It’s been one of the most heated topics in the city in recent years. Whatever side of the debate you’ve been standing on, it appears a smoking ban is on the way and the days of walking out of bars, cafes and restaurants in Vienna smelling like they’ve rolled around in an ashtray are numbered.
For those that can’t wait until November when a smoking ban will be enforced, we’ve made a list of some of our favourite bars in Vienna for non-smokers (Smokers are welcome, though, they just have to go outside for a cheeky little cigarette).
Here’s a selected list of 13 smokin’ hot bars (get it?) to go for a drink (or more) without clouds of smoke floating around you:
Opening times MON–THU: 6pm–2am FRI–SAT: 6pm–4am SUN: closed
This place is more than a bar. Actually, on first impression, it’s hard to define what this place actually is – a cocktail bar or a dark corner of your subconscious in which hard liquor is served. But that’s the idea, according to part owner Gregorio. “The space itself is meant to invite fantasy – just like the name, the space should invoke that ambiguous question – ‘what if?’” The difference between ‘dogs’ and the others is that here, they’re mad scientists rather than mixologists, with a serious commitment to their booze. This is the sort of place you can ask for a recommendation from the bar staff and know you’ll get something outlandish put in front of you. Cocktails change like the seasons here, so keep your eye on their Facebook page for updates on their new cocktail brews.
Opening times MON–THU: 10am–10:30pm FRI: 10am–12am SAT: 12pm–1:30pm SUN: closed
This charismatic bar with its Mexican-Santa-Muerte-inspired decor is a refreshing individual to spend time with. Run by a couple of guys that earned fame with their bars back home in Budapest, this place has character. The attention to detail, and original touch to the design of the place, is responsible for this new unique night spot and cafe’s inevitable fame in Vienna. Quality coffee and cocktails are served up, alongwith bite-sized tapas. They also started serving up a noteworthy burger recently, which is worth turning up for. The beer list has the Belgian beer, Leffe, in it, they have Mexican Mezcal on their shelves and the wine list is quality and diverse. Oh, and the service is so personable, you’ll feel at home as soon as you walk in the door.
Opening times MON–SUN: 3pm–1am Indoor/outdoor, free entry
The mother of all hipster hotels, 25Hours Hotel, has a mother of all views over the city from their rooftop bar. While it’s a little overpriced here, the view and the atmosphere here is worth forking out the extra Euros for. This casual bar is normally filled with people from Thursday to Saturday, but not bursting. It’s a good looking place, with a bunch of retro looking couches scattered around the place, making it the perfect setting for relaxed drinks with friends in a funky atmopshere. They also host plenty of events up here which are also worth checking out.
Opening times MON–THU: 4pm–1am FRI–SAT: 4pm–2am SUN: 12pm–12am
The owners revived it from a local alcoholic’s dive to a popular hangout for all sorts of people. The Tachles ethos is, ‘this is where life happens’. Sitting there munching on the house speciality of delicious homemade Polish Pierogi, we see couples touching hands across the table, groups of friends loud and laughing, two girls engaged in an animated political conversation – this is actually one of those places you enter and you realise it has a living, beating heart. Tachles attracts life. People meet over their wooden tables, under the dim light for love of each other, or conversation, or for the love of the vast range of Polish beer and the delicious menu (If you don’t choose the Pierogi, try the spaghetti, or the Palatschinken (crêpes)). Silent films of Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy are forever projected on the wall, while music fitting for the warm atmosphere can be heard. This charming and bohemian bar is a beautiful spot to bunker down and hide away with a bunch of friends, or on a date.
Opening times MON–FRI: 4pm–1am SAT: 6pm–1am SUN: closed
Fassldippler is a new-age Wirtshaus (founded in 2014) housed in an old school Wirtshaus (opened in 1906) in the heart of the 4th district. It boasts a huge regularly changing choice of Austrian craft beers, as well as a decent selection on tap. There were almost too many choices of beer so we relied on the knowledgeable waiters to help guide us. The menu holds standard Austrian food but with lots of seasonal dishes. We’d have to agree with their claim that it’s a meeting place “for one and all who enjoy the Wirtshaus atmosphere, are interested in craft beer and like the sound of an unpretentious kitchen”.
Price guide Beer on tap = 3.70–3.90€ Bottled beer = 3.70–12€
Opening times TUE–THU: 7pm–1am FRI–SAT: 7pm–2am SUN–MON: closed
This tiny, stylish bar with character that you don’t expect to find in this unassuming corner of town is worth venturing out to. One look at this bar and the vast bottled goodness it stocks behind it, you know they’re serious about their cocktail creations here. The selection includes classics and originals, some personally created by the owner will have you getting rather tipsy rather quickly due to your curiosity being driven by the interesting drinks list. With the drinks seen to by an experienced cast of cocktail bartenders, there’s no wonder it’s a favourite amongst the cool kids in the area.
Zweitbester don’t claim to be the best, but instead, they are more than happy being in a solid second place. Located in the heart of the 4th district close to the Naschmarkt, this former coffeehouse was turned into a bar-restaurant-gallery mix a couple of years ago. With their polished concrete bar, copper pipes everyhwere and bare brick walls, the place emits a feeling of industrial chic. They offer a lunch and an evening menu, which they change up every day, and is damn delicious. But there’s more to this place than their excellent food and drinks, as it also serves as a gallery, which gives it a creative vibe. Every other month, they have a local artist put their artwork on the walls.
We just love when legendary bars decide to give birth to another. The legendary bar, WIRR, in the 7th district has a younger, hipper clone in the 16th district’s Yppenplatz. This stand out place in the market square draws crowds every night during the summer months. The rooftop terrace offering a view into neighbouring building’s windows is its major attractive feature. However, in winter its well dressed insides with furniture and big windows, is also a nice spot to spend some cosy hours. The menu is full of international dishes, all made up of organic ingredients.
Opening times MON–WED: 11am–2am THU–SAT: 11am–4am SUN: 10:30am–12am
The Top Kino is not only a cinema, but also a good-looking and funky bar. It’s also one of our favourite indie cinemas in the city. This combination makes it a great location to spend your whole night – pre-movie drinks, film, after-movie drinks. Mostly screening European movies and documentaries in their original versions with subtitles, it also hosts the annual human rights film festival, This Human World, at the end of November. Solid drinks, unobtrusive music mingling with street noise. A comfy setup that invites you to spend the whole afternoon just reading a book and sipping your espresso, and during summer you can enjoy one of Vienna’s loveliest outdoor patios by an idyllic cobblestone street. Every Sunday, you’ll also be able to watch the German crime series “Tatort” there, for free!
Ulrich is that rare kind of café/bar that ticks all boxes – they make a damn fine coffee and other drinks, the atmosphere is cosy ( day or night), and they serve up a breakfast that will make you think twice about asking for breakfast in bed for your next birthday. Modelled on the cafe culture found in Australia and New Zealand, this place also serves up an inventive menu. Ulrich is always popping. It’s loud, packed, full of energy, and most importantly full of delicious food! If you want to dine on a weekend at Ulrich, you’ve got to book in advance. At nighttime during summer, their garden transforms the quiet square into vibrant spot to gleefully waste a summer’s evening. Meanwhile, the lights are dimmed and the atmosphere is humming inside, all year round.
This 3-floor restaurant-bar hybrid on Lange Gasse in the 8th is a new gastronomy baby by the same family that gave birth to the trendy Chinese hot pot spot, Mama Liu & Sons. The Birdyard Eatery & Bar features two floors that are all about eating and enjoying great food art. Meanwhile, the basement houses the bar. Dark flower and animal paintings cover the walls, which act to wrap you up nicely in a surreal world, and a cosy lounge bar atmosphere. And don’t go thinking that’s just beautiful wallpaper – no, no, no – that’s a real painting, by Romanian artist Saddo, who spent 45 days working on it.
The drinks on the menu go beyond your standard (while you can, of course, order all the cocktail bar classics, as well) with plenty or original house creations. Every guest is also treated with a special welcome shot and some homemade nuts to ease you into the night. There’s seating, or you can perch yourself up at one of the high stools and tables, but make sure to reserve your seats a few days in advance if you want to come by on the weekend – there’s no standing in the second row here. If the bar is full, it’s full.
Opening times MON–THU: 10am–1am FRI–SAT: 10am–2am SUN: 10am–12am
They’ve recently upped their game with the pub food menu they’re offering, which presents another reason to spend some time drinking some Australian craft beer, or dining on some kangaroo steak in Vienna’s most renowned Australian bar, Crossfield’s.
It’s gloriously smoke-free and it’s an exotic experience to be had for those nights you just want to escape Vienna for a few hours. And one very Australian thing about the place that we love – you can order beer in a jug.
Price guide Kangaroo filet = 17.90€ Grilled grasshoppers with mashed potatoes and salad = 9.90€ X-Field Lager house beer = 4.20 €
Opening times SUN–THU: 8am–12am FRI–SAT: 8am–1am Kitchen open from 8am–11pm
This recently converted smoke-free bar slash cafe is the kind of place you suggest to meet with friends to show off your cosmopolitan side. It’s got that kind of feel and vibe about it. The menu is also international (with a few Austrian inclusions, of course) and their salad game is strong.
The drinks list includes a short list of carefully selected Austrian and Italian wines, Budweiser on tap, and very extensive spirits selections – specifically gin, vodka, Whisky.
Fun fact… the name Joma consists of the first two halves of the names, Josef and Maria – that’s right, Jesus’ old folks. They are two of the 3 figures on top of the fountain in front of Joma in the Hoher Markt.