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1 week in Vienna

After a layover with disappointing food in Vienna last year, I'm determined to do it right this time. Based on prior posts, on my list thus far are Do&Co, Meinl on Graben, Hansen, Beim Czaak, Immervoll, Zum Finsteren Stern, Huth, Fino.... Am I missing a must-eat? Especially something from the less expensive range? Thanks for any suggestions!

PS: I'm staying at Am Stephansplatz, by St. Stephan's Cathedral, and commuting to Austria Center, but will travel for food.

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  1. For a less expensive option, you might try Inigo, a biesl in the Innere Stadt (Bäckerstraße 18, A-1010 Wien, Tel: 512 745 150, Website: www.inigo.at). I happened upon it wandering the streets.The schnitzel is always a good choice! We also really liked the garlic soup. For super duper cheap, there's Treszniewski just off the Graben--looking towards the Meinl from Stephansplatz there's a big sign you can't miss. Turn left and it's on the left side of the street. It's a hole in the wall type of place with cheap, tasty egg sandwiches. And the Meinl store has a little area in front with a few tables and to-go type things like panini, salads, and gelato. For pastry, I'd recommend the Oberlaa, there are a few locations around the city. Have fun! We spent a week there in March and loved it! We went to a few neo-beisls a little further out of town that were fantastic. I'd be happy to share if you're interested.

    1. 1. All the places listed in the primary posting are definitely worth visiting. You WILL need to get a reservation for Do&Co, Hansen and Meinl am Grabens upstairs restaurant (which are all quite on the expensive side), maybe also for Finsterer Stern (less expensive), but you can get a table anytime at Czaak, Fino, Immervoll etc.. Trzeszniewski is a must for everyone: get four or five of their small sandwiches and a small glass of beer, all for less then 10 Euro.

      2. Inigo is a special place. It is a social project managed by a catholic church institution (Caritas) and helps to get unemployed people to find a place in society again. Thus, it is recommended, but expect variations in food quality.

      3. If you stay close to St.Stephens, dont miss Figlmuellers Wiener Schnitzel !!



      1. Although you can get a table at Czaak at anytime, if you want to eat outside in the summer, it is best to reserve. Same thing for Zum Finsteren Stern. Both very affordable. Though the latter is more creative (my preference).

        I also recommend highly Gasthaus Wild on Radetskyplatz, on the way to the Kunsthaus Wien, just in case you go there anyway. Traditional food with an eye toward modernity. Definitve caraway pork and anything with their fabulus cherry tomato sauce.

        Completely informal place. Vienna is a great food town, especially for bargain hunters.

        Too bad I haven't seen Michael from Vienna posting on the new board yet!

        1. Thanks Steve, but I am here, I have only had to change my name, since Michael was - of course - taken. So now you will find Viennese tips under "Sturmi"


          I agree with you on Wild, but there are many better ones in the outer districts: My favourite newcomer is the Kutschker 44 (closed for vacation in the first three weeks of August). Their cuisine is similar to Finsterer Stern, but even slightly less expensive: a three course menu for 19 EUR, and a four course menu for 24 EUR...


          For outdoor dining in summer see my (Michaels) posting of last year: there is still Flein, Eckel, Schweizerhaus, Coburg ...

          New outdoor favorites are also Ella ́s on Judenplatz, and ON in the Wehrgasse. But I have not yet tried both !!

          currently vacationing on the Adriatic coast, in Lido di Jesolo, a chowhounds paradise !!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sturmi

            Well, I guessed that was you. To the OP: you really can't go wrong with Michael's suggestions.

            1. re: Sturmi

              An enthusiastic second for Ella's. The lighter style of cooking is a welcome alternative to the heavier traditional recipes. I ate turbot accompanied by a root vegetable puree and a green vegetable that is escaping me know. I began with a field green salad with pomelo segments and asparagus. Excellent service. Not a budget recommendation, but definitely one of the highlights of our meals in Vienna.

              (I know the date of the original message is 2006, but this information is only current -- June 2008.)

            2. Thank you, Michael, Steve and citizenc3 for the awesome info! I'll report on the eats in a few weeks. Wish we could upload pictures of food...

              1. Try Huth. I went there about a month ago and they had really tasty food including some kind of pate they have.
                also the dessert with champagne was excellent.

                1. I was in Vienna an eternity ago. Ate at "Der Drei Husaren" - was really good; interesting appetizer carts. Also ate at the formal restaurant at the Imperial Hotel; it was good as well. I enjoyed Gerstner for pastry; Oberlaa too.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: souschef

                    Well, those two (3 Husaren, Imperial) are extremely expensive places, not quite "the less expensive range"...

                    OTOH Gerstner is OK. And sure, Viennese pastry is also something you have to try. Most tourists will go to Demels, and they have actually quite good pastry. We like coffee and a pastry at Heiner or Lehmann, too. These, and Gerstner or Oberlaa, are the places were you will find the Viennese...


                    1. re: Sturmi

                      I did go to Demel as well, and yes, it's good. I thought it was interesting that across the street from Demel is Artaria & Company - they were the original publishers of some of Beethoven's work!

                      I also tried Sacher Torte at the Hotel Sacher (yes, I know about the legal battle over the name); it was nothing special, I thought. I have had better-tasting "Sacher Torte" elsewhere, but of course it could be argued that it was not the real thing.

                      1. re: Sturmi

                        We had lunch a very sucessful lunch at Demel's last week. Of course, it included a lovely slice of pastry, but the surprise success of the meal were the lovely options on the buffet. If you want to eat a meal, you'll be handed a menu. There's nothing on the menu referring to the buffet which is a total mystery.

                        The buffet is a cold cart which displays items like slices of poached salmon, open-faced sandwiches, cold salmon en croute, cold pork tenderloin en croute, pate slices, open faced sandwiches, and great cucumber in sour cream salad and excellent Greek salad. A diner goes to the buffet, identifies what he/she wants to eat. The staff at the buffet writes the information on on a slip of paper, and the diner brings this paper back to the table. The waitress then, brings the desrired food. We only knew about the buffet because we passed the cold cart on the way to the air conditioned/non-smoking room upstairs. When I didn't see any mention of the items on the cold cart, I asked and was told about the procedure. If you eat outside, you'll never see the cold cart itself and, as I mentioned, there's no mention on the menu of its existence.

                        The bowls of salad are large enough to form a complete lunch on a hot day such as we experienced this past week.

                    2. Zum Schwartzen Kameel - at the bar. Like an upscale Treszniewski with much wider selection (3 blocks away). The restaurant seems snobby, but the bar is great. Stomach (that's the name). Around the corner from the Freud museum. Traditional Viennese updated. Nice garden, good food. I can't believe more of you are not mentioning the Naschmarkt. And Umar's fish restaurant at the beginning of it. Very cheap and totally delicious. Cafe Englander. Excellent cafe food, way better than it needs to be. Ubl - old style Viennese grill. Plahutta - for the Tafelspitz experience at its totalist. Cafe Pars - Iranian, when you need a break from Viennese.

                      1. Thanks for all the information -- I had a wonderful time eating in Vienna and owe it almost entirely to chowhound. Only regret is that I couldn't try more of the suggestions. I enjoyed great solo outdoor dinners in Czaak and Ubl with traditional food (as well as really pleasant mixed greens salads), and Meinl am Graben had impeccable goose liver, even if the plate arrangement (featuring oxtail, a couple of tiny ravioli, and the runny buffalo mozzarella) was a little bit busy for me. Their beef consomme was crystal clear and very delicious, and I was most surprised to find a perfectly raw egg yolk splilling from the finest skin of what sounded like a potentially boring "egg ravioli." Some ancient beisl with a title invoking 12 or so monks that had the rare distinction of being open after the Italy/France soccer match had a really fabulous platter of hot meats. And Treszniewski is a must for a snack of a light lunch, especially the fishy sandwiches that go so well with beer. At some small heurigen, my friends and I truly enjoyed generous carvings of beef tongue and blood sausage, washed down by the lightest, almost sparling, white wine of the house. In general, I have to applaud the local Gruner Veltliner grape, this wine is so refreshing in the hot summer days, and hardly more expensive than bottled water. I looked very hard and, sadly, could not find Zum Finsteren Stern. The museum near which it was supposed to be located had closed, because its old owner decided to retire. Is the restaurant still around? As I was already leaving Vienna I walked for the first time right by Alt Wien and Inigo, which I'll have to try next time, along with so many other places. Thanks again!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: thegenia

                          Yes, thanks for your wonderful report. Zum Finsteren Stern should be the only restaurant on a tiny square that also was the site for the Doll and Toy Museum. (you are correct in saying it recently closed) It is on the Schulhof, a tiny street off the NE corner of the Am Hof, a much larger square.

                        2. Thanks so much for being kind enough to post about your stay in Vienna. It's so nice to have someone followup after getting recs on this board. Glad you had good eating.

                          1. It has been great looking through these postings about where to eat in Vienna. I just wanted to get an update on where best to eat (dinners and lunches) during December as I see that most of the postings are from the summer.

                            My boyfriend is a real foodie and he usually researches where to eat while we are abroad but I would like to be more involved this time. Below is a list of where I am thinking of going, have I missed anything out that has to be done while in Vienna?

                            Mienl an Graben or Steirereck (I can only afford one expenisive meal - which is best?)

                            Zum Finsteren Stern (Wine and Cheese)
                            Figmullers (Schnitzel)


                            Any advice or comments that you might have are warmly welcomed.


                            1. Dinners:
                              Meinl an Graben or Steirereck, which is best?:
                              You may start a war by putting this question !! In my opinion, Meinl is better, but others prefer Steirereck. In any case: reserve a few weeks in advance...

                              Other high end places worth visiting:
                              Walter Bauer (!!!)http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...
                              Le Ciel

                              Stomach: unspectacular food, maybe only just plain and boring standards, but such a nice place, inside and in the courtyard...
                              Still, I would rather go to Immervoll or Finsterer Stern...

                              Plachutta: the Viennese classics, but extremely crowdy and touristy; excellent food, poor service. Go, if you are in a hurry. If you have time, try another place for authentic Austrian food: my choice would be ECKEL in Sievering: http://www.restauranteckel.at

                              Immervoll: Great Viennese classics at bargain prices, reservation a must
                              Treszniewski: sandwiches to die for ...
                              Zum Finsteren Stern (Wine and Cheese): no, this is a restaurant !! and a GOOD one, GO !
                              Figmullers (Schnitzel): yes, Wiener Schnitzel, but NO BEER !!

                              Demels: YES
                              Gerstner: YES
                              and also: Heiner, Aida (chain, but extremely good), Lehmann

                              Hope this helps


                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Sturmi

                                Thank you so much Michael for that. I go to Vienna next saturday and I will be sure to visit as many places as possible on the list above.

                                Thank you!


                                1. re: Carrielee

                                  My husband's birthday falls next month (the 11th.. am running out of time!) and I want to book somewhere special; he's really into food and cooking but since moving here we've had our best meals at home. Preferably somewhere romantic with some outdoor seating (I really can't stand being anywhere near people that are smoking so it's difficult here..).
                                  All the recommendations on these threads sound great but now I feel confused. I had hoped to book somewhere nice for dinner but also brunch or lunch is a possibility.. as long as it comes with a good wine.

                                  Steirereck or Meinl am Graben or Zum Finsteren Stern? Or anywhere else??? I've read that Steirereck has gone downhill or are those all ancient reviews?

                                  1. re: elbie21

                                    Yes, this is the season for some outdoor dining, and yes, Steiereck has now found its line and is better than ever !!
                                    Contrary to Meinl am Graben the Steirereck also has an outdoor option, and if you do not mind its "very expensive" price range you will find yourself in paradise...

                                    Finsterer Stern is quite another category: The food might be almost the same quality as Steiereck (YES !), but the ambiente is more basic. Of course the prices are much lower, too !!

                                    So your budget decides: If you are ready to spend 300 EUR for a six course dinner for two, go to Steirereck. At Finsterer Stern the six course dinner is less than half as much, but you sit on the street ...

                                    There are other outdoor options, both offering classic Viennese cuisine of high quality at moderate prices: We suggest Eckel in Sievering or Pfarrwirt in Heiligenstadt.

                                    Eckel has been around for more than 100 years and has kept its quality and profile since. There the Viennese upper class is dining, and the service, the food and their garden provide a glimpse of "Old Vienna".

                                    Pfarrwirt is a "reborn" place. It used to be as popular as Eckel and was named "Zur schönen Aussicht", but was closed for many years. They are located in a romantic old building next to one of the oldest churches in Vienna, and have a very nice garden. Setting is more casual than Eckel, prices are the same.


                                    1. re: Sturmi

                                      Many thanks Michael! Will ring around and see where I can still get a reservation.

                              2. well if you will be visiting Vienna's largest necropolis, Zentralfriedhof, stop off for a bite at this unique place: Schloss Concordia... cute!
                                Check out some more info about it here: