Vienna Restaurants

Old Jan 28th, 2017, 10:37 AM
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Vienna Restaurants

My husband and I are planning a two week vacation to Prague, Vienna and Budapest at the end of May. I like to research restaurants before we go to optimize our experience and because we love food.
I would like to get some recommendations regarding restaurants in Vienna--we like interesting food, moderate to splurge level. We have traveled to France and Italy more than a few times and love the food there. I am more unfamiliar with the type of cuisine in Vienna--I am sure I will try wienerschnitzel but would like to go beyond that and would appreciate some information.
In researching the boards, I see that Steirereck is famous (albeit expensive)--is it a must do? Is somewhere else great? I also saw some recommendations for Zum Weissen Rauchfangkehrer, Griechenbeisel, Restaurant Zum Stoger and Cantinette Antinori, which is Italian.
We will be there for four nights.
Also, what is the popular dining time?
Thanks
drkathej is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2017, 12:13 PM
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Just back from Vienna. Click on my name and you can see my post called Multi-generational travel to Salzburg and Vienna where I provide some info on dining in Vienna--both with children and without. I did not mention it in that post but we dined also at Zum Weissen Rauchfangkehrer, as we have also on previous trips. It's good and fun but perhaps a bit pricier than others of similar value. Griechenbeisel is a very chopped up restaurant with small rooms (as is Weissen Rauchfangkehrer) but quintessentially cute Austrian decor. Cantinetta Antinori is good but not unique to Vienna in any way.

Steirereck is over the top in many ways--price, decor, and food. I've dined in several 3 Michelin starred restaurants and don't count it among my favorites. Decor is tastefully understated and quite beautiful but it's too stuffy for my taste. They seem to be trying too hard. They provided us a one paragraph card with each course describing in detail all the ingredients and preparation. The waiter wore white gloves to serve us bread. I prefer more warmth and less standoffishness in service.

I highly recommend Umar Fisk in the Naschmarkt. Being in the Naschmarkt it's not fancy but it has wonderful oysters and other very fresh fish dishes. Top drawer.

As my other post says, we really enjoyed ef16 and Shiki. Cafe Landtmann was excellent (eat in the main part of the cafe, not the glassed in entry way) as was Meinl am Graben. Don't miss popping into Trznewski just off the Graben for a tiny open-faced sandwich and a Pfiff, a 1/8 liter tiny stein of beer.
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Old Jan 28th, 2017, 11:49 PM
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We live in Vienna, have visited Prague more than a half dozen times, and love to eat good food across all budgets.

In Vienna, one can generally never go wrong with the "usual suspects" in restaurants for traditional Viennese cuisine in an upscale (translation: €€€): Plachutta, Steirereck, Griechenbeisl, Zum Schwarzen Kameel and so forth. For traditional Styrian cuisine (especially the Backhendl) we head to Stomach. When we seek a more authentic and local Viennese experience, it's to a heuriger with friends we go. And, though this is just our opinion, we'll take a heuriger evening (of Brettljause and the house Veltliner) over a white-linen dinner anytime. For a taste of "Pannonian" cuisine (that of the Danube area between Hungary and Austria) without leaving Vienna, Reinprechtsstüberl, is a suggestion.

If you should tire of Schnitzel and Tafelspitz while visiting Vienna, Kornat and Dalmatia offer exceptional Croatian/Mediterranean cuisine, at least in our opinion. We have yet to find Italian that rises to any special level other than for a very casual place near Opera, so I can not offer suggestions in this regard.

As for Prague, we have had memorable dining experiences twice at both Casserol and Deer. I would recommend reservations for both restaurants. The cuisine is "modern" Czech, and the menu changes with the seasons. Most recently, as in last weekend, our entrees at Deer included Wild Boar Knuckle with Black Garlic Sauce that was nothing at all like the traditional giant pork knee on a wooden platter; and a Venison Leg with Juniper Sauce that was almost a work of art.

I hope this is helpful.
fourfortravel is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2017, 03:18 AM
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I was sad to learn that our favorite non-traditional Viennese restaurant, Kussmaul, has closed its venue in the Spittelberg neighborhood. We ate there (on the casual side) several times last year.

I know they've re-opened in another part of town, but the menu is quite different. There is a new restaurant (http://www.das-spittelberg.at )in their old space, we might give it a try next time, but even so...

Kussmaul's lighter meals, served in their informal section, were delicious and perfect for anyone who liked lighter versions of Austrian cuisine. Their desserts were fantastic modern updates of traditional Viennese delights. Really sorry the original restaurant is no more
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for the helpful advice. I have a bit more confidence in the restaurants I was considering and have a few new ones to look over.
Also, thanks for the Prague recommendations--I will definitely try to go to Casserol. I looked up Deer but was having some difficulties--I believe it is a game restaurant(?) which is okay with me. We love venison.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 10:12 AM
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Deer is a very new restaurant; I believe they opened only in December and so far only have a presence on FB. The restaurant is inside the Iron Gates Hotel and Suites. The menu is seasonal and is not entirely game, though I do not recall if they offer a vegetarian menu.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 02:05 PM
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This restaurant is a little different if it still specializes in food from Styria

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/austria.../403850/358656
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 02:21 PM
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Before I went to Vienna I read a Viennese cookbook. It was really helpful. My favorite food in Vienna is goulash, especially goulash with an egg in it. After that, I enjoyed eating dessert, and reading the cookbook was a great help in realizing there is more to Viennese life than strudel, schnitzel and Sacher. Something else I really enjoyed were Viennese sausages, especially the nice long pink ones, which are tastier than what you generally find in the US. I realize that I am not touching on any high end restaraunt experiences, or even middle-range restaurant experiences but I think if I went back to Vienna I'd spend all my time eating the things i mentioned, and maybe some fried chicken, which is also nice in Vienna.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 04:52 AM
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Michael, great minds think alike. I mentioned Stomach in an earlier response. Though the menu is not exclusively Styrian, there are several specialties offered alongside some Viennese cuisine.

frencharmoire, like you, I spend time reading cookbooks before I travel, and just in general, really. When you next visit Vienna, the goulash with the egg on top is called Fiaker Goulash, a Viennese riff on the Hungarian classic. The long pink sausages are called Sächerwürstel. I like them not only for the taste, but also because the casing is thin. The fried chicken is Backhendl, a traditional dish from the state of Styria, and is one of my favorites.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 02:15 PM
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Thanks for the language lesson! I am sure my Viennese cookbook has the correct names, but I confess I was too lazy to go get the book and look it up before typing here. I'm sure other people will benefit from knowing what the names are on the menus. The cookbook I have is very much geared toward the home cook, and I think that is perhaps why I ended up not going to any upscale or modern restaurants in Vienna. Reading the cookbook I became too curious to try simple Viennese dishes like cucumber salads or clear soups. (They are lovely too.) But I admit my favorite thing to eat in Vienna was the pastries plus Turkish coffee. Maybe someday it will be possible to get Turkish coffee in the US. For me, it is the queen of coffees.
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