Hi, guys, hope you’re enjoying yourself whereever you are at present!
My mother-in-law happens to be in my rusty German: eine echter Wienerin=> a true Viennese. And having a family home in the heart of the city made it possible for me explore this charming and at times, not such a charming city. I’ve enjoyed finding out about local stuff & the things one can do whilst being in Vienna and for me, at the top of this list are: food, foodie explorations & eating out with friends and loved ones.
Vienna has a lot to offer in this respect and not only in the area of sweets and cakes… The first time I came to Austria I was impressed by the variety of sweet dishes on offer but as I came back every time I discovered new savoury dishes that are well worth trying out.
Vienna is full of shops and the city centre is full of old stuff and antiques, which is not my thing really… Yes, Vienna is a very touristy place and the prices in the centre are quite high, on the side of exaggerated, in fact, I rarely do any shopping here apart from spending loads on good food!
So I’ve decided to put a little bit of information about particular places I love coming back to and, being a foodie, I like to try out new stuff too, so I am very happy to hear from everyone with their own tips as well, yes, please 🙂
Firstly, a visit to Vienna needs to include a visit to one of the cafes:
Cafe Central, Cafe Mozart or the one on my street: Café Demel, the sugar window displays are always entertaining, but, unfortunately, the treats don’t taste as good as they look, I don’t recommend the cakes at Demel – they are far too sweet, but the interior of the cafe is lovely, so you could pop in for a quick Wiener Melange or an Eiskaffee to check it out. http://www.demel.at/en/index_en_flash.htm
And here are some places that I would recommend to you, fellow foodies, if you are a first time visitor or if you happen to visit the city of Vienna:
Zum Schwarzen Kameel , one of my favourite spots where locals hang out too, I prefer staying in the bar area, where you can enjoy the atmosphere & watch the crowd, get some nibbles- tartines and a glass of wine, only it can get very busy at times & smoky… So many people still smoke in Vienna, so if you’re a smoker, you’re in, if you are not a smoker, like myself, well, tough luck, you might find someone puffing a cigar in your face! By the way, avoid tourist trap restaurant ‘Figlmuller’, advertised as serving the best Schnitzel in town, instead try a Viennese schnitzel at ‘Zum Schwarzen Kameel or Plachutta, they do a great job! http://www.kameel.at/en_index.php
I try to avoid big hotel/hotel restaurants, but this one has special location & vibe:
Do&Co has an Onyx bar and a restaurant serving Thai / oriental and continental food: in the summer, book a place on a ‘terrazza’ with a view over St Stephan’s square: http://www.doco.com/english/index_hotel_eng.htm
Procacci bar / restaurant, close to Stephan’s dome, a fun place to stop for a drink or Italian flavours infused dinner or lunch: http://www.procacci1885.it/
Fabios trendy bar & restaurant, considered offering the best Italian in town , attracting crème de la crème of Viennese society…People watching is fun and Yes, it’s great food, though, prepare to cash out! http://fabios.at/en/fabios-restaurant-bar-vienna.html
Practically, few steps from Fabios, you will find the famous store:
Meinl am Graben local & fine foods store, pricy but fun to walk around, in particular, I love their upstairs bakery, get a Laugen Crouissant , a lighter version of a classic croissant made with special butter, a breakfast treat I enjoy with D’Arbo 70% fruit jams, strawberry or classic marillen , oh, so tasty Austrians apricots! Visiting Meinl, you can also enjoy a lovely Turkish coffee at the downstairs cafe’ or savour traditional dishes in the formal upstairs restaurant, I recommend booking a table overlooking the main central pretty pedestrian street of Graben. http://www.meinlamgraben.at/meinl.aspx?target=106763
Sacher Hotel, coffee shops /bar/ chocolate spa: http://www.sacher.com Sure to be on each visitor’s destination’s list & an institution, quite like the ‘Tea at the Ritz’ in London, a visit to the legendary Sacher is a must: only I would recommend getting a Punshe törtchen, little rum cake with whipped cream, it’s delish and in my opinion much lovelier than the usual Sacher torte, which you must try in any case! If you are visiting during winter months, the bar of the Sacher hotel serves a really nice Glühwein / Mulled wine. The spa upstairs is considered the best one in Vienna, offering overpriced chocolate based treatments, no swimming pool, but the salt & herbal steam rooms can be rather relaxing during the long winter months!
Hollmann Salon: Excellent place for breakfast/branches, book for Saturday am. Sat. breakfast till 2pm, lunch, dinners, Sunday closed. http://www.hollmann-salon.at/en/speisekarte.htm
Steirereck, a kind of top Gordon Ramsay’s of Vienna, rated as the best restaurant in town, preparing traditional dishes (Great Cheese trolley!), it is located in the Stadtpark. You might like a walk & get a coffee and a pastry at the less formal part of the restaurant, café Meierei… http://www.steirereck.at/en/
Plachutta, traditional stuff and Excellent for steaks n meat dishes! In winter, I particularly enjoy their Tafelspitz, boiled beef in the tasty broth, served with various veg and rosti potatoes… The one I like to go to is on Wollzeile 38, 1010 Vienna: +43 1 5121577 http://www.plachutta.at/en/home/
RedRoom: Just around the corner from Plachutta, there is the ‘Red Room’ cocktail bar and a disco club, which often plays music of the 90s music, it’s small but it’s neat. http://www.comida.at/redroom/
Naschmarkt: Vienna’s most popular market, touristy, but definitely, worth a visit: http://naschmarkt-vienna.com/ Also a popular place to have your sushi or Vietnamese.
Haas Haas on Stefan’s square is a great place to buy some teas, which you can take back home with you! Funny enough, English Earl Grey and Golden Assam Melange are great choices! And I love their selection of Green, Blue and White teas with exotic fruits flowers’n flavours… You could try a blue tea / oolong with goji berries… http://www.haas-haas.at/
Würstelstand: Your visit to Vienna is incomplete without a late night stop at one of the sausage stands, they are served with pickles and wholesome hearty rye bread, one of the best stands is the one next to the Opera house – Würstelstand Zur Oper!
Hope you find this useful! I will add to this list as I keep exploring 🙂 … Enjoy your day & more to come later with my foodie adventures in other cities like Milano & London,