Sweets and treats in Vienna!
October 12, 2011 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations of bakeries, cafes, konditorei, restaurants, etc with AMAZING sweets and pastries in Vienna. Am looking to avoid touristy places like Demel. Bonus points for places (regardless of sweet offerings) with views, like Cafe Urania.

ALSO...searching for recommendations for any foodie places in Vienna like Naschmarkt, Julius Meinl, etc. And last, looking for recs for generally must see places in Vienna (am especially partial to places with spectacular views). Are there any stairs I can climb somewhere in Vienna to get breathtaking views of the city, the Danube, etc? Already looked through here, here, and here.

Touristy recommendations okay for views and gastronomic recs.
posted by cranberryskies to Travel & Transportation around Vienna, Austria (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Go visit the Osterreicher im Mak. Snazzy restaurant in a cool museum.
posted by shivohum at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2011

Views: Climb the south tower of Stefansdom, Schloss Belvedere.

Cafes: IIRC, the fare at Schloss Schönbrunn's cafe is merely average and overpriced, and it's touristy, but the setting kicks ass.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:02 PM on October 12, 2011

Our favorite thing in Vienna was the Schmetterlinghaus. We went on an icy-rainy blowy day in December and ate at the (admittedly touristy, but still pleasant) cafe in the palmenhaus next door. I don't know when you're going, but we finished the day at the Christkindlmarkt eating cheese-filled sausages and drinking Glühwein in the rain. Steamy tropical butterflies + Christmas market was an excellent lineup.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:16 PM on October 12, 2011

Just got back from Vienna a few days ago. Julius Meinl is a must for foodies - good Austrian take home goodies include pumpkin seed oil (Austrians crazy about the stuff, seemingly tipping it on everything), apricot jam/jelly, and I also got some interesting chocolate - one has some kind of pine or conifer flavour, the other has pumpkin seeds and something else pumpkin.

I have to say, I did have a very memorable cake thing from Demel called a Frou Frou - some kind of creamy stuff, covered in noodley things made out of chestnut on a meringue base. Maybe get take-away if you don't want to sit in? I ate mine in the park.

Favourite restaurant was probably Skopik and Lohn - I am not sure if it is right to say 'modern Austrian' but it was good (I had the gnocchi with pear and parsnip).

Good place to sample Austrian cheeses (aside from buying a lot at the market) is Meierei in Stadtpark (behind Steirereck which is supposed to be one of the city's top restaurants). The food looked pretty good - but I just had a cheese plate, and also strudel (which contrary to their website, comes out of the oven at 13.00 [apple] and 14.00 [cheese curd]). Lots of milks to sample too (sometimes they have horse milk!).

Tried some good beers at the 1516 brewery, but it is a pub quite popular with foreign residents and thus has stuff like US college sports on tv. The food was good though - the weekly specials page of the menu includes lots of local and seasonal specialties.

As the weather was good, Motto am Fluss on the river was great for sitting outdoors in their deckchairs and having a drink. Didn't eat there, but food looked good.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:03 AM on October 13, 2011

I've found fairly bad pastries in Vienna, which has made me fairly sad. I have yet to find better pastries than Demel (and i've lived here for 4 years now). Good luck. Let me know if you find something better. I've had better pastries prettymuch everywhere outside of Vienna - Hungary, Spain and Italy were all vastly superior, even when serving "Viennese" pastries. I think the golden age of pastries has left Vienna, and they will ride their reputation for as long as they can.

Da Capo in the 1st district has pretty good Italian, and the Italian place right next to Stephanplatz on Singerstraße has fairly imaginative, good italian food (Asparagus and Strawberry dessert was pretty neat).

Maschiu-Maschiu has *wonderful* falafel sandwiches with sauerkraut and other goodies. Great, great food. I like the kebap stand near Johannesgasse 4a, but there is great debate on kebap qualities, and I'm not all that up on it (and I've certainly had better kebap elsewhere, but it was way out of the center of town).

The sausage stand at Hoher Markt, along with the one in between the Albertina and the Opera House have excellent sausages. Bratwurst w/ spicy mustard in a crusty bun (Bratwurst "Hot dog", they call it) is divine.

The best burgers I've found in town were Franks, near Swedenplatz.

The ice cream parlors are prettymuch closed now, but the new one on Rotenturmgasse is open until December and is excellent. Paolo Bartolotti's on Mariahilferstraße might still be open. Their white kiss icecream is really very good.

I've heard amazing things about Steiereck in Stadtpark, and Plachutta was very good. Mörwald in the Ambassador Hotel is horrible - overpriced food that's trying to be cutting edge, but instead just tastes (very) bad.

If you're going to go to one museum, go to the Schatzkammer; it's just wonderful. Get the audioguide, and focus on the non-religious stuff.

The clock museum is lame, the globe museum is kind of cool, if you like globes. The Hundertwasserhaus is kind of neat, particularly in the Spring/Summer when the trees are green. Schönbrunn is worth the trip, the zoo is lovely (follow the feeding schedule!) (also, the tropical house during the winter is a great place to warm up), and the gardens behind Schönbrunn are really great, particularly in Spring/Summer/First half of fall. The Schmetterlinghaus is kind of neat, if small.

Gosh..what else...oh, do have Kaiserschmarrn. It's like french toast had babies in heaven with pancakes. Demels does pretty good Kaiserschmarrn, and I'm sure some of the better cafés do as well.
posted by sdis at 7:40 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Coffee: Try Cafe Couture (Garnisongasse 18 in the 9th). Amazing pay what you want coffee. There is no sign, so look for the sandwich board outside.

The Kaffee Kueche in the Shottentor U-bahn Station also has really good coffee and croissants.

Of the grand cafes, Hawelka is my favorite. Go after 10:00pm to get the Buchteln.

Huerigers: Now is the prefect time for Huerigers (Austria wine taverns). Take the 38A bus up to the end of the line at Leopoldsberg. It's on the hills to the north east of the city and offers a terrific view. From there, you can walk down hill through the vineyards, stopping along the way to sample the wine and sturm (early wine). You'll end up in Grinzing, an fairly tourist area, but one with lots of Huerigers and Austrian restaurants.

Alternatively, you can take the 35A bus up to Neustift am Walde‎, which is kind of like Grinzing, but slightly less touristy.

Other Food: Cafe der Provinz is a good place to get Sunday bunch. If the weather is nice, they have outside seating on a quiet street with a view of the Marie Theresa Church.

Die Burgermacher has some of the best burgers and a seasonal menu. Smokey's also has a good burger.

Second Maschu Maschu for falafel.

Views: The bar at the Sofitel Stephansdom (which really isn't that close to Stephansdom) is the new hot spot for viewing the city.
posted by chrisulonic at 10:17 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, I think I would disagree sith sdis. I think there are plenty of good pastries to be had in Vienna. In fact, I'd say it's hard to find really bad pastries (though they do exist). But, unfortunately, most of the best Konditoreien have long ago been found by tourists, so you may have to brave some touristy places. Demel is famous for a reason, and definitely worth a visit. You can probably skip the Hotel Sacher (which is so touristy that it makes Demel look like a secret local hangout). Oberlaa (which has several locations) is pretty good, as is Gerstner (on Kärntnerstraße). Café Landtmann (by the Burgtheater) has good pastries and a very nice interior. Not really secret tips, but they're the first that come to mind.
posted by klausness at 2:33 PM on October 14, 2011

I really loved Cafe Diglas on my last trip there. Here's a nice travel blog write up about it. Wonderful lush red velvet booths. You can sit for hours. Amazing, wonderful food that was lovely to look at and consume.

We went here on a Sunday after attending St. Peter's where we heard a Brahms Mass. This was a lovely Baroque church, close to the more famous St. Stephens but equally impressive in it's own right. This was a wonderful way to see a church of this period and listen to some amazing beautiful music for free (donations to the church and musicians are accepted). This part is not really what you asked for - but it was one of those things we sort of fell into while visiting some friends that live there and go to these performances frequently and it was a highlight of the entire trip.

Strolling over to Cafe Diglas afterward made for a perfect Sunday. Have a great trip!
posted by dog food sugar at 10:38 PM on October 14, 2011

Yes, Café Diglas is good, too. And they have nice chandeliers.
posted by klausness at 2:24 PM on October 15, 2011

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