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Jul 8, 2013 11:06 AM

Zwolf Apostellen and others in Vienna?

Hello Vienna chowhounds

I will be travelling to Vienna in August and have read all of the posts about restaurants there. I was last there 30 years ago. At the time I was a student and we went to the 12 Apostellen for an evening.. I found it very atmospheric but am interested that this and other such venues are not commented on in any posts on Vienna. Are these just tourist traps or are they worth a return visit for an evening of wine? If so, any special recommendations?

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  1. The Zwölfapostelkeller is still was it was 30 years ago: a subterranean heurigen with a lot of inexpensive food items and - bottled - beer as well as wine by the glass and by the bottle (not that inexpensive). You might be surprised how little has changed there over the years...

    30 years ago Vienna was a quiet, unexciting and quite drab town. A lot has changed since, and today there are hundreds of restaurants which provide better food and beverages at the same price levels. For sampling wine there are better places, and in August it is so much nicer to sit outside in the open !!

    13 Replies
    1. re: Sturmi


      I really respect your opinions and reviews about Vienna. So I think you are saying, don't go here. I am with 8 Americans, we are all staying around the Innere Stadt , I would like to have a great traditional Viennese meal with Wiener Schnitzel as a choice on the menu in an atmospheric locale. Not pork schnitzel. We are all going to be jet lagged; what would you recommend?

      1. re: Toronto59

        Thank you very much for this very important - and quite difficult to answer - question !

        A "real" Wiener Schnitzel is made from veal, not pork, and fried in a pan, not in a fritter.

        The local "King of Wiener Schnitzel", Figlmüller, fries all his Schnitzel in a pan, and you can order a "Wiener Schnitzel vom Kalb" in order to get a real WS.

        But OTOH you will feel a little bit cramped and surrounded by tourists, so you might prefer other places:

        Gasthaus Pöschl on Weihburggasse is mainly frequented by locals, and Pöschl serves a decent WS made from veal. I am not so sure he makes it in a pan, but is quite yummy. I even prefer his "Naturschnitzel", a veal schnitzel without any breading, served with gravy and rice.

        But why not the best ??

        Steirereck is considered by some to be one of the 10 best restaurants in the world. And they have a lower cost - classic Viennese cuisine only - outlet, the Meierei im Steirereck. There you can get a real WS, as it should be, and also enjoy a great view over the Stadtpark !!

        1. re: Sturmi

          Hi Sturmi

          A few more questions for you on this topic. My American acquaintances are staying at the Hotel de France and we are staying at the Steigenberger Herrenhof. I have agreed to pick a traditional Viennese restaurant for all of us. However, i don't know their tastes well, so would like to have a menu that has a fair variety of food, including fish. They have requested something within walking distance of their hotel, which is really only ten minutes from ours. Leupolds Kupferdachl seems like it would work. Do you have an opinion on this restaurant? Also, perhaps something with a garden would be nice at this time of year. Any thoughts? Lastly, if we were to go to Gasthaus Poschl, would a table for eight be a problem?

          1. re: Toronto59

            Leupolds Kupferdachl is a nice restaurant, it has a large menu of classic Viennese dishes and might be a good introduction. A table for 8 is no problem.

            Gasthaus Pöschl is no problem for eight in their outdoor dining area on the picturesque barocque Franziskanerplatz. Reservation of course a must ! And if there is rain, you might feel a little bit cramped inside the restaurant...

            Other choices: you could book a table for 8 at the terrace of Cafe Landtmann, which is also within walking distance, and find that this cafe has quite a selection of Viennese classics.

            For a more upscale dining experience I would recommend the Vestibül in the Burgtheater building, also with a nice outdoor setup facing the Rathaus.

            Another outdoor dining area with great Viennese food is at Judenplatz: Zum Scherer.
            Sitting on this venerable old place you can get a real authentic Viennese dinner.

            Just around the corner is Zum Finsteren Stern, also with a very authentic ambiente for its outdoor dining. The food is a modern variation of Austrian food, really excellent, but you might miss a WIener Schnitzel or Tafelspitz...

            1. re: Sturmi

              Sturmi, thank you for your help so far. I have researched the restaurants you have suggested and some others you have mentioned in previous threads. I've narrowed down my choices based on menus I could find on the net; whether the restaurant has a nice Schanigarten; and whether it is within a reasonable walking distance from our hotels. Here is my short list:
              -Ofenloch. Good menu, walking distance, small schanigarten. Good reviews.
              -Gasthaus Pfudl. Varied menu, nice schanigarten, good reviews, walking distance.
              -Gasthaus Poeschl. No menu posted on web, probably changes too often to do so, maybe a bit small if we don't sit outside, very good reviews
              -Leupold's Kupferdachl. Good menu but somewhat expensive for what it is, has a terrace on the square, close by.

              What are your thoughts/rankings of these restos? We will be in Vienna next week so want to make advance reservations.

              1. re: Toronto59

                Nice collection of typical Viennese places. Reservation in advance not really necessary, with the exception of Gasthaus Pöschl, which is the most popular of these four.

                Close by to Ofenloch is also Zum Finsteren Stern and Zum Scherer, both with nice Schanigarten outdoor areas.

                I would prefer Gasthaus Pöschl and Zum Finsteren Stern over the rest...

                (No wonder these two have no website: they do not need one to be full every day !!)

                1. re: Sturmi

                  I cannot claim the in depth knowledge that Sturmi has of Vienna restaurants but did want to mention that we had a delicious meal and very much enjoyed the ambiance of Zum Finsteren Stern when we were there earlier this year. Note that, in addition to not having a website, they don't have a sign with their name on the exterior of the restaurant, nor even a street number on the door. We only found it by asking at a shopkeeper down the street, after circling the block 3 times looking for it.

                  1. re: Sturmi

                    Sturmi, I will be in Vienna later this month, and I'm looking for a casual place for wursts with all the traditional sides. I'm staying in the Innere Stadt. What restaurants can you recommend nearby? Thanks in advance!

                    1. re: amyfood

                      Wurst is definitely street food, sold at kiosks all over town, and very few restaurants serve wurst. The most famous kiosk is the one between Albertina and state opera: Bitzinger

                      OTOH you will get a decent Wiener in every Kaffeehaus !
                      But do not ask for a Wiener, ask for a Frankfurter or its high-end version, the Sacherwürstl !!

                      1. re: Sturmi

                        I'm looking for weisswurst (even though I've read that they're mostly served before noon) or other white sausages rather than the typical Frankfurter. Is there a different name for them? Would a pub or biergarten serve those?

                        1. re: amyfood

                          Weisswurst is not a Viennese specialty...

                          You should go to Munich for good weisswurst !

                          1. re: Sturmi

                            I looked and found a few places where decent weisswurst is served in Vienna:

                            The best place for a weisswurst again will be a Kaffeehaus: the Cafe Engländer:

                            And yes, there is also a decent beer garden serving Weisswurst and other kinds of wurst, and "real" Budweiser beer (imported from České Budějovice):