Vienna’s culinary scene is as rich as its cultural calendar: it thrives on the delicacies of Austrian cuisine and borrows from international influences, such as nearby Italy and Germany. The restaurants in the former imperial capital reflect this, offering traditional, stunning food that ranges from the classic wiener schnitzel and Sachertorte to insider treats, such as Frittatensuppe or Tafelspitz. We take a gastronomic tour of Vienna to bring you its 10 best cultural restaurants.
Originally intended to open in New York, Skopik & Lohn is located many thousands of miles away in Karmelitermarkt, an artsy area of Vienna’s second district. This restaurant is both serious and playful about its food, drink and atmosphere, cleverly combining the elegance of Austrian fine dining with the laid-back feel of a 1920s NYC bistro (think Viennese favourites, such as wiener schnitzel). Designed by Austrian artist Otto Zitko, its interior is dramatic, with chaotic black splashes dashed across the ceiling in stark contrast to the neat, white-clothed tables underneath.
This place offers a few typical Austrian main dishes, but people visit here for one reason only – the wiener schnitzel. Figlmüller is already an institution in Vienna and popular among both locals and tourists alike. It is furnished in an original Austrian pub-like decor and waiters still wear traditional smoking jackets. All of these elements lend a special antique and elegant charm to the whole experience of this restaurant.
Considered one of the oldest taverns in Vienna, enjoy your wiener schnitzel in a building that dates back to the 12th century. Pfarrwirt’s saying, ‘a wiener schnitzel is a wiener schnitzel’, makes an allusion to its simplicity. Located in Vienna’s 19th district, where the city’s historic vineyards are, it is an ideal place to have dinner after a long walk in the hills.
This restaurant, bar and pâtisserie offers Viennese and international cuisine along with more than 800 wines from national and international estates. Here is where you’ll find a variety of typical Austrian dishes, from schnitzel to apfelstrudel. You can also opt for a drink at the bar, which is a great place to meet, day or night. The restaurant also produces its own tasty produce, including marmalade, chocolate, oils and pasta, which are for sale in the neighbouring shop.
Enjoy one of Vienna’s most celebrated cakes inside of one of the city’s most traditional cafes. The Sachertorte at Dommayer is quite simple, remaining as true as possible to the original recipe. Dommayer is one of the city’s most prized coffee houses and it is known for upkeeping Viennese tradition. Located around the corner from Schönbrunn Palace, it’s a lovely place to grab a coffee and a slice of Sachertorte, or a larger meal, after a day spent wandering the Imperial grounds.
Boasting picturesque views along the canal, Motto am Fluss is situated inside a glass covered building designed to resemble a naval vessel. The menu is made up of a mix of gourmet Austrian and international dishes, with many classics like beef tartare, salmon fillet and wiener schnitzel. A classier option, as opposed to some of the more casual eateries along the canal, this restaurant is perfect for formal occasions.
Located in an old Palais in the centre of Vienna, the interior of this two-star Michelin restaurant boasts classic stone walls combined with modern design, giving Silvio Nickol im Palais Coburg a unique feel. Each meal is made with precision and you can choose between five, seven or nine-course menus (meat, fish and vegetarian options are all on offer), which can be ordered with or without wine.
Restaurant Mill’s interior is low-lit and charming, thanks to its candles glowing on tables and its eclectic charm. The kitchen serves a variety of contemporary home-cooked dishes, including delicious homemade pastries, all set off with a wine menu listing many locally-crafted bottles. Discover the garden discreetly located inside a gorgeous courtyard with its exposed brick, vine-covered walls and roof covering for when the weather turns sour.
With a distinct Art Deco style that can be seen all around the city, Otto Wagner is considered one of Vienna’s most acclaimed architects. His buildings are recognisable for their embellished style, with decorative floral features crawling up facades. Otto Wagner Schützenhaus is a tribute to the architect, designed in a similar style. The food is always fresh as it is prepared on-site and there is a variety of Austrian classics on the menu.
Tucked away on a street near the bustling Naschmarkt, this cosy Austrian restaurant is a purveyor of traditional cuisine. Café Amacord provides visitors with Viennese set menus (with or without dessert) composed of beef broth as a starter, wiener schnitzel for the main course and apfelstrudel for dessert. Expect a generous serving of whipped cream on the side.