Vienna has a centuries old coffee house tradition which still stands today. Cafe Central, Demel, Landtmann and many more offer coffee and delicious cakes in an old world, traditional atmosphere. Frequented by the likes of Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt and Marlene Dietrich in the past, they are fantastic places to linger on any trip to Vienna.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about third wave coffee, passionate baristas who love their craft, flat whites, cortados and cold brews. I’m talking about independent cafes with beans sourced direct from farms around the world, often fair trade and organic, always delicious.
I was very late to the coffee scene, only taking up the habit last year. But finding the best coffee quickly became a
obsession passion. There’s no reason we can’t have delicious coffee when travelling and I’m happy to do the research to find the best coffee in Europe.
On my last two visits to Vienna I tested 10 specialty coffee shops and I have more on my list for next time.
Just a quick note that in Vienna a flat white is usually made with a double espresso topped up with frothed milk, not like how they make them in Australia.
The Best Specialty Coffee in Vienna
Vienna has a fantastic coffee scene with award winning baristas, artisan roasting and direct-trade beans. I might still be a coffee novice but I know you won’t be disappointed with these cafes. This is my guide to the best coffee in Vienna.
POC – People on Caffeine
An awesome hipster cafe (in a good way) located in a former church in the 8th district close to the Votiv Church. The barista is exceptionally friendly and will happily explain the different types of coffee and beans on offer. Their cortado is a double espresso with the same amount of milk. Amazing. There was no cold brew the day I was there but they have frappes and iced versions of all their coffees. I had my first ever espresso tonic here which, if you don’t know, is a slightly sweet iced tonic water with a shot or two of espresso. This place is tiny with only four tables but has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I love this place. For me, POC has the best coffee experience in Vienna.
I almost always stay in the 7th district when visiting Vienna and this is my regular cafe when in town. The coffee is smooth, the flat white strong. They also do one of the best cold brews in Vienna.
Gumpendorfer Strasse 71
I’m also a regular at the Brass Monkey where the Greek owners are super friendly and make the best flat white in Vienna. The owners will happily discuss coffee with you as well as a bit of politics or whatever else you like. The food selection is limited to cupcakes and a few other sweet things, all tasty if you have a sweet tooth.
Not your typical hipster cafe, the decor is pretty and cute and they only have a couple of tables (in their 8th district shop). But the coffee is fantastic and the barista is one of the most passionate I met in Vienna. They are obsessed with coffee and will carefully explain the differences in the beans they are using that week. The have another location in the 2nd where they do cold drip coffee. In the shop you can buy coffee beans, machines and accessories.
Freyung 2 (in the arcade)
At CaffeCouture you’ll find the best coffee in the historic city centre. I’ve been many times and all the different coffees are excellent, especially the cold brew. They also do fantastic leaf brewed tea if you some reason you would like that. A huge bonus here is the stunning location in one of the most beautiful arcades in Vienna.
Depending on where you are staying, you could also try the excellent, third wave coffee at these independent cafes.
Balthasar Coffee Bar
Larger than most of the independent cafes. Balthaser has a huge range of coffees and excellent, knowledgeable baristas. The cortado is the best I had in Vienna and they do a great cold drip. Some of the best coffee in the 2nd district.
Alt Wien Kaffee
The baristas were taste-testing coffee while I was there so they are obviously passionate about what they’re doing. The upstairs cafe area is quite small, it resembles a bar, while downstairs is the shop selling coffee beans and gourmet groceries. The coffee here is good of course but for me they lost points because they don’t know how to make a flat white. What they call a flat white is more like a huge latte. Really huge. It reminded me of France where they traditionally drink their morning cafe au lait out of a bowl. Many of the coffees at Alt Wien are organic and fair trade which is always a bonus.
Kaffee Von Sascha
This is a very cool little shop in the 5th with a friendly barista and a great flat white. Be sure to also try the awesome homemade cheesecake. Sascha’s is the best specialty coffee in the 5th district.
A larger space than most and a nice place to linger with friends. They seemed a little disorganised and slow to clean up but this is easily the best coffee in the 9th district. Not worth a special trip but grab a coffee if you’re in the area.
My (ever-expanding) list for next time:
Josefstädter Straße 35
Wahringer Strasse 2-4
Schottentor Passage 8 (in the metro station)
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of these cafes, they are all doing great things. I suggest picking the cafe closest to where you are staying and one or two for when you are out exploring Vienna.
Do you know of any other specialty coffee places I’ve missed and should try next time I’m in Vienna (which will be very soon)?13