Sitting in a cafe on a chilly autumn day with a hot cup of something while watching the people outside scurry by is enough to finally let summer drift off into being some distant memory. The cafes suited for such autumnal activities are equipped with big windows that fill the place with light and a cosy, comfy ambience. And sofas…you gotta have sofas.
Here are ten cosy cafes that make for perfect autumn indoor retreats:
Café Jelinek – autumn cafe
Where: Otto-Bauer-Gasse 5, 1060
Café Jelinek is one of the reasons why we love living in Vienna – it’s dripping with true Viennese coffeehouse charm and is the perfect place to spend some lazy idle hours, or time with intense thoughts. From the patine-stained walls, covered with pictures of famous faces, the very well-worn wooden floor, to the comfortable scruffy velvet sofas, it feels as if nothing has changed since Jelinek became popular in the 80ies (It was actually opened by a Jewish couple back in 1910). We love the little marble coffeehouse tables, while a prime people watching position can be had at the much prized seats by the big windows in the booth seats. If you’re lucky enough to catch a table by the huge windows, you might never leave…until they kick you out.
We also love… the old fireplace oven in the center of the café.
They also have… a great range of quality breakfasts on the menu.
Melange = 2.90€
Toast with cheese and ham = 3.50€
Photos © Daniel Dutkowski (www.dutkowski.com)
Café Nest – autumn cafe
Where: Operngasse 25, 1040
It’s the kind of place you’d bring a book or laptop to in the middle of the day. Except on the weekend when it becomes quite full with people having lazy breakfasts. Then you can bring your girlfriend, boyfriend, pet llama along and leave the book at home.
It’s quiet when we visit the Café Nest. There is a calm about this place as chilled as the Dalai Lama in a bubble bath. One can understand where it comes from once meeting the soft-spoken owner, Maximilian. It’s as if he’s taken his boyish smile and composed nature and made it into a café.
This is not the first Café Nest, yet the sibling to an older charming brother up in the 19th district. The German word ‘gemütlich’ which Max uses to describe the place goes a long way in accurately defining it. The décor is made up of furniture that dosen’t seem to know each other, but get along well together all the same. There are couches, and a long sweeping bench that runs along in front of the big windows that open onto Operngasse where one can watch the hipsters, artists, those with a fetish for vintage, wander past on the way to their ateliers, a grungy bar or one of the funky cafes that line the street. Café Nest is one of those.
We love… The food counter made out of the doors from an old 80’s wardrobe.
We also recommend trying… the splendid cheesecake if it’s available.
Supersense – autumn cafe
Where: Praterstraße 70, 1020
SUN & MON: closed
Set in a building styled after a Venetian palace, Supersense on Vienna’s Praterstraße is the mother of all concept coffeeshops, and may be one of the most underrated places in the city.
Apart from serving cups of high-end coffee, homemade cakes and plates of fresh, regional snacks that you’d find in a delicatessen, this place is also a stage that showcases photography, print, art and audio delights. And while pulling the rug out from under your feet with all of that, it also hits you square in the face with its architectural hotness. Can we move in, please?
The shop part of this cafe mutant can also feel like a museum – there are old printing machines, a large wooden table with random items on it, aged showcase cupboards, a wooden elevator, a recording studio in a antique phone box, a rug, vintage sofas and guitars inviting you to sit down and spontaneously pretend you’re hanging with Van Morrison, just jamming away.
There’s a warmth here that has been incubated by a cafe that has had a lot of thought invested into it. And it has all the characteristics that make for a perfect cold autumn day haunt.
Jonas Reindl – autumn cafe
Where: Währinger Straße 2–4, 1090
Jonas Reindl is a hip – and despite its cosiness – very vibrant coffee shop. Lots of students find their way here in a break between classes at the nearby university, but the great location also brings walk-in customers, tourists and other randoms who love good coffee. As they do make damn fine coffee here at this specialty coffee shop.
The squeal of the coffee machine, the smooth and skillfully made Flat White in your hand, the sights playing out through the windows that make up the front wall of the cafe, along with the hundreds of conversations going on around you, will have you sinking into the ultimate autumn-coma that these chilly days of fall are good for.
Photos © Maria Ritsch
Coffee Pirates – autumn cafe
Where: Spitalgasse 17, 1090
SUN & public holidays: 9am–3pm
Everything about Coffee Pirates screams – ‘sit down, sip your skilfully made coffee and breath.” The vast, bright public living room atmosphere offering a colourful mix of different seating areas (festive wooden table vs. window bar vs. cosy lounge area) has been recently extended, but still often fills up. However, if you score a seat, you can work your way through dozens of quality coffees while indulging in a good book, or pounding away on your keyboard. This makes for a great escape from the crisp autumn air.
Burggasse24 Café – autumn cafe
Where: Burggasse 24, 1070
Torn, broken and mismatched furniture paired with a shabby chic charm and the crackling flames of a fire place – this is the lulling bubble of calm at the café attached to the vintage clothes boutique, Burggasse 24.
The high and white wooden ceiling frames the café nicely and separates it from the neighbouring vintage clothes boutique attached, where you can purchase an outfit that will help you blend in to the effortlessly chic setting. The rustic, sweeping space of Burggasse24 is airy and bright, but is somehow intimate and personal. To think such a beautiful space was once a wheelchair store. This is a living room cafe with couches and a streetlamp plonked in the middle of it.
Autumn goodness: there’s a fireplace, people! And they play the perfect soul, Jazz style music that will lull you into hours spent here.
Haas & Haas – autumn cafe
Where: Stephansplatz 4, 1010
MON–SAT: from 8am
SUN: from 9am
This life-saver from a blustery autumn day is for those that have resolved to drink more tea this cold season. The feeling of adventure is not generally something connotated with tea, however, when you hear the stories from Miss Eva Haas, tea takes you to far off places. So as winter starts chasing autumn outside, you can escape to exotic warm places with tea.
Most of Eva’s stories are about where the tea their beloved teahouse serves is grown, which Miss Haas and her husband and daughter, have visited aplenty in their quests to stock the rarest teas in their teashop, many of which can be found served up in the neighbouring tea house. Here is where one of the best breakfasts in the city can be found, which also can take you on exotic adventures.
Haas & Haas is one of the few remaining Viennese institutions which everybody who’s lived in the city long enough knows of. And while coffee is, of course, on the menu, we highly suggest you go on an autumn adventure with tea. And remember, in the words of Ms Haas – ‘Tea should always be accompanied by conversation’ (we read this as a license to talk with our mouths full. It got ugly)
Our favourite breakfast at Haas & Haas: the English breakfast
Das Augustin – autumn cafes
Where: Märzstraße 67, 1150
Kater is the German word for hangover and male cat. Both are welcome in Das Augustin. We love those places that are just too comfortable to leave. Where you can meet up with friends after a heavy night of drinking, have great breakfast, maybe pancakes, while you hatch plans to finally turn your chaotic lives around, to start fresh and live everyday like it was the final chance to show the world… and then, before you even realise, you’re looking at a wasted lump of flesh staring at you through the bathroom mirror with dead milky eyes. It’s 11pm, hours have past since you ate those delicious pancakes and you just ordered your fifth gin and tonic. Sounds awesome, right? And so it is. Welcome to das Augustin. The food is tasty, the people are super-friendly and two house cats roam the premises. The dimly-lit interior resembles an old Austrian Gasthaus that a hippety hipster has set to work redecorating. It works. Enclosed by an inner courtyard, it once again feels like an escape from the world outside. And it’s as cosy as a grandpa dressed up in a teddy bear costume.
Phil – autumn cafes
Where: Gumpendorferstraße 10–12, 1060
phil is pretty much the poster boy of Vienna’s café/store hybrids. It offers up a cosy atmosphere amidst shelves full of books and records for purchase (or for inspiration), and comfy couches to drown in and chat, sip at coffee in while dreamily looking into space, or reading for hours. They serve breakfast into the afternoon, as well as warm food for lunch and dinner. To read more about phil, check out our write up of the place, here.
Kaffee Alt Wien – autumn cafes
Where: Bäckerstraße 9, 1010
It’s been the haunt of the creative type since the dawn of it’s own time. It’s like that aged writer that everybody wants to be around for the charisma. The same older crowd waddles in and surrounds the bar at around 4pm while as the evening deepens, the crowd thickens with all breeds of people. The place is a relic of days gone by in Vienna before Apple and Google took over the world. The lighting is low, the walls are plastered with posters of art exhibitions and concerts, it’s red velvet benches that line it’s walls embrace it’s visitors and it’s the kind of place where you could sit, read, converse all day and nobody would even notice.
Cafe Harvest – autumn cafes
Where:Karmeliterpl. 1, 1020
It has the stuff of those places that become timeless – tastefully dressed up with antique couches, dim lighting from lamps and chandeliers that just make you want to read a book, or put on one of the records scattered around the place. It’s also got those old Wiener Kaffeehaus chairs out back that creak and squawk when you shift your bum on them. Characters hang out here, as the place has character. Same goes for its owner and creator. It’s the optimal café for rainy autumn days, or chilly nights for a drink.
Vollpension – autumn cafe
Where: Schleifmühlgasse 16, 1040
What kind of heavenly place serves up that warm and safe feeling that only an Oma can emit with your coffee? Vollpension, that’s who.
Oma, or Omi, means granny in German, and is a very intimate term to call your grandmother. At Vollpension, a comfy café in Vienna’s 4th district, Omas are the bakers and the characters of the place. And while offering plates filled with cake and pastry art, they also fill you with that inexplicable warm homey-ness feeling they naturally emanate. The varieties of cakes served up here depends on which Oma is baking that day – each have their own specialty. One things for sure though, you’re cake cravings won’t be disappointed.
The atmosphere is perfect for hiding away from a chilly autumn day, made up of couches, random framed photos on the wall, bare brick and neon signs – it’s a very comfy place to stuff yourself with cake.