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),
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 Schwei
Vienna has tried hard to shed its image of a town locked in the 19th century, and nowhere is that more evident than in t

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 Christian Petz, who've worked hard to establish an international brand of Viennese cooking, 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Schmaltzy schnitzels have been replaced by prized Styrian beef—organic meat from farm-raised cattle—while soggy Nockerl (small dumplings) are traded in for seasonal delights like Carinthian asparagus,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. 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

  • 2. DO & CO Albertina

    $$ | 1st District | Contemporary

    When you're ready to collapse after taking in all the art at the fabulous Albertina, fall into the museum eatery's high-back, camel-color leather...Read More

  • 3. Zum Schwarzen Kameel

    $$$$ | 1st District | Austrian

    Back when Beethoven dined at the Black Camel, it was already a foodie landmark. Since then, it has split into a Delikatessen and a restaurant...Read More

  • 4. Anna Sacher

    $$$$ | 1st District | Austrian

    The Sachertorte is the culmination of a family saga that began with Franz Sacher, Prince von Metternich's pastry chef. Franz's son and his wife...Read More

  • 5. Café Griensteidl

    $ | 1st District | Café

    Once the site of one of Vienna's oldest coffeehouses and named after the pharmacist Heinrich Griensteidl—the original dated back to 1847 but...Read More

  • 6. Café Hawelka

    $ | 1st District | Café

    Practically a shrine—indeed, almost a museum—the beloved Hawelka was the hangout of most of Vienna's modern artists, and the café has acquired...Read More

  • 7. Café Mozart

    $ | 1st District | Café

    When he stayed at the adjacent Hotel Sacher, Graham Greene loved having his coffee here while working on the script for The Third Man. (Greene...Read More

  • 8. Café Sacher

    $ | 1st District | Café

    This legend began as a Delikatessen opened by Sacher, court confectioner to Prince von Metternich, the most powerful prime minister in early...Read More

  • 9. Esterházykeller

    $ | 1st District | Wine Bar

    The origins here go back to 1683, when this spot opened as one of the city's official Stadtheuriger (wine taverns), to provide Turk-fighting...Read More

  • 10. Fabios

    $$$$ | 1st District | Mediterranean

    The easiest way for Viennese to experience sleek, suave, New York–style power dining—short of paying for a round-trip plane ticket—is to book...Read More

  • 11. Gösser Bierklinik

    $ | 1st District | Austrian

    Dating back four centuries, this engaging old-world house sits in the heart of Old Vienna. One of the country's top addresses for beer connoisseurs...Read More

  • 12. Julius Meinl am Graben

    $$$ | 1st District | Austrian

    A few doors down from the Hofburg Palace, Julius Meinl am Graben opened as a caterer to the Habsburgs in 1862 and has remained Vienna's most...Read More

  • 13. Wrenkh

    $ | 1st District | Vegetarian

    Vienna's vegetarian pioneer extraordinaire Christian Wrenkh prefers teaching evening cookery classes to standing in the kitchen every day. His...Read More

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