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 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Schmaltzy schnitzels have been replaced by prized Styrian beef—organic meat from farm-raised cattle—while soggy Nockerl (small dumplings) are traded in for seasonal delights like Carinthian asparagus,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. 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

  • 4. Amerlingbeisl

    $ | 7th District/Neubau | Austrian

    If you're lucky, you can snag a table in the idyllic garden of this low-key pub, hidden away inside a delightful Biedermeyer cobbled courtyard...Read More

  • 5. Bizi Pizza

    $ | 1st District | Fast Food

    Most people are drawn in by the thick aroma of buttered garlic wafting down the street, though for some, the attraction is watching the bakers...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Café Schwarzenberg

    $ | 1st District | Café

    A bright-yellow facade and a large terrace welcome all to this café across from the Hotel Imperial. The location is perfect if you want a snack...Read More

  • 8. Corns 'n Pops

    $ | 2nd District/Leopoldstadt | International

    The dining area looks a bit like the set of a modern sitcom. Dining tables are simple and white, and chairs are in white plastic. This ensemble...Read More

  • 9. Demel

    $ | 1st District | Bakery

    The display cases are filled to the brim at the world-renowned Demel, a 200-year-old confectioner famous for sweetmeats that make every heart...Read More

  • 10. Figlmüller

    $$ | 1st District | Austrian

    This Wiener schnitzel institution is known for breaded veal and pork cutlets so large they overflow the plate, and it's always packed. The cutlet...Read More

  • 11. Gasthaus Wild

    $ | 3rd District/Landstrasse | Austrian

    Gasthaur Wild is the best dining option near the Kunsthaus Wien and the Hunderwasser House. Formerly a wine tavern, it's now a down-to-earth...Read More

  • 12. Gasthaus zur Oper

    $ | 1st District | Austrian

    Vienna's famous Plachutta chain has added another restaurant to its stable of eateries. Located in a side street near Kärntnerstrasse, this...Read More

  • 13. Gmoa Keller

    $ | 3rd District/Landstrasse | Austrian

    One of the friendliest places in Vienna, this wonderful old cellar—just across the street from the Konzert Haus—offers some of the heartiest...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Griechenbeisl

    $$ | 1st District | Austrian

    Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert all dined here—so how can you resist? Neatly tucked away in a quiet and quaint area of the Old City, this ancient...Read More

  • 16. Joseph Genuss

    $ | 3rd District/Landstrasse | Austrian

    This new bistro/patisserie is quickly becoming known around town as "the bread place." Each morning, the bread is baked fresh—kneaded by hand...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Konstantin Filippou

    $ | 1st District | International

    This newly opened establishment has quickly become a go-to place in Vienna's Altstadt. The dining room alone is an invitation to stay a while...Read More

  • 19. Mayer am Pfarrplatz

    $$ | 19th District/Döbling | Wine Bar

    Heiligenstadt is home to this heurige in one of Beethoven's former abodes; he composed his 6th Symphony, as well as parts of his 9th Symphony...Read More

  • 20. Meinl am Graben

    $ | 1st District | Fast Food

    The main draw is the location on the ground floor of Vienna's premier gourmet grocery store, with fabulous views out the panoramic windows onto...Read More

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