We drank a prodigious amount of coffee in our quest to find the best Graz cafes and coffee shops. Grab a spoon and read on to discover our favorites.
The cafe scene in Graz, Austria’s second biggest city, grew on us as we explored the city slowly, spending time at both old-school cafes and new-fangled coffee shops. This approach isn’t the norm for us.
We typically focus exclusively on specialty coffee shops that serve flat whites and filtered coffees both at home and when we travel. We quickly realized that the Graz cafe scene requires a different approach.
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Our Favorite Coffee Shops and Cafes in Graz
While we encountered modern coffee at a handful of Graz coffee shops, we simply couldn’t ignore the plethora of traditional cafes that fill the city. So we spent time at both.
If you’re worried about over-caffeination, let us assuage your concerns…
We didn’t love the coffee at Graz’s traditional cafes. However, we adore those vintage cafes for two other reasons – their charming atmospheres and their delightful Austrian pastries.
You may agree with our coffee snobbery or not. Either way, you’ll want to spend time lingering in both historic and modern cafe spaces when you visit Graz.
Who knows? Relaxing your time away in Austrian cafes may be the highlight of your Graz trip. It may have been ours too.
These are our favorites Graz cafes and coffee shops:
1. Beanery Specialty Coffee
Beanery Specialty Coffee is a must visit for specialty coffee drinkers who travel to Graz. Christian Aramburo, a former barista champion, bought the cafe a few years ago and transformed it into a haven for these drinkers as well as more casual coffee drinkers in need of a quick caffeine jolt.
We felt a connection as soon as walked through the Beanery’s doors and saw a coffee-focused menu that includes flat whites but omits traditional Austrian melanges. That connection solidified as we chatted with Aramburo and his team of passionate baristas. But it was the Beanery’s coffee that impressed us most of all.
We drank two coffees at the Beanery – a flat white and a filtered coffee. Both were great but one soared to the head of this coffee class.
Crafted with house roasted beans sourced from Brazil, our flat white was text book with a simple heart design on top. However, our filtered coffee brewed with Gardelli beans sourced from Uganda was the morning’s winner thank to its wonderfully malty flavor profile.
It amazes us that Italian roasters like Forli-based Gardelli Specialty Coffee are now producing great beans. Lingering and chatting about this coffee in particular and specialty coffee in general, we didn’t leave the Beanery until our last sips were gone.
Pair your coffee with a pastry. The strawberry yogurt muffin that we shared was great.
Beanery Specialty Coffee is located at Zinzendorfgasse 20, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Not to be confused with New York‘s Tribeca (meaning Triangle Below Canal), Graz’s tribeka gets its name from the German phrase Trink Besseren Kaffee which translates to drink better coffee.
Clearly the residents of Graz aren’t confused since tribeka currently has four busy locations including the one we frequented on Technikerstraße near our hotel. Over the course of our week in Graz, we walked by them all, some numerous times.
Tribeca’s baristas were among the friendliest we’ve encountered anywhere. They all wanted to pose for our photos and offered excellent coffee advice for Vienna when they heard that the Austrian capital was our next destination. The manager even brought us a Pastel de Nata to taste test since we’re based in Portugal.
But what about the coffee? Crafted with locally roasted beans, our flat whites were solid and their heart art didn’t disappoint. Overall, they made us happy. In case you were wondering about the taste test, the Portuguese pastry was good too.
Buy a bag of beans if you have access to a coffee maker in your Graz hotel or apartment.
Tribeka has multiple Graz locations. We visited the cafe located at Technikerstraße 13, 8010 Graz, Austria.
We drank surprisingly good specialty coffee in Graz at a vegan restaurant called the Greenhouse. But the Greenhouse isn’t just any vegan restaurant.
Beyond serving smoothie bowls and dairy-free cake, the Greenhouse maintains a commitment to crafting coffee with ‘direct trade’ beans. At the time of our visit, the restaurant was using the same well-roasted Gardelli beans we encountered at the Beanery (see above).
We had no issues with our flat whites or the Greenhouse space which was intentionally designed to resemble it’s name. In fact, we loved both our flat whites and the zen atmosphere. Our sole complaint involved the hours of operation.
The Greenhouse wasn’t open in the morning except for two days during our week long visit to Graz. In other words, it was rarely open at the time of day when we most needed good coffee. Had its hours been longer, the Greenhouse may have been our favorite coffee spot in town.
Pop into the Greenhouse for an afternoon pick-me-up when you’re touring around Graz. Its central location is close to several of the city’s best attractions.
Greenhouse is located at Herrengasse 7, 8010 Graz, Austria.
If you find it odd that we drank some of Graz’s best coffee at a vegan restaurant, then you may find it even odder that we also imbibed great coffee at a zero waste store. But that’s exactly what happened when we visited Buna on two separate occasions.
Buna isn’t exactly a new kid on Graz’s coffee block. Named after the Amharic word for coffee, Buna’s Graz roots exceed a decade and date back to 2007. Though it moved into Das Dekagramm’s sustainable space in 2020, Buna continues to source and roast quality beans as it did prior to the move.
We must admit that we were surprised to find Buna inside a store since we thought it was a stand-alone cafe (which is what it used to be). That being said, its new status and set-up didn’t detract from the quality of the coffee.
In fact, we liked Buna’s coffee so much that we returned for more. Crafted with beans sourced from Papua New Guinea, the coffee tasted great. And that’s what matters most.
5. Ducks Coffee Shop
We were weren’t optimistic when we walked into Ducks Coffee Shop. With its duck-themed decor, this Graz cafe looked too cute to be a serious coffee shop. We feared this duck would lay an egg.
As it turns out, the coffee at Ducks Coffee Shop exceeded our expectations.
To be clear, we can’t say that Ducks Coffee Shop serves great coffee. We’re simply not fans of the cafe’s darkly roasted Arabica beans that it procures from a Veneto roaster. But sometimes good is good enough – especially when ducks are involved.
However, we can say that the cafe’s rhubarb apple streusel is absolutely delicious. We’d order that dessert again in a heartbeat. Maybe, next time, we’ll pair it with lemonade instead of coffee.
Bring your laptop to Ducks Coffee Shop if you need to check your emails or do some light computer work.
Ducks Coffee Shop is located at Raubergasse 14, 8010 Graz, Austria.
6. Paul & Bohne
Located in Lendplatz, Paul & Bohne looks like a typical specialty coffee shop with its sleek design and display of colorful bags of beans roasted in Styria. However, looks can be deceiving.
While most specialty coffee shops exclusively source arabica beans, Paul & Bohne proudly blends robusta and arabica beans in many of its house coffees. We realized this after ordering a cappuccino that was crafted with a 90/10 blend of beans from El Salvador, Colombia, Peru and India. It wasn’t a happy realization.
As it turns out, the Graz coffee shop also serves single origin coffee but only upon request. Otherwise, the baristas default to a house blend.
You guessed it. We ordered another cappuccino. The second one, crafted with 100% arabica beans sourced from Colombia, was much better than the first.
Specify that you want a single sourced bean coffee when you place your order unless you’re okay with a robusta/arabica blend.
Paul & Bohne has multiple locations. We visited the cafe located at Josefigasse 1, 8020 Graz, Austria.
Kunsthauscafe is one of the most popular Graz cafes for a few reasons starting with its location at the Kunsthaus (a/k/a the friendly alien) museum that practically kisses the Mur River. Then there’s its sleek interior space that’s both modern and chic.
But Kunsthauscafe doesn’t just have an indoor space. It also has an expansive terrace that demands a languorous visit while eating brunch or sipping a spritz or two or three.
Another reason for Kunsthauscafe’s popularity surely must be its tasty treats. We couldn’t resist ordering a slice of carrot cake and weren’t disappointed.
You may have noticed that we didn’t mention that we loved the coffee. However, our lemonade was refreshing and, as we already noted, we liked the cake.
Combine your stop at Kunsthauscafe with a visit to the modern museum upstairs. It’s one of Graz’s top attractions and shouldn’t be missed.
Kunsthauscafe is located at Südtiroler Pl. 2, 8020 Graz, Austria.
8. Freiblick Tagescafé
Freiblick Tagescafé’s website promises delicious views and and this cafe delivers on that promise. In fact, this rooftop cafe very well may offer the city’s best view of its iconic Schloßberg clock tower.
But the view is just part of Freiblick Tagescafé story. The other part is its location on top of Kastner & Öhler, Graz’s oldest and most prestigious department store.
Far from a hidden gem, there were no empty seats during our afternoon visit. We luckily found a rare table. We also found just enough room in our bellies to fit a slice of Gugelhupf and a Schaumrollen which we washed down with a fruity-tooty lemonade and a melange coffee drink.
Our review? We loved both sweet treats and the Turkish plates on which they were served. We also enjoyed the lemonade. The coffee? Let’s just say that the desserts and view were top notch.
Start your day at Freiblick Tagescafé since it’s a daytime cafe as opposed to a nighttime cafe.
Freiblick Tagescafé is located at Sackstraße 7-13, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Open since 2012, Parks isn’t a typical Graz cafe operation.
As expected, the Parks cafes offer breakfast and lunch options suitable for vegetarians and vegans as well as those who appreciate eating meat on occasion. Drink options are equally varied with coffee, tea, smoothies and adult beverages available throughout the day.
But Parks go further with a social mission that involves hiring immigrants, underprivileged youth and people with disabilities to work at its cafes. Beyond this staffing approach, the Parks team also focuses on sourcing regional, seasonal and sustainable products.
While we commend Parks’ social agenda, we also appreciate that the cafe provides lactose-free, low-fat, soy, oat and almond milks without adding a surcharge. We hate paying extra for anything without a good value in return!
Most of all, we appreciate that Parks sources quality coffee beans as opposed to commodity joe. The cafe was serving organic, fair trade beans roasted by Alt Wien Kaffee, a specialty coffee operation in Vienna, during our visit. To us, Parks’ combination of social activism and quality coffee is a true a win-win situation.
Order a croissant if you’re feeling peckish. At the time of our visit, Parks served a free coffee with each croissant purchase.
Parks has multiple Graz locations. We visited the cafe located at Zinzendorfgasse 4, 8010 Graz, Austria.
10. Grand Cafe Kaiserfeld
Grand Cafe Kaiserfeld bills itself as an ‘art nouveau café in the heart of Graz’s old town’ and we don’t disagree. Interesting items abound in every nook and cranny, making the cafe a must-visit for history buffs and design enthusiasts. These items include vintage furniture, crystal light fixtures and old photographs – one of which may look familiar.
That photo features hometown hero Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, the terminator grew up in Thale, just 11 kilometers (approximately 7 miles) from Graz. The nearby town even has a museum that celebrates Schwarzenegger’s life.
You’re correct if you assume that the Grand Cafe Kaiserfeld is a local gem that warrants a visit. You’re also correct if you assume that the cafe’s coffee, brewed with commodity Julius Meinl beans, skews bitter. However, while we didn’t love our cappuccinos, we had no problem eating our delicious Topfenstrudel pastry until every last bit of the creamy pastry was gone.
We’re willing to sacrifice drinking great coffee in exchange for the chance to enjoy tasty food in such a charming space and you should do the same. Plus, it’s just a short walk if you want to grab a flat white at Buna, Ducks Coffee Shop and tribeka (see all above) for the road.
Grand Cafe Kaiserfeld closes at 6pm on Saturdays and is closed every Sunday. Plan your visit accordingly.
Grand Cafe Kaiserfeld is located at Kaiserfeldgasse 19, 8010 Graz, Austria.
11. Café König
Café König has been an integral part of Graz’s cafe culture for over a century. However, its name and ownership have both changed since the cafe’s debut.
Originally called Cafe-Konditorei Kellermeier when it opened in 1918, the cafe’s name changed to Cafe Konditorei Bäckerei König when it was purchased by Othmar König in 1955. Othmar’s son Viktor took control in 1960. Finally, at least for now, Viktor passed the reigns to his daughter Waltraud Merkl in 1999 .
Walking through Café König is like walking back in time. The mirrored main room is decorated with mahogany inlays and its tables are topped with marble. Weather permitting, there’s also a lovely back patio with additional seating.
While we adored the main room, we won’t comment on the coffee which, as expected, was comparable to the coffee we drank at Grand Cafe Kaiserfeld. However, we’re happy to report that our Zuckerreinkerl pastry and sparkling water were both excellent.
Check out the pastries on display when you enter Café König. You’ll probably want to order one or two to enjoy during your visit.
Café König is located at Sackstraße 14, 8010 Graz, Austria.
12. Cafe at the Murinsel
If the Kunsthaus is indeed a friendly alien, then the Murinsel very well may be the UFO that delivered the modern museum to Graz.
Accessed by two separate foot bridges, the steel structure is located smack dab in the center of the Mur River. It’s a show-stopper that literally stopped us in our tracks on multiple occasions. Once we realized that there’s a cafe inside the Murinsel, it was a mere matter of time before we checked it out.
It’s no hyperbole to call Murinsel’s cafe striking. Its windows provide sweeping views at every angle and the inside feels like the set from a Jetsons cartoon. It would be easy to forget that the cafe has a menu but you don’t want to do that.
Murinsel’s menu offers a variety of drinks, both hot and cold, as well as snacks and desserts. Sparkling water was our personal drink of choice though we’ve since heard that Murinsel’s coffee is decent.
Start your evening with spritzes at the Murinsel. The cafe stays open until 8pm every day except Mondays when it’s closed.
The Murinsel is located at Lendkai 19, 8020 Graz, Austria.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: September 12, 2022