One of my favorite parts of studying is finding a nice café to make doing the work a little more bearable, and Vienna has not disappointed. I also love cafés because they serve as a place to meet new people or catch up with friends. Below is a list of cafés I’ve visited and my experience at each.
Jonas Reindl (1070, 1080, 1090)
Jonas Reindl is by far my favorite café I’ve found in Vienna. I’ve only gone to the location in the 9th district because it is a convenient walk across the street from the Schottentor station. There’s nothing I love more than taking the U2 from my apartment with no transfers.
I recommend getting there early to ensure you get a seat, as tables fill up fast. They have reliable wifi, so it is my go-to study spot. I’ve easily gone and stayed for 5 hours–this café is so good for my productivity. My favorite drinks from the menu are the (sweet) hot chocolate, chai latte, and a cappuccino. They also have a stamp card if you’re obsessed like me you can buy 9 drinks and get the 10th for free. For food, I’ve enjoyed their pear tart, vanilla croissant, brownie, and banana bread. They take cash and cards for payment and have restrooms.
Balthasar Coffee Bar (1020)
Balthasar is a close second when it comes to my go-to cafe. It isn’t too far from my apartment, but I do have to transfer from the U2 to the U1 to get to Nestroyplatz, where the café is located. My first visit was perfect. I ordered a chai latte which was good, but not the best I’ve ever had (Jonas Reindl’s chai remains my favorite). What I really loved about Balthasar was the atmosphere. There are only a few tables inside, but they range in size and are nicely spaced. Again, I recommend getting there close to opening time to ensure a table. The wifi was good and I was very happy with the amount of work I completed during my stay.
My second visit to Balthasar wasn’t bad, but I did encounter a wifi problem–none of my devices would connect, despite using the password they displayed on the counter. It ended up working out fine for that occasion, because I had a lot of reading to do that didn't require an internet connection. However, I’m skeptical about going back to do homework if there are going to be wifi problems. I got a cappuccino and an almond croissant that day, both were amazing. They have plenty of outdoor seating, so I would not hesitate to go with a friend or for the purpose of conversation.
I went to this vegan café with my language buddy and had the best chai latte of my life here (sorry Jonas Reindl, yours is a very close second to this). We got lucky with timing because two people were just leaving as we arrived. There are only around four tables in the whole café. It is cozy and a lovely atmosphere, but definitely fills up, so I would recommend making a reservation if you plan on sitting.
The staff were very friendly. In addition to the chai latte, I got a slice of raspberry poppyseed cake. It was very enjoyable, especially considering everything is vegan. The main reason my language buddy recommended this place was for the carrot cake, but unfortunately they had sold out by the time we got there. I ended up buying a carrot cake muffin to go, which I ate the next morning and it was incredible. I would definitely go back and would love to try another drink from their extensive menu.
Joseph Brot (1010)
I’ve visited Joseph Brot only a few times since arriving in Vienna, but I have a friend who frequents it often–Joseph Brot for her is Jonas Reindl for me. Every experience I’ve had here has been lovely, but it is not as conveniently located for me in terms of where my apartment is. It is in the first district, so not too far of a walk from IES. They also have a stamp card, but it can only be used for take-out orders. They also have a dining area with table service which is only open on select days of the week. I’ve only gotten cappuccinos and kipferls, but both have not disappointed. The prices are a little steep, but everything they serve is quality. They have restrooms and wifi.
Cha No Ma (1040)
I went to this matcha café with my language buddy. We didn’t realize they were take-out only, so our plans to sit down were slightly altered. I ordered a matcha latte and it was amazing. We walked around the park nearby, and Naschmarkt is also within walking distance. It was pretty cold outside, but in warmer weather I’m sure it would be more enjoyable to take it and walk around.
Café Central (1010)
My teacher took our German class to Café Central during our intensive course. I’m so grateful that she did because I don’t know when I would have gone on my own. We were lucky to have a reservation so we didn’t have to wait in the notoriously long line it is accustomed to.
When it comes to coffee culture, Café Central is as traditional as it gets. The menu offered a wide variety of classic Viennese dishes, traditional coffee specialties, and sweet treats. I ordered the Italienisches Frühstück, Italian style breakfast with a cappuccino and homemade croissant. The coffee, as I was expecting, was nothing spectacular, but the atmosphere was wonderful. The interior of the building and architecture was stunning and looked especially beautiful with the morning sun illuminating the large room. There was a large selection of cakes on display, so everyone in my class ordered cake for dessert. I got a truffle torte which was absolutely divine. I would definitely go back because I enjoyed my time there, and it is a must for the experience.
Demel is one of the places known for their sachertorte, a darkly rich chocolate cake with apricot jam in the middle that is topped with a triangular piece of chocolate that reads “Eduard Sacher Torte.” It is served with whipped cream. My experience was pleasant. I was seated immediately and the service was prompt. The sachertorte was good, although I have nothing to compare it to. It’s not my go-to type of cake, but I enjoyed it. It was a rather expensive slice of cake, but worth it for the experience. There was also a small gift shop with decadent and pricey pieces of chocolate. Overall, I would consider this a one-time visit, but would recommend trying sachertorte.
Cafe Phil (1060)
I came across this café one morning and went back with a friend to do homework. It is half a bookshop and half a coffee shop, which I love. We didn’t realize they don’t allow electronics, but encourage chatting. I like that concept. I ordered carrot cake and a cappuccino, both were good. There were plenty of places to sit and a large selection of books to look at and purchase. I don’t know if I would necessarily go back again, but I loved the concept and had no real issues with the experience.
Motto am Fluss (1010)
This was the first place I met my language buddy at. It is a nice location that offers canal views and both outdoor and indoor seating. The service was great. I ordered a matcha latte and pistachio cake, both of which were delicious. I’m not sure if I would return again, but it was lovely to meet up and have a conversation, so I would recommend this place!
Cafe Stein (1090)
I ended up here with a friend in our search for a place to sit down and get work done. This was where we ended up after Café Caspar was a fail (more on that later). I got a chai latte which was not the best I’ve had. We also split a sachertorte which was good. The table service was good. There was free wifi and restrooms. I found it to be a bit pricey. I probably wouldn’t return, but I had no outstanding complaints.
Aida (multiple locations)
This was the first café I visited in Vienna, and can easily be spotted by its pink branding. I went with some friends to the location by St. Stephen’s Cathedral. We sat upstairs along the pink flower wall. I ordered a melange and a slice of chocolate cake. It was incredible. I also got my first experience with flagging down the waiter here.
I only went back to Aida one other time and ordered a cappuccino which was not my favorite. I love the cakes and pink atmosphere, but I would probably choose other cafés in terms of doing work or meeting friends. Aida is a chain and the location by the cathedral always seems busy.
Strück (multiple locations)
Strück can be found in almost any main station and is perfect for grab-and-go items. I got a caramel schoko-nuss cappuccino and it was so good, very reminiscent of the sweet coffee drinks I used to get at home. My coffee preferences have definitely changed since arriving in Vienna as I usually don’t feel the need to add sugar. I would recommend Strück when you’re on the go or need something quick that won’t disappoint.
Café Caspar (1010?)
Apparently, this café is located near Schottentor. Unfortunately, my friend and I couldn’t find it, so I can’t leave a review. I read online that it is a good study spot, though. Reservations can be made online.
J. Hornig Kaffeebar (1070)
This might have been my worst café experience yet, but it was not totally J.Hornig’s fault. For one, I accidentally went to J. Hornig Investment Services near Wien Hbf, my bad. I was so set on going there to do work, so I went all the way back in the other direction to the coffee shop. When I arrived, I found out that they were doing renovations on the one day I planned on going. After coming all the way, I decided to sit outside to do work, despite the wind and cold. I got a matcha latte and a piece of zucchini cake. The matcha was good and the zucchini cake was also fine, but it was a very small piece and nothing special. I asked for the wifi password and was given a little slip of paper that gave me a code that was valid for only 1.5 hours. The staff was friendly enough, but my matcha was taken away before I was finished. I got a little bit of work done before the cold became unbearable and my wifi was going to expire anyway. I can’t make a fair judgment of this place because the inside did look like a good spot to sit down and work, but the limited wifi access made it less appealing to me to go and stay for a while. Also, I found the drink and cake to be overpriced for the quality and size. The location is also quite out of the way from my apartment in the 2nd district–I’ll stick with Jonas Reindl.
Below are some spots for breakfast I would recommend if you ever find yourself in any of these places.
Arioso, Budapest « banana bread, cappuccino, avocado toast with poached egg
Cafe-no.22, Prague « sweet potato toast with spinach and poached egg
Comobå, Lisbon « matcha and chai pancakes, cappuccino
Cotidiano Promenadeplatz, Munich « banana bread, hot chocolate, avocado toast with egg
Moun10 Bakers, Garmisch-Partenkirchen « chocolate donut, chocolate croissant, açaí bowl, cappuccino
The Breakfast Club, Innsbruck « “first sweet then salty” (sunny side up egg, gouda, ham, bread basket, tyrolean butter, cinnamon sugar waffle, apple-nut spread, elderflower juice, matcha latte)
Apetit, Split « avocado toast with beetroot hummus and egg
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Hi! I'm Lily and I'm from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I currently attend Washington and Lee University in Virginia. I'm always down for spontaneous adventures, catching sunrise/sunset, and taking pictures of food:) When I graduate college I want to renovate a van and travel the country, visiting every U.S. National Park as I go. Hopefully I'll have a golden retriever with me too. I love meeting new people and gaining new experiences, so I am extremely excited for this term in Vienna!