Vienna for foodies: where to eat in the Austrian capital
My brother Lorenzo is a big time foodie. He’s always on the hunt for a great restaurant to get his taste buds tingling. And his quest for amazing food surely didn’t stop when he moved to Vienna a few years ago. On my last visit to the Austrian capital in December, he really took us to what I’d like to call the best restaurants in Vienna. Don’t expect the obvious places and buckle up for a selection of great places to eat in Vienna, from Japanese and Chinese cuisine, to Austrian and Turkish food.
Japanese restaurant in Vienna
Kärntner Straße 44 (1st district–city center)
This restaurant in Vienna’s Karlplatz has made it to my list of top Japanese restaurants ever. And it’s not for the sushi! While the whole world is caught up in the Japanese fusion trend, I’m more into the traditional Japanese cuisine, and that’s exactly what you get at restaurant NihonBashi. Step inside and the setting is minimal, the service is wonderful and the food is delicious. It’s the place to go to taste authentic Japanese cuisine in Vienna. Start off with the miso wan, then order a seafood salata, the amazing wafu gyoza and the tempura moriawase. A sushi and sashimi selection is a must as well, followed by the bukkake udon–an udon soup served with wakame, grated radish and ginger, mushrooms, spring onions, and deep fried batter crumbs. Pair your food with a wow selection of hot and cold sake and end your meal with some traditional Japanese desserts.
Turkish restaurant in Vienna
Operngasse 14 (1st district–city center)
For someone who has lived in Istanbul for four years, believe me when I say that if you want to savour real Turkish cuisine, Ali’s Grill is the place to go to. As soon as you step inside, you’ll feel catapulted in Turkey, with the aromas of Turkish cuisine floating in the air along with Turkish background music. As you probably know, Turkish cuisine is known for its meze selection, or small plates of hot and cold dishes! As tradition, at Ali’s Grill a huge tray with a wide selection of these plates is presented to diners to choose from. From the Patlıcan Söğürme and the Saksuka to the Cig Köfte and Ceviz Pestolu Tulum Peyniri, you’ve got an amazing selection of meze at Vienna’s Ali’s Grill. To continue, a dish straight out of the restaurant’ huge charcoal grill is essential. Go for the saslık (barbequed slices of specially marinated beef loin and onion rings), the kuzu pirzola (barbequed lamb chops marinated with virgin olive oil) or the tavuk sis (spiced tender cubes of barbequed marinated chickenleg fillet), you won’t regret it!
Chinese restaurant in Vienna
Johannesgasse 9-13 (1st district–city center)
+43 1 9459919
Footsteps from Stephanplatz, this small Chinese restaurant was love at first sight! Lorenzo kept telling me about how good their xiao long baos were and I was just too curious to try them. We went there on the 27th but it was closed. Determined to try these yummy “dumplings” we went back on the 28th and I got to try them! If you’ve never tried a xiao long bao it’s a “soup dumbling” filled with stuffing and delicate broth, and then steamed, from Nanxiang – Shanghai. Another must-try is the homemade beef gyoza, the dim sum and the wok veggies. To accompany your meal, absolutely order their ginger tea–the best I’ve ever had!
Via Toledo Enopizzeria
Italian restaurant in Vienna
Laudongasse 13 (8th district)
+43 660 7551672
If you’re craving a perfectly made Neapolitan pizza, search no more. Via Toledo Enopizzeria is the place for your pizza cravings. While dining in Italian restaurants abroad is not always the best idea, this pizzeria in the 8th district is a small piece of Italy in Vienna, so it was the perfect idea. When my brother said the pizza was just like in Italy, I couldn’t quite believe him. Gotta say, Lorenzo was right! Neapolitan pizzaioli, Italian staff and a charming restaurant. All the products used are Italian and of top quality. Definitely get yourself here for a great pizza in a nice and welcoming atmosphere!
Austrian–Croatian restaurant in Vienna
Schleifmühlgasse 19 (4th district)
If you want to get one of the best Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna, you have to get yourself to Café Anzengruber located on one of the side streets of the famous Nashmarkt food market. Anzengruber is a family-run restaurant where the owner’s mother cooks for the whole restaurant, providing you with a great selection of Croatian cheeses and meat cuts. Their battle-horses are the amazing Gulash plate and their pork Wiener Schnitzel, which barely fits in the the big plate they serve it in!
Meat restaurant in Vienna
Franziskanerplatz 5, (1st district)
+43 (0) 1 503 50 34
If you happen to crave some delicious meat while in Vienna, Artner restaurant in Vienna’s city center is the place to go. Sophisticated and intimate, the setting of this restaurant is already enough of a reason to go. But wait until you take a look at the menu, ranging from juicy ribeye steaks to hamburgers (and yes, even Wiener Schnitzels). I don’t know how you like your meat, but if you ask me, medium rare is the most cooked anyone should ever have it. And with their incredible meat cuts, you’ll be happy to have followed by advice! Great white and red wine await you too, cuz what’s better than a hearty glass of red to pair with a juicy filet? Just a heads up, it’s pricey!
Café Sacher Wien
Where to eat Sacher Torte in Vienna
Philharmonikerstraße 4 (1st district–city center)
+43 (0) 1 514 560
The most famous Viennese dessert is the Sacher Torte. And if you’re into this kind of two-layered soft and light chocolate cake separated by apricot jam and coated with chocolate icing, served with whipped cream, Hotel Sacher is the place to go. While the extremely long line outside the Café can be off-putting, you may also get lucky like we did and not get caught up in a long line! In any case, the wait is worth it (or better yet, reserve online here)! Stepping inside Café Sacher gives you a feeling of the Viennese coffee house culture. The café is elegant with beautiful red-tinted walls and plush seating. Order some tea or coffee to accompany your Sacher Torte!