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If I only had two meals in Vienna (end of March), where should I go?

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Doing the one day excursion by train from Prague to Vienna. I am an avid eater. :) No restrictions except for perhaps the dollar.. or the euro in this case. But if it's worth it, I'll splurge. I love all things food -- butter, foie, pasta, meat (bone-in, please), innards, bread, you name it... and am a wine-lover. Oooo the famous asparagus season too, isn't it?

I appreciate all help. :)

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  1. One place not to miss is the Steirereck.

    http://steirereck.at/index_e.php

    It is now the best place in town, after Palais Coburg closed. And they offer quite the range you like, best quality and quite expensive !!

    For contrast I would go someplace more down-to-earth. For innards and real Viennese food there are quite a few choices, but these are really places were they do not speak much English !!

    Zur schwarzen Katze: http://www.speising.net/essen/detail/...
    This is a small and authentic Viennese Beisl. The cook is a genius, his game dishes are to die for, and of course he will also have asparagus, although in March it will more likely be some leek (Bärlauch season !).

    Gmoakeller: http://www.speising.net/essen/detail/...
    This historic cellar, where prince Rudolf frequently and secretly met Mary Vetsera , is a must, if you want to have the real atmosphere AND good classic Viennese food.

    Zum Reznicek: http://www.speising.net/essen/detail/...
    This is a more nondescript place, style late 1950s, but the innards, and the goulasch,...
    And 8 types of beer from the tap !!

    and the latest addition:
    Freyenstein: http://www.speising.net/essen/detail/...
    This is the last cry: a top chef goes beisl, and offers a splendid four course menu surprise for a fraction of the cost of Steirereck. Reserve today.

    1. Hello

      I am Viennese (born and raised)..

      I have to agree with Sturmi about

      "Gmoakeller"- very good foods, variety of typical viennese foods.. try the "zwiebelrost braten" veal with a yummy brown sauce covered in golden brown crispy onion shreds..accompanied by potatoes.- one of my favorites. best atmosphere of a typical wiener gasthaus.. friendly family owned restaurant.

      I have to disagree about:

      "steirereck"- it is rated as the top restaurant in vienna or basically of all austria. but i personally think it is way overpriced and i dont really like the style. you get many tiny courses which are absolutely great,no doubt, but it is a very "stuck up" place.. you get a "bread waiter" who offers like ten different breads and explains 5 minutes aubout each bread etc... just not a good atmosphere for my personal taste..but nonetheless very good food.

      i would like to add a must-eat place:

      "schweizer haus" - in the beautiful wiener prater.. i have to admit it is a super rustic place.. basically Loads of great beer (czech budvar) from the tap, and the crispiest, most delicious, "schweins stelzen"(pork thighs).. you eat those with little extras like pickled onions, horserasish and mustard.. and some bread.. the pork skin is just amazingly crispy/salty/delicious. and the beer goes down well with it.

      i would recommend you visit a typical "heurigen" - these restaurants are in the beautiful old district of "grinzing" and they serve their own white wine and great rustic viennese cuisine (schnitzel, meats with kraut and knödel, schinkenfleckerl etc.)

      a really good heurigen is "feuerwehr wagner" on grinzingerstrasse.

      another great one is "haselbrunner" also in the19th district..(beautiful garden to enjoy your wine and food)

      if you want to experience tafelspitz, you should try "plachutta", there are two "plachutta" restaurants in vienna. both are exceptionally good. but more on the expensive side.

      1. also i want to mention one more restaurant:

        Eckel. one of the "classics"

        it is on sieveringerstrasse. i have many childhood memories of this restaurant and still go there once every two weeks. it has a long tradition and i must say it is one of the places where i NEVER had a bad meal.. if you order the same dish every time, for many years, it will always be exactly as you remember it. just perfect.

        i suggest you try the "butterschnitzel mit erdäpfelpüree".. it is like a small meatloaf out of minced meat, with the most amazing mashed potatoes i have tasted anywhere.

        also they were one of the first viennese places back in the day to offer fresh lobsters. they also have a nice garden for the warm days. the service is discrete and very attentive. you feel like in the 1920's.

        -another note to Schweizerhaus, which i mentioned before: just so there is no misunderstanding: it is not haute cuisine or anything like that. and i have to say it has become more and more touristy in the last years(just like plachutta) but it still has great roast pork, and is very popular with the locals.. especially for saturdays and sundays, when you take your kids to the prater(luna park) and spend the day out in the green. it has a beergarden atmosphere, but i love the place for what it is.. just great crispy pork, amazing beer and an informal, relaxed atmosphere.

        2 Replies
        1. re: KSA

          Hello KSA,

          I agree with you about Steirereck, but would still recommend this place for its food. It IS outstanding !

          I also agree if you recommend the Schweizerhaus and Eckel. Definitley treu Viennese institutions...

          I am not so sure about the Heurigen. We stopped going there because the price/performance ratio really does not fit any more, especially if you have to sit inside in a room full of cigarette smoke. A heurigen is great in summer, and then we prefer the more old-fashioned heurigen of Stammersdorf to the touristy onces in Grinzing.

          1. re: KSA

            Hi! May I ask you for the same help? Can i please contact you for asking some questions about eating in Vienna? Its for a big article in a big magazine, hope, it would be interesting and i promise to put you in credits! my email is lisa.birger@gmail.com please contact me or tell me, how can i find you!

          2. I haven't been in several years, but I remember Artner in the 4th district having unbelievable food at not ridiculous prices. Maybe a local can chime in on whether its quality has stayed constant?