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Schmaltzy schnitzels have been replaced by prized Styrian beef—organic meat from farm-raised cattle—while soggy Nockerl (small dumplings) are traded in for seasonal delights like Carinthian asparagus,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

  • 2. Restaurant Edvard

    $$$$ | 1st District | International

    This gourmet establishment at the Palais Hansen Kempinski Hotel earned a Michelin star within months after opening last year. Chef Philipp Vogel...Read More

  • 3. Steirereck

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

    Considered one of the world's 50 best restaurants, this eatery is definitely the most raved-about place in Austria. It's in the former...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Café Central

    $ | 1st District | Café

    Made famous by its illustrious guests, the Café Central is right up there with Florian's in Venice. With soaring ceiling and gigantic columns...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Café Museum

    $ | 1st District | Café

    The controversial architect Adolf Loos (famed for his pronouncement "Ornament is a sin") laid the foundation stone for this coffeehouse in 1899...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Hansen

    $ | 1st District | Mediterranean

    This fashionable establishment, in the basement of the 19th-century Vienna Stock Exchange, shares an enormous space with the flower shop Lederleitner...Read More

  • 19. Hofzeile 27

    $$$$ | 19th District/Döbling | Austrian

    With an intimacy often lacking in larger restaurants, Hofzeile 27 seats just a dozen guests. Sibylle Fellner-Kisler opened up her elegant home...Read More

  • 20. 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

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