A Viennese Hipsters Hangout: Café Kafka

A Viennese Hipsters Hangout: Café Kafka

Part of the reason as to why I was so excited to visit Vienna was to embrace and enjoy the coffee house culture and I am so glad that I have been able to share with you an overview to so many Viennese coffee houses. I have given you insight so far into the grand and marvellous Café Sacher, Café Landtmann, Café Mozart, Café Museum and Café Central; however, it is now time for me to share a different type of Viennese coffee house and that is of Café Kafka. Café Kafka is located at Capistrangasse 8, 1060 and is on a side street to Mariahilferstrasse (a street which as a tourist you must visit). Unlike the opulent and magnificent coffee houses that I have mentioned above, Café Kafka is a very small, individual and original establishment and is one that I would recommend that you check-out. It is open from Monday – Saturday from 8 am – 4.00 pm and on Sundays and holidays it is open from 10.00 am – 11.00 pm.

A place for relaxation in a central location

a viennese hipsters hangout: café kafka | a place for relaxation in a central location

Whilst Vienna was not the pioneer in coffee house culture, it has over centuries cultivated a real love for these establishments like no other city in the world. The function of a Viennese coffee house is that it is a place designed for reflection, where people come to read, write, trade information, think, dream, indulge and watch the world go by. A single cup of coffee (or tea, if you wish) will entitle you to sit in a coffee house all day. Café Kafka is proof that this concept still exists in full form today and it is one of the classics among Viennese coffee houses albeit it is very different to the magnificent fine-dining type coffee houses. Being located on Mariahilferstrasse means that it is easily locatable and if you’re looking for somewhere to stop over for a bit and want to steer away from the chain food bakeries, coffee houses and other establishments on Vienna’s famous shopping street, then take a journey down the side street of Capistrangasse and enter Café Kafka.

High ceiling, chandelier, antique furniture and some quirkiness

a viennese hipsters hangout: café kafka | high ceiling, chandelier, antique furniture and some quirkiness

The exterior and interior of Café Kafka can be described as somewhat shabby-chic and a little bit quirky. The outside, as per the photograph above, does not appear as inviting as some coffee places, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting. On the one side you have a large glass door to enter the café and on the other side you will have outdoor seating. The outdoor seating is all bright pink, green and blue and is rather modern and playful, which is what makes this authentic café rather quirky. This is in contrast to the indoor seating, which consists of one single room with a high ceiling, worn-down walls, an imperialistic chandelier and antique furniture. It has moody lighting, slow jazz playing in the background and its very own atmosphere. Approximately 30 people can sit inside the café. There are large glass doors which open up the inside of the café to the outside. Café Kafka is mostly populated with hipsters, twenty-something students, intellects of the future that want to read and write for hours and to feel like they are in their extended living room. The café is full of character and the arty types especially seem to love coming here. Adding to their interest, the café has its walls papered with posters that advertise shows and exhibitions that would benefit this creative crowd of visitors.

Non-smokers are advised to sit outside

a viennese hipsters hangout: café kafka | non-smokers are advised to sit outside

Having had experience of sitting in the indoor and outdoor area of Café Kafka, I would recommend that if you are a non-smoker, it is best to sit outside. This is because the café allows indoor smoking and you will find that many of its local guests visit it for this reason. As a non-smoker, I would still recommend that you stop in this charming café in the middle of the 6th district as it is certainly different to the other more known coffee houses that tourists target. The food at Café Kafka is only vegetarian and the menu is quite short (only 5 or so items listed). The quality of the food is average and is quite simple but very affordable. You could have a meal for 5.90 EUR to 6.90 EUR (7 USD – 8 USD). The reason to go to Café Kafka is not to experience a culinary miracle but rather to enjoy the atmosphere, which is very soothing and cosy. If I were you, I would visit it for a coffee or tea, which costs less than 2.50 EUR (3 USD) and is quite cheap in comparison to other Viennese establishments. I opted for green tea, which was as it should be. There is a very laid back approach that works perfectly in its setting; you are welcome to stay as long as you want and enjoy the Austrian newspapers and/or free Wi-Fi that is available.

Sit, sip away and use the Wi-Fi for a bit

Vienna is blessed with hundreds of cafes and if you want to taste local cuisine and cannot bear to be around cigarette smokers, then Café Kafka is not for you, but if you’re hunting for a unique atmosphere which is full of really only locals, then this place should be on your list. It is definitely an authentic Austrian café experience and even from the limited food menu, you will see that you will not get the standard options. The drinks menu is what you would expect in any Viennese café house, so staying true to its culture, Café Kafka has wiener melange at the top of its list. My advice to you would be to visit it in the morning, late afternoon or evening for a hot drink. Sit, sip away and use the Wi-Fi to do whatever you need to at your own leisure. The staff are very friendly and happy and you will be entirely unrushed during your time (as after all, you will be in your extended living room!).

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Puja Modha has trained as a lawyer, worked as a compliance officer and is an experienced travel journalist that enjoys writing about her experiences across the world. She was born in England, her...Read more

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