On any given Saturday, you’ll find streams of people on Vienna’s main shopping street, Mariahilfer Straße (or Mahü, as the Viennese people call it). Meanwhile, just a few steps off of this shopping highway lined with mega brands are some unique indie stores hidden away on the side streets.
And while people tend not to wander off the beaten path in this city, we highly suggest you do in order to discover these 10 unique stores with character.
Sir Harly’s Tea
Where: Mariahilfer Straße 45, 1060
Category: Tea, tea pots and accessories, drinks to go
Since 2003 Sir Harly‘s has been hiding inside one of the hofs (courtyards) off of Mariahilfer Straβe. Once you enter this small place, you are instantly attacked by the multiple aromatic smells of their many kinds of teas, while the small tables and cute tea pots give you a “let’s have a small tea party vibe.” With over 150 different kinds of tea, ranging from classics like English breakfast to the incredible exotic Tansania Golden Flowerly Luponde, you can rest assure that your tea-petite will be satisfied. As a plus, you can also enjoy a tea (pinky fingers up, people!) with traditional English scones and toasts in store. The perfect way to finish a working day.
Recommended if you like: a calm place to enjoy your tea, aromatic tea, that oh so English charm
Where: Mariahilfer Straße 44, 1060
Category: Classy bags and accessories, hipster goods
The family business, Graf, can only be described as a hipster’s paradise! The retro bags and accessories from small brands, the record player on the corner, the lamps. Everything inside yells I DON’T HAVE A LABEL, BUT IF I DID IT WOULD BE AWESOMENESS INC!! Opened 4 years ago, the concept is simple; offer cool Austrian leather products for fashionable young men and women. Or, in the words of one of the shop keepers at Graf – our target group is hipsters with style. Go there for the hipster products, end up staying listening to a vinyl, while reading and sipping coffee served by Graf.
Recommended if you like: being the classiest hipster there is, leather stuff, cool lamps, handmade design posters, unknown brands, stores that can’t be defined
Where: Barnabitengasse 12, 1060
Category: Comics, graphic novels, toys, collectables
A veteran, Comictreff has been providing a massive collection of comics, graphic novels – both in English and German – for a little more than 37 years! Their range goes from classics like “Watchmen,” through to manga comics in German. There’s even a small erotic comic section (NO! it’s not with batman!! We checked!). Apart from browsing through the comics, you can also fulfil your geeky, childish needs with toys, collectables, and even a Superman mug! The man of steel? More like mug of steel… well… it is ceramic… and probably kryptonite won’t break it… buuuut we are guessing it will keep your coffee hotter than the batman mug (#team superman).
Recommended if you like: comics, graphic novels, manga, super hero toys, nana nana nana nana nana BATMAN!!
Recordbag – Music & Fashion
Where: Kollergerngasse 4, 1060
Category: Record shopping, rock, groupie shirts
Open since 2004, Recordbag stocks a combination of music and merch’ relating to music. This shop has new albums arriving almost every day, so it will be fairly easy to find that vinyl or CD you have been looking for. Recordbag specializes in rock and pop, and carries a decent collection of Austrian band albums. However, if after looking through all their collection, which includes rare special releases, and you still can’t find what you’re looking for, just ask them to order it for you.
Tip: if you go there to buy a vinyl, go with the rest of your day cleared so you can invest some serious time going through their collection. Ask for help if needed – their staff is amazing, passionate about music and eager to help.
Recommended if you like: vinyls, rock clothes and accessories, indie labels, finding albums from bands only you know
Where: Lindengasse 37, 1070
Category: Rock, modern retro clothing
Walking into Kingpin is a time warp. It stands for a lifestyle that many take serious. Those that identify with Rockabiliy, rock and roll, Elvis Presley will absolutely adore this place. With a modern take on retro 50s fashion, you will be dancing “hound dog” in the change room while taking a selfie. A vibrant decor showcases the equally vibrant clothes on the racks. Apart from clothes, you can also find hair brushes, hair wax, and a small selection of candies and soft drinks ( all retro American 50s style stuff). Kingpin has been a huge force of bringing the 50s back to fashion since they opened in 2007.
Recommended if you like: 50s Fashion and style, colorful clothes, rockabilly stuff, rock and roll, hair products, the whole 50s experience, swing dancing
Ants in your Pants
Where: Mariahilfer Straße 101, 1060
To reach this absolute hidden gem, you have to find it. Walk through the entrance and courtyard you find at the above address and when you see neon lights, hanging jeans and washing machines, you’ve made it. Ants in your pants is an eco-friendly premium jeans tailor. All the jeans are custom-made for your butt, and made in their shop. Not only can you make jeans (for a very affordable and surprising price) exactly to your fit, you can also customize them with your own design element! Loose, tight, with holes, without holes- there are no limits on how your jeans can be. Also, if you fall in love with a pair of jeans on the shelf, the staff will also adjust the size to make them fit. This is the cheaper option to making a custom pair of jeans especially for you, from scratch.
Recommended if you like: customised clothes, independent brands, eco-friendly clothes, dressing unique, jeans that will last longer than your relationships.
Where: Lindengasse 51, 1070
Category: skate shop
Stil-Laden has been around since 2005, and has been bringing to Vienna some of the best skater fashion you can find. Beyond the super tight, or super baggy pants and cool hoodies the other highlight on their shelves is their sneaker collection. With these shoes, even we would take up skateboard skating and break our legs several times, just to pull off the look. The interior could well be the perfect place for skateboarders to mingle, as the white walls are painted with cool designs and different skateboards are showcased on the walls. Oh! Did we mention they also sell accessories and maintenance services for your skateboard?
Recommended if you like: big caps, hoodies that show your artistic design, stores that get your obsessions, riding along the canal on your board with the breeze in your face, LA-ish feeling
Where: Kirchengasse 17, 1070
Category: exlusive mens clothing
If you ever had the feeling that moustaches were something purely for a few exclusive gentleman that can actually pull them off, than we have news for you… you are absolutely right! However, there are plenty of other ways to really look and feel like you deserve the title, ‘sir.’ La moustache is all about dressing classy. It has been an expert in bringing class to the attire of some gents’ all around the city for a couple of years now. Colourful suits, ties, slacks and shirts line the shelves and racks and the friendly guy who’s always here is the designer of it all.
Recommended if you like: classy suits, you have so much class that you make a can of Ottakringer look like a bottle of champagne, fashionable designs for affordable prices, thinking a great beard needs a great suit
Kleider gehen um
Where: Webgasse 4, 1070
Category: vintage clothes, trendy fashion
Think of this place as a magical vintage fashion paradise! Here, the vintage fashion proves that old is gold. It carries you that flea market kinda’ vibe, and is full of unique pieces.
Recommended if you like: flea markets, vintage fashion, guys with long bears thick glasses and hats
Where: Schadekgasse 3, 1060
Category: thrift shop, second hand shopping, food
This hidden gem is open every day of the week, and run by a sweet Polish woman named Ewa.
Ewa herself designs and makes every piece of clothing in store! She also uses old outdated clothes to create new upcycled dresses. As a bonus, inside the store there is a kiosk, selling delicious traditional Polish pierogis.
Recommended if you like: Polish pierogi, fair prices on your fashion, feeling looked after, unique fashion, upcycling