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Oct 17, 2011 10:34 AM

Vienna lunches and dinners: looking for advice!

I have read through the Vienna postings on the site and am grateful for all that I've learned. Sturmi, your knowledge, as has been said before, is most impressive--though I sense that you have an anti-luxury streak! So please forgive the fact that I'm planning to go to Steirereck on Wednesday and Landhaus Bacher on Thursday for lunch when I take drive through the Wachau.

I would appreciate some advice on a few remaining meals. So far we have been to Figlmuller, Strieznevski, and Plachutta. We have three lunches and three dinners to plan. Here are some places I have in mind: Zum Schwarzen Kameel, Zur Schwarzen Katze, Motto am Fluss (the restaurant, not the cafe), Waldschenke Staar, and Wieninger. Thoughts? What is missable, and what needs to be added?

Also, we're going to Salzburg for a night. Can someone recommend a place for lunch and dinner?

Thanks so much.

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  1. Hello Honoredb,

    It is not that I do not like luxury, au contraire !!
    The problem is: the "crisis" killed most of them, and the rest is a only a trio:
    Steirereck, Palais Coburg and Walter Bauer.

    In order to avoid to pay too much for mediocre food I am advocating therefore the value-for-money places ...

    Back to your list:

    Steirereck and Landhaus Bacher are excellent choices. Please go there, you will like every bite and every minute of your stay. Reservation required.

    Figlmüller is a great experience. A small, crowded place, great food, no beer. Reservation required.

    Trzesniewski is a must for lunch. We have a choice of their canapees for lunch at least twice a month !

    Zum Schwarzen Kameel is two places at the same location:
    A smoking-only, standing room only bar and delicatessen, and a wonderful, old-fashioned restaurant for dinner. Reservation required. You might like it there. It is a Viennese tradition, and few tourists dare to enter...

    Plachutta is great if you have no choice. The food is good but simply twice as expensive as in the rest of town. We go there once in a while, but it is not a must if you have some time to plan ahead. Definitely in the "missable" category. Rather go to one of the classic beisl I listed recently here.

    Zur Schwarzen Katze is a gem. We do not like their new ambiente, but Szigeti´s refined variations of classic Viennese cuisine are a real experience. Get a menu degustation and be happy !!
    Alternatively you should not forget Rudi´s Beisl,which is open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday, Reservation required.

    Motto am Fluss: A place where the chic and trendy meet, but the food is good and the view is spectacular !! Reservation required.

    Waldschenke. I had to check, but this place still exists !! I rememember visiting this place 30 years ago. It is again a traditional Viennese institution. You go there for the ambiente, not for the food. Alternatively I can recommend the Gasthaus Bonka in Oberkirchbach:

    Wieninger is a great choice. It is located in one of the last old village areas, Stammersdorf, and provides a very original heurigen experience. OTOH we have not yet been there. Never. When we go to Stammersdorf we always walk up the Kellergasse and just enter one of the many small family run heurigen, whichever is open on this weekend. But for a tourist, Wieningr is a safe bet. The alternative is Göbel on the top of Kellergasse, the modern variant of a heurigen.

    What should I add ?
    If you like a classic, refined but traditional cuisine in a great ambiente please go to Restaurant Eckel. This place preserves what made Viennese cuisine famous. Reservation required.

    And for lunch: do not forget the Kaffeehaus. There are so many of them, I will not list them again. Most of them now offer an inexpensive but tasty dish of the day for lunch. No reservations required, just drop in. A great choice for any tired tourist...

    Walter Bauer
    Vienna, Vienna, Vienna , AT

    9 Replies
    1. re: Sturmi

      Sturmi- I cannot thank you enough for this! I'll certainly provide a report of our gastronomic adventures. Two questions: If you had to choose for tomorrow night, which would you pick--Schwarzen Kameel or Schwarzen Katze? We have reservations at both. My interest is in delicious food--classically Viennese or otherwise; a nice atmosphere helps, but it's what's on the place that matters most. Also, do you have any advice on Salzburg? Many thanks.

      1. re: Honoredb

        These two "Schwarze" cannot be more different.

        Schwarzes Kameel is a landmark. This place is one of the oldest restaurants in town and has an original Fin-de-Siecle interior. Despite its luxury attitude, it is also quite small and can be crowded, but you might feel very much at home if you like the crowded atmosphere of french brasseries. The food is excellent, but very conservative.

        Schwarze Katze is a no frills setup. They are now located in a place in the suburbs where quite a few others failed in the past, and invested only a minimum in the ambiente. The whole atmosphere is created by the excellent Viennese food, always created with a certain inventive twist...

        What is common to both is the adherence to classic Viennese cuisine with the best produce available. So: visit both of them and report back !!

        My advice for Salzburg:
        Dinner: Take a taxi and drive to the Pfefferschiff. This is a very Salzburgian place and provides the best Austrian cuisine. If you have to stay in town I would maybe go to Goldener Hirsch or to Blaue Gans, both on Getreidegasse. These are hotel restaurants, but both have an excellent reputation for classic Salzburgian cuisine.

        For lunch the Triangel is a good option:

        Or you go to Cafe Mozart for an authentic Kaffeehaus, or to Carpe Diem for the interesting "finger food". Both are centrally located on Getreidegasse, and you need no reservation.

        1. re: Sturmi

          Thanks again. I'm leaning toward the camel over the cat tonight, since it sounds as though the camel provides the better overall experience, with good food AND atmosphere. The cat's food is very intriguing, but the room itself sounds dreary. On the other hand, having spent so much time in the first district, it might be nice to drive somewhere different.... A difficult decision. Just back from a delicious lunch at Meierei, by the way.

          1. re: Honoredb

            Good point. Go and visit the black camel, you will love the old-world / fin-de-siecle experience !

            1. re: Sturmi

              Sturmi- What is your opinion of Andreas Doellerer, outside Salzburg? Several people here in Vienna have recommended it. There appears to be a formal restaurant and a wirtshaus. I don't think we need another luxury meal (Steirereck last night was superb), but if it's a nice and intriguing place, perhaps we would go for lunch at one of the restaurants there. I'd love to know what you think.

              1. re: Honoredb

                Sorry, I have not yet been there.

                But Gault Millau Austria gives 18 points and three toques to the gourmet restaurant and 14 points and one toque to the Gasthaus Döllerer. So, if you are in the vicinity, both should be a very good choice !!

                And I would choose the wirtshaus, no question. Best value for your money !

      2. re: Sturmi

        Sturmi! I am scandalized! Get thee to Wieninger! Macht schnell!

        It really is lovely. My goal for the next visit is to have more time and hit more heuriger. Our mini-tour of Nussdorf took us to a couple of smaller, more rustic heruiger and I spied a bunch in Stammersdorf as well, but Wieninger really is a beautiful combination of rustic and homey but also more...

        (Also Zum Schwarzen Kameel is awesome... btw, my wife is working up part 1 or her two part Vienna blog piece for later this week.. But I think ZSK is going to be in part 2)

        1. re: kukubura

          I knew you would be scandalized...


          I promise to catch up on this omission !! Honestly.

          1. re: Sturmi


            Of course, who am I to talk? The list of places I've been to so far is miniscule.

      3. Hi honoredb,
        Two very good restaurants are missing from the previous comments - Gaumenspiel and Zum finsteren Stern. These are imo Vienna's best.

        Schwarzen Kameel and Plachuta are best avoided, if you ask me. Situated in the first inner city district they process tourists and have no incentive of investing in loyal repeat customers. The service and the atmosphere are meant to maximize profit, with ridiculous upmarks on the wine list.

        A very nice traditional place if you like understatement and unspoiled products that speak for themselves is Meixners Gastwirtschaft. I could kick myself for revealing this well kept secret, but you wont tell others, will you? (This is a bit of a taxi ride, though, to a rather grim part of own.)

        Salzburg is easy - there is one place that outshines all others, Esszimmer.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hblnk

          Wow, that is NOT the experience we had at Zum Schwarzen Kameel for lunch. While we're tourists we are very aware of that sort of thing and the clientele was clearly Viennese. Moreover, the server could not have been more gracious. The sandwich counter folks were a bit harried with people trying to place orders, it's true, but the guy who brought us our wine made us feel like a million bucks. I don't have a ton of experience there but based on our visit I highly recommend it.

          1. re: hblnk

            I have repeatedly recommended Gaumenspiel and Zum Finsteren Stern on this list. It seems that Honoredb was quite aware about these places and had decided not to sample their light and inventive - but not typically Viennese - cuisine.

            I do not agree with your opinion about Plachutta and Zum Schwarzen Kameel. Both are not in the "tourist trap" category, and in both restaurants actually tourists will be a minority. Both are quite expensive restaurants, this is true, but the Schwarze Kameel provides at least an authentic setup and a high-quality traditional Viennese cuisine, not a standardized chain restaurant chow like Plachutta....

            I totally agree with you about Meixner, although he is just one of dozens of original Viennese beisl, which are very popular and can be found all over town. Just look up the list I posted recently, all of these are in the same category as Meixners Gastwirtschaft !

            1. re: Sturmi

              Hello everyone - all this Vienna info is fantastic, my wife and I are going for a few days next weekend. I had a quick question about one restaurant that has not been mentioned (though maybe that is review enough). Does anyone have an opinion on the Hollman Salon? We are staying at the hotel attached to this place and the menu looked good. Any feedback about this place? Other than this place we are planning everything else from the numerous excellent posts on Vienna. Thanks to Sturmi especially.

              1. re: apicius

                Hello apicius,
                Hollmann Salon is one of the small inventive places which try to create something special out of fresh produce. We have had great dinner experiences there, but please do not expect anything comparable to other Viennese restaurants nearby: e.g. Walter Bauer is more luxury high-end, and Beim Czaak a down-to-the-earth beisl experience.

                On the other hand, the cuisine at Zum Finsteren Stern, Gaumenspiel, Zur Schwarzen Katze, Freyenstein and Martin Stein is quite comparable to what you get at Hollmann-Salon, and I would call it a "New Viennese Cuisine", but this trademark has been used before, in the 1980s, for something quite different...

                Since you stay right there I definitely recommend that you try Hollmann Salon !!


          2. We had a lovely lunch at Meinl's Restaurant. Despite being near Demels, it is not full of tourists, although we were welcomed. It is a bit formal, but that seems Viennese to us.

            Although not the real thing, the newer, bigger Figlmüller around the corner is a fine alternative; we were given a nice table in the front room for lunch without a reservation. The sweetbreads cooked like a Wiener Schnitzel were excellent.