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Dining and Dancing in Vienna

By Ryan Merrifield

Posted: 9th September 2014 11:23

Viennese cuisine, or wiener küche, first started appearing in German cookbooks around the end of the 18th Century.  It takes diverse influences from Italian, French, Turkish, Jewish, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, reflecting the blend of nationalities and historical influences of the city.  Today, Vienna is probably most famous for its pastries – it claims to be the birthplace of the Danish pastry, known here as wienerbrød because it uses a kind of buttery dough found in classic Viennese cookery.  Other specialities include apple or cheese filled strudels, Viennese crepes (palatschinken), and of course the ever-popular Wiener schnitzel. 

As far as drinking goes, the culture of the coffee house is still prevalent here today, and Viennese coffee is famous worldwide.  For an alcoholic speciality, there are also several local breweries whose beers are worth checking out, including the internationally popular Ottakringer, speciality beers from 1516 Brewing Company, who also offer pale ales and stouts, and 7Stern Brau, offering a wide choice of unusual and quirky beverages, including an intriguing hemp-beer or a more traditional Bamberg-style smoked beer. 

Eating
 
Stemen
A popular meeting point for over 100 years, Stemen is a traditional biesl (or bistro) serving classic Viennese dishes.  Its high-ceilings and wood panelled interior is popular with locals and tourists alike.
 
Figlmüller
Touted as “the home of the schnitzel”, Figlmüller in the Old City specialises in huge, crispy portions of the Austrian favourite, served with a generous side of potato salad.  They focus on local produce and fresh ingredients for the best flavours.
 
XXL Brünner Stadl
Situated in the suburbs of Vienna, XXL Brünner Stadl serves spare ribs and schnitzels of mammoth proportions.  Bring a friend (or three) and get stuck in.
 
Cafe Mozart
A cafe has stood on this site since 1794.  Cafe Mozart has over the years been a popular meeting place for artists and the beautiful interiors of this classic Viennese cafe makes the coffee all the more appealing.
 
Drinking
 
Barfly’s
Find old-world glamour at this American-style hotel bar.  The chequerboard floors, dark wood furniture, and classic drinks list – hundreds of classic cocktails and nearly 1000 whiskeys – are enough to whisk you away to a bygone era. 
 
Pappala Pub
Set under disused railway arches, Pappala’s exposed brickwork and vaulted ceiling are all part of its charm.  Expect live bands till the early hours and a friendly, lively atmosphere at this prime party hotspot.
 
Donau Techno
The whole room turns into a screen onto which projected visual displays swirl and pulsate in time to the loud techno music reverberating around the walls.  They also sell sausages – could you get any more Austrian?