cafes in vienna
Photo courtesy of amenic181 via Shutterstock.

Much like the neighboring capital of Budapest, Vienna is a coffee city steeped in the tradition of the Austro-Hungarian empire. For centuries, Vienna has been known as the home of glittering, regal coffee houses adorned with gold, crystal and mahogany. Today, some of Vienna’s finest coffee can still be found in those historic coffee houses, but also in a number of new, modern cafés of a completely different style.

Here are five of the top cafes in Vienna, Austria:

Phil

cafes in vienna
Photo courtesy of Phil.

With its warm lamp lighting and rambling bookshelves, Phil feels more like a friend’s library-slash-living room than a cafe. And that’s part of the charm. Settle down with a mug of black coffee, pore over a book and absorb the cozy atmosphere.

Burg.ring

Photo courtesy of Burg.ring.
Photo courtesy of Burg.ring.

Vienna may have a rich history (coffee-related and otherwise), but that’s not to say it doesn’t also have a burgeoning modern café scene. With its stripped-back walls and light-filled space, Burg.ring is one of the most charming spots in the city to relax over a latte. The vintage-inspired, mid-century décor also adds to the lovely atmosphere. Whether you’re visiting the city for a week, a month, or you simply have 4 days in Vienna, don’t miss this cute coffee shop.

Café Central

cafes in vienna
Photo courtesy of Cafe Central.

A far cry from the coziness of Phil or the modernity of Burg.ring, Café Central is a classic, historical Vienna institution. As you set foot inside the coffee hall, you’re sure to be struck by Central’s glorious, golden decor. In business since 1876, Central has been frequented by intellectuals including Sigmund Freud, philosopher Egon Freidell and writer Peter Altenberg. Hitler and Lenin also attended, but maybe just focus on the Viennese luminaries rather than the dictators in order to enjoy this historic place.

Kaffee Alt Wien

cafes in vienna
Photo courtesy of Kaffee Alt Wien.

Back in the day, Kaffee Alt Wien (or “Old Vienna Coffee”) used to be another traditional Viennese coffee house, albeit a more modest one than Central. Today, it’s evolved into more of a dive bar, more popular in the evenings rather than the day. It nonetheless continues to serve coffee in a cool lounge space and is the perfect way to experience a different side of Vienna’s coffee history. Because it has a social aspect it’s great for those enjoying solo travel in Vienna who want to meet new people.

Café Sperl

cafes in vienna
Photo courtesy of Gemma King.

Café Sperl is my personal favorite cafe in Vienna, not just for its plush atmosphere and strong espresso, but for its unrivaled apple strudel, my favorite Austrian dish. A member of the Austrian Register of Historic Places, Sperl boasts many of its original fixtures and has hosted all manner of luminaries, thinkers and politicians over the years, including the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, not long before his fateful assassination and the outbreak of the World War I.

Of the many great cafes in Vienna, which is your favorite?

Jessica Festa

Jessica Festa is the editor of Epicure & Culture as well as Jessie on a Journey. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia, agritouring through Tuscany, and volunteering in Ghana.

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