In Vienna, the city of the traditional Kaffeehaus (coffeehouse), cafés have been mating with stores and vice versa, giving birth to little café/store mutant babies all over the place. The café/store hybrid is a popular concept in Vienna at the moment.
While in the past artists and philosophers used to sip on their mélanges, today one’ll find people trying on a t-shirt or buying a book while sipping on their creamy third-wave coffee.
Here’s a list of our favourite shop/café mutants around Vienna.
Passt gut – Cafe/store mutants
Where: Lerchenfelder Straße 95–97, 1070
Cosy factor: (very friendly couple, but not the kind of café you can hide away and read a book for hours)
Store to café ratio: Café 40%, Store 60%
We don’t think a place has been so aptly named since that online magazine called itself Vienna Würstelstand (wink). As their name states, everything here Passt Gut (translates to: fits well together). Starting with the charming couple, Gernot and Lisa, to the mint green retro fridge, the rows of quality, fair trade and only small, independent designer street wear t-shirts, the stout brown and leather arm chairs at the window to the giant windows letting in a roomful of daylight – this place gives you the same feeling of putting on a fresh pair of ironed underwear – the possibilities are endless. Read Vienna Würstelstand’s entire review of Passt Gut, here.
Plus: Occasionally, Passt Gut hosts a guerilla bakery that serves up baked mouth orgasms. Keep an eye on their Facebook page.
Wunderladen – Cafe/store mutants
Where: Argentinierstraße 1,
SAT & SUN: closed
Store to café ratio
Ever tried on sunglasses while waiting for your coffee? Well, you can at Wunderladen. Upon entering this sweet little café/fashion store, one’s immediately drawn to the retro couch/bed hybrid in the middle of the room. It possesses a cosiness that not only invites you to sit on it, but drown in its cushions. Sabrina, the owner of Wunderladen, emits the stuff of fulfilled dreams. And you wouldn’t know it, but you’re standing in exactly that – her little dream cafe. Coffee and cake is sold alongside young Austrian designers’ clothes and accessories with an indie fashion fair trade focus. Read Vienna Würstelstand’s entire review of the Wunderladen café, here.
Plus: Sabrina bakes the cakes fresh every morning!
Phil – Cafe/store mutants
Where: Gumpendorferstraße 10–12, 1060
Cosy factor: (plenty of enclaves to hide away and couches to snuggle into with the book you just bought)
Store to café ratio: Café 70%, Store 30%
If you want to go to “phil”, the cafe/bookstore on Vienna’s Gumpendorferstraße to enjoy a nice cup of decent coffee in a comfortable atmosphere, be prepared to leave with a whole lot more – a book about how to be business savvy, a Ginga record, a few presents for the next five friend’s birthdays. Or simply the experience of an evening sunk into one of the mismatched comfortable chairs scattered around the place sipping on good Czech beer (Kozel) or an ice cold vodka. The music playlist is soothing and unobtrusive and the place has the appeal of a living room. “phil” is proof that books and cafes are like sex and Sunday mornings – they just go together.
Plus: “phil” has a little offshoot at Gartenbaukino – the “Philiale” – offering a buffet for the hungry moviegoers as well as DVDs, books and movie soundtracks and occasionally hosting events fitting the cinema’s program within its neat 60s atmosphere.
Philiale im Gartenbaukino
Where: Parkring 12, 1010
Das Möbel – Cafe/store mutants
Where: Burggasse 10, 1070
SAT & SUN: 10am–4pm (reservation recommended)
Store to café ratio: Café 90%, Store 10%
Now, we’ve heard of cafes offering takeaway coffee, but takeaway chairs and tables?! Das Möbel’s (translation: the piece of furniture) atmosphere is a bit less living-room-like than “phil”’s, but also makes you feel just at home and inspires you to stay for hours. This place is also a good one to bring your laptop to work. It’s a delight to sit at one of the designer tables, sipping your third Kleiner Brauner, sharing the room’s vibe with the other guests that, after a while, feel more like roommates. Lamps, tables, chairs – everything at Das Möbel is up for sale – except the waiting staff of course. Think lean, minimalist designs with straight lines and, without fail, an odd shape that will have you saying to whoever you’re with, ‘how clever …’
Plus: Das Möbel also has a furniture shop in Gumpendorferstraße selling even more unique pieces – handmade out of premium materials that have great character and tell their own stories to the owner.
Das Möbel (the shop)
Where: Gumpendorferstraße 11, 1060
Das Möbel cafe also daily serves up one of the tastiest and reasonably priced buffet brunches around town.