Vienna cafe and brunch in vienna guide

Big Travel Guide to Brunch & Modern Cafes in Vienna

Here is my second part on Viennese coffee culture. This time, I’m taking a closer look at today’s coffee culture. I’ll share insights from crawling modern cafes in Vienna and what to expect from the scene. I have also included my best recommendations for brunch in Vienna. My selection for this post is based on cafés I visited during my extended stay last summer. My comments and insights reflect my taste and opinions.

I hope my content on modern cafes in Vienna and brunch in Vienna can guide you in the right direction when looking for decent coffee, a nice work environment or simply a place to relax and enjoy sweet treats. 

My Insights into Brunch in Vienna & Modern Cafes

  • More business-oriented, e.g. limited WiFi to encourage more sales or underlying urge to leave if you over-extend your stay
  • Cakes often home-made look and feel from their own production
  • Coffee is sustainable and eco-friendly sourced, therefore high-quality speciality coffee barista style
  • Fresh, clean and modern look 
  • Often small and without bathrooms
  • Cash is preferred. You can order your coffee and pay when you leave 
  • Loyalty cards are common to reward customers
  • Some are closed on Monday & Tuesday to make up for the weekend service
  • 5/6 pm closure time
  • The average price for a cappuccino sits at 3.80€ (stand: August 2022)
  • WiFi upon request (with a time limit)
  • Freshly pressed orange juice is pricey (from 5€) and often comes in a small quantity
modern cafes in vienna
The right café is waiting for you in Vienna

Modern coffee culture is very dynamic and diverse in Viennese cafés. Of course, the traditional values of sitting and enjoying coffee have been upgraded for the 21st century. These days, the enjoyment comes from the quality of the specialty coffee – sustainably sourced and bio-certified, of course – which I found to be exceptional in Vienna. It is common to meet with friends, colleagues and family in cafés and discuss the latest over coffee and cake. 

The old-fashioned conversations of the great intellectuals of the 20th century are now replaced by hip entrepreneurs busy working in Vienna’s cafés. Their loud conversations may irritate the one or other introvert. Introverts still prefer public spaces to relax and read in peace, which some modern cafes in Vienna are perfect for – some even discourage bringing your laptop for work and instead live in 1995 without modern technologies and the distraction of social media. 

Brunch in Vienna is celebrated religiously. Common dishes on the menus are pancakes, granolas, acai bowls and healthy avo on toast. The café environments range from grand (e.g. Salonplafond im Mak) to laid back (e.g. Klyo, Drechsler). Be assured that they all offer outdoor seating during the long and hot summer days.   

J Hornig Coffeebar cafe in vienna
Work, relax and enjoy good coffee in Vienna

Modern cafes in Vienna offer a variety of different concepts and you find them at every corner. They are everywhere, just like a constant reminder for you to slow down and take a break from the hectic world. Herein lies Vienna’s key success in ranking regularly as the most liveable city in the world because it doesn’t glorify the grind, it focuses on the life moments. Whatever you need, Vienna delivers the right café for you.

The only thing that can get a bit irritating in modern cafes in Vienna is the bathroom situation. According to Austrian law, every food & drink offering establishment catering to more than 8 customers has to provide a bathroom. This law and its execution are very lax in Vienna and at times you’ll find yourself in bizarre situations. 

Best Cafes & Brunch in Vienna

These were my personal favourite cafes in Vienna, which I revisited a couple of times. They served my needs and motivated me to come back over and over again. All modern cafés are within walking distance unless otherwise stated.

KLYO (1)

Klyo brunch in vienna
Simple yet effective presentation

My first spot for brunch in Vienna is the laid-back Klyo. Named after one of Zeus’ daughters, Klyo the muse of history. The all-day café has shared its space with the iconic Urania observatory since 2017. The menu changes seasonally and offers healthy vegan and vegetarian options. At night, Klyo transforms into a trendy cocktail bar. Its popularity integrated Klyo into the Viennese brunch scene in no time. A second branch opened in Graz in 2020. 

I ordered pancakes and enjoyed my brunch overlooking the Danube Canal. The pancakes arrived hot and looked the part. The presentation with the berries, the icing and maple syrup was simplistic yet effective. I couldn’t wait to tug in! 

My brunch was filling and kept me energised for most of the day. The coffee complemented the sweetness of the pancakes. Its creaminess was pleasant during every sip. 

Price Point: pancakes 9.80€ | cappuccino 4.40€ | orange juice 3.20€

Brass Monkey (6)

coffee and cupcake at Brass monkey in vienna
Kaffee und Kuchen Zeit at Brass Monkey in Vienna

This lovely little café was recommended to me by my fellow content creator Steve (Frugal Expat). It sits on the ever so laid-back Gumpendorfer Straße, next to espresso bar Apa-To and brunch Café Equilibrium. Brass Monkey is small, with only a handful of single seats available. The core is a massive wooden table inviting strangers to become coffee pals. Due to the small space available, work time is limited to 45 minutes. 

Colourful tiles enhance the focus of the cake display. The homemade creations are freshly prepared each day and simply look delicious. It was hard for me to choose. In the end, the Raffaelo/coconut cupcake won me over. The frosting was perfect and complimented my coffee excellently. 

My cappuccino was heavenly. Very rich and creamy. The milk made for an opener that allowed the coffee taste to shine even brighter. Dark body, soft aftertaste. Yum!

Price point: cappuccino 3.40€ | cupcake 4.60€ 

Caffe Couture (1) 

cappuccino served at Caffee Couture Vienna
Find quality coffee at Caffee Couture

Part of the scene since 2010, this little café is tucked away in the prestigious Ferstel Passage. Small, but spacious and optimal use of minimalist style meets coffee shop. 

It is a quick stay here, as the external bathrooms for your drinks return are quite a distance away and there is only the patchy WiFi from the passage. What made me come back here over and over again? The place simply vibes. It is quiet and relaxed; you may want to read a magazine or exchange coffee connoisseur wisdom with the attentive staff.

During my summer stay, I received a coffee blend of Ethiopian, Brazilian and Colombian arabica coffee, roasted in-house. I came here a couple of times, and all of my cappus had skilfully crafted artisanal patterns on their foamy top. My smooth and piping hot specialty coffee came with a tasty body. The dark character of the coffee was the star. No cakes, only croissants and you can bet that these were all gone by the early afternoon. 

Price Point: cappuccino 3.50€ | double 4.50€

Jonas Reindl (9)

Jonas Reindl modern cafe in Vienna
Give me coffee and cake and life is good

Local, independent roaster with three branches across town. The original is the one at Schottentor. Fun Fact: The area was decisive in giving the brand its name. Whenever I came here, the café was busy. It is insanely popular, and I found out why quickly. 

The space inside has a high vibe but is too cramped for my liking. I do not really fancy sitting so close and on top of one another, nor do I like being forced to eavesdrop on conversations. I took a seat at a “table” outside. It’s a wooden crate – how edgy! 

The cappuccino had a nice frothy top. There was so much foam under the artisanal heart. The presentation excited me, and even though I sat outside in 33°C heat, the foam held up perfectly. This was quality coffee at its best. The first sip was smooth – a milky start followed by a kick of fine coffee. My brownie was a homemade creation and tasted fresh with an intense chocolatey flavour. Tap water came free of charge and in endless supply.

Price Point: cappuccino 3.80€ |  brownie 3.70€

Did You Know? Cappuccino originated in Italy. It got its name from the traditional clothes of the Capuchin Monks. Apparently their white & brown dress with a small hood resembled the drinks’ colour and therefore served as inspiration.

J Hornig Kaffeebar (7)

J Hornig Kaffeebar vienna
J Hornig Kaffeebar is a reliable modern café in Vienna

The J Hornig Kaffeebar ticked all my boxes for a modern cafe in Vienna. It had a generous space, bathrooms and encouraged working here. The WiFi was limited to 1h to remind customers to purchase more drinks, which is ok if you spend a few hours here. The Kaffeebar attracts mainly young families, dog owners and remote workers.

My cappuccinos had creamy tops with a dominant coffee taste. The milk did a great job of uplifting the coffee and bringing its character to the centre. During a second visit, my coffee impressed me with its nutty and dark flavour. A follow-up matcha latte turned out to be an interesting choice, but I doubt I would order it again as it was too milky for my liking. 

Price Point: cappuccino 3.50€ | matcha latte 4.50€ | cinnamon bun 3€

Fain (6)

Fain japanese cafe in vienna
My first Ube cake – I fully approve!

Let’s return to Gumpendorfer Straße and try the Japanese patisserie at Fain. Their delicate cakes appeal with unusual flavours, such as Ube. Fain oozes a sophisticated flair with its neat tables and tasteful artwork. Be aware that the café is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  

I’ve been dying to try Ube for a while, and now I got my chance. My cake was light with a perfect ratio of sponge to cream. The Ube taste was exotic but not too adventurous. It was sweet with a delicate note of lavender, pleasant and familiar yet still new and exciting. I loved it and would order it again. 

My cappuccino was rather small for the price. Three sips and it was gone. The foam held well, but the overall taste was acidic and juicy. Anyway, it is clear you will come here for the cakes and the classy yet modern environment. 

Price Point: cappuccino 3.80€ | cakes 5.90€ 

Drechsler Wienzeile (5)

Drechsler brunch cafe Linke Wienzeile Vienna
My ideal start to the day

Don’t worry if you want to enjoy a lie-in and rock up at noon for pancakes. Drechsler will be your perfect café for all-day brunch in Vienna. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff create a welcoming environment. The food is top, too. You can choose from pancakes, granola, porridge, eggs benedict or sandwiches. All of their produce, such as the organic bread, is locally sourced, so you can enjoy a sustainable and healthy brunch in Vienna.

I ordered the granola, which came with Greek yoghurt. The presentation was very attractive, and I’m pleased to report back that its taste was just as good. I loved the crunch from the nut mix and the fresh sweetness from the strawberries. The Greek yoghurt had the right consistency for me, slightly sour but mega creamy. This was a quality brunch in Vienna, which kept me full for a long time. I would happily come here again.  

Price Point: cappuccino 3.90€ | granola 8.50€ | apple juice 3.70€

Hawelka Kaffee Rösterei (1)

Kaffeerosterei Hawelka in vienna
If you have a minute or two you can relax at Kaffee Rösterei Hawelka

Café Hawelka is a traditional coffee house based on the Imperium built by Leopold and Josefine Hawelka back in the 1940s. To this day, the café provides its own roasted coffee and homemade cake selection. The family-run business is now in its third generation and has a smaller, more refined café space opposite its main coffee house.

The Hawelka Kaffee Rösterei is, first and foremost, a specialty shop selling fine roasts. You can, however, take a seat by the window and enjoy a cup of coffee. The atmosphere is relaxed, quiet and invites you to sit here for a while and watch life go by. There are no distracting buzzes or crowds here. If any, this is a space to really reconnect with yourself and, of course, enjoy the excellent coffee.  

Price Point: cappuccino 3.90€

Average Cafes in Vienna

These cafés were good but didn’t engage me enough to come back another time or weren’t satisfactory in other areas.

Alt Wien (4)

Alt Wien coffee roastery and cappuccino
The presentation was good, the coffee only ok

Another Viennese and well-respected coffee roastery is Alt Wien in Schleifmühlgasse. They supply a few local restaurants nearby such as Café Drechsler and Café Goldegg. The coffee is ok, but you can’t really sit here endlessly. The place is more of a shop, rather than a café, but there is a small bar area at the back of the shop. For me, this was less inviting and I finished my coffee rather quickly. 

My coffee was a blend of 100% arabica from Cuba. The variant Turquino Lavado had a dry and nutty flavour to it, just how I like it. The foam held up well, too.  However, the acidity in the aftermath was borderline and the coffee was dominant over the milk. Alt Wien also serves Italian variants with 50:50 arabica and robusta. 

Price Point: cappuccino 4€

KaffeeIn (1)

KaffeeIn cool cafe in vienna
Fancy some coffee here?

This nice, modern café is tucked away in a dead-end side alleyway. If you don’t know that it exists there, I doubt you would check out this alley. The inside of KaffeeIn is simple, yet inviting. It is one of the bigger café spaces in Vienna with the usual and familiar laid-back vibe. The quiet and relaxed atmosphere invites for a few hours of undisturbed workflow. The sturdy tables are ideal for that. The free WiFi is fast and reliable. 

My coffee was a Guatemalan Arabica. The foam held up for a long time. My first sip was pleasant, revealing the milky character of the drink with a subtle hint of coffee. I definitely come back here for the coffee and the atmosphere, plus I haven’t had a chance to try out their vegan cakes yet. However, I would treat the café with a time limit in mind, as it seems there are no bathrooms here.

Price Point: cappuccino 3.60€ | cakes 3.90-4.20€

Poor Cafes in Vienna

To provide 360° feedback and transparency on modern cafes in Vienna, I have decided to include the cafés that didn’t live up to their high reputation. A place may have a well-known name, but it doesn’t make it automatically a “quality” place. I feel it is important to not just show the best cafes in Vienna, but also spare you from any disappointment and instead enjoy the real & authentic experience somewhere else.

You Bar (1) 

You bar cafe in vienna review
A huge disappointment

You Bar may attract your attention when strolling along the Ringstraße. The inviting outside space is part of the posh Le Meridan Hotel. Clean, refined looks, fast free WiFi and a prime location to watch life go by are all plus points. 

However, you can only pay by card and the coffee is overpriced Illy. I’m not a fan of the chain and the quality, in my opinion, is poor. At least IIly quality is consistent throughout many cafés. The foam didn’t hold up well and collapsed quickly. There was no artisanal pattern, which always gives low effort vibes. The acidity of the brown drink was too aggressive. For the price, I can get a better cup of coffee in town. 

Price Point: cappuccino 5€

Vollpension (4)

Vollpension alternative cafe in Wieden Vienna
Pretty much my childhood growing up in the DACH countries

Popular with many internationals who didn’t grow up with a German granny and can revel in the kitschy décor. Stuffed from bottom to ceiling with old-skool tea sets, lace tablecloths and the obligatory cat cushion (a staple in a DACH granny living room). It’s defo one for the IG crowd. The “oh-so-innovative” concept seems to be another pull. Indeed, the concept of employing elderly folks to create an authentic German granny tea party has its quirks. However, the big blow comes with the menu. Your visit here is timed and you pay for it rather than the food. I don’t know about you, but when I visit my Granny, I never have to watch the clock.

The food was poor and lacked presentation. My bircher’s consistency equalled baby dough gloop and looked nothing like the Australian original. It was unpleasant to eat. My time package included “unlimited” coffee, but with a slow, inattentive service (also not reflective of my Granny) you wait for your coffee forever. When it does arrive eventually, you’ll be disappointed with a lukewarm drink, a thin coffee body and zero foam. Overall, this was an off-putting experience and I doubt I’ll be rushing back here. 

Price Point: 1h time slot including “unlimited” coffee and a bircher 11.90€

Edison (9)

french toast served at Edison brunch cafe Vienna
Oh this looks good, please taste nice, too

Located in the student quarter, Edison is a café serving mainly brunch in Vienna. I walked past it a few times and on my final day, it was time for a visit. When I entered the café, it made a great first impression. The natural look, muted colours and discrete seating appealed to me. The price point for brunch was modest, too. 

I ordered French toast alongside freshly pressed orange juice and the obligatory coffee. The French toast had a fluffy and light consistency, however, the final two were raw and not fully fried. The staff were friendly but not very attentive, e.g. they missed out on giving me cutlery and it took a while for them to bring me a set. The amount of orange juice for the price was a joke. My coffee put the final nail in the coffin: juicy, acidic, no. 

Price Point: cappuccino 3.90€ | French toast 5.90€ | orange juice 4.90€

FAQs about Modern Cafes in Vienna

I understand this is quite a lengthy post, and you may have some quick questions about modern cafes in Vienna and brunch in Vienna. You can, of course, always come back to any section of my post and read in more detail what you’d need for your trip. If you have questions or need help, please get in touch and I’m happy to assist.

Are cafes in Vienna solo-travel friendly?

Yes, all modern cafes in Vienna were solo-friendly and I had no issues. No looks, no questions, no snarky remarks. I never had to book in advance when I went for brunch in Vienna. This may change if you travel with a larger group. Best to check with the café or brunch restaurant in advance. Most have an online presence and are happy to assist. 

Will they serve water with my coffee?

Yes, all modern cafés serve tap water for your coffee. In many cafés, there is a help-yourself tap next to the counter. The quality of drinking water in Vienna is exceptional.  

Thanks so much for reading. If you’ve enjoyed my cafes in Vienna post and would like to support my blog & research, you can do so via Buy Me a Coffee.

Till next time,


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  • Reply
    1 October 2023 at 7:22 pm

    I am a big coffee fan and a day without coffee is a bad day for me. I seek out a midday coffee shop on my travels and like you avoid ones I know to be not good. I’d rather go without it, than experience a bad coffee.
    Your guide is so in depth that I defo know were to go in Vienna and will use it as my trusted source.
    No matter how many times I see it I can never get used to the mini glass of water that accompanies coffee in Vienna!

  • Reply
    Lyn (aka Jazz)
    1 October 2023 at 9:40 pm

    This is a great in-depth look at the coffee shops and I always enjoy your reviews on the coffee served. I have to admit I am nowhere near as discerning as you so I am learning a lot about tasting and assessing coffee beyond my usual bitter or smooth.

    I’m glad you included the cafés that didn’t pass the Carolin test, that’s really handy for travellers who need to narrow their choices due to time. I’m surprised to read about the lack of bathrooms and internet. I can understand wanting to keep customer turnover high when there is limited space so it makes sense but it doesn’t seem to invite the lingering social interactions that are usually part of the ambiance.

    Lyn |

  • Reply
    2 October 2023 at 8:42 am

    Another very comprehensive post about coffee culture in Vienna. It’s always interesting to learn about the not-so-good as well as the good. It looks as though there is a real variety of coffees/brunches on offer and it’s nice to hear that the coffee quality is generally excellent and sustainably sourced. The Japanese patisserie at Fain very much appeals. I didn’t know what an ube cake was but it looks delicious! It is also very useful to know about the practicalities about visiting coffee cafes in the city, such as the possible lack of bathrooms and preference for cash.

  • Reply
    2 October 2023 at 3:43 pm

    Oh good! Now my hang out places in Vienna will certainly get longer as these are certainly wonderful addition aside from my regular Ströck bakery haha kust kidding. You’re right, the service at Vollpension are quite slow but I got to hand it down to the elderly people working there. I find them rather amusing. Thanks for sharing your coffee find Carolin. What is Vienna without its warm coffee and cold waiters haha #flyingbaguette

    Jan –

  • Reply
    James Fahey
    5 October 2023 at 5:28 am

    Cappuccino costs in Vienna seem to be comparable with my home country which is interesting. It is worth it to put in cafes which aren’t so good, highlighting your experience too. I probably wouldn’t go to them after reading your post. But it is nice to see how much of a coffee culture there is in Vienna because I am starting to get more and more into coffee especially doing more work from a laptop some of these places would be ideal! I am interested in trying local roasts and so Café Hawelka would be first on my list. Another in-depth post, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    7 October 2023 at 4:45 am

    The brunch and cakes are the draw for me and these ones don’t disappoint. It’s a great concept to limit the wifi as honestly I wonder how some coffee shops stay in business with someone taking up a table for 5 hours with one cup of coffee. I also just like the idea of disconnecting a bit, reading a book or taking it back to the 90s. Great reviews and as ever well researched. The no return spots sound interesting. I’ve never heard of a place charging by the length of time rather than the drink. And orange juice in a stem glass like that is a little odd on top of the price

  • Reply
    9 October 2023 at 4:51 pm

    To begin with, I found the issue of establishments having limited wifi to encourage the consumption of products extremely interesting. It seems to me to be a very intelligent, albeit bold, measure in this day and age.
    I always like the honesty of your posts and reviews, where you don’t just show the appealing side, but also the one you didn’t like so much.
    Those Klyo pancakes made me drool 🙂

  • Reply
    10 October 2023 at 12:59 am

    That brownie and coffee at Jonas Reindl looks incredible! Though I would like to try an Ube cake – looks intriguing. Oh okay, they all look delicious (except for the under cooked french toast)! I find it interesting that they serve water with coffee in a cafe, that’s not that common in the US.

  • Reply
    12 November 2023 at 10:43 pm

    I trust your opinion on Klyo being the top spot. That brunch looks delicious! I like that it transforms into a trendy cocktail bar at night, too. So bizarre that toilets aren’t a common feature of cafes in Vienna.

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