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Schmaltzy schnitzels have been replaced by prized Styrian beef—organic meat from farm-raised cattle—while soggy Nockerl (small dumplings) are traded in for seasonal delights like Carinthian asparagus,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

    $$ | 1st District

    At last someone was wise enough to open up an eatery so weary wanderers could spend time appreciating the wonders of this baroque court. The...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

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