Vienna in Lisbon

Kaffeehaus, Austrian cafe in Lisbon

First there was Pois, now there is Kaffeehaus. GoLisbon recommended the Austrian-owned Pois Café when it opened and it’s in fact become one of Lisbon’s favorite daytime hangouts. Not only because of its original gastronomic creations, but for its cosy, comfortable space made up of sofas and grandma-style furniture.A couple of months ago two other young Viennese decided to move to Lisbon and open their own café. Unlike Pois, Kaffeehaus has a very contemporary décor, with Vienna present in the posters on the walls advertising plays, films, concerts, and other events in the Austrian capital. But perhaps to make it even more authentically Austrian, the menu options are listed in German, with Portuguese translation below them. Daily specials not found on the menu are written in chalk on the cabinet behind the counter.

Just like Pois, it also offers international periodicals, although the couches and personal living-room-style furniture at Pois is more inviting for prolonged reading. Still, Kaffeehaus provides additional reading light through the overhead lamps that can be extended to as close to your magazine as possible.

One major difference between the two cafes is that Pois does not serve dinner. It closes at 8PM while Kaffeehaus remains open until midnight, and on Friday and Saturdays it transforms itself into a night time bar open until 2AM.

Of the two cafes, the weekend brunch is a better value and more complete at Pois. For meals, they’re tied in originality and flavorful dishes (the obligatory sachertorte is good at both). In ambience, Pois is the winner. In service, the prize goes to Kaffeehaus — there’s always a smile and the possibility of some rapport with the staff if you return often, unlike at Pois where it seems to have a different waitress each time we go. In location, it’s a tossup — Kaffeehaus is more accessible and central in the Chiado quarter, but Pois is a great excuse to go to Alfama (and its street next to the cathedral is a charming corner of Lisbon).

What this all means is that no matter which Vienna-in-Lisbon cafe you choose, you’ll likely leave with an experience to recommend to others — the feeling of experiencing two European capitals for the price of one.

For more cafes in Lisbon, see GoLisbon’s cafes page.

2 Responses to “Vienna in Lisbon”

  1. Go Lisbon Blog » Blog Archive » The Year in Review: The Best and Worst of Lisbon in 2008 Says:

    […] Kaffeehaus Lisbon has been conquered by Vienna. Sure there are only two Austrian cafes in the city, but they have become two of the favorites. Pois Café in Alfama was a mandatory stop in the neighborhood when a second Vienna-inspired café opened in the city, but in the Chiado district. It now competes with the hip Deli Delux as Lisbon’s favorite Sunday brunch destination. […]

  2. Go Lisbon Blog » Blog Archive » The Best of GoLisbon Blog in 2008 Says:

    […] Vienna in Lisbon […]