From Wiener schnitzel to roast suckling pig: Your guide to the best restaurants in Vienna for anything from sampling local Viennese cuisine, to fine dining with great city views.
Best restaurants for local Viennese cuisine
If you’re looking for authentic Wiener Schnitzel, then head straight to Gasthaus Pöschl, a miniature, pub-like eatery on Vienna’s loveliest cobbled square, where it’s served with a perfect potato salad. With its no-fuss decor, the emphasis is on Viennese comfort food served with skill. Other highlights include roasted calf’s liver and dumplings with sheep’s cheese sauce. Diners, including local workers and tourists, often share tables in this cosy space, one of the best restaurants to eat local cuisine in Vienna. (Mains €8-€16).
If you’d dropped into Griechenbeisl a couple of centuries ago you might have found regulars Beethoven or Brahms tapping their feet at a table nearby. Griechenbeisl is the oldest restaurant in Vienna, serving since 1447. The arched rooms and wood-panelled walls give it a classic feel, as does the food. Starters include smoked duck breast and boiled rump in aspic, followed by Wiener schnitzel, roast suckling pig or Austrian pikeperch fillets. Vegetarians in Vienna are well catered for – with a range of dishes including stuffed dumplings with lavender butter. (Mains €15-€28)
Viennese Casual dining
Some of the best restaurants to eat local cuisine in Vienna are more casual, offering a light take on traditional favourites. Popular with a young crowd, the canalside Motto am Fluss offers vegan truffled winter vegetables, house beef tartar with mustard salad and, for afterwards, rice pudding. This is a great option for vegan food in Vienna. (Mains €14-€29).
Students and civil servants flock to the Justice Ministry Canteen for good, reasonably priced food, and a great view – best from the terrace – over Vienna’s Gothic parliament building. Passing through security on the ground floor makes the experience rare among restaurants in Vienna. This is a good place to visit if you want to go off the beaten track for a dinner most tourists in Vienna won’t discover. (2-course meals from €8.50).
Come to Naschmarkt on Sunday to trawl the flea market and its many food stalls. In the past 20 years Naschmarkt has grown from providing purely Austrian fare to a smorgasbord of international delights. Fascinating fusion food such as wasabi hummus is served up alongside sauerkraut, traditionally spooned from a barrel.
Fine dining in Vienna
Steirereck im Stadtpark is a temple to haute cuisine in Vienna and it’s hard to decide which feast for the eyes is more impressive: the restaurant’s gallery-like glass structure and tranquil city park setting, or its artful dishes, almost too beautiful to eat. Chef-owner Heinz Reitbauer has created without question, one of the best restaurants in Vienna. The holder of two Michelin stars, Heinz Reitbauer and his Viennese dining experience at Steirereck im Stadtpark, offer an innovative take on regional Styrian cuisine.
Dishes at Steirereck are highly seasonal but the experimental menu includes creations such as venison heart with woodtuft, freshwater local Perlfisch with nasturtium root and forono beets with forest mushrooms. Excellent desserts include Viennese malt with quince and sea buckthorn. Steirereck is very much destination dining, so book well in advance to ensure a seat at this unique Viennese experimental restaurant. (Mains €36-€52; tasting menus from €142).
Hungry for more? Start planning your trip to Vienna.