The Viennese Café is a hallmark of the cityscape and is even logged in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list since 2011. Represented most often by heavy-weights like Café Central and Café Sperl, they are as iconic as their coffee is strong and delicious. However, there are two main drawbacks to the Viennese coffee house: they are overly crowded and their service is famously unfriendly.
If these things are a turn-off, Cafe Weimar in the 9th district is a good way to get the best of both worlds. Built in the late 1880s and housing a café since 1900 (“Café Weimar” since just after World War I), this traditional hot spot has all the charm (German ‘Gemütlichkeit’) of the classic coffee house, but with very few of the tourists and a much friendlier waiting staff.
The interior renovations make it feel as it must have felt back in its heyday; its decoration remains faithful to history without being run-down or decrepit. The ambience is enhanced by a live piano player every day of the week. And in summer, there’s plenty of seating on the pleasant Alsergrund sidewalks (hint: it’s better on the Wilhelm-Exner-Gasse side, away from the noise of Währingerstrasse).
To top it off, the WUK cultural center and concert hall is directly across the street and the lively, creative Volksoper is about 100 meters up the street. This all makes a strong argument for the Weimar Cafe being one of the best combinations of traditional style, friendliness, and local flavor.