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Schmaltzy schnitzels have been replaced by prized Styrian beef—organic meat from farm-raised cattle—while soggy Nockerl (small dumplings) are traded in for seasonal delights like Carinthian asparagus,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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Wolff

    $ | 19th District/Döbling | Wine Bar

    In the heart of the vine village of Neustift am Walde, this inn dating from 1609 sticks to tradition. The selection of white wine includes Gruener...Read More

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