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Brunch on a Sunday has to be one of my favourite things in the world. A group of friends, a delicious choice of food and someone else doing the cooking and cleaning up while you get to relax in the sunshine and have another coffee. Perfection. When I first moved to Vienna I thought there were no brunch spots and I would wither and die without friends or sourdough toast with poached eggs and avocado. I wasn’t entirely sure which I missed more….
Luckily, I found friends faster than I found a good brunch spot, but eventually the brunch gems of Vienna revealed themselves.
Brunch in Vienna is fantastic – but like most things in this city, you need to know where to go. I’ve done some extremely thorough research (many weekends dragging S along to ‘just one’ brunch) and am happy to share my best brunch spots so you can comfortably enjoy your next sunny Sunday in Vienna.
Hotel Daniel has a soft spot in my heart as it was one of the very first brunch places I went to that reminded me of ‘real’ brunches in Melbourne. I gushed about it even way back then! Nowadays the prices have increased slightly and the competition for best brunch spot is fierce but Hotel Daniel still makes my list of favourites for having a gorgeous cake selection and the best soft-boiled eggs in Vienna. Because the cafe is in a hotel your best bet is to reserve a table or get in early before ‘brunch rush hour’ between 10am-1pm. The cosy couches and swinging decor will have you settling in for a few hours.
Cafe Phil is good at any time of the day. A bookshop/hangout/art space/cafe that’s reliably busy. To get table space you’ll probably be sharing with a bookish trendsetter in a much cooler outfit than you. The menu for brunch is standard for Austrian breakfast – options varying with spread of meats, cheeses, croissant, marmalade, nutella, eggs and some varieties with muesli, antipasti and vegetables. Best thing here is brunch goes late into the day so you don’t have to rush to get here – but you may have to wait for a table. This is a hipster mecca hangout spot, so be choosy with who you bring along as a brunch date. If your companion doesn’t like background indie music, waiters who are ten times ‘cooler’ than you will ever be and they get annoyed by so-called ‘hipster style’ then best come alone. I made the mistake of bringing my self-confessed anti-hipster mister and he had to leave after an hour. Meanwhile I could happily spend an afternoon people watching and staring longingly at the bookshelves and record collections….
This is my treasure trove brunch spot. Because it’s out on our side of Vienna in the 15th district, it feels like an uncovered gem. Although the growing crowds tell me the secret may have gotten out! It’s only open weekends and – miracle of miracles in Austria – public holidays. We happened to trip upon it on one of the many public holidays of Austria when we had foolishly forgotten to go food shopping the day before. How many times have you guys fallen into the same trap?!! The front entrance looks completely underwhelming and you think you’re headed for a dirty old man pub but THEN the bar staff welcome you in, the inside decor and vintage furniture is cosy with some fun lighting details to top it off. Do not be alarmed by the roaming cats – they live here and they are friendly enough. The real secret treasure here is the outdoor courtyard. On an early Sunday, before other people make it out of bed, you can have this breezy, beautiful spot to yourself and enjoy their delicious coffee. The menu has some fantastic options – from salmon and prosecco ‘Fjord’ combination to the vegan ‘Earth’ menu, there’s a little something for all tastes, whether you are hungover or just after a quiet moment with an espresso. Naturally you can also go for the ‘classic’ Austrian style breakfast.
After 2 long years of pining for avocado on toast and a poached egg, I finally found the best one in Figar. The brunch here is phenomenal and in all honesty, when I need to feel like I am back home in Melbourne I come to Figar. Sitting on Kirchengasse this place is always, always busy, and quite small, so you end up sitting very very close to other diners, but once the food arrives you kind of don’t care. The key detail here is that they use Josefbrot with all of their brunch menus. If you haven’t heard me rant about Josefbrot before just trust me when I say – it’s the bread that God himself intended us to eat, and once you have tried it you can never go back. I never thought bread could be a deal breaker for me, but Josefbrot is the greatest thing since…(I’m sorry for the lame pun but how can I resist?…) since sliced bread! Go to Figar on a weekday when it’s slightly less crowded and order the avocado on toast to know true happiness.
Fun wall art in Figar – I was too hungry to get shots of the life-changing avocado! Image from official FB page
This is a more recent favourite – and a bit of a hot spot over the last 12 months among the hipster & bloggers set of Vienna, nestled as it is in the 7th district on Spittelberg. Kussmaul brunch leans towards the fancy side, with duck sausages and experimental ‘banana avocado salad’ (weird, but good). This is the place to go if you want a boozy brunch with a group of friends – for €22 you can get a brunch combo inclusive of a large Bloody Mary or in-house cocktail. With average regular brunch items priced between €8-14, you end up spending around €20 anyway after coffee and extras so you may as well go all out with the cocktail choice if you are with friends! My Aussie ladies’ posse and I were lucky enough to visit on a beautiful summer morning and nab a place on the terrace. It was the perfect perch to watch the foot traffic of Spitalberg, discuss the big and small issues of everyday life and enjoy the sunshine without dying in the heat. The fried avocado toast was good, but my plate with vegetables, poached egg, and the weirdly good banana avocado salad officially won the ‘brunch of the day’ award from our table. Go experiment a little on this menu – the chef’s are fantastic so you won’t be disappointed.
This adorable spot is en-route to work for me so any morning I find myself ahead of schedule or in need of a little indulgence, I head here. They have a selection of brunch menu’s or you can pick and mix from their bakery treats lovingly displayed on the front counter. The coffee is excellent and their open window terrace in summer makes you feel a wee bit Parisian – which is appropriate seen as Budapest is known as the ‘Paris of the East’. The furniture and wall art really add to the atmosphere – one of the tables is fashioned from an old Singer sewing machine! My favourite detail here is the quote on the window which gives me hope every time I walk past it. If I am doubting my decision to live overseas or having a stress about whether Vienna will be my home for good, this always brings me back to earth:
Yes, inspirational quotes on cafe windows in cute brunch places can make you feel better! Head to Budapest bistro for a quick coffee or pre-workday brunch. It’s a little small for long and lazy Sunday indulgence brunches, but does the trick on a weekday.
I have a HUUUUUGEE list of brunch spots still to discover in Vienna – I’ve heard that Salzburg Cafe and the Breakfast Club are very good but am yet to experience it for myself. If you have a hot tip for best brunch in Vienna please let me know, I’m determined to expand my list and keep searching for that perfect sunny coffee spot on a Sunday.
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