The 7 Best Shisha Bars to Visit … While You Still Can

A sample of top hubbly bubbly bars to visit before the new smoking ban takes effect in November.

Shisha, hookah, narguile – these water pipes from the Near East go by many names. For centuries they have been used to smoke “flavored” tobacco (or, in some cultures, hashish or opium). Here, cafes combining oriental dining with smoking pleasure have become a staple of the Viennese night life scene. Around 250 are to be found in the capital alone – half of all those in Austria. But a recent decision by Parliament to ban smoking indoors for restaurants means they have to give up their core business in November, when the ruling goes into effect.

Until then, here are our seven favorite shisha bars. Enjoy before they float off on the last curling puff of smoke, into the cloud of history.

Schesch Besch

For those looking for an ultra-casual shisha smoking experience, Schesch Besch has you covered. The name refers to a variation on the popular board game backgammon; the restaurant’s concept is to offer Middle Eastern snacks like haloumi and hummus to be enjoyed over a game. And afterwards, a wide range of tobacco flavors are on offer. Contemplating a cunning move while puffing on a huge water-pipe puts you into the Zen-like state that only a shisha bar can provide.

1., Schwarzenbergstrasse 4


If board game sessions are not your cup of tea, then the trendy bar Deuces may be up your alley. The interior features bright neon accents, thumping bass rhythms and a selection of pricy cocktails. Deuces is a far cry from the traditional carpeted Moroccan shisha spot, preferring a hipster feel. People don’t come here to unwind, they come to get ready for a party – and if there’s nowhere to go, stay and Deuces becomes the party.

1., Krugerstraße 6


In a similar vein, Feria ditches the traditional shisha bar aesthetic.  Located beside Schwedenplatz, Feria has been a go-to shisha bar staple for generations of young adults and students. Its two stories are bathed in vibrant neon lights and speakers pump out the latest pop songs. A wide array of tobacco flavors are on offer, so guests can get creative with taste combinations. Be warned: This place gets very full on Saturday nights.

1., Franz-Josefs-Kai 11


Only a couple minutes from Praterstern (U4, U2) by foot, Duzis is the perfect spot to lounge with friends after work. The modernized Moroccan interior and menu give off an oriental vibe that feels utterly genuine, allowing an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, even if for just a moment. This is one of the best-known cafes in Vienna and will surely be missed.

2., Praterstraße 25


If you just can’t decide between laid-back and on trend, the 2Lounge offers a neutral balance. For extroverts, there’s a back room featuring a DJ and a wide selection of alcohol at the bar. But for more reserved hookah enthusiasts, there are quieter seating arrangements available where backgammon, chess and cards are all available.

2., Praterstraße 54

Aux Gazelles

The uninitiated might miss this hammam-cum-restaurant, located in Rahlgasse at the foot of the wide stone stairs up to Mariahilfer Strasse. This is the 5-star heart of Vienna’s shisha scene, featuring delicious Moroccan cuisine and its own hammam – a traditional oriental steam bath and spa. A dancefloor at the back can be booked for private parties. Oh, and it also has shishas.

6., Rahlgasse 5

Café Berfin

The last one on this list is the most unadulterated shisha establishment of all. No gimmicks, no distractions, just pure hookah smoking in a super casual space. Leaning toward a more Turkish aesthetic (rather than Arab or Persian), it comes with all the perks: decent köfte (grilled minced meat balls) and baklava galore. The furniture is not trying to impress anybody; low-set seats wrapped in atmospheric Middle Eastern cloth drive the point home: You are here to sit, relax, and converse between puffs on a soothing waterpipe.

7., Siebensterngasse 46

Emre Günes
Emre Günes is Viennese born and raised with Turkish roots. After finishing his international school he got a knack for writing in English and studied Journalism at the University of Westminster in London. He previously interned at a couple of import/export companies as a teen and then even at the Radio Station of the Austrian National Broadcaster (ORF) until completing his military service in 2018. He is now an intern and writes for Metropole while studying his masters for English Linguistics.

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


RECENT Articles

Vienna’s Ultimate Swimming Pool Guide

It will be a summer like no other. This year due to corona, many Viennese will opt to spend a good part of their holiday in the city and surroundings. Lucky for us, there are few better places for relaxing in the shade and swim in pools or rivers than Vienna.

The Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | School Vacations Started

With summer approaching, new challenges await Austria in dealing with the coronavirus. Here’s all you need to know about current measures and developments, including trusted sources and tips – regularly updated.

Liberal Freedom and Its Flip Side

The renewed struggle against discrimination is really two struggles: one about rights, the other about opinion.

Taste of India | Keep Calm and Curry On

Nestled in the 3rd district, The Taste of India’s second location serves authentic North Indian cuisine in a cozy atmosphere, balancing food and feeling.

Traditional Brand Icons and the New Sensitivities of Race

The worldwide Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has now spilled over onto the supermarket shelves. A look at Austria’s own racially problematic icons.

Grey Wolves Howl in Favoriten

Turkish political violence has spilled over on to the streets of Vienna: The hard right Grey Wolves confront an alliance of Kurdish and left wing protesters in the 10th District.


Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.