The 20 Best Specialty Coffee in Vienna

If you've tired of Vienna's classic coffeehouses, their uniformly dark-roasted coffee, their grumpy suit-and-tie-wearing waiters, take a breather at these new-wave specialty cafes. Here, your espresso will be flavorful and you won't need to feel bad about lingering with your laptop or asking for the wifi password.

People on Caffeine (POC) is a new-wave coffeeshop in across from the University of Vienna's campus on Alser Straße. The presence of the quick-witted proprietor, Robert Gruber, ensures that POC isn't just another bland, uniform cafe without character, but a lively hub for the local community – millennials, young families, and people from the university. Take advantage of the outdoor terrace in the warmer months. Cash only and closed on the weekend.

Fun fact: POC is located in the side of a Baroque church; in fact, the Alser Vorstadt Kirche was home to the 1827 funeral service of Ludwig van Beethoven!

Comet is a new-wave café in Vienna’s fashionable District 7. Instead of predictable minimalism, here an effortless mishmash of artworks and furniture fill the high-ceilinged interior. Accordingly, the crowd leans alternative and cerebral (philosophy students from the University of Vienna, for example). The coffee beans arrive from Fürth, a leading Vienna roastery that grew out of Comet. Also here: croissants, cakes, brownies. Laptops are welcome, but only at the designated communal table.

Caffe vom See is a charming specialty cafe located in a side street off Naschmarkt, in the elegant-cool part of Vienna's District 4. The friendly owner, who also manages a hotel and a roastery at Lake Millstatt in Carinthia, aims for a coffee style that delivers the heft of Italian-style espressos with the finesse of Austrian coffee traditions (filter coffee isn’t even served). Try to snag one of the two comfortable plush chairs by the windows and give it a try. Price points are friendly for Vienna, laptops welcome, wifi available.

You’re here for both coffee and architecture: the downtown building whose ground floor Aggys hides in was designed in 1904 by Otto Wagner, Austria’s foremost architect. Originally built for a postal savings bank, it’s an important example of late-period Viennese Art Nouveau and a pilgrimage site for design fans.

Today, a silver La Marzocco machine anchors what used to be cashier #21 and stylish art students socialize in the sun-filled hall fitted with glass tile floors and carpets (the building has been home to the University of Applied Arts since 2020). Exemplary repurposing of a historic space. Open weekdays only!

Located across from the University of Vienna's enormous campus in District 9 (once the biggest general hospital in the world, founded by the enlightened Habsburg, Joseph II), CoffeePirates is a lively hub of chic students. Pirates was among the first specialty cafes and roasteries to appear in Vienna in 2012, and it's still going so strong that finding a seat can be a challenge. If the baristas show you a bit of an attitude, rest assured knowing you’re not alone. Lingering is welcome, wifi available, prices a little steep.

If you like your coffee especially bright and light-roasted – an acid-forward flavor bomb – then Kaffemik might just be the place for you. This undersized cafe and roastery in the heart of it all (District 7) is considered to be an institution among Vienna’s coffee experts. Don’t be intimidated by the new-wave trappings – no pressure, no pretensions here. Kaffemik’s moniker comes from the Greenlandian name for a social gathering over coffee and cakes. The best time for a kaffemik at Kaffemik is the warmer months, when they open up their spacious terrace on the pedestrian-only Zollergasse.

This oversized corner store in the heart of Vienna’s bougie District 7 is home to a specialty café, an eco-friendly designer clothing store, and a tailoring workshop. The polished inside features Alvar Aalto-inspired midcentury chairs, overhead spotlights, lots of concrete, wood, and greenery. The designer items, mainly backpacks and men’s clothing, come with carefully labeled origin and sustainability tags. All this can feel comically exaggerated or adorably exemplary; I’m in the latter camp here. Coffee is excellent and reasonably priced!

If you need a place to work peacefully while sipping high-quality coffee, head to Pelican, located in a side street off Alser Straße in District 9 (in Pelikangasse – more street names like this). The inside is a little spare and lacks charm – a carpet on that tile floor, please! – but the service is always kind and pretense-free, the likely reason that elderly residents too hang out here in addition to the core clientele of MacBook-equipped thirtysomethings. Both espresso-based and filter coffees (V60, AeroPress, batch brew) are available, as are better-than-average sandwiches, croissants, and pastries.

What used to be a sausage stand on Vienna’s Karlsplatz has transformed into a specialty cafe kiosk in 2018. The appeal here isn’t just the exemplary reuse of a public space but also the high-quality espresso-based coffees served at reasonable prices. You’ll have to drink it standing against the wooden counter, but that’s of course part of the experience. As is eavesdropping on engineering students who frequent Knockbox from the nearby university. Teas, beers, and pastries are also available.

A pioneer of Viennese new-wave coffee, Kaffeefabrik is a small, laid-back cafe just off the main shopping street, Mariahilfer, in District 6. As an unusual gesture even for a specialty cafe, customers can pick the beans and flavor profiles for their espresso-based or filter coffees. The service is kind and lingering is welcome, space permitting. Kaffeefabrik's original location is in District 4, near Karlsplatz, where their roastery is also located (but with little seating).

The Furniture Cafe started out as a design store where customers could sip coffee while perusing the quirky chairs and sofas on display. The company (das möbel) has since moved to a new location while this space, along the fashionable Burggasse in Vienna's District 7, transformed into a full-blown cafe. Still, no two tables or chairs are identical.

Most days, it's a challenge to find a seat as college students throng the Furniture Cafe, taking advantage of countless power plugs and a lingering-friendly attitude. Unlike at some other establishments up the street, the vibes are laidback and unpretentious, and the coffee is on point (sourced from Fürth, a leading local roastery).

No Panic is a new-wave coffee shop in Vienna with two locations. The more extravagant one is by the Technical University in District 4, behind Karlsplatz, where much of the vast interior is left unused and feels like a very rich and very cool person’s kitchen.

One of the walls is taken up entirely by fancy coffee-making and measuring equipment perched on an elongated light-blue cabinet. Customers can camp out at the communal table backed by a giant mirror panel. Lingering is welcome, wifi available. Payment with card only.

One of the more mainstream specialty cafes in Vienna, Goldener Papagei is a reliable option when in Leopoldstadt (District 2), just across the Danube Canal. The interior is spacious and polished and fitted with lots of plants. The coffee is light-roasted and available in all shapes, flavors, and sizes. Also: better-than-average service, pastries, and tea selections. Wifi is strong, laptops accepted.

Located across the Danube Canal in the up-and-coming Leopoldstadt (District 2), Balthasar is a high-turnover coffee shop, drawing the local community: elderly locals with the physical paper, young families with baby strollers, a young and chic crowd armed with MacBook Pros. The coffee is distinctly new-wave and flavorful; the pastry offerings are more imaginative than elsewhere the cheesecake is especially good.

One of Vienna’s Mecca for new-wave coffee, Jonas Reindl is a wildly popular coffeeshop located where it belongs – the fashionable District 7. Accordingly, the signifiers of cool envelop the place, somewhat comically so: polished minimalism, baristas who speak English to one another, a self-important and same-looking hipster crowd. Not much of a native spirit here.

The coffee beans, which arrive from Ethiopia and Colombia, are roasted in-house, right in view of customers. The whole range of espresso-based and filter coffees are available as are green, black, and oolong teas. The company’s original location is in District 9, but this one – on Westbahnstraße – tends to get less cluttered. Laptops are welcome, wifi available.

Opened in 2011, Casa was a pioneer of new-wave coffee in Vienna and a sense of professionalism still pervades the premises: you order, the beans are carefully measured, ground, brewed, and the coffee elegantly presented. There are few seats here – not an ideal place to work from – but the counter behind the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the elegant Servitengasse is the coveted spot. Casa has three locations across town; this one is the original and nicest.

Once here, you could walk a few steps to the ”Keys of remembrance” memorial and pay tribute to the many Jewish residents and shop owners of Servitengasse, who were evicted from their homes in 1938 and many of them murdered.

It’s a challenge to find delicious new-wave coffee in Vienna’s tradition-bound city center also known as District 1. Caffé Couture, which is located within the fairy-tale shopping arcade called Ferstel Passage, might just be your best bet. Caffé Couture roasts its own coffee beans in Vienna; very light and very flavorful. The inside is a little austere for my taste, the prices a little too steep, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Furnished with standard Eames plastic side chairs and bright-blue subway tiles, Carl Ludwig Cafe is one of the outlets for excellent coffee near Karlsplatz in District 4. The highlight is the outdoor terrace, overlooking the green interior courtyard of the palace that once belonged to Archduke Carl Ludwig, a younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph and the dedicatee of the current premises. Students from the nearby University of Technology make up most customers. Lingering is welcome, wifi available.

Part specialty café, part bookstore, part bar, Phil is a neighborhood institution in Mariahilf (District 6), near the city center. No matter the time of day, a young and fashionable crowd fills the place furnished with vintage chairs and lighting fixtures. The book selections feature many English titles by current and historical authors, including Michelle Obama, Stephen King, and Philip Roth. A more traditional café, Sperl, is located just across the street. Note: laptops not welcome!

Little inside this tiny specialty cafe lining the main street of District 6 will remind you of Vienna: English-speaking staff, international favorites along the lines of avocado toast and cupcakes, an interior complete with Edison light bulbs and other cliched fittings. But if you’ve tired of Vienna's traditional cafés, their formal waiters, their flavorless espressos, then Brass Monkey feels refreshingly welcome.