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Nov 21, 2007 06:54 AM

Best restaurants in Vienna, Austria

I am going to Vienna for 2 nights in early December and trying to find out the best places - not tourist places - for food. Wouldn't mind a big, lavish place for one night, then a more local, typical Austrian place for the 2nd night. Also any recommendations for good wine bars (again, not touristy) and bars for late night that aren't clubs (too old for all that!!).


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  1. I had a wonderful meal in September at a place in Vienna called Immer Voll. It's a wine bar that served excellent, traditional Viennese food. The place was packed with locals. I was in Vienna on business and my colleagues from the office selected this restaurant. Be sure to book a table - it was packed. Be sure to order the plum dumplings for dessert; they were heavenly.

    1. Best high end places (definitely reservation required):
      Meinl am Graben, Steirereck, Palais Coburg

      Best traditional Viennese places (for Tafelspitz, Wiener Schnitzel, etc.):
      Plachutta (several places), Eckel, Zum schwarzen Rauchfangkehrer, Huth, Wirtshaus im Palais Kinsky, Glacisbeisl

      Best old-style Beisel with Viennese food (as they come into my mind):
      Immervoll, Beim Czaak, Cafe Engländer, Zum Reznicek, Zur schwarzen Katze (the last addition, low price - highest quality, highly recommended if you tolerate smokers), Altwiener Gastwirtschaft Schilling, Schnattl, Zu den drei Hacken, Pfudl, Wild, Zur goldenen Glocke, Zur goldenen Kugel, Zum Scherer, etc., etc....

      Best inventive new Viennese cuisine (where I would go):
      Mraz und Sohn, Zum Finsteren Stern, Kutschker44, Gaumenspiel, Horvath,

      and the wine bars:
      There is a wonderful chain of wine shops with bars, Wein& Co: there you can buy a bottle in the shop and drink it right there, and get excellent inventive food !! Reservation required if you want a table to sit down!!

      There is a wine bar in the basement of Meinl am Graben, excellent wine, a little bit expensive , nice basic menu

      Less expensive is Unger und Klein on Rudolfsplatz / Gölsdorfgasse

      And our favorite is Cantina e l´arte in the basement of Dr.Karl Luegerring 14: wine from the Friuli region in Italy, and very original food from the same area.

      Late night bars:
      All the hotels have nice bars, I would recommend the bars in the Hilton on Stadtpark, in Hotel Ambassador and in Hotel Triest, and we like the Reinberg in Kolingasse (


      Enjoy your stay !!

      All contact details can be found here:

      And please keep in mind that Vienna is still smokers heaven, so don´t complain, get your cigars and light up !!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sturmi

        Guess old Sigmund would have approved? Do remember that it was mouth cancer that killed him, in London exile from the Nazis.

        Thanks for your wonderful list, sturmi - I'm looking forward to visiting an old friend who has moved back to Vienna after 30 years in Toronto. Yes, he is a smoker, and wags opine that he fled the Toronto anti-smoking regulations...

        1. re: lagatta

          I hope you notice that my suggestion to "light up your cigar" had a strong ironic tone...

          Whereas I like to smoke a cigar once in a while, I was never a regular smoker and do suffer a lot from cigarette smoke. In Vienna smoking is allowed in most places, and the "non-moking" sections are usually the less attractive parts of a restaurant. Reminds me when we went to a restaurant in Hong Kong and asked for a table in the "non-smoking section". We found ourselves between the kitchen door and the toilets...

          1. re: Sturmi

            yes, of course I noticed your tone - thought mine echoed it. Thanks again!

        2. re: Sturmi

          Are the Viennese restaurants that smokey? My husband is allergic and can't be around it. We are considering a three-week vacation in Vienna, but the pro-smoking policy is stopping us. We hate to be relegated to outdoor cafes only. During our month-long vacation in Paris last year this was not a problem. We need to decide on this trip soon. He LOVES Viennese food. Any suggestions? Thanks.

        3. Plachutta is an ablolute must for tafelspitz. Another place I enjoyed very much is Hauswirth. Both of these are moderate in price.

          Places to avoid are Figlmuller (inexpensive wienerschnitzel but just a tourist trap with lousy food) and Drei Husaren (nice atmosphere, but overpriced for mediocre food, obnoxious staff, tries to take advantage of foreigners).

          1. My husband and I visited Vienna in November. It was a blast! We relied heavily on recommendations from this board and they served us really well.

            We enjoyed a fabulous blowout tasting menu with wonderful Austrian wine pairings at Meinl am Graben, but I think my husband's favorite was a long Sunday lunch at Plachutta. We ordered the Tafelspitz and the Kavalierspitz (same preparation, different cuts of beef) and they were both tremendous--not sophiscated but just perfect cooking. Also delicious were the Matjes we had to start--delicate and perfect. We couldn't manage dessert after that quantity of hearty boiled beef, but we did love a little Marillenschnapps afterwards--the waiter congratulated us on choosing "a medicinal dessert." :)

            We also really enjoyed snacks/lunch at the very very crowded Trzesniewski open-faced sandwich shop, and coffee and cakes at several branches of Aida and the rather more upscale Oberlaa. Biedermeiertorte=sheer heaven.

            Post-opera dinner at Le Ciel was good but not terribly special.

            One other tip: if you have any German at all, don't be shy about using it. I had great fun practicing in Vienna, and the Viennese were extremely friendly about it and only too willing to conduct conversations entirely auf Deutsch. (Even when I stumbled!)

            Have a wonderful trip!

            1 Reply
            1. re: H. LaRonita

              Following the advice here, my husband and I had lunch today a Mraz und Sohn and the 5 course tasting meal with wine (which lasted 2 1/2 hrs) was truly memorable with rare marinated beef in a kind of pumpkin sauce, cabbage soup with scallops on the side and ham and perigord truffles, venison with plums, a cheese course, and poached pear stuffed with a chocolate sauce. The service was attentive and each course was presented like a jewel.

            2. Kim Kocht is the best restaurant in Vienna. It is necessary to call in advance to get in, because it is very small and Kim does all of the cooking herself and mingles with her guests after each course.
              She is really a fabulous chef, in any language.
              I let my waiter pick my wines and he did a superb job.
              It is not inexpensive, but it is well worth it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: probono

                "Kim kocht" is a good Asian fusion restaurant. Definitely not "the best restaurant in Vienna".

                And there are a few conerns:
                1. Kim has been overhyped by a single clever PR agent ...
                2. You have to book at least three or four months in advance.
                3. Even if you have a reservation, that does not mean that you get the table you wanted, since there is always an important "VIP person" who gets "preferred service".

                For a traveller visiting Vienna I would strongly suggest to go someplace else !

                The "Best in Vienna" currently are Palais Coburg and Steirereck.
                Any other restaurant, such as Mraz, Bauer, Meinl or Plachutta, ranks just at second place, but will still provide an unforgettable evening !!

                Best to avoid are Korso, Sacher, Drei Husaren, Mörwald and Riegi !!

                1. re: Sturmi

                  I love Chowhounders. I didn't think I would find a good listing for Vienna and yet here we are!

                  I'll be there next Monday night, probably my only night on my own as the rest are business related. Where do you recommend a solo diner, totally exhausted from 2 days travel and a fellow foodie to eat that night? Do restaurants stay open past 8 or 9 pm? I'm staying at the Park Hotel Schoenbrunn, but I'm willing to take a cab ride into another part of the city if I have to.

                  Any recs are greatly appreciated. PS - I speak zero German, passable Japanese, and very little else, will that matter?

                  1. re: danieli10

                    Yes, Restaurants do stay open, most until midnight, although the kitchen might close at 11 pm. Some - quite decent - places even offer food after midnight ...

                    And, you do not need to enter downtown !
                    Parkhotel Schönbrunn is just a block (100 m) from Hietzinger Bräu, one of the Plachutta restaurants, where you can get excellent Austrian classics, such as Tafelspitz, Wienerschnitzel, Kaiserschmarren etc, etc.:

                    The athmosphere is casual and not formal, the waiters are fluent in English, and their kitchen is open until 10:30 p.m !!

                    If you prefer Italian chow, they (Plachutta) have an Italian place across the street:

                    1. re: Sturmi

                      Excellent. Thank you very much for the recs. I think I'll be ready for some Austrian comfort food after all my travels.