Where: Capistrangasse 8, 1060
We came in for a quick cup of coffee and ended up staying for hours on a very well-worn leather couch, filling our bellies with a pesto-tomato-mozzarella toast and soaking in the atmosphere that a room full of people’s chatter creates. Herein lies the magic of Café Kafka, a small bohemian looking café that, even though it’s located just off the busy Mariahilfer Straße, is still a secret spot amongst locals seeking peace, good coffee and a fire place during the day, or a lively, handsomely rugged night spot. The tables are small and normally just for two, so you can easily sneak in there alone for a quiet read.
Café Kafka performs the role of being a traditional Viennese coffeehouse (opened in 1880) with a few modifications. Besides having blues, soul, or other fitting music genres floating around the place (it’s atypical for a coffeehouse to play music), the Goulash and Würstels are replaced by a vegan and vegetarian focused menu. There’s a bohemian art vibe here, which is added to by the black and white portraits decorating the yellow, nicotine-stained walIs. It’s usually filled with people leisurely reading their papers, working on their laptops, or meeting up for study groups.
Recommended reading: well, it would be rude not to read one by the man Kafka himself so Metamorphosis would be our tip. Failing that, or if you fancied being less of a cliche, how about another German classic like Tonio Krüger by Thomas Mann, or a Hermann Hesse or Günter Grass. But if you’re feeling like a dreamer, call upon Rilke to complete the perfect afternoon by the fire.