When you visit the capital of Austria, you’ll discover that Vienna has a vibrant food culture, with restaurants serving cuisines from all around the world. From traditional Austrian restaurants to contemporary and fine dining Asian restaurants, read on to discover our pick of the best places to eat in Vienna’s city centre.
Restaurant, Austrian, European, $$$
This gourmet restaurant focuses specifically on Austrian cuisine, but they aren’t sticklers for tradition. The chefs are constantly on the lookout for new ways to revolutionise Viennese dishes by experimenting with them in alternative and exciting ways. On the menu you’ll find dishes that you ordinarily wouldn’t associate with Austria, such as smoked eel with baby carrots, kale and lemon, and catfish with coconut and lemon balm. It is located in the Stadtpark, one of the city’s most picturesque parks.
Headed by former violinist and conductor, Joji Hattori, Shiki (which means both ‘four seasons’ and ‘conductor’ in Japanese) combines Eastern and Western cuisine in a refined and artistic way. Hattori grew up between Japan and Austria and wanted to combine the best of both worlds with his restaurant. One the menu, you’ll find bento boxes (with vegan options available), as well as mains such as Japanese burgers, homemade ramen noodle soup, a selection of salads, sushi, and sashimi.
Located in an old Palais in the centre of Vienna, the interior of this two-star Michelin restaurant boasts classical stone walls that have been combined with modern design furnishings, giving a unique ambiance. Every meal is made with precision and there is the offer of five-, seven- or nine-course menus, which are can be ordered with or without wine. The menu lists meat and fish, and also vegetarian dishes for the main courses and special choices for starters and desserts.
This elegant restaurant has a ‘purist’ philosophy, taking the finest ingredients and creating unique dishes. The restaurant’s founder has roots in both Austria and Greece and this background is reflected in his menu, with signature dishes such as Bacalao Brandade with Char Caviar, Poached Mackerel with Horseradish and Radishes, Organic Egg with Cuttlefish and Pork Belly, Field Thistle with Meadow Baby Portobello, Périgord Truffle, and Jabugo and Sepia with Smoked Quail Egg and Snail.
Zum Schwarzen Kameel is an exclusive restaurant, bar, and patisserie all in one. The restaurant offers Viennese and international cuisine and more than 800 wines from national and international estates. Guests will find quintessential Austrian dishes, from the mains of schnitzel down to desserts of apfelstrudel. There is also the possibility just to have a drink at the bar, which is a great place to meet, day or night. This restaurant also produces its own food products, including marmalade, chocolate, oils and pasta, which are for sale in the neighbouring shop.
It is rare to find a restaurant that is exclusively vegetarian, and even rarer to find one that has been awarded Michelin stars. TIAN’s menu is totally meat-free and employs a refreshingly creative take on vegetarian cuisine – a welcome change from the half-hearted veggie options that often appear on menus. The founder, Christian Halper, has a strict philosophy of using fresh, seasonal ingredients, dispelling the myth of vegetarian diets consisting of ‘rabbit food’.
Skopik & Lohn is one of Vienna’s hottest new restaurants. Originally intended to open in New York, it is actually located many thousands of miles away in Karmelitermarktt, an artsy area of the second district. Skopik & Lohn 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. The interior, which was designed by Austrian artist Otto Zitko, is dramatic, with chaotic black splashes dashed across the ceiling, in stark contrast to the neat, white-clothed tables underneath. As well as many Viennese favourites, such as wiener schnitzel made using the traditional veal, you’ll find creative, contemporary gems such as chicken with rhubarb and cranberry jus. The only gripe is the somewhat lacklustre options of vegetarian dishes.
Located above Vienna’s rooftops, this gourmet restaurant combines Spanish and Austrian cuisine in a setting that provides panoramic views of the city. On the menu, you’ll find exciting dishes such as goat’s cheese dumpling and ragout of mussels, and there is an extensive wine list of both Austrian and international varieties.
Le Salzgries focuses on Parisian cuisine, using only the finest ingredients and providing exquisite service. The menu is refined, featuring dishes such as grilled octopus, rack of lamb and homemade pasta dishes. Located centrally, it is the perfect restaurant to visit after a day spent sightseeing. The head chef, Denis König, understands how to take the great classics of French cuisine and put his own creative spin on them.
Here, you’ll find classic dishes served by Viennese waiters, dressed in their traditional black and white attire. This restaurant cites 1905 as ‘the year the schnitzel was born’ when Johann Figlmüller set up his restaurant just streets away from St Stephen’s Cathedral. Pork cuts are used for the schnitzel at Figlmüller, pounded to tender perfection, then coated with ‘imperial breadcrumbs’ from kaiser rolls, giving the schnitzel its characteristic crunchy outer layer. Potato salad is usually served alongside – or you can choose from over 12 different salads. Not one for modest diners, the schnitzel here spills over the plate.