Vienna-glorious last minut trip-need help on rest. recommendations Jan 22-feb 5 2013
Greetings from Miami, very excited to be making our first trip to Vienna. with very little time for me to do my usual research on CH I am going to beg for help on creating a short list of places not to miss. Prefer non-touristy places, local fare, high quality fresh foods are a must, truly appreciate good atmosphere with attentive staff. We are staying in the City Center at the Hollmann-Beletage and adore being on foot or places not too far to travel to. Please recommend some places for some fine dining( budget not huge concern but don't wish to break the bank if we don't have too) and also some places that are a bit more casual but with good wine selections. I appreciate all well prepare foods but hubby is not a veal eater so need to include some that have great choices on other meats.We are not big on desserts so that is not a big factor to include. Other suggestions on places for leisurely casual lunches, special pub/wine houses since we are very celebratory people that love to meet locals and share some good cheer taking in the local culture. I hope I did not run on but the more specific I can be I think you get a better idea of what we are seeking. Thank you kindly for any help you can offer.
terrific suggestions, thanks so much! I am going to start my dining itinerary by getting a reservation for Steirereck and a Sunday one for Meierei and one for Walter Bauer. Please guide me on dining times locally, don't want to be too early nor too late for my own comfort. thanks kindly again, I am taking all of your advice and putting together our dining plans and as I do I am sure I will be writing to ask for fine tuning of my list. I will check out the site suggested also. cheers!
Wein&Co is everywhere, e.g. on Stephansplatz, on Universitätsring, on Mariahilferstrasse and on Naschmarkt.
List of stores: http://www.weinco.at/filialen/alle-filialen/
They have a great selection of Austrian wines, and you always get a few "samples of the day". You can also have lunch or dinner and meet new friends at the bar...
The high end wine shop is behind St.Stephan on Stephansplatz, here you get the real high-end wines, and also high end whiskies or vinegar:
Another interesting shop is on Am Hof: The Alpe-Adria
They have not only Austrian wines, but also wines from northern Italy, Slovenian and Croatia.
And now to the low end: Similar to Italy and France you can get quite good, inexpensive wines in any supermarket (Spar, Billa, Hofer, Merkur, Penny, Lidl).
All of these have a great selection of lower price (3 to 6 Euro) Austrian wines. Some even have a Falstaff rating (Falstaff is the big Austrian gourmet magazine).
BTW: You never go wrong by buying a wine with the DAC label. These wines have undergone a strict reviewing process for origin and quality, and provide great experience at quite low cost.
In addition to Sturmi's recs I would also add Raphael's in the Naschmrkt (across from Urbanek) a very good selection of Austrian wines and a great spot for people watching.
Another of Sturmi's previous recs; the wine bar under Julius Meinl Am Graben (Graben 19). A cozy space with a good selection to try and buy.
If you want to meet locals, go to Giorgina in Bankgasse: They have really fresh, great, down to earth Viennese food, all the classics in outstanding qualitiy. The (veal) Wiener Schnitzel there is one of the best I know, but there are plenty of other meat dishes: perfectly braised "Krenfleisch" (kind of shortribs with root vegetables and horseradish) or juicy deepfried chicken. During the week at noon it can get really packed, so book a table or come after 1 pm. Its maybe a 15 minutes walk from where you stay right through the inner city, so your way to lunch can be part of your sightseeing tour.
Down at the river, five minutes from your place, is Holy Moly restaurant on the Badeschiff. Christian Petz, the chef, used to work for the Palais Coburg, one of Viennas real upscale places (the very best wine list), and now runs his own, way more casual restaurant here. You can order a la carte or a four to five course menu (around 50 euro, I think) - the crew can have a bad day, but most of the time it's great value for money. If your are lucky, you might get something special like a pigs feet, stuffed with mushrooms and sweetbreads.
I definitely second Steirereck, best food I know of in Vienna, and not expensive for what you get. Tasting menu will set you back around 130 Euro, wine paring is about the same.
I also second "forget Grinzing", but it does not have to be Stammersdorf, I think. A bit easier to reach for you would be Heuriger Muth, between Heiligenstadt and Grinzing - just take U4 and a bus. Their wine is only soso (Wieninger is hard to beat on that), but they go the extra mile with the food.
If you want to get some more infos, check out aguidethatsalwaysright.com, still work in progress, but an overview.
Hollmann Beletage is a great location. In the same building is Hollmann Salon, their restaurant. It is one of the more interesting ones and might be a great choice for dinner after arriving (closed Sunday).
Quite nearby, within 2 min walking, is Walter Bauer, now Viennas "oldest" fine dining place. Walter Bauer provides a real experience of old-world charm, presenting Viennese classics with a modern twist (closed Saturday+Sunday). Expensive. No website.
For a more modern inventive style of food I always recommend Zum Finsteren Stern, 10 min walking distance, also located in a venerable old building, the Palais Collalto, on a wonderful hidden baroque plazetta, the Schulhof (closed Sunday). Less expensive than Bauer. No website.
Other places within 5 min walking distance are Beim Czaak on Postgasse (http://www.czaak.com, simple down-to-earth beisl, food is OK but not comparable to the first three places), or Figlmüller on Bäckerstrasse (a touristy place, presenting the best known "Wiener Schnitzel", although is NOT a Wiener Schnitzel, since it is made from pork. But maybe this is exactly the one for the non-veal eater !!).
If you want the best in town you have to get in time a reservation for Steirereck. Very expensive and closed Saturday and Sunday. But their cuisine made number 11 in the list of the Worlds Best !
Their basement restaurant Meierei is open every day, and I always recommend Meierei as the only reasonable place to go for Sunday lunch or dinner ! Their kitchen is the same as the one of Steirereck in the first floor, but the cuisine is basic Viennese, not high-end Steiereck !! Goldilocks today wrote that they rated "Meierei higher than Sturmi", and I would stress that this is a misunderstanding !! I just wrote that Meierei and Steiereck are not in the same class, since they do not share the same menu !! Our family loves Meierei, and we have had many family celebrations there (and in Steirereck as well)...
If you are interested in some ethnic food: 5 min away there is a great non-touristy Italian on Biberstrasse, corner Wiesingerstrasse, the Xpedit. They offer authentic Ligurian cuisine in a ground floor loft. Low price, good quality, very noisy. Closed Sunday. http://www.xpedit.at
Raetus Wetter used to be the chef there, but he has now his own place on Yppenplatz, quite some distance away...
For cakes and pastries Demel is a must. Other great pastry shops are Heiner or Gerstner and the Aida chain.
Wine bars are very popular and a great way to meet new friends. The Wein&Co bar on Stephansplatz, the Meinl am Graben wine bar in their basement and Unger&Klein am Rudolfsplatz are within 5 to 10 minutes from your hotel, but there are many other small wine bars sprouting up everywhere, e.g. the one at Postgasse 11, just 2 min from your hotel: http://www.postgasse11.at
Finally do not forget to visit a heurigen. Forget Grinzing, take the tram to Stammersdorf and visit either Wieninger or just take the chance and drop in to any of the many others, one is always open. The link will show you todays openings: