For lovers of contemporary art, opera, theatre, coffee, sweet pastries and, of course, great food and local wine, the Austrian capital has it all, says resident Jason Turner...
Top Vienna restaurants and wine bars
At lunchtime or for an after-work glass of wine, MAST is where the new generation of winemakers and sommeliers hang out. This modern wine bar is located in the ninth district, just a short tram ride from the inner city. It is run by two friends and award-winning sommeliers, Matthias Pitra and Steve Breitze, with a focus on natural and orange wines.
The Steirereck restaurant, owned by chef Heinz Reitbauer and his wife, Birgit, is Austria’s most-awarded restaurant and is ranked among the best 15 restaurants in the world. The fine-dining cuisine is peerless. The wine list, managed by the award-winning chef sommelier René Antrag, is breathtaking, offering a wide selection of mature Rieslings from the Wachau and perfect food-pairing with noble sweet wines from Burgenland.
Imperial Vienna with a modern touch. A welcoming wine bar on the quaint Judenplatz square serving Austrian sparkling Sekt by the glass, plus local and national wines and noble fruit brandies. Dynamic duo Daniel Hirschmann and Matthias Schwarzmüller offer traditional Austrian cuisine with a modern interpretation
Where better to enjoy the breathtaking view over Vienna than from the south-facing Nussberg vineyard? Fritz Wieninger is considered to be one of Austria’s best winemakers and is certified biodynamic. His wines are enjoyed across the world, and in 2018 he won the Best in Show trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards for the Wieninger, Ulm-Nussberg, Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC, Austria 2016. The artisan cuisine served here is sublime.
The cellar at this restaurant boasts the largest collection of fine wine in Austria with more than 65,000 bins. Combined with the fine cuisine prepared by celebrity chef Silvio Nickol, this is an exclusive venue to relish exquisite Austrian and international cuisine matched with some of the rarest wines in the world. The food-pairing menus are sublime. Advance booking is recommended.
This quaint, down-to-earth Viennese Buschenschank (wine bar) is situated on the Bisamberg, on the left bank of the River Danube. It opens when the weather permits and on specific days, so do check in advance. Once there, it’s like being transported back 200 years, with the sound of clinking wine glasses in the idyllic vineyards.
A trip to Vienna would not be complete without a traditional Wiener Schnitzel (escalope of veal) served with a cold potato and lamb’s lettuce salad. This traditional Wirtshaus (tavern) is typical of those offering classic Austrian dishes and is open all year round. Its wine list features some of Austria’s most acclaimed names and its house wines are limited bottlings blended directly with the winemakers and served by the glass from magnum.
Situated opposite the horse-drawn Fiaker carriages, this was Vienna’s first vinotheque, established in 1976, when it enjoyed a reputation for fine Sherry, claret and Italian wines. Forty years on, this is the place to purchase that very special bottle of Austrian wine, Riedel glassware and fine Austrian spirits. Expect personal service and competent advice. For regular visitors to Vienna, it offers a special cellar service to store and enjoy your wines at the WineBANK.
The original Tian Restaurant is Austria’s only vegetarian one-star Michelin restaurant. This second venue, located in the artistic seventh district of Vienna, serves innovative vegetarian and vegan recipes with locally brewed beer and organic Austrian wine.
The Schweizerhaus is a Viennese institution – despite its Swiss name. Found in the vast Prater public gardens near the amusement park, this beer garden, pub and restaurant pays homage to the former imperial monarchy and serves Czech and Austrian beer alongside huge roasted pork knuckles. The wine list now includes Viennese wines, plus other Austrian specialities.