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Vienna Restaurants

Coffee and Teahouses

For centuries the city's grand cafés have served as Vienna's communal living room as well as a working studio for the capital's crush of starving artists, musicians, actors, and writers. While you're less likely to find a Mozart-in-the-making than a Tokyo tour group crowding many of the cafés these days, the more genuine ones do flaunt the feel of a neighborhood clubhouse, and each has something to recommend it. Café Central may be too pretty for its own good: All the flashing cameras aimed at the landmark's vaulted ceiling and a pianist who sometimes plays show tunes can undermine the Café's sense of history (corner of Strauchgasse and Herrengasse; 43-15333-76426; If you're looking for a more genuine atmosphere, head to the Café Landtmann, where a renovation in April 2007 has helped revive the Secession-era café that was Freud's favorite (4 Dr. Karl Lueger-Ring; 43-124-1000; Café Hawelka is famous for its serious art collection and Jugendstil interior (6 Dorotheergasse; 43-1512-8230; For a purely local experience try Café Sperl, near the Ringstrasse, where bona fide artists and musicians still gather to eat the Sperl Torte—a confection of rum, chocolate cream, and almond paste that easily wins the citywide torte-off (11 Gumpendorferstrasse; 43-1586-4158; For a more complete menu, consider Haas & Haas teahouse, which dishes up dim sum, English afternoon tea, and Austrian confections in an expansive Biedermeier courtyard (4 Stephansplatz; 43-1512-2666;, but save room for Demel, nearby in the Kohlmarkt—an elegant Baroque Konditorei—a pastry shop that also serves coffee and hot chocolate (14 Kohlmarkt; 43-1535-17170;

DO & CO Restaurant
12 Stephansplatz
Austria 1010
Tel: 43 1535 3969

Despite being under the direction of renowned caterer Attila Dogudan, Do & Co's menu is an awkward potpourri of international cuisines. Goose liver in a mango pineapple sauce with a sizzling crème brûlée, anyone? It's best to stick with the sushi and fish dishes. What gives this place the edge is its location—the aerial view of St. Stephen's Cathedral from the modish, glass-enclosed dining room atop Haas Haus is unmatched in the city.

Open daily 12 pm to 3 pm and 6 pm to 12 am.

1 MuseumsQuartier
Austria 1070
Tel: 43 1523 7001

Halle's thoroughly modern menu features a blissfully batter-free grilled squid and a tart rosehip mousse with cranberry sauce. But don't go expecting a generic contempo bistro. Even the more informal diners in Vienna offer a scoop of theater, and this one, located squarely in the middle of the MuseumsQuartier, above the Kunsthalle Museum, comes plopped down in the imperial box of the former winter riding school, so the very arty crowd sits under swirling Baroque plasterwork. If the packed jewel box gets too noisy, you can flee outside from May through September, when the restaurant's wooden terrace allows you to eat directly on the MuseumsQuartier's central courtyard and watch the art world spin.

Open daily 10 am to 2 am.


A Heuriger is an Austrian wine restaurant, usually located at a vineyard, where servers wear lederhosen and dirndls, and a buffet is stocked with salads, fresh bread, cheeses, spreads, and traditional entrées. Heuriger Wieninger, about ten miles north of the city center, presents the vintages of Fritz Wieninger, one of Vienna's best new-generation winegrowers (a cell phone-wielding, well-dressed, articulate breed); his grüner veltliners, cabernet sauvignon/merlot cuvées, chardonnays, and pinot noirs are paired with dishes such as pastry-wrapped chicken in leek sauce and pork chops stuffed with spinach and feta (78 Stammerdorferstrasse; 43-1292-4106; Heurigen in Grinzing (in the 19th district) tend to be touristy, but Heuriger Sirbu is more of a local spot with simple decor and specialty salads and cheeses (210 Kahlenbergerstrasse; 43-1320-5928). Even better for avoiding the tourist hordes are Wolff (50 Rathstrasse; 43-1440-3727) and Schreiberhaus (54 Rathstrasse; 43-1440-3844;; both are located in Neustift am Walde, on the edge of the Vienna Woods. If you can't make it out to the vineyards, try Esterházykeller, located just off the tiny Naglergasse at the end of the Graben. This enormous, multilevel cellar has rooms connected by winding tunnels (1 Haarhof; 43-1533-3482; The Gigerl—hidden in the tiny Blumenstockgasse, behind Kärtnerstrasse—is another sweet city alternative and a favorite with families (3 Rauhensteingasse; 43-1513-4431;

Motto am Fluss
2 Franz-Josefs-Kai
Tel: 43 1252 5511

This sprawling double-decker restaurant on the Danube Canal was an instant success when it opened in 2010. The more formal ground-floor restaurant could get by on its looks alone; the sweeping picture windows overlook the canal, and silver globe chandeliers hang over Fornasetti drapes. Thankfully, the ambitious menu follows through with new wave Austrian goes border-hopping cuisine that jumps from local organic beef to risotto crowned by foie gras. But it is the second story café that is real clubhouse, especially at lunch, when crowds of style-centric locals sit at long communal tables and tuck into gnocchi, bruschetta, and a supernal plate of chicken livers.—Raphael Kadushin

Open daily 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 6 pm to 11:30 pm.

Österreicher im MAK
5 Stubenring
Austria 1010
Tel: 43 1714 0121

This would qualify as one of the grandest of Vienna's grand cafés if it didn't go one step further and offer a serious, contemporary menu as well. Aligned with the Museum of Applied Art (MAK) and sitting next door to it, in a cavernous room capped by painted ceilings, the epic brasserie is jammed every night. Expect an exuberant mix of bobos, artists, and style-hounds—because it does things right. That starts with its seamless mix of old-and-new-school decor (brown leather banquettes, MAK-designed tableware, a chandelier made of empty wine bottles) and carries through to the menu created by local star chef Helmut Österreicher. The left side of the menu is devoted to classical Viennese signature dishes, such as beef goulash with bread dumplings, while the right side counters with the chef's updated venison served with juniper-rosemary dumplings. Just don't forget the Tafelspitz: Anyone who can make boiled beef taste this good deserves his toque.

Open daily 8:30 am to 11:30 pm.

38 Wollzeile
Austria 1010
Tel: 431 512 1577

With the charm of an Austrian Gasthaus and the elegance of haute cuisine, Plachutta prides itself in preparing exemplary Tafelspitz (a traditional boiled beef standby) with potatoes and vegetables. Cookbook author and beef specialist Ewald Plachutta no longer runs this central Vienna restaurant, but his son Mario is following in his father's footsteps. The only-in-Vienna food is so good that fresh renditions of the original keep sprouting up. The Plachutta family now owns six restaurants in Vienna—try the Plachuttas Gasthaus zur Oper branch (5–7 Walfischgasse; 43-1512-2251). The staff can border on surly, but the high gray wainscoting and black leather banquettes make this the best-looking of the bunch. It's also well placed, a block from the Opera House.—Update by Raphael Kadushin

Open daily 11:30 am to 11:15 pm.

2a Am Heumarkt
Austria 1030
Tel: 43 1713 3168

Perfect for an after-opera dinner, this lush restaurant is all operatic flamboyance itself, from its setting in the middle of the central Stadtpark to its flotilla of rolling dinner carts dishing up liqueur, bonbons, cigars, and cheese, to the kitchen's opulent entrées that land on your table beside their own recipe cards (though it's doubtful you'll ever whip up that Breton lobster with tamarillo-balm jelly, lime-oil-glazed almonds, and spiced yellow tomato jam with black pepper). If that's one ingredient too many, you'll find the more casual downstairs eatery Meierei offers a more playful and inviting form of drama. Billed as a dairy bar and whitewashed from floor to ceiling so you feel like you're eating inside one of the milk bottles that line an entire wall, the restaurant offers a traditional Styrian beef with onion sauce and some very serious cheese platters, including one plate flaunting nine renditions of blue cheese alone. But it's Meierei's 19 gorgeous glasses of milk that earn the café its farm-fresh cred; start with the purist's full-cream milk and build, slowly, to strawberry milk, coconut milk, tonka bean milk, and the delicately perfumed geranium milk.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm.

2 Dr. Karl Lueger-Ring
Tel: 43 1532 4999

This showcase for chef Christian Domschitz's updated Viennese cuisine is worth a stop for the interior drama alone. Located in the former imperial entrance of the Burgtheater, the dining room, an exuberant romp of heavily veined marble and plaster cast cherubs, looks like a stage set. Domschitz's equally playful cooking can waver. His signature lobster gets lost under a big overstated mound of cabbage and lobster sauce. But beetroot soup with smoked eel, and a pike perch paired with morels, are showstoppers.—Raphael Kadushin

Open Mondays through Fridays 12 am to 12 pm, Saturdays 6 pm to midnight.

Zum Schwarzen Kameel
5 Bognergasse
Austria 1010
Tel: 43 1533 8125

One of the best places to watch bona fide Viennese society, the Friese family's Jugendstil restaurant and café has been attracting deep-pocketed Austrians since 1618. While the more formal restaurant offers classic Austrian fare, what really turns the place into an all-day insider's clubhouse is the jammed café, anchored by a sandwich counter filled with the best three-bite meals in town (variously topping the open-faced sandwiches: minced blood sausage, herring salad, mushroom salad, and ham and lentils). Locals down the canapés standing up at tall counters, but you can pack a picnic to go in a top-drawer Viennese souvenir: A box decorated with the restaurant's logo of a black camel proudly sporting a big plumed headdress, like a very leggy (four, actually) Vegas showgirl.

Open Mondays through Saturdays from 2:30 pm to midnight.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.