Barbara Cação picks her top five cafes, where a top-notch melange is served with a fresh perspective.
Leagues of cat lovers have been flocking to this café, tucked away in a romantic side street in the first district, since it opened in 2012, when its Japanese co-owner imported Japan’s love affair with felines to Vienna.
Photo: Cafe Neko
Austria’s only cat café has five resident cats from an animal shelter who provide snuggling, playtime and entertainment alongside a range of coffees and Austrian and Japanese cakes and snacks.
The interiors are designed to be cat-friendly, with cat perches and runways on the walls. Coffee comes without double cream (too tempting for cats) and the food arrives covered… just in case.
Location: Blumenstockgasse 5, corner of Ballgasse, 1010 Wien.
Yes, Vienna coffee houses can be as cool as any in New York, Copenhagen or Sydney. At Das Möbel you can try out, sit on and experience the latest designs of young local artists, and if you like them you can buy them.
The interiors change regularly. Drinks include organic coffee, Ayurvedic teas and classic coffee specialities.
Location: Burggasse 10, 1070 Wien.
Phil is the unofficial headquarters of Vienna’s bobos (bourgeois bohemians). The cafe/bookshop is also an oasis for lovers of retro style, contemporary literature, and a good breakfast which includes everything from Nutella to falafel, and is served until 4pm.
Take a book from the surrounding shelves and let yourself forget time for a while. In a similar concept to Das Möbel, if you like something, buy it and take it home.
Location: Gumpendorfer Strasse 10-12, 1060 Wien.
Outwardly, there is nothing rebellious about Ministerium, with its traditional marble tables, upholstered seats and globe lamps. But once every month, this popular lunch spot beloved by government officials opens its doors to an ever changing mix of local and international social diners practising the art of conversation at the Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations.
Location: Georg-Coch-Platz 4, 1010 Wien.
Konzertcafé Schmid Hansl
Schmid Hansl is another coffee house with patina which could have aged gracefully if only people would have let it. Instead, its Viennese café chairs and velvet plush seats regularly host local music rebels and their fans. Their favourite pastime: whipping up the traditional Viennese folk song (Wienerlied), de-kitsching it and blending it with local zeitgeist, from pop and jazz to world music tunes.
Location: Schulgasse 31, 1180 Wien.
Know any other unusual cafés in Vienna? Let us know!
Viennese native Barbara Cação runs travel blog Vienna Unwrapped.