Of all the meals in Vienna, ice cream might not be your priority – but perhaps it should be? Gelato makers here go way back and – despite over a century of churning, they’ve opened their hearts to plant-based options. Which pretty much goes for the rest of the city. Even the most famous Vienna schnitzel slinger has a vegan version to serve. That said, Vienna restaurants aren’t all focused on plants. Breakfasts are boozy, lunches can be three course events and dinners come with views and Michelin craftsmanship – without the burden of a star or two. We’ve picked out some of the best restaurants in Vienna for you to muse over…
Vienna Ice Cream
Eissalon am Schwedenplatz
The pastel colours of the traditional Italian gelato at Eissalon am Schwedenplatz might look made for the Insta crowd, but the Pradel family have been serving ice cold realness in this city for over 100 years. If you’re in Vienna, an ice cream from this gorge little retro number on Franz-Josefs-Kai is an absolute must. We’re telling you now, so no matter which meal time you choose from the options below, you can always leave room for an Italian gelato in Austria. No, it’s not on brand and neither is it a schnitzel, but somehow, it just works.
This overwhelming breakfast spot has a menu that’s more than worth wrangling with. Mainly because you can create the absolute meal of your dreams. But also, daytime drinking. Yes, Erich serves mimosas, a mean bloody mary and espresso martinis early doors and frankly, breakfast in this city is all the better for it. Pair your boozy start to the day with bowls, eggs benny, vegan shakshuka, breakfast tacos or the kind of early morning creation only Frankenstein would be proud of. Indulge your food fetishes freely – at Erich, no one will judge you for mingling crispy quinoa with eggs, a couple of mini bratwurst and halloumi.
Orbzii tip: Keep an eye out for Ulrich as you tour Vienna’s attractions, it’s the sister restaurant to Erich and the food is just as good.
Haas & Haas
If you like your breakfasts a smidge more refined – but still as mind-bogglingly diverse, book a swish seat at Haas & Haas. First and foremost, this is Vienna’s premier tea joint. So expect to knock back at least a high grade Earl Grey or two before 10am. On the food side? The menu is a refreshingly global way to start the day. Yes, there’s a Vienna breakfast. But boy do the croissants, egg and jam look a little dull compared to the Japanese breakfast. It might take a brave palate to down the fried salmon, miso soup and aromatic omelette… but, when in Vienna and all that. At Haas & Haas you can travel the world from their prim and proper dining room. American, Full English, Italian and Chinese breakfasts are among the stand out options. If we can learn anything here? Well, the Prosecco breakfast just confirms that Austrians do seem to like their drink.
We’re not being at all crass when we say, the Vienna schnitzel at Figlmüller is as big as your face. Thin, crispy and expertly fried, the breaded pork spills over even the restaurant’s largest plates. Yes, you can choose from a dozen salads to pair with it, but that’s a bold move given the stats on this meal. 30+cms of fried food are coming your way when you order this legendary classic. But, portions aside, Figlmüller’s is THE place to try Vienna schnitzel. In fact, it’s so popular, they’ve had to open a second location just to serve all the schnitzel-hungry folk. Which does mean this is a rather lively and busy spot for lunch. You are sitting down to a slice of history though. This is the fourth generation of Figlmüllers to run the restaurant – so it’s worth popping in to see what all the fuss is about.
Orbzii tip: It’s worth noting that there are two schnitzels on the menu in most traditional schnitzel houses, veal and pork. Figlmüller even have a vegan version if you’d rather swerve the veal.
In a city so strewn with schnitzel, ice cream, goulash and bratwurst, the huge number of vegan outlets is a boon for the plant-based and a much-needed respite for the digestive system for the plant-curious. Diners of all persuasion will want to pull up a chair at Venuss. Their all vegan, mostly organic, buffet is just the kind of light bite you’ll be craving as you flit between the numerous cool cafes in Vienna and a peer around the Opera House. In the mood for something a little more substantial? Venuss lay on a cracker of a three course gourmet lunch too. Two locations, a rather fancy a la carte menu and a collection of freshly cooked options you can whisk away to your self-catering spot and it’s hard to see how you can keep away from their door long enough to see the rest of the city.
Orbzii tip: Vegans, keep an eye out for Swing Burger locations across the city. There’s three that are handy if you just want to grab, go and know you’re in vegan-friendly company.
Some of the best restaurants in Vienna have clocked up a Michelin star or three. And, chef Konstantin Flilppou has a couple of his own at his main restaurant. Those in the know? Well, they toddle along to his charming little bistro, O’Boufes instead. Dishes are a smidge easier on the wallet, but still refined, innovative and – more importantly, delicious. By all means give both a visit. But if you’re looking for the best food in the city, in a more rustic setting, you’ll not go wrong here.
Orbzii tip: The food menu may be pared back and simple, but the wine list is quite the read. Bring your reading glasses and settle in for a romp through some hand-picked bottles you’ll find it hard to choose from.
How do you feel about a destination restaurant? Mixed emotions? Us too. Though every now and then you do get those that manage to pair stunning views with a menu worth the little bit extra tacked on for the experience. In Vienna, that’s Onyx. Your views? The very well lit (at night) St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The cuisine? Sushi and Japanese dishes. No, we weren’t expecting that either. But, the decor, lighting and menu combine to deliver something very different – and memorable. There’s nothing particularly avant garde to worry about at Onyx. Japanese staples presented and cooked well, where appropriate. A very romantic spot – if you can book the premium window spots before everyone else.
Orbzii tip: Scale the hotel for another couple of flights and you’ll find Do & Co Restaurant. We’d not say swerve it entirely, but the views, food and service make Onyx the better of the two.