. Well, a damn fine coffee menu is a great start. The classics – Americano, Espresso etc are done perfectly, but you can also tip toe into cold brew and pour overs from the brew bar. All the while, safe in the hands of coffee bean experts.
Orbzii tip: Got a morning spare in Vienna? Give J Hornig four hours of your time (and €99) and they’ll teach you how to make the perfect espresso and spill the beans on their, umm… beans.
Kaffee Alt Wien
By now you’ll have gathered that many of Vienna’s cafes go way back. Some embrace their dotage, some shun it. Kaffee Alt Wien? Well that sits somewhere between the two. They’ll proudly tell you they are close to a century in the city – but they’ve had the interior design wherewithal to give the place a spruce up, without losing too much of its charm. The menu is robustly stacked with goulash, schnitzel, strudel and Old Viennese house cake but the coffee doesn’t get sidelined. Despite the central location – we’re talking footsteps from Vienna Cathedral – it’s not a place to whizz in for a Milchkaffee to go. Book a table and tuck into some local eats. It just missed out on a place in our best restaurants in Vienna rundown, which is high praise indeed.
If it’s been entirely too long since you’ve been comfortably close to a plate of smashed avo on toast, let’s get you to a suitably minimalist table at Waldemar. It’s everything we’ve come to expect from a freshly opened coffee house. Though, bizarrely, they don’t run an Instagram account. These rule breakers deserve a euro or two from your travel purse. Not for their devil may care approach to social media, but the coffee menu. If iced coffees, syrup shots and macchiatos are a must, then this is your place. They can also whip up a delicious chai latte too. Which is definitely not something you’ll find on the menu at Kaffee Modul.
Orbzii tip: Waldemar’s food menu is tempting – but the secret, if you like pancakes for breakfast, is to visit on the weekends.