10 of the Best Coffee Houses in Vienna

by Rachel Naismith  |  Published July 5, 2023

Experience the perfect fusion of old-world charm and contemporary sophistication at one of Vienna’s famed coffee houses. Indulge in the refined ambiance and captivating aromas at 10 of the best Viennese cafes.

Café Central (photo by a.canvas.of.light via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Vienna, a city renowned for its rich history of artistic and intellectual refinement, has nourished its greatest minds with coffee and good people-watching spots for centuries. With the tradition of the elegant coffee house deeply ingrained in its culture, the Austrian capital boasts an array of gorgeous cafés that cater to locals and tourists alike. Recognized by UNESCO for their cultural importance, Vienna’s coffee houses and restaurants were the preferred venues for exchanging ideas and brewing creativity for caffeine addicts the likes of Klimt and Freud. No pressure to write a novel or wax philosophical, though: you can also just unwind, soak up the ambiance, and post pictures of your slice of Sacher-torte on Instagram. Ranging from old-fashioned splendor to cozy modernity, here are 10 exceptional coffee houses in Vienna that will have your taste buds waltzing.

Café am Heumarkt

Café am Heumarkt is surprisingly understated, devoid of the frills that characterise many of Vienna’s chandelier-laden coffee houses. There certainly are elegant touches that evoke old-world charm (mahogany furniture, high ceilings and marbled tabletops), but beyond these flourishes, the decor remains minimalist. And yet, Café am Heumarkt is anything but cold. The initially poker-faced waiters are happy to chat, and a pleasant low-level murmur always sweeps through the vast salon, with some patrons huddled over chess or backgammon boards. The menu, much like the interiors, is pared back, offering only traditional fare: schnitzel, goulash, pancakes –and, of course, exceptional coffee. It’s easy to while away a peaceful afternoon here, marveling at the homemade pastries in the central display cases.

Am Heumarkt 15, 1030 Wien, Austria

Café Hawelka

Aperol Spritzes at Café Hawelka (Photo by Rachel Naismith)

With a history spanning over 80 years, Café Hawelka is a Viennese institution. Stepping inside this legendary coffee shop feels a bit like entering a time capsule, with thick, tapestry-like curtains lining the windows, newspapers heaped on tables, and impeccably dressed waiters dashing around with coffees and cocktails perched atop silver platters. The atmosphere is nevertheless relaxed: there are plenty of booths, quiet corners, and plush armchairs in which to unwind and people-watch. Hawelka is open until the wee hours and, happily, serve their fresh donuts with apricot jam until late, too — just in case you’re in the mood for a decadent midnight snack.

Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Wien, Austria

J. Hornig Kaffeebar

A modern and trendy addition to Vienna’s coffee scene, J.Hornig Kaffeebar is a must for anyone who takes their brew seriously. This spacious speciality coffee house takes pride in sourcing their beans from sustainable and fair-trade farms. There are at least three different pour-overs available per day, as well as an interesting selection of teas and soft drinks. Their homemade pastries make for a lovely accompaniment to your beverage, not least their exquisite coffee-infused baklava.

Siebensterngasse 29, 1070 Wien, Austria

Kleines Café

Kleins Cafe (photo by Helge Thomas via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Kleines Café (Little Café) is indeed tiny, tucked away in a narrow alley in the artistic Spittelerg district. Blink and you might miss it, were it not for its irresistible teal façade. What Kleines Café lacks in size, however, is more than made up for in ambiance: cozy and intimate, it’s been frequented by artists, writers and intellectuals for decades. It’s the ideal spot to watch the world go by from the Franzikanerplatz (particularly come evening time) and, of course, indulge in a some mouth-watering Viennese pastries.

Franziskanerpl. 3, 1010 Wien, Austria

 Café Ansari

Bringing a touch of cosmopolitan flair to Vienna’s coffee house scene, Café Ansari offers a delightful fusion of Viennese, Georgian, Turkish and Persian influences. The setting is  stylishly contemporary, boasting a leafy outdoor terrace and pretty tiled flooring. Coffee-wise, the in-house ‘Ansari Blend’, pleasantly clean and crisp, is on offer alongside a selection of Viennese wines. There’s a highly original brunch menu featuring a ‘Georgian Breakfast’ of fluffy dumplings topped with mozzarella and egg, and a number of sharing plates with influences from all across the Mediterranean. Café Ansari is always busy and welcomes a young, vibrant crowd. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to read a book, this probably isn’t it, but it’s certainly fun and lively; an irresistible respite from the seriousness of other Viennese cafés.

Praterstraße 15, 1020 Wien, Austria

Café Landtmann

Café Landtmann in the sunshine (Photo by Michael Coghlan via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Another Viennese classic (open since 1873), Café Landtmann is a beloved coffee house that has – like so many others in the city – played host to myriad famous figures throughout its history. The decor here is grandiose (bejewelled chandeliers and all), and so is the service. If you’re going to drink a melange anywhere in Vienna, this is the place to do it: sipping on one of these perfectly frothy and well-balanced coffees along with a piece of Landtmann’s famous apple strudel or their chocolate almond soufflé. As you might expect, prices aren’t the lowest in the city, but it’s well worth the splurge on the glamor.

Universitätsring 4, 1010 Wien, Austria

Magdas Kantine

Magdas Kantine is a bright and breezy social enterprise, located next to the Brotfabrik art center and run by refugees and locals. The atmosphere is convivial, with large tables dotted around inviting customers to strike up conversations with one another over coffee. The seasonal lunch menu changes daily, and it’s a serve-yourself affair, with plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. Enjoy a cup of ethnically sourced coffee while supporting a great cause.

Absberggasse 27/Stiege 3, 1100 Wien, Austria


Nestled in the vibrant 15th district, Turnhalle is a hidden gem well worth seeking out. Housed in a converted gymnasium, this unique coffee house offers an airy setting with an industrial chic vibe.  While you might be satisfied with a cup of Einspänner (strong black coffee with unctuous whipped cream) and cake, if you’re visiting for the weekend, you’ll want to stick around for the all-you-can-eat vegetarian brunch. Included in this special menu is a hot drink, a glass of bubbly, homemade lemonade, focaccia, salad, muffins, cheeses, granola, pancakes — the works.

Herklotzgasse 21, 1150 Wien, Austria

Café Espresso

Living up to its name, Café Espresso is a haven for lovers of that particular brew. It’s also great for wine enthusiasts (especially natural wine) or for anyone craving unpretentious and chilled-out surroundings in Vienna. You can expect live DJ sets, jazz evenings, artistic locals, and welcoming staff who are always happy to make wine and food recommendations. For a midday treat, the potato crisp-stuffed croissants (trust us!) are something to behold, perfect when chased with a shot of espresso (or perhaps something stronger).

Burggasse 57, 1070 Wien, Austria

Café Sacher

Sachertorte From Café Sacher (Photo by michael clarke stuff via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

No visit to Vienna is complete without sampling a chocolatey Sacher-torte, and where better to do so than Café Sacher, the birthplace of this rich dessert? The opulent interiors, thick white tablecloths and ruby-red upholstery exude an air of timeless elegance. Guests can relish the exquisite taste of the signature Sacher-torte with a cup of lovingly brewed Viennese coffee, knowing there’s nowhere more suited to do so in the capital. The views are magnificent (the café is located opposite the State Opera House) and the service, like the hotel in which the café is located, is five-star.

Philharmoniker Str. 4, 1010 Wien, Austria