I think that after I finish my posts on Vienna, you’ll be fully convinced that there is something for everyone in the Austrian capital and that you should go. Between the culture, beautiful architecture, and the food, it is a great travel destination for anyone.
If you don’t know, Vienna is home to schnitzel, specifically, wiener schnitzel and it is usually made with veal. Side note, long ago, in a galaxy far away, I was a vegetarian for 10 years, I still am uncomfortable with veal. I don’t actively seek it out to eat or to cook. I did eat it once on this trip though because I like to think that you should try the local specialty when you travel. I did only eat it once, I had pork schnitzel the other few times that I ate it.
Cafe Demel - yummy Austrian pastries, chocolates, coffees, and an entirely open kitchen bakery making beautiful cakes for display and for private clients. These cakes are artwork. I had an Einspanner (I’ve yet to find it back in the US) and apfelstrudel (the first of a few). Lindsey had a lemon tart and a cappuccino. When you get a table and you want to order pastries to eat inside the restaurant, you have to head back to the front of the restaurant and take a look at the pastry case first. There is also a full restaurant and bar. The little shop also has the most gorgeous shopping bags. I brought back chocolates for my office.
Cafe Sperl - we ate the most delicious scrambled eggs here and coffees for breakfast. It is close to the Naschmarkt and has been open since the 1880s! Dogs area also allowed, as there was a very cute and well-behaved Parson Russell Terrier sitting politely with his owner while we were there.
Plachutta:Gashaus zur Oper - We dined here before the Opera and it did not disappoint. We split a Wiener Schnitzel and also ordered dessert here. Service was very professional and friendly and fairly quick. They must do a lot of pre-Opera House business because they had us in and out quickly. The schnitzel was delicious!
Gausthaus Poschl - (cash only and busy! helps to have a reservation) They are known for their Wiener Schnitzel and I’d eaten it a few times at this point so I opted for the Goulash instead and Lindsey ate the schnitzel. We both had Austrian wines. Everything was delicious and the service was impeccable even though the poor bartender and server (who looked like a younger, thinner Jeremy Renner) were running around and working the whole busy restaurant.
Glacis Beisl - Another place where I’d recommend a reservation. I ate a vegetarian goulash here and enjoyed another Austrian wine. I drank a lot more white wine than I normally do at home but there were some very good ones to choose from here! This is also where we watched the first schnitzel consumed entirely by one person on this trip by a businessman seated across from us at the table. We were whispering quietly to one another like “omg! he’s going to do it, he’s going to eat the WHOLE thing!” We left impressed by the restaurant and the Wiener Schnitzel eater.
Kaseland (insde of Naschmarkt) - This Cheese shop had a lovely staff with one man in particular who anticipated our needs. Lindsey wanted to purchase a board of Austrian cheeses for us to enjoy and he basically said “Would you like to sit outside? I’ll turn on the heater. Would you like bread and some wine as well?” Um, yes, yes, and yes, sir. The cheeses were all delicious and we sat outside under the heater and held on to our napkins, wine glasses, and plates as the wind was whipping around outside threatening to ruin our cheese picnic. Thankfully, we were cozy under the heater and I was buried in my gigantic blanket scarf. I also purchased truffled honey and a horseradish marmalade (it was part of the cheese plate) to take home with me and I will be sad when they are gone.
Halle Cafe.Restaurant - This place was another highlight for me. It is in the Museumsquartier and had very good Austrian cuisine. It was not exceptionally heavy although you can change that by ordering apfelstrudel (I did) for dessert. Service was excellent, the wine list and menu were full of things that we honestly had a difficult time narrowing down and it was quiet and not too busy for a late afternoon, weekday lunch.
So though this is not the complete list of places we ate, these were some of my favorites. Kudos to Lindsey for doing all of the restaurant research here. We really had a good team going with the bits of the trip we planned. I feel like I was the early on logistics and planning lady and then she dove headfirst into picking out restaurants, wine bars, and shops she wanted to check out. I have never researched as thorougly as that for restaurants on a trip but now I’m inspired to do so! I will start with the trip to Panama City and Bogota in February and I will have input from two friends for that trip.