We were in Vienna for the Christmas Market and the plan was to try and eat as much local food and drink lots of festive drinks.
Vienna has a big range of Michellin Star Restaurants for those who like to fine dine. We went for low to mid range during our stay and managed to eat a lot of tasty dishes and experience some Viennese specials.
Vienna is full of cafes that have a great charm to them. The locals love to stop for a hot drink and cake and all of the ones we visited were busy. There is a laid back attitude and you could sit at one cafe the whole day if you wanted to. I quite like that lifestyle.
The cafes are also restaurants so you can tuck into some delicious food too. A hot drink and cake would normally cost around 10 – 12 euros.
- Cafe Sacher: The Sachertorte originated from Vienna however only one place can call their Torte the “Original Sachertorte”. This is Cafe Sacher which is inside Hotel Sacher. Apparently this dessert was created by a trainee chef ( Franz Sacher) at 16, when the head chef was ill and the Prince Wenzel von Metternich wanted a dessert to impress. All the cafes serve it however we needed to try the original one. I had my favourite slice here. Cafe Sacher makes theirs with two layers of apricot jam and this makes it a bit sweeter and moist. You can buy pre-made Sacher Torte from the adjoining shop. Be warned they are not cheap.
- Cafe Demel: The second place to have the Sachertorte is Cafe Demel. The owners were from the same family as Cafe Sacher. The beauty of this cafe is they have an open kitchen so you can watch the bakers whilst enjoying your cake. The Sachertorte from here was less sweet and I found it more dry. There is only 1 layer of jam in this one. We enjoyed a slice of their famous Annatorte here too along with flavoured hot chocolate. The cafe has a lovely atmosphere and the decor takes you back a few years.
- Cafe Residenz : I would have liked to visit the Imperial Bakery Cafe at Cafe Residenz (where the original Viennese apple strudel is prepared) but it was a bit far to travel with the time we had.
- Cafe Eiles: Another charming cafe that was recommended for their apple strudel. I found the strudel a bit too sweet ( and I have a sweet tooth). After having it I was not sure if that is the way they are supposed to taste? You do get a big slice which is perfect to share.
- Cafe Central: Another long-standing venue, Cafe Central is one that is always busy however recommended for its history. Apparently you can get a newspaper in each language (according to our tour guide). This is the central point of Vienna hence the name. We did not get a chance to visit this cafe but it is one to add onto your list.
- Cafe Frauenhuber: This is the oldest coffee-house in Vienna and has an interior of traditional red velvet seating. It was a medieval bathhouse before and was where Mozart & Beethoven once played. We enjoyed a hot drink here. I wish we did have more time just to sit and people watch.
Food at the Christmas Markets:
The smell of sausages and warm pretzels definitely made me hungry when walking around the markets. Kev and I had never tried bread soup bowls and we tucked into these twice. We chose the famous Austrian Garlic Soup (Knoblauchcremesuppe). Creamy and full of garlic this was perfect in the cold though a bit messy when it came to eating the bread bowl.
You can also enjoy crepes, roast chestnuts, spiralled potatoes and sandwiches.
- Glacis Beisl: For those that eat beef, veal is very popular in Vienna, with the The Wiener Schnitzel being a typical cuisine. It is served with a cranberry jam that compliments it well. Kev enjoyed this dish at Glacis Beisl, a classic and stylish venue to enjoy Viennese cuisine. The dress code is casual to smart. They have a beautiful outdoor area. The restaurant is busy and it recommended to book it. It is located at the back of the Museum Quarter. I tucked into the trout and it was perfectly cooked and served with soft potatoes. The dishes are about 18 euros each.
- Bitzinger: There are a couple of Bitzinger’s sausage stands in Vienna. Known for the best sausages, we tucked into a cheese and a spicy one. The best way to enjoy them is chopped up. You can have them in a bun (like a hot dog) but i think you cannot taste the flavours as well. The cheese one was different and something that we have never had before. One for the sausage cheese lovers. We went to the one at Albertina Square.
- Justiz Cafe: For cheap Viennese food with a fabulous view, this is one I would recommend. It is located next to the Parliament building and is a canteen for the staff however it is open to the public. You do have to pass security to get. The views are excellent and for 20 euros you can tuck into a two-course meal. We both had a warming delicious pork soup for starters. Kev had beef ragu for main and I had a vegetarian roll. Check the website for opening times. The meal cost us 23 euros.
- Naschmarkt: Vienna’s most popular market offers a wide range of places to eat. A lot of the restaurants open from 11.30 am. We enjoyed a breakfast at Naschmarkt Deli. The deli serves a variety of cuisines. I went for the Viennese breakfast (8 euros) and Kev had 3 egg cheese omelette. The omelette had a Turkish twist and came with salad and a yogurt dip. The Viennese breakfast came with a juice and hot drink too.
- Trzesniewski: This was a recommendation from our walking tour guide. Open sandwiches are common in Vienna. This restaurant is known for its Unspeakably good sandwiches. You select the flavours you want and can enjoy them with a small glass of beer or wine. The sandwiches are 1.30 euros each and are made on a dark bread (I think Rye). The fillings are fresh and delicious. The ones we selected were the least photo friendly but they were amazing. We had a selection of salmon, chicken liver, sardines and egg and bacon.
I think this sums up the food that we enjoyed or heard about in the 3 days we were in Vienna. Check out my other post on Vienna for information on places to go and some tips.
Cheerio for now
Visit Vienna provided me with vouchers for Glacis Beisl & Bitzinger.