8 favourite places to eat in Vienna: Zur Eisernen Zeit in Naschmarkt area

Holiday in Vienna (Austria): traditional food to try and 8 restaurants where to eat well and at reasonable price

Vienna is one of the few cities in the world – perhaps the only one – to have given its name to a culinary style. In particular, there are two world-famous viennese specialties.

The first one is Wiener Schnitzel, a breaded veal chop whose recipe can already be found in eighteenth-century cookbooks. It is usually accompanied by french fries and a mixed salad.

The second one is the Sachertorte Cake, which can still be tasted in the place where it was born. It was first prepared in 1832 in the bar of the Hotel Sacher by a 16-year-old chef who due to the unforeseen unavailability of his chef, had to create a last-minute-dessert for a gala dinner. That recipe remains secret even today.

 

 

 

Where to eat well and at good prices in Vienna

The Austrian capital is expensive so do not expect to find cheap places, especially across the city centre.

Having said that, portions are usually very generous so one main course may be enough to feel “full up”. This is the case, for example, of dishes like Wiener Schnitzel, Goulash or Tiroler Gröstl.

There are two cheaper alternatives to traditional restaurants.

Wiener Beisl are simple and characteristic places with walls covered with wooden panels and offering traditional cuisine. Wiener Würsterstand are street-food-kiosks scattered throughout the city where to have a quick lunch or dinner break. Specialties are sausages (würstel) prepared in various ways and served with chips, cheese or bread.

Where to eat cheaper and well in Vienna - Kolonitz Beisl
Wiener Schnitzel – Kolonitz Beisl, Vienna

Before telling you about the restaurants I have tried, I want to give you some useful advices.

First of all, tipping is almost mandatory in Austria and it should correspond to the 10% of the bill. In most cases waiters will tell you about it, giving you the option to automatically add it to the bill. Of course, you can refuse but be prepared for receiving some bad words in German…

Then, in Vienna payment by cash is preferred and many restaurants, especially if family-run, do not accept credit or debit card.

Water is very expensive, especially for an Italian like me who is used to pay no more than 2-3€ for 1L. There are two possibilities: order other drinks or ask for a Leitungswasser, (tap water) that costs much less. Even because Vienna has one of the best drinking water in Europe.

The last tip is to book your table in advance as restaurants are often sold out, especially at dinner. If you did not manage to make any reservation just try to go before peak times, for example between 12 and 12:30 pm or around 6 pm.

Anyway, there are my 8 recommended places where to try the traditional Austrian-Viennese food.

 

 

1) Kolonitz Beisl

It is a historic Beisl opened in 1900 and located 500 m far from the Hundertwasserhaus, one of the hidden gems of Vienna (approximately 2 km from St. Stephen’s Cathedral).

Prices are cheaper as for example the Wiener Schnitzel costs 11.90€ when elsewhere you would pay on average between 17-25€. My choice for the dessert was the Palatschinken, a crepes without butter served with a jam (in my case apricot).

The Kolonitz is open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 11 pm. Opening hours, menu (Speisekarte) and details on how to get there can be found on the website (only in German).

8 traditional restaurants to try in Vienna: Kolonitz Beisl
Crepes “Palatschinken” – Kolonitz Beisl. Vienna

 

 

2) Zur Eisernen Zeit

Let’s visit now another area, the Naschmarkt, located between Karlsplatz (metro U1, U2 and U4) and Kettenbrückengasse (metro U4). This is the most famous market in Vienna and it boasts a gastronomic offer so varied, from Austrian to ethnic food.

Saturday also hosts the weekly flea market and right here I ate a delicious Kaiserschmarren in a street-food version. It is a typical Austrian dessert that looks like a crepe reduced to small pieces and submerged in icing sugar with apple, currant or blueberry jam.

Traditional "Viennese" street food in Naschmarkt market
Kaiserschmarren at Naschmarkt – Vienna

My choice for lunch was the ‘Zur Eisernen Zeit‘, opened in 1916 for the workers who worked there to set up the market stalls. The house specialty is Viennese Goulash but I also recommend Käsespätzle, cheese dumplings with the addition of fried onion and often accompanied by a mixed salad.

For more information just check the restaurant’s website.

8 favourite places to eat in Vienna: Zur Eisernen Zeit in Naschmarkt area
Zur Eisernen Zeit – Naschmarkt, Vienna

 

 

3) Mat’s Würstelstand

It is located near the Prater and I have been there a couple of times as it was also close to my accommodation (Ibis Budget Wien Messe Hotel).

As it is not right in the centre, it is mainly frequented by locals. Some people say that the best Würstels in Vienna are eaten here. Of course, mine was very good and I spent around €8 ordering also the bread (Semmel) and a beer.

To find out where it is I live you this link to Google Maps, where you can read all the reviews (including mine) and opening hours.

Street food at cheaper prices in Vienna: Mat's Würstelstand (near Prater)
Mat’s Würstelstand – Prater, Vienna

 

 

4) Figlmüller

Situated within a walking distance from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, this is a true culinary institution given its international reputation as the “best Wiener schnitzel in Vienna”.

I personally do not know if the quote is true as I find it quite difficult to prove but I have to admit that it is one of the best I have ever eaten. The house specialty version includes the Figlmüller Fries. At first I was a little worried by observing the size of the chop but the light breading and the oil used made for a smooth digestion!

There are two restaurants: the historic one, established in 1905 at Woellzeile 5; and the modern one, opened a few years ago at Bäckerstraße 6. Book a table is required but this has to be done months in advance throught the Figlmüller Restaurant website.

If you cannot make it, as happened to me, I suggest to go directly to the new location before the rush hour. My mother and I were lucky because there was only one couple in front of us (on the way out I counted almost 80 people waiting…) and we were seated after just a couple of minutes.

Where to find the best Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna? At Figlmüller Restaurant
Figlmüller Restaurant – Vienna city centre

 

 

5) Gasthaus Hansy

Definitely less touristy, this is the place where to eat and relax immersed in the atmosphere of the “old Vienna” watching from the window the Giant Ferris Wheel close by.

Reaching this restaurant is very easy as once you get off at the Praterstern metro stop, just follow the signs for the exit to Heinestraße and then cross the street.

Vienna's local food to try: fried chicken - Gasthaus Hansy, near Prater Giant Ferris Wheel
Viennese-style fried chicken – Gasthaus Hansy

Inside, the Gasthaus has a modern design while the menu features the classics of the local culinary tradition. My choice for the main course was the Viennese fried chicken accompanied by a cucumber salad (Backhuhn ausgelöst mit Rahm-Gurkensalat), whilst for the dessert I had a couple of delicious crepes with chocolate, nuts and whipped cream (Schoko-Nuss Palatschinken mit Schlagobers). I also recommend the house beer.

I booked a table the day before on the Gasthaus Hansy website, and I was right because the restaurant was full.

Traditional "Viennese" desserts to try: crepes Palatschnken
Palatschinken – Gasthaus Hansy. Vienna

 

 

6) Brezl Gwölb

Overlooking a quiet alley just a few steps from the am Hof square in Vienna city centre, this restaurant stands out for its romantic ambience, candlelights and wooden furnishings. All this is accompanied by good home cooking and a rich list of wines and beers.

As I was not so hungry I just ordered egg dumplings (Geröstete Knödel mit Ei) together with a green salad. This main dish was served the Wiener Laugenbrezl, a local version of a very common type of German bread. To book a table and check the menu please visit the Brezl Gwölb website.

8 restaurants to try in Vienna city centre - Brezl Gwölb
Egg dumplings with salad – Brezl Gwölb, Vienna

 

 

7) Stöckl im Park

 This is a brewery-restaurant located next to the gardens of the Belvedere Castle so is the perfect place for a culinary break before or after visiting the Gustav Klimt Collection.

Those who want to try something different from meat dishes I can suggest the salmon fillet (Lachs). In my case I had a delicious beef broth with liver dumpling (Kräftige Rindsbouillon mit Leberknödel).

8 restaurants to try in Vienna: Stöckl im Park (Belvedere quartier)
Stöckl im Park – Belvedere quartier, Vienna

Speaking of desserts I obviously got a slice of Sachertorte cake.

Booking a table for dinner is compulsory but not for lunch. All information can be found on Stöckl im Park website.

Sachertorte cake to try in Vienna: Stöckl im Park, next to Belvedere Palace and Museum
Sachertorte cake at Stöckl im Park – Belvedere quartier, Vienna

 

 

8) Bettelstudent

An absolutely informal, almost family-like atmosphere is the soul of this place located a short walking distance from the Haus der Musik and the Vienna State Opera.

Good food, excellent beers and live music. The restaurant area is quiet while the pub area is undoubtedly more lively, with lots of people at the bar counter and waiters carrying food and drinks from one side to another.

I got a Bauerngröstl, a typical dish of the cucina povera (“kitchen of the poor”) served with vegetables and an excellent Studentenbräu bier. Menu is available here (Speisekarte) and make a reservation is as always strongly recommended (eespecially for dinner).

8 restaurants where to eat well in Vienna: Bettelstudent
Bettelstudent – Vienna

 

 

 

The best activities to do in Vienna

Some of the most popular attractions and other things to do are included in the list below:

 

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