They do not get much more interesting and authentic than Cafe Sperlhof! Anyone looking for a place completely frozen in the Viennese past, while also looking for a leisure-time activity, need look no further. Founded in 1923, Sperlhof is a game bar located in the 2nd district and the owner has for decades maintained the place in a style seemingly out of a barely-post-war postcard.
The yellowed walls and wood paneling are the first indication of the character, but the truly unique aspect of Sperlhof is the giant stacks of board games, puzzles and chess boards piling up like faux-columns in a Greek temple to table-top gaming. The columns are free to peruse and play, but you are also welcome to bring your own. I recommend Agricola if you want to really dig into the atmosphere.
The beer is cheap and the owner is as Viennese as a Sachertorte, gruff and friendly, with a heart of gold. The place is often sparsely populated on the weekdays and is perfect for a game of chess and a beer after work, which is how I was introduced to the place.
Somewhat surprisingly, the place can get extremely crowded on the weekend evenings, so plan accordingly. It seems that the Vienna crowds know how to appreciate a good board game with their Saturday nights. You can now count me amongst them.