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Dec 10, 2012 01:48 AM

Vienna when you can't get a reservation (ie. New Years)

Hello, Chowhounds!

My partner and I have decided rather last minute to spend New Years in Vienna. Miraculously, we found accommodation (thank you, airbnb!), and are now wondering where we should eat. We've given up on the idea of getting reservations anywhere for dinner on New Years Eve, but were wondering about a late lunch on the 31st, or a brunch on the 1st. (This would also help with our budget.) We're in town from early in the morning of the 31st to mid-morning on the 2nd.

Any suggestions for either of those meals, or for interesting street food to look out for on NYE? (Or to avoid?!) I'm American, but currently doing research in Ukraine, and he's German, so we're pretty experienced when it comes to Central/East European cuisine. That said, we'd probably prefer local flavor. (If that local flavor includes great offerings from immigrant communities, that's wonderful, too, but we'd probably like at least one meal to be more traditional.)

Many thanks, and please feel free to refer me to past threads if this question has been asked and answered in recent months.

-- Deborah --

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  1. Tricky question...
    Lunch for Dec 31 and brunch for Jan 1 are not easy. Most places will be closed. If you do not want to eat at a major hotel the best choice will be a Kaffeehaus. Most of the Kaffeehäuser will be open, and will serve decent lunches !! You might even try without a reservation, best after 2 p.m.

    At which hotel or pension do you stay ?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sturmi

      Sturmi, I was hoping you'd reply! I've read some of the other threats, and feel so lucky to have posters like you on this board.

      Sampling a number of Kaffeehäuser sounds like a great plan. We're staying quite near Schloss Belvedere, I believe, but arriving by train at Westbahnhof around 6:30 a.m. on the 31st! (We're actually meeting up in Krakow and then taking the train to Vienna before continuing on to Munich -- not bad for a girl from Michigan!) It's a tiny guesthouse (really, someone's home that they've fixed up as a little bed and breakfast), so rather than disturb our hosts at that hour, I think we might leave our bags, put on our mittens, and take in a wintery sunrise, hopefully over coffee! There isn't much light at this time of year; we might as well take advantage of it. We'll probably get our bags in the afternoon and then take a rest before following the Silversterpfad like the tourists we are.

      We're pretty hardy travelers and love just walking all over unfamiliar cities. If you have any tips regarding an early morning walk, perhaps passing by some particularly good Kaffeehäuser, please let me know. I'm looking at some of your past posts, and see that you have recommended the following at various times:


      We'll have to plan our next trip to Vienna at a less chaotic time so we can sample your beloved Rudis Beisl.

      Thanks again,


      1. re: lemonfaire

        Walking through the city will be quite an experience ! There will be a lot of preparation for the "Silvesterpfad", the giant street party taking place on New Years Eve. There will be thousands of tourists in town, and the atmosphere will be great. All of the cafes in your lists are recommended, with the addition of Cafe Engländer, Cafe Frauenhuber, Cafe Markusplatz, Cafe Korb, Konditorei Heiner and all the cafes of the Aida chain. Most of them will open between 7 a.m. (Aida) and 8 a.m., but if you are looking for an earlier breakfast go to Cafe Drechsler on Naschmarkt, which opens at 7:30 a.m. Monday to Thursday, but at 3 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday !!

        Quite close to your bed-and-breakfast is the Restaurant Sperl on Karolinengasse. This authentic Viennese beisl is less fashionable than Rudi´s Beisl but still offers a great variation of Viennese cuisine and is open every day between 10:30 a.m. and 10 p.m..

        Just phone them right know to learn if they have closed any days during the holiday season !

        1. re: Sturmi

          Thank you so much for all these tips! It looks like we'll be eating well -- my diet starts in February. ;-)

          I'll be certain to report back for my fellow 'hounds.