Le Loft. Photo: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom
There are times when a Leberkässemmel from your favourite sausage stand just doesn't cut it. Perhaps you have an important date lined up - but where's the best place to splash out on for an evening of fine dining? Barbara Cação recommends ten high end restaurants in Vienna for an evening to remember.
The two Michelin star realm of gourmet chef Silvio Nickol beams you straight to the top of culinary excellence. The exquisitely modern restaurant at luxury temple Palais Coburg blends its interiors with its cuisine. This is a fabulous place for gourmets hungry for new taste experiences, for example wild char with asparagus, caviar and linseed oil; dove with Jerusalem artichoke, watercress and morel; and rhubarb with fennel, sour cream and sorrel. Tour the impressive wine cellar if you have time.
Address: Coburgbastei 4, 1010
The stalwart holder of two Michelin stars has lost none of its zest over the years. Last year, the extended and refurbished park restaurant finally adapted its interiors to reflect the quality of its food and drink. Master chef Gerd Reitbauer keeps re-inventing Austrian cuisine and re-introducing forgotten vegetable types (for example beta sweet carrots). Steirereck excels in blending the elegant with the humble – ever had fried pigeon with mangold and litchi tomatoes, or lobster with wheat, oats, cabbage and lemon?
Address: Am Heumarkt 2A/ inside Stadtpark
Three generations of a long-established Viennese family decided to go nuts with their food. The result is a gourmet restaurant with extraordinary creativity. Think and eat out of the box, for example with their ‘no risk no fun’ menu, boasting marinated lamb with pumpernickel, mackerel with camomile or Iberico pork with udon noodles. The interiors of the restaurant set in down-to-earth Brigittenau have undergone various phases of refurbishment and have settled on a cool but friendly style.
Address: Wallensteinstrasse 59, 1200
It's hard, according to some local food critics, for Le Loft’s chef to match the undeniable wow-effect of the restaurant’s stunning vistas. Set 75 metres above ground on the 18th level, the restaurant of Hotel Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom has had mixed reviews. (Although I like to believe that things have changed since my last visit in 2012). The menu seems alluring for the seasoned gourmet – crispy chicken skin with green asparagus and Madeira; venison with black salsify and mushroom; celeriac in salt crust and goat yoghurt. Ready to dive in?
Address: Praterstrasse 1, 1020
Since its inception last year as part of luxury hotel Palais Hansen Kempinski, gourmet location Edvard has catapulted itself to one of the most popular high-end eateries in the city. If you love Austrian cuisine (with some Mediterranean elements) but hunger for an unconventional approach make yourself comfortable in Edvard’s tasteful green and white restaurant. Recommended dishes range from ‘pork from head to toe’ and cod with caponata and black rice, to quail with morels and Jerusalem artichoke.
Address: Schottenring 24, 1010
Long known as an insider tip in trendy Leopoldstadt, restaurant Vincent has been attracting the public attention it deserves. Its original international cuisine is complemented by local ingredients such as Viennese snails by snail farmer king Andreas Gugumuck, asparagus from Marchfeld and local wild rooster. You can choose to feast in the traditional wood panelled main restaurant or the modern winter garden.
Address: Grosse Pfarrgasse 7, 1020
Like Mraz&Sohn, Konstantin Filippou pours his horn of plenty over those open to a new taste experience. The Austro-Greek gourmet chef blends differently flavoured ingredients from Austrian and Mediterranean cuisine to tickle your senses. Cod and pork belly mix with char caviar; veal tongue flirts with oyster, kimchi and radish; vanilla cream embraces beetroot, apple, rhubarb and cumin. Expect a mind boggling meal.
Address: Dominikanerbastei 17, 1010
Did I mention Leberkäse? Don’t be fooled if you see it on Walter Bauer's menu. As a tradition, Walter Bauer’s one Michelin star eatery serves a high-end interpretation of that Austrian street food as an amuse bouche. A little more glamorous but still solidly traditional are the interiors, the menu and wine list. Walter is a good place for lovers of modern Austrian food who relish professionally presented familiar tastes.
Address: Sonnenfelsgasse 17, 1010
Well established Dom Beisl is a good place to splash out on modern Viennese cuisine and wine. Master chef Thomas Wohlfahrter collaborates closely with sommelier Hermann Botolen and regional producers. You’ll likely redefine your take on classics like veal head, freshwater fish, and chocolate cake. Some reviewers were disappointed by the price and quality of some of the more traditional dishes - such as the organic Wiener Schnitzel with cucumber salad (€25,50) - so make sure you fully tap into Dom Beisl’s creative side to get the most for your money.
Address: Schulerstrasse 4, 1010
The Japanese gourmet restaurant at Grand Hotel has the reputation of being the best Japanese in the city. Enjoy super fresh Sushi, Sashimi, grilled meat and seafood (Teppanyaki), and Tempura in particularly subtle taste combinations, beautifully presented. The traditional fine dining Kaiseki menu is served in the evenings. Get a special Chef’s Sushi at Unkai’s downstairs sushi bar every first Monday of the month.
Address: Kärntner Ring 9, 1010