Vienna is littered with traditional coffee houses that have inspired a culture and shaped the city’s landscape. While this heritage still thrives, a surge of third-wave coffee shops are tempting locals away from convention. We’ve picked out the best of both.

People on Caffeine Josefstadt

In Vienna’s eighth district, People on Caffeine (POC) reigns with its unique setting and sumptuous brews. Located in an old church, the café strikes a balance of style with refined, minimalist interiors. Intimate without being overcrowded, this place offers welcome respite amid the busy streets of an inner-city district. Come here to sip that long macchiato in peace.

Kaffemik Neubau

Adorned in blue and white tiles, Kaffemik exudes the kind of quaintness that has customers cooing (and Instagramming). Simple and elegant – the same can be said for its coffee – the shop prides itself on its choice of brews, sourced from independent coffee roasters across Europe. Order one of their classic headstrong espressos and savour the flavour over a good book.

Café Frauenhuber Innere Stadt

As the oldest coffeehouse in Vienna, bypassing Café Frauenhuber – a beacon in the capital’s coffee-house history – feels sacrilegious. Pull up a red-velvet seat and enjoy a coffee in the same café that both Beethoven and Mozart wooed guests with their legendary music.

Zweitbester Wieden

Ash concrete floors, exposed-brick walls and chrome piping sums up this café in edgy Weiden. Slurp soft, foamy cappuccinos and watch the swarms of man-bun-donned locals as they swan in and out. Just a short walk from the city’s main attractions, an organic menu that changes daily makes it an attractive lunch spot too.

Kaffeemodul Josefstadt

This no-frills coffee shop lets the blend speak for itself. Serving “coffee and nothing else” Kaffeemodul is the smallest coffeehouse in the city. Choose from a blackboard menu detailing the basic staples for coffee aficionados – espresso, cappuccino and filter coffee.

Jonas Reindl Innere Stadt

Minutes from the exuberant neo-gothic Votivkirche, Jonas Reindl is a modern offshoot in an otherwise antiquated area. Here you can expect to sit with a varied crowd of young students, tourists and locals looking for a satisfying brew. Ask owner Philip Feyer and partner Ulrich Salamun about sustainable methods used across their Nicaraguan farms – you’ll catch them by the counter.

Café EL.AN Innere Stadt

Café EL.AN (an abbreviation of owners Elke and Anna’s names) serves up state-of-the-art coffee delivered to your table by infectiously enthusiastic staff. Using specialty filter roasters and high-tec lab tools, we’re willing to wager Werner Heisenberg would have frequented this place had it been up and running in his time.

Kleines Café Innere Stadt

Kleines is reminiscent of Vienna’s bohemian past, plotted on a charming cobbled square overlooking the baroque (read: wonderfully OTT) Franziskanerkirche. Considering “kleine” translates to “small”, it’s no surprise that the café itself follows suit. Worlds away from the well-trodden tourist tracks, this is a great spot for a coffee in the sunshine, with tables and chairs are dotted outside.

  • Franziskanerplatz 3

Café Sperl Mariahilf

Café Sperl drips with true Viennese coffeehouse charm – think luxurious banquettes, grand open spaces and, of course, an air of old-world opulence. With 34 kinds of brew to choose from, pair your blend of choice with a slice of creamy Sperl Torte and enjoy and your leisure in unhurried surroundings. On Sundays, live piano performances transport you back to the resplendent days of Jugendstil (art nouveau).

Balthasar Coffee Bar Leopoldstadt

Taking cues from in its laidback owner, Otto, who manages to run the show while still finding time to pop out for a cheeky cigarette, Balthasar is deliciously relaxed. With its pastel-speckled walls, white- and blue-marbled counter and twinkling lights, it’s one of our favourites in town.

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