Best Cosy Coffee in Vienna

In Brunch & Coffee, Expat, Vienna by Carly15 Comments

Vienna is famous for it’s traditional, grand coffee houses. What you might not have heard about, are the excellent non-traditional coffee hangouts. The cosy, modern, easy-to-work from, artistic places, where creative people spend their time. The kind of places I scurry to in the dreary Autumn weather, to enjoy a cosy afternoon curled up with a book.

Flat White

What more do you need on a rainy afternoon?

It seems you can take the girl out of Melbourne, but you can’t take the Melbourne coffee-snob attitude out of the girl. I spent my early twenties in the heart of Melbourne’s Italian influenced Lygon street, my weekends and hungover Sundays roaming Fitzroy, Brunswick and Degraves street, searching for the perfect coffee. While I love Vienna’s traditional coffee culture, sometimes I need a taste of the slightly hipster, ramshackle, coffee shops that I miss from home.

I’ve made it a mission over the last few years to uncover Vienna’s cosiest coffee shops. After much thorough ‘research’ (otherwise known as lazy afternoons), these are some of my favourite cosy coffee shops to chill out in Vienna.

Cosy Coffee Spots-1

Zamm – Best coffee

** Update: This heavenly coffee shop unfortunately closed! You can still visit the gorgeous windows but there’s now an artsy design firm there and coffee on Westbahnstrasse has never been the same**

This place is bliss. A ‘Yuccie’ heaven maybe, but just walking in the door here makes me sigh of relief and happiness. It’s an oasis of inspiration, excellent coffee (even flat whites!) and artistic initiatives. The playlists are always calm, the decor is sparse but inviting, and man oh man, the books! The magazines! The coffee gadgetry! I cannot resist this place. Sure, it’s pandering to the hipster set of the 7th district, but I’ll freely admit I’m a sucker for all of it. Perch yourself on the street facing bar stool, flick through one of their art magazines and embrace your inner creative tendencies.

Cosy Coffee Spots-1

Cosy Coffee Spots-1

Liebling – Best decor

Liebling is one of my favourites (pun most definitely intended). Its not too overrun, the music is always at a manageable volume and the atmosphere is cosy but not cluttered. It’s tucked off to the side of Mariahilferstrasse on Zollergasse 6, but somehow always seems filled with young locals rather than exhausted tourists and shoppers. It has the required shabby-chic furniture, and the coffee is good – not incredible, but good enough to sustain an afternoon session of reading, writing and crowd watching.

Cafe Nest – Best relaxed vibe

Cafe Nest is surrounded by some better-known hotspots in the 4th district, but holds its own for the calm, relaxed ambience. The decor is retro 70’s and you can always be guaranteed a table. Service is relaxed (as always in Vienna), but it means you can while away your afternoon without feeling pressured to buy more coffee. I adore this place for unwinding after work.

Cafe Nest

Still, relaxing, heavenly

Alternatives

These last few are well known, but will suffice in a pinch. You can’t always be guaranteed a seat, and the coffee quality really varies, but for a different coffee shop experience they will do the trick.

Cafe Phil

I’ve mentioned Phil before, but it is such an institution in Vienna, it has to be included. With brunch options, decent coffee, second hand furniture, it ticks all the hipster hangout requirements. The Vinyl and book selection is huge, but very few options are available in English (more motivation to learn Deutsch!). Phil was the first cafe that gave me hope in the early days of living in Vienna that there was more beyond the traditional coffee houses. It can get very crowded and hard to get a seat. Wifi is available, but normally its so busy you are better off using your own mobile data hotspot.

Pure Living Bakery

There’s two outlets of this American diner-inspired cafe. One on Burggasse and one in Hietzing. Hietzing is the original and slightly smaller option, which means getting a table is always a bun fight. The cakes and crumbles are worth it though. The Burggasse location is larger and offers delicious ice cream options in the summer. This is a popular meet up point for mums and kids, so volume and atmosphere can vary. If you are hanging for non-Austrian desserts, this is the place to go. I can confirm the waffles are delicious!

pure-living-bakery-vienna

Image courtesy Your Little Black Book – I’m always too busy eating for photos!

Ulrich

I’ve been here a few times for brunch, friends birthdays and attempted to relax here for a coffee and chill out session. It has all the right ingredients – ace location, great brunch menu and decent enough coffee. And yet, Ulrich never quite cuts it for me. Its always super busy and crowded, loud, and in my opinion pretty over-priced. If you can get a table outside in the summer, or nestle in the back room in winter it can be relaxing, but 9 times out of 10 it is really hectic. You need to try it once to know what all the fuss is about, but as far as cosy coffee goes, Ulrich only just scrapes in for a mention.

A morning off means breakfast treats #lovebrunch #Vienna #brunch #treatyoself #finallyholidaytime

A photo posted by Carly Hulls (@carlyhulls) on

Even with all these options, I still occasionally miss the Melburnian coffee experience. The good news is, that very shortly I’ll be able to get my fill. As I hinted at last post, we have got some big plans unfolding next month – we’re heading home for the first time in two years.

Melbourne Bridge

Home – blue skies, good coffee and abstract city centres

The first real visit since we announced our shotgun Visa wedding in 2013. The first visit where we might just manage to have a small holiday and explore Australia. Most importantly, the first visit where I can indulge my inner-coffee snob for a whole month. I cannot wait to tour around the latest coffee shops and share what we find with you guys. I’ll be writing more about the lead-up to a big trip soon, but if you have an insider coffee tip for Vienna or Melbourne, I’m all ears!

 

 

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Comments

  1. This is perfect! I love coffee and have been trying and testing some recently. I am also going to Phil today for the first time 😀

  2. Hi Carly,

    Im from Melbourne too. Some great coffee places in Melbourne that I can recommend and you really must try are:

    The Auction Rooms: Erol Street North Melbourne. They roast their own coffe and have a different selection on hand each day. The food is amazing and the atmosphere is relaxing. There is also a lovely little inner courtyard. A must visit.

    Dr Java: 87a Smith St, Fitzroy, VIC. Great Organic coffee and also a little gem.

    I hope you enjoy.

    Cynthia

    1. Author

      I always forget about North Melbourne but there’s loads of good cafés there – thanks so much for the tips they both sound perfect. Will report back on my visit! Much appreciated 🙂

  3. Thanks Carly, for doing the research…
    I am Austrian but used to live in OZ from 2006 – 2013… Now we are in Vienna and I do miss Aussie Barista-Coffee’s a lot… So I will try a few of your recommendations 🙂
    cheers
    Silvia

  4. The last time I was in Vienna, I went to seven of the traditional coffee houses in three and a half months… The next time I’m in Vienna, I’ll give your recommendations a try. Thanks!! Always in need of a good coffee 😀

  5. Great list of cafes in Vienna, a few new ones to try for us for sure. I could offer a few must-have-a-coffee-places in Melbourne, but I think I am too late for it.

      1. Ok then, I think the best coffee in Melbourne is at:
        1. Coda Black in Brunswick East. You can always choose a single origin if you after something extra.
        2.Aunty Peg’s in Collingwood. No milk no sugar just freakishly great strong coffee. Roasted right there, plus the staff know their coffee staff:)
        3.Brother Baba Budan in CBD – best coffee in the city. Super small, so hard to get a seat, but worth lining up or opting for a takeaway.

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  7. Just a quick note..

    .Pure living bakery is known among mums of Vienna as the most unfriendly baby place of all. The reason is that they forbid you to bring stroller inside. They even make you leave the baby in front to go in and order when you are sitting outside. Crazy. And their cakes are insanely expensive (some are 7,50€ a piece) Other things you said are true, but this mum with kids thing must be clarified ;). I heard they even give it as an example at the Uni for baby unfriendly places in marketing lectures. Talk about bad PR…

    Thanks for great tips, do try Reindl and Balthasar!

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