Habibi & Hawara

Meaning “friend” in German and Arabic, Austria’s only refugee-run restaurant aims to connect locals with newcomers over fusion food. Habibi & Hawara serves a mix of Austrian and Middle Eastern cuisine and is well known for its extensive, vegetarian-friendly lunch buffet and its so-called “family dinners” (up to 15 dishes served tapas style). Most of the staff come from Syria and Afghanistan and fled the war zones in 2015.

Trześniewski

Polish entrepreneur Franciszek Trześniewski brought the open sandwich culture to Vienna by opening his first joint in 1902. The tiny rye bread sandwiches come with a huge variety of toppings including egg, lentil and tuna and make a perfect snack any time of the day. The locals often enjoy them together with a “Pfiff” (a small beer) but to honour the founder, Polish shots are available as well (and soft-drinks, too!).

The LaLa

Vegan sisters Cecilia and Susanna landed a major hit with their fully plant-based ice-cream parlour Veganista (which has nine shops in Vienna to date) before opening their own, Californian-inspired bistro in 2019. Start your day with a colourful muesli bowl and avocado on toast or enjoy healthy bowls, salads, smoothies and guilt-free brownies before exploring the cool neighbourhood.

Zur Herknerin

For traditional Austrian food in a contemporary setting, Zur Herknerin is a must-visit. Owner Stefanie Herkner spoils her guests with hearty dishes such as schnitzel and dumplings best enjoyed together with her favourite martini. The menu changes weekly and always includes options for vegetarians. Stefanie also runs cooking classes for everyone interested in mastering the art of preparing dumplings.

Motto am Fluss

Located right at the Danube canal, where the boats leave for nearby Bratislava, this trendy hotspot is popular with the local in-crowd, visitors and day trippers alike. Motto am Fluss is an elegant restaurant and a hip bar both in one, its biggest selling point being the huge terrace with picture-perfect views over the water.

Swing Kitchen

This trendy fast-food restaurant proves that beef is overrated. Swing Kitchen serves huge meat-free burgers, wraps and nuggets so delicious you don’t have to be vegan to fall in love with them at the first bite. Karl and Irene Schillinger, the duo behind the foodie hotspot, have expanded to five restaurants in Vienna but the original one in Schottenfeldgasse is still the most popular. Celebs such as Pamela Anderson and Bryan Adams are fans.

Yamm!

The Instagram-worthy restaurant just opposite the University of Vienna is heaven on earth for vegans and vegetarians (and anyone on a meat-free day). Guests can choose between à la carte brunch and lunch and a huge, fresh buffet which is paid by weight. Dishes are a mix of international and Austrian cuisine made of local and mainly organic ingredients.

Café Liebling

The shabby-chic hang-out in Zollergasse is a brunch, lunch and after work hotspot all in one, with a small patio for the warmer months. It gets especially busy on weekends with the local crowd mastering the art of brunching (which can pretty much go on all day). Come early and look for the “Bar” sign outside (there is nothing that says “Liebling”). We recommend the organic lemonade.

Am Brillantengrund

Am Brillantengrund is technically a hotel but its restaurant (with a cute courtyard patio) is equally popular with Viennese foodies. Born in the Philippines, owner Mama Mangalino prepares traditional dishes from her home country such as Filipino steak and stir-fries, using regional and seasonal ingredients. Almost everything can be ordered as vegetarian or vegan (including the steak). Leave some room for “Mama’s cheesecake”.

Marks

Marks is a three-story café, restaurant and bar in the heart of Neubau beloved for its laid-back atmosphere. There’s a large patio for summer and a cosy open fireplace for colder days. Breakfast is served all day but there are changing lunch specials and dinner options as well. This is the sort of place where you can spend a whole day snacking through the menu, reading free magazines and getting some work done, too (if you really have to).

Café Prückel

Café Prückel is all pink drapings and chandeliers. Opposite the beautiful MAK museum (worth a visit if you’re interested in applied arts), this is a great spot to meet friends and experience Viennese coffeehouse culture. With coffee specialties, stacks of newspapers and homemade pastries, this spot is perfect for whiling away a few hours.

Café Frauenhuber

As the oldest coffee house in Vienna, Café Frauenhuber is pretty popular. Located at the old Fleischmarkt (meat market) in the first district, it makes a convenient centrepoint for a taste of Viennese nostalgia.

Kleines Café

This tiny coffee shop lives up its name which translates as “little café”. But that’s its charm. Drink in the bohemian atmosphere (and maybe a hot chocolate too). If seating is an issue, the outdoor cobbled square offers an equally appealing setting (weather permitting) for a coffee break.

Hollerei

At Hollerei the menu changes weekly. Surrounds compliment the restaurant’s wholesome fare with dark wood parquet floors and benches big enough for two. While here, check out the Hollerei gallery, which promotes emerging artists and facilitates entry-level collectors. Check its website for information about exclusive art dinners and events hosted in the exhibition rooms. Cooking workshops are also bookable online.

Amerlingbeisl

Base yourself in this lantern-filled courtyard for an afternoon of conversation with friends. Sample a mixture of Viennese and international cuisine – opting for a mix of fettuccine with wild garlic, and local sausage with potato salad. The small menu has a seasonal focus, and vegetarian, vegan and organic dishes are available in limited supply.

Heurigen

At these rustic wine taverns, food is simple and drinks flow freely. Found on the outskirts of Vienna – as well as in Austria’s winegrowing regions – they’re particularly nice to visit in summer and autumn. Stroll through the taverns’ gardens, glass of red in hand, before tucking into a selection of cured meats, breads and pickled vegetables. Strudel for dessert is near obligatory.

Oswald & Kalb

Positioned in the Old University Quarter, not far from St Stephen’s Cathedral, Oswald & Kalb is the place to grab a table in a cosy vault and peruse the traditional menu. Treat yourself to some typical Viennese cuisine (although the deboned fried chicken is also very good) and select Austrian wines.

Glacis Beisl

Sample some contemporary Austrian food a stone’s throw from the crowded Museumsquartier. Hidden sub-terra along Breite Gasse, Glacis Beisl is a surprisingly spacious spot for lunch. Enjoy authentic goulash and scrumptious wiener schnitzel beneath the walnut trees in the sun-drenched courtyard. Post lunch resume to your cultural afternoon at the nearby Leopold Museum.

Superfood Deli

Vienna’s food scene extends far beyond schnitzel. For the best acai bowls in town head to the Superfood Deli on the Mariahilfer Strasse. Its motto, “raw, fresh, local, vegan, natural, organic, handmade and sustainable” tells you all you need to know. After devouring your particularly tasty lunch, order a fresh juice or homemade almond-milk latte to go.

Honu Tiki Bowls

Honu Tiki Bowls brings a little Hawaii to Vienna. A hip spot in the city centre, it’s the perfect place for a pit stop when exploring. Mix your base of rice or zoodles with fresh ingredients to refuel before heading out shopping or sightseeing.

Zum Schwarzen Kameel

If Wes Anderson opened a sandwich joint, this would probably be the place. At Zum Schwarzen Kameel you’ll dine on open sandwiches and neatly cut, pastel-hued pastries. Suffice to say, this charming establishment should be on every visitor’s list – locals love it. In winter, cosy up in the open-air gastgarten under heaters and layered blankets with a wiener melange – a viennese take on a cappuccino.

Mochi Ramen Bar

Stop here after a visit to Vienna’s Prater amusement park. The eatery is on the smaller side and operates on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are not possible (so don’t waste your time cosying up to the front of house). The wait is worth it with a lengthy menu of ramen variations. Our advice: don’t skimp on the toppings.

Aida

The trademark pink and brown interior of this Viennese bakery, which has many locations across the city, has remained untouched over the decades. Locals rely on Aida’s simple, no-frills approach to coffee, cakes, snacks and ice cream, which are prepared to perfection by ladies in candy-pink pinafores.

Vollpension

As an ode to the full-board guesthouses scattered around Vienna, this cosy café puts baking in the capable hands of omas (grandmothers) who bake tarts, cakes and pastries using local produce and generations-old family recipes. The room is decked out like the living room of your sassiest great aunt, with scrubby brick walls, camelback sofas and formica tables.

Heuer

Jars of pickles and fermented goods line the walls of this sleek inner-city restaurant that serves traditional dishes with contemporary flair. All of the ingredients are fetched from local farms or the restaurant’s garden, which is lined with fruit trees and beehives, and regularly hosts concerts by contemporary musicians.

Blue Mustard

Don’t miss this newbie on the restaurant circuit, located right in the heart of Vienna’s first district. By day their airstream caravan serves up street food and coffee, then the glimmering dining room opens in the evenings. Washed with coppers and golds, this spot serves food inspired by Italy, Japan, Scotland, Austria and beyond in the form of carefully constructed dishes with explosive flavours.

Labstelle

Dedicated to sourcing the best produce from local suppliers to create inventive slow food, this casual fine-dining spot is furnished with Ercol chairs, natural wood and copper. The menu is seasonal – stem cabbage with pork neck and brown hollandaise, smoked trout with almonds and pancetta, organic chicken with local mushrooms. Breakfast is served on Saturdays, and is all about good bread, good butter, homemade granola and scrambled eggs.

The Breakfast Club

Locals fill their boots with contemporary brunch dishes including poached eggs and French toast, or jazzed-up Austrian classics such as bread, honey and fruit at this all-day breakfast joint in the heart of the lively fourth district.

Neni

Nestled in the heart of Naschmarkt, Neni serves up Israeli food inspired by the cafés of Jerusalem and the market bars of Tel Aviv. Breakfast includes bubbling baked eggs, yoghurt with candied nuts and Yiddish sweet bread, while lunch or dinner calls for feasts of oven-baked aubergine with tahini, almond chicken, lamb shawarma, perfect pitta bread and the best hummus in the city.

Zweitbester

Join the fashion pack at this new bar/restaurant surrounded by the artisan stores and boutique galleries of the Freihausviertel. The food is bright, modern and comforting with a concise brunch, lunch and dinner menu of seasonal dishes. The bar even hosts concerts in the loos, with a crammed programme of local DJs and musicians.

Aida Café

Vollpension

Heuer

Blue Mustard

Labstelle

The Breakfast Club

Neni

Zweitbester

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