Breakfast in Austria
The Naschmarkt is a great way to spend a Saturday morning, especially if you’re hungry. On Saturdays, the food market extends to a flea market where people sell all kinds of junk that is fun to look at. But for me, the real fun is walking through the food market and tasting all kinds of delicacies (like dried watermelon, yum!).
After being tempted by almost everything I saw, I finally stopped for breakfast at a Turkish café (ironically I was in Turkey the day before) in the heart of the market. The food and coffee were fresh and delicious and it was a great place for people watching.
Coffee houses are a huge part of the Viennese culture. Many of the traditional cafes are decorated beautifully on the inside and feature a variety of picture-perfect pastries. People often linger for hours enjoying their mélange (local coffee with warm milk and foam, to me it tastes like a cappuccino) and conversation.
There are hundreds throughout the city and it’s hard to go wrong (except Café Griensteindl - I didn’t like this highly-rated breakfast spot / coffee house. I ordered yogurt with fresh fruit which was very watery (gross) and the coffee only came half full. The prices are also quite high and I don’t think it is worth it).
Lunch in Vienna
Figlmueller is home to the schnitzel of all schnitzels. With a few locations throughout the city, it is still difficult to get seated without a wait – so make a reservation or go early. The schnitzels are huge (definitely good for two people) and are surprisingly not greasy at all for a dish that is fried! But if you still want something to balance the fried meat, the salads are fresh and tasty.
Note: at the end of your meal you will have to tell the waiter how many pieces of bread you had from the basket… and you pay per roll!
Dinner in Vienna
Konoba is a delicious fish restaurant that is far from the touristy city center and home to locals and regulars. My cousins who have lived in Vienna over a decade took me here and it was delicious! We ordered an appetizer platter and then a fish platter so we got to try a little of everything. You can’t go wrong here, especially with the calamari or cod-like lake fish (don’t know the name)
On my first night in Vienna, I started walking in the neighborhood by my hotel (near the Westbanhof train station) for something quick to eat. There wasn’t much going on on the main shopping street-by-day, and I was about to call it quits when I saw people coming out of a small alleyway. I looked in and there were a bunch of tables outside of a restaurant called Kantine with people eating and drinking while watching a huge screen set up for watching the World Cup!
I went in and had a grilled chicken salad and a Radler to drink (apparently popular for girls who don’t like the bitter taste of beer, Radler is also part lemonade… I was not a fan!). I got to watch some of the World Cup around a bunch of in-the-know locals who wanted to enjoy the nice weather over a drink and a soccer match.
Snacks, Desserts & Pastries in Vienna
Café Sacher is part of the Sacher Hotel and is famous for its original Sacher Würfel, a mini chocolate cake with a twist. The treat has a light layer of apricot jam in the middle and is covered with chocolate frosting and a chocolate decal on top. They are quite delicious and worth the three Euro+ per bite size treat.
The hotel claims to have the original - and secret - recipe for the torte that dates back to 1832, so it is truly the place to get a real taste.
As with many cities in Europe, gelato is the local ice cream, and you can find it everywhere. I was taken to the ‘best’ gelato in the city, at Eissalon Tuchlauben. Even on a Sunday night, this place was busy and their homemade gelato was running low! About half their flavors were completely sold out. I may have had a triple scoop on a cone…. Delicious!
One of the most famous coffee houses in Vienna is Demel, located on the popular Kohlmarkt street next to some of the most expensive and fancy shops in town. Demel is known for their intricate interior, candy shop, and delicious pastries. It is pricy – as expected – but worth the cost for a one-time pastry and coffee and a couple of photos.
TIP: Demel's pastries can be found at Dean & Deluca in NYC!