Vienna Restaurants

Vienna has tried hard to shed its image of a town locked in the 19th century, and nowhere is that more evident than in the kitchens of the top-notch Austrian chefs who dominate the culinary scene here. They have turned dining from a mittel-europäisch sloshfest of Schweinsbraten, Knödeln, and Kraut (pork, dumplings, and cabbage), into an exquisite feast of international flavors.

No one denies that such courtly delights as Tafelspitz—the blush-pink boiled beef famed as Emperor Franz Josef's favorite dish—is delicious, but these traditional carb-loaded meals tend to leave you stuck to your seat like a suction cup.

The dining scene of today's Vienna has transformed itself, thanks in part to a new generation of chefs, such as Heinz Reitbauer Jr. and celebrity-chef Christian Petz, who've worked hard to establish an international brand of Viennese cooking known as Neue Wiener Küche (New Vienna cuisine). They have stepped onto the stage, front and center, to create signature dishes, such as fish soup with red curry, which have rocketed to fame; they have fan clubs, host television shows, and publish top-selling cookbooks, such as Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna; there are star Austrian chefs the way there are in New York and Hollywood, and these chefs want to delight an audience hungry for change.

Schmaltzy schnitzels have been replaced by prized Styrian beef—organic meat from local, farm-raised cattle—while soggy Nockerl (small dumplings) are traded in for seasonal delights like Carinthian asparagus, Styrian wild garlic, or the zingy taste of common garden stinging nettle. Wisely, Vienna has also warmly welcomed into its kitchens chefs from around the world, who give exotic twists to old favorites.

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  • 1. Balthasar

    $ | 2nd District/Leopoldstadt | Café

    One of Vienna's most popular third-wave coffeehouses brews and lives up to its hype and long lines with exceptional coffee, stylish decor, delicious...Read More

  • 2. Café Central

    $ | 1st District | Café

    Made famous by its illustrious guests, the Café Central is one of the most famous cafés in all of Vienna. The soaring ceiling and gigantic columns...Read More

  • 3. Café Landtmann

    $ | 9th District/Alsergrund | Café

    Opened in 1873, this legendary coffeehouse boasts an elegant interior and a guest list that includes regulars like Freud, Mahler, Kalman, Marlene...Read More

  • 4. Café Landtmann

    $ | 1st District | Café

    A favorite of politicians and theater stars (the Burg is next door, the Rathaus across the street) since 1873, this was Sigmund Freud's favorite...Read More

  • 5. Café Sacher

    $ | 1st District | Café

    Arguably the most famous café in Vienna, it is the home of the legendary Sachertorte, a dense chocolate torte with fresh aprioct jam in the...Read More

  • 6. Cafe Sperl

    $ | 6th District/Mariahilf | Café

    Coffee in Vienna is designed to be savored and enjoyed, and one of the most splendid places in Vienna to do just that is at the Sperl. Featured...Read More

  • 7. Das Bootshaus

    $ | 22nd District/Donaustadt | Seafood

    In summer the alfresco tables–-most peppered on a wide, floating dock on top of the water–-offers a sublime, Mediterranean-summer vibe. In winter...Read More

  • 8. Das Loft

    $$$$ | 2nd District/Leopoldstadt | International

    Dine at Vienna's poshest restaurant while taking in the stunning, 360-degree panoramic vistas of the city's skyline from the 18th floor of the...Read More

  • 9. Demel

    $ | 1st District | Bakery

    The display cases are filled to the brim at the world-renowned Demel, a 200-year-old pastry shop and chocolatier, famous for sweetmeats. Chocolate...Read More

  • 10. Demel

    $ | 1st District | Bakery

    Vienna's best-known pastry shop, Demel offers a dizzying selection, so if you have a sweet tooth, a visit will be worth every euro. And in a...Read More

  • 11. Ice Dream Factory

    $ | 7th District/Neubau | American

    This hopping little spot popped onto the Burggasse last year, and it's the best thing that's happened to the sweet tooth since cake was invented...Read More

  • 12. Konstantin Filippou

    $$$$ | 1st District | International

    In a stunningly short time, Filippou has made a remarkable impression on the Vienna dining elite, evident from its Michelin star and its Gault...Read More

  • 13. Mayer am Nussberg

    $ | 19th District/Döbling | Austrian

    Situated smack in the Mayer winery vines with sweeping views of Vienna, this rustic outdoor spot is a great place to enjoy local wines while...Read More

  • 14. Neni am Naschmarkt

    $ | 6th District/Mariahilf | Israeli

    Smack in the middle of of the Naschmarkt, Neni is a perennially-popular spot run by an Israeli-Austrian family, serving up Israeli-Middle-Eastern...Read More

  • 15. Restaurant Edvard

    $$$$ | 1st District | International

    This gourmet establishment at the Palais Hansen Kempinski Hotel earned a Michelin star within months after opening. Now chef Norman Etzold has...Read More

  • 16. Restaurant Grüne Bar

    $$$$ | 1st District | Austrian

    The classic Austrian dessert, the Sachertorte, resulted from a family saga that began with Franz Sacher, Prince von Metternich's pastry chef...Read More

  • 17. Steirereck im Stadtpark

    $$$$ | 3rd District/Landstrasse | Austrian

    Considered one of the world's 50 best restaurants and holding two Michelin stars, this eatery is definitely the most raved-about place in Austria...Read More

  • 18. Vollpension

    $ | 4th District/Wieden | Café

    Oma is the word for Grandma in German, and if you ever wished you had one of your own to make you homemade kuchen (cake) or simple, hearty...Read More

  • 19. Weinhof Zimmermann

    $ | 19th District/Döbling | Austrian

    A winding walk up a tree-lined lane brings you to the garden of one of the city's most well-known heuriger. Here you will find one of the finest...Read More

  • 20. Zum Schwarzen Kameel

    $$$$ | 1st District | Austrian

    Back when Beethoven dined at the Black Camel, it was already a foodie landmark. Since then, it has been renovated (but only in 1901) and more...Read More

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