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My Top Ten Food Experiences in Vienna

I thought I would share my top ten food experiences for Vienna. The places I list here are "tried and true," representing multiple visits over the course of time. I would love to see other local experts with deep knowledge put together a similar list for their city.

1. Cafe Sperl - Drink a melange and eat the Apfelstrudel. This cafe looks like what you think a Viennese cafe looks like. Grab a newspaper from the rack and pretend you read German.

2. Habibi & Hawara - Drink mint tea and eat the absolute best buffet of Middle Eastern/Austrian food, hands-down; four locations and a summer Sunday brunch pop-up at Strandbar Herrmann; intentionally hires asylum-seekers and refugees with culinary backgrounds.

3. Mayer am Nussberg - Drink a glass of Sturm (new wine only available in early fall) and eat the cheese/meat platter. This hillside Buschenschank offers lounge chairs and a view, making it a nice rest area on your walk from Kahlenberg back into the city.

4. Syrischen Imbiss - Drink something cold and eat whatever they are offering (this is authentic Syrian food, which is divine); located in the very exciting Yppenplatz/Brunnenmarkt area which is my favorite Saturday morning market in all of Vienna. On the corner of Gaullachergasse and Brunnengasse.

5. Figlmüller - Drink is unimportant as this place is all about the schnitzel (it lives up to its hype) and the potato salad.

6. Il Sestante - While the pizza here is great, it is really all about the outdoor location on a warm evening. Trust me.

7. Restaurant Pürstner - Our favorite Austrian restaurant. Not only is the food exactly what you want, but the decor is kitsch to the cuckoo.

8. Vollpension Cafe - The cafe feels like your grandmother's living room for a reason as it is entirely staffed by Omas (grandmothers) and Opas (grandfathers) who bake their traditional cakes daily.

9. Neni am Prater - full disclosure that I have only been once, but it is absolutely the best rooftop experience in all of Vienna, I promise (Note - I eat at the other Neni locations frequently). The food, which is Israeli, is exceptionally good and the cocktails do the job.

10. Mamamon Thai Eatery - Why am I recommending a Thai restaurant? 1 - It is authentic and expertly made and 2 - you'll need a break from Austrian fare, I promise.

Bonus three - I dare you to complete this trifecta in one afternoon - lunch at Miznon, coffee at Diglas on Wollzeile and Pain au Chocolat from Paremi!;;

Edited to add my favorite Würstelstands as no visit to Vienna is complete without a Käsekrainer and Ottakringer from 1) Bitzinger in front of the Albertina (giant rabbit on top); 2) the stand a Schwedenplatz; or 3) the stand at Hoher Markt.;

If you want to get more Vienna inspiration, I’d be happy to share my Instagram account info by private message.

Posted by
6481 posts

Thanks for this list, Emily! It brings back great memories of our visits to Vienna. And, yes, I agree with your comment of switching to Thai food for a break! 😉

Posted by
3497 posts

I could see a return to Vienna with the simple goal of eating my way through this list! Ha!

Posted by
4100 posts

Thanks Emily. I also love travelmom's post. I have only been to Vienna once but was surprised at how much I liked it.

Posted by
3861 posts

Ohhhh yum, makes me want to return to Vienna and try some more places from your list. It’s so we’ll thought out and varied, thanks! I also like the idea of regional experts making some top ten lists of food to try too. There’s always someone traveling somewhere and could benefit from people who live there.

Posted by
111 posts

Nothing fancy, but nothing like going to one of those kiosks that sell wursts for a late night snack. Also, the kafe und kuchen culture. Also, my favourite pastry/dessert to eat along with my coffee was the marillienknodel (apricot dumplings)

Posted by
5295 posts

Eekk! I forgot a Wurstelstand! Adding one now..

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks for this list Emily. We will have to try a few of them next May.

Posted by
31568 posts

boy could I do with a Würstelstand! Just put up with an English supermarket bratwurst on the Weber - no comparison. Goodness I miss Germany and Austria. Thanks for the torture, Emily.

I wonder which mustard is normal at a Würstelstand?

Posted by
5295 posts

Nigel - senf is senf at the Wurstelstand. If they have “types,” then you’re at the wrong kind of place ;)

Posted by
31568 posts

agreed, Emily. In Germany we load up on (ok, used to load up on) Süss in Bavaria which is good for Weisswurst and 3 little Nürnberg wurstchen which we enjoy here at home with whatever we can get.

Really miss it. Used the last jar up last week and now having to make do with whole grain. Dijon certainly doesn't work. I have no way to restock... I don't even go into Lidl.

I guess that the stands in Vienna have the sort of squeezy dispenser for the sort of homogenous light brown mustard? The dispensers we see at markets remind me of goat udders. Oh well....

I still need quality time in Vienna. It was on the plan for last year.... ho hum

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you, Emily. This will come in handy next month, when (hopefully) I take my first trip to Austria.

It was originally scheduled for last year, but... Did not think it would happen this year, then got excited as Austria opened up. Trying to contain the excitement in case it really does not happen. Been dreaming of this for 30+ years and planning for about 4 years.

Posted by
1807 posts

At a Würstelstand you have basically two choices for mustard when you order.

Süß (sweet): brown with little black spots, not sweet at all, i.e. completely different what you get in Bavaria along with Weißwurst. If you buy it in a grocery store, the name is Kremser Senf.

Scharf (hot): light brown, not really hot, i.e. not comparable to Dijon mustard. If you buy it in a grocery store, the name is Estragon Senf.

Posted by
765 posts

I've added these to your other suggests over the past few months. We arrive in 40 days.

Many thanks.

Posted by
221 posts

Thank you, Emily. Bookmarked. I appreciate that you included a Heuriger and Würstelstands. This does my heart good. Was my semester there really 46 years ago? Maybe a list of places for a wine or beer, please?

Posted by
27 posts

Thank you so much, we're shooting for Switzerland and Austria in September '22 and this list will be SO helpful!

Posted by
1009 posts

yup, bookmarked, and Austria is inching its way up the list...Hopefully in 2022! Thanks for this list

Posted by
159 posts

Emily, thank you for the list. We will be taking a river cruise on the Danube in April, 2022 and this list will help us to explore Vienna on our own on the afternoon we are there with about 6 hours on our own. We have been to Vienna before so we only want to look around and just soak up the atmosphere. I hope we can get up to the Mayer am Nussberg as we saw this on a RS video and it looks really great.