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Berlin, Viena, Prague, and Budapest- Sept 2014

We were supposed to go to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest 3 years ago, but had to cancel for medical reasons. We are now going this September. At the time we were eating at the following places:

In Vienna:

Steireck im Stadtpark
Fabious
Sosaku (lunch)
Da Capo (lunch)
Do & Co

Budapest
Comme Chez Soi
Faustos
Aranykaviar (lunch)
Baraka (lunch)
Costes

Prague:

Kampa Park
La Finestra
Bellveue
V Zatisi

Berlin--We were not going there but our hotel concierge recommended:

Brasserie Amgendarme
Rutz Weinbar
Vau
reinstoff
Il Punto

Can anyone give us an idea if these restaurants are still good and worth the trip? If not, any other recommendations?

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  1. I'd forego the Brasserie. Rutz is great.

    Are you only looking into fine dining places or are there other cuisines/types of cooking you're interested in?

    Perhaps check out some of the older Berlin threads for inspiration.

    I'd *never* listen to a hotel concierge for any culinary advice, but that's just me '-)

    1. I would say mostly fine dining, but we're open to great food that's not necessarily at the finest restaurants. We do need places that have good cooked fish since one of us doesn't eat meat.

      3 Replies
      1. re: briscopa

        Fischer's Fritz would be perfect, then. 2 Michelin stars to boot.

        1. re: briscopa

          I had a very nice meal (with a couple of excellent fish courses) at Horvath the last time I was in Berlin - you might have a look at that menu. Lingua, have you been there?

          1. re: biondanonima

            Oh yeah, Horvath is very nice as well. A bit off the beaten track (depending on where one is staying in the city).

            Facil comes to mind, too, but Fischer's Fritz specializes in fish and seafood, so I think the OP would really dig it. Money doesn't seem to be an issue after all :-)

        2. Regarding Vienna:
          This is quite an eclectic list.
          Seems you know what you want, so: come and enjoy !

          8 Replies
          1. re: Sturmi

            Sturmi,

            After reading your reply to this and other posts, I have settled on Vestibul, Rudi's Beisl and Steirereck for our dinners. We are going to the Opera on Sat Sept 6th. Are either of the first two near the Opera and would they serve us in enough time to make the Opera? Should we go to Da Capo for lunch, as well as Konstantin Filippos? Are these t wo places too heavy of a meal considering where we will be having our dinners?

            Thanks.

            1. re: briscopa

              Vestibül, Rudis Beisl and Steiereck are quite a distance from the opera. So you might not get in time to the opera if you dine there…

              (BTW: these three are each a different class of restaurant, not to be compared at all !)

              There are quite a few interesting places close to the Staatsoper:

              Restaurant Anna Sacher or the Rote Bar at Sacher for high-end dining, before or AFTER the performance.
              http://www.sacher.com/hotel-sacher-wi...

              Gasthaus Plachutta for Austrian cuisine with the flair of a restaurant chain. Not that bad, but nothing special…
              http://www.plachutta.at/en/gasthaus_z...

              The Guest House Brasserie in Führichgasse, quite an interesting hotel restaurant very close to the opera:
              http://www.theguesthouse.at/dining-en...

              And Do&Co Albertina, a lounge type museum cafeteria with Viennese and international food(currently closed for renovation):
              http://www.doco.com/en/restaurants/do...

              You should require from each place whether they can offer you a dinner in time before the opera starts !

              Da Capo is just another neighborhood pizzeria. Definitely nothing worth a detour. I do not know how you got this hint, maybe from someone despairing in front of a Wiener Schnitzel or a Tafelspitz ?

              Fabios is the high-end version of Da Capo: a watering hole for the local chic and trendy, but their cuisine is a poor adaptation of the real thing.

              Konstantin Filippou, OTOH, is maybe currently the best restaurant in town, open fur lunch and dinner, with a different menu for each, and heavily booked in advance. Their price/performance ratio is still better than at any other high-end place in Vienna, and they have fewer tables than Steirereck or Palais Coburg.
              But you have to take a tasting menue for the whole table, and for dinner the only choice is whether to take four or six courses ! Of course you may swithc some of the courses between menu1 and menu 2, but you will need some time for this dinner, no question !
              The business lunch is 19.- Euro for two courses only, but you might regret if you are restricted to just two dishes...

              1. re: Sturmi

                Hi Sturmi, sorry to barge in on an older post. I had submitted a lunch reservation for Konstantin for when I will be in Vienna August 29- Sept. 1. Unfortunately, they are closed until the 1st (I leave the next day). Would you recommend something non-traditional that I shouldn't miss? I didn't want to spend that much for lunch, so anything less than $40 (single diner, no drinks needed) will do. Thanks!

                1. re: smaointe

                  Lunch is easy: just drop in to one of the many Kaffeehäuser and get the dish of the day !

                  For something less traditional go to Hollmann Salon:
                  http://www.hollmann-salon.at/en

                2. re: Sturmi

                  One more thing. In trying to decide where to go for traditional Viennese cuisine (I'm trying to narrow my list to one, maybe two places), how would you order these in preference?
                  -Phoenixhof
                  -Glacis Beisl
                  -Gasthaus Poschl
                  -Gastwirtschaft Schilling

                  1. re: smaointe

                    Gasthaus Pöschl, for food, ambiente AND location, but you need a reservation for "busy hours", such as noontime !
                    OTOH: Open everyday noon to midnight, and you can have lunch or dinner a 4 or 5 p.m. !
                    http://www.falter.at/web/wwei/detail/...
                    Very nice in their outdoor dining area on Franziskanerplatz…
                    http://www.wien.info/en/shopping-wini...

                    1. re: smaointe

                      Phoenixhof is a neighbourhood joint, great food, but limited atmosphere and the service is a bit gruff. The reason to go here is if you find yourself near by and are hungry, but it's not a destination place IMO. I tend to stay in this part of central Vienna so I do dine there quite often.

                      Glacis Beisl is perfect if you can get a seat outside in the summer garden, the food is very good, the service attentive but if you're inside the restaurant at that time of year (and it's not raining) you'll be disappointed.

                      I'm not familiar with the other two but Sturmi is.

              2. hi briscopa

                Although it is not entirely clear what you expect from restaurants in general, I would make some substitutions, based on one guest eating fish only.

                In Vienna I suggest you drop Fabio (pretentious expensive fake italian) and Sosaku (imitation japanese and heavy smoking). Substitute by Konstantin Fillipou (top but cannot be combined with opera though) and Mochi (honest japanese fusion bar with great outdoor seating)

                In Budapest eliminate Fausto (average italian with very high prices) and Comme chez Soi, and replace with Onyx and Csalogany 26. (If you crave fish in Budapest you could go to the local Nobu, but the loudness of the music and macho attitude of some staff are just obscene.)

                In Prague I would forget about Kampa (mostly a location, rather than a cuisine) and V Zatisi, and rather go for dinner to Sansho (fusion tasting menu) or simple lunch at Cafe Louvre.

                In Berlin Vau, Rutz and Reinstoff were always my favorites but I could not check on new developments since four years or so.

                Enjoy and report back

                2 Replies
                1. re: hblnk

                  Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. We don't need a high end most expensive meal every night, but do want to try one or two in each place. We will definitely report back when we return.

                  1. re: briscopa

                    If you want decent not overpriced Viennese food you might enjoy lunching or dining at a new place owned and operated by the Huth family: the Stadtgasthaus Huth in Weihburggasse.
                    http://www.zum-huth.at

                    This is an old and venerable location, where we celebrated our engagement to marry with our parents in 1976, when it was still the Restaurant Stadtkrug. Half a dozen other restaurants failed at this place in the last 38 years, but it seems that with the Huth family they have regained popularity as well as steady customers. Recommended for lunch and dining at less than high-end price levels !

                2. We ate in Vienna's Steiereck once, several years ago. On the night we were there, we were not pleased with the food.
                  In Prague you should not miss Sansho, an Asian-fusion restaurant. I hate fusion cooking, but Sansho was something else entirely. It's basically a no-choice menu, 4 small plates and a larger, main course. They will take account of diet restrictions.
                  In Budapest you should really try to get into Borkonya Wine Bar. But you must reserve, since they now have a Michelin star. When we were in Budapest recently, we couldn't get in.

                  1. Prague:

                    Kampa Park
                    La Finestra
                    Bellveue
                    V Zatisi

                    //La Finestra is always great, they recently renewed their menu again

                    V Zatisi stably delivers quality food

                    Bellevue and Kampa Park were going doing the hill for a long long time. I wouldn't go there.

                    For fine dining best restaurant in Prague is Boheme Bourgeoise: http://www.ladegustation.cz/en/ -classic Czech cuisine of the first Republic with a modern twist, impeccable service and Michelin star :) it is a bit more expensive than your other options, though.

                    Alcron in Radisson is another option-great food, and their interior is really beautiful.

                    Maybe try to consider: Divinis (from Czech culinary star chef Zdenek Pohlreich)-they have awesome seasonal menus. I like Sansho as well- but it is Asian (not sure if you would fancy Asian in Prague).

                    Mandarin hotel hosts really nice restaurant under its roof: Essensia. Their concept is similar to V Zatisi- Czech and Asian Fusion menu. Great Czech wines selection.

                    Finestra has sister in not so-central neighbourhood near Namesti Miru (still quite close to the centre)- and it's been my all time favourite restaurant in Prague- Aromi. I personally would choose it over Finestra.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mauved

                      Agreed on Bellevue and Kampa Park. Both of these places are quite touristy. (Bellevue has a great view and you pay a premium for that.) For proper value, you should look elsewhere. We were not happy with V Zatisi the last times we were there, either. Nothing wrong with the food. We just though it lacked that something special.

                      Absolutely agree with La Degustation. The best restaurant in town in our view. Fun, not stuffy for a Michelin star. What many travelers miss is that it is really based on old Czech cuisine. They take the 1894 Czech cookbook by Marie Svobodova (a Czech Julia Child before there was Julia Child - they are out of print and old prints cost USD 700 and up) and then they create something modern out of it.

                      Aromi and La Finestra are both great. Sansho is fantastic, too: Paul Day (used to work at Nobu in London) has invested heavily into an organic meat farm in the Czech Rep. and creates great Asian-inspired dishes with the meat (but not only Asian dishes: a guest on our food tours from Texas said the taco we served him there was the best he has ever had). They will open a new nose-to-tail place called Maso a kobliha (Meat and Doghnuts) in about three weeks.

                      For good Czech cuisine, definitely try Cestr. Forget about the steaks and have the slow-cooked beef, the freshwater fish, the chicken with the truffle stuffing, their milk mash and the appetizers. We think it is the best Czech restaurant in the centre.

                      Enjoy!
                      Jan

                    2. In Budapest, check out Pesti Disznó and Borkonhya.