The best restaurant openings 2023
2023 is the year of takeovers in Vienna. Existing eateries are being shepherded into the future with new concepts and/or new names. It is fortunate when new owners are found for particularly beautiful eating establishments such as the former “Das kleine Paradies”. The new restaurant that now calls this architectural jewel home is called Creo. and offers fine dining experiences. Tasting menus are now served in the old, heritage-protected typewriter store dating from Austria’s imperial era.
The focus is likewise on fine dining in the former Café Stadtkind, just a stone’s throw from the University of Vienna. The Schatz Imhof restaurant, which is named after its two owners, offers sophisticated cuisine that also fits perfectly with the trendy interior featuring Roland Rainer’s famous Stadthallen armchairs.
The Glückskind has moved into the premises formerly occupied by the Villon wine bar. The “cocktail-kitchen-club”, as it refers to itself, is spread over three floors deep under the ground in a cellar that is approximately 500-year-old, and is illuminated with an array of colors. An evening at the Glückskind involves food, cocktails, and dancing to round off the night.
What’s new in the MuseumsQuartier
Many years ago, the two architects and Pritzker Prize winners Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal designed a restaurant in Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, which is now home to the Turkish restaurant Kaan - the restaurant’s interior draws on the patterns of the ceiling tiles created by the Turkish artist Asiye Kolbai-Kafalier.
Also located in the MuseumsQuartier, the mumok - Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna has also found a new partner for its restaurant. The café-bistro Food’Amour offers Franco-Moroccan delicacies made using organic or regional products.
The latest from the coffee house scene
Peggy Strobel, the former restaurant manager at the Michelin-starred restaurant Mraz & Sohn, has taken over what used to be Café Naber on Wipplingerstrasse. The charming 1950s-style restaurant has been renamed Die Cafetière. The fact that both the toast and the ice cream produced in-house tastes better than usual is down to the connection to the Michelin-starred cooking from Mraz.
The former Café Maria Treu, located on the beautiful Piaristenplatz, has also been given a new lease of life. The owners of the trendy Ramasuri and Drechsler bars have reopened the café under the name Treu am Platzl. From a culinary perspective, the focus is on breakfast and brunch, while the café’s garden is one of the most beautiful in Vienna.
SiL is Vienna’s newest go-to venue for breakfast. Breakfast is served all day long in this spacious eatery, with the dishes serving equally well as little snacks for between meals.
The legendary Café Engländer opens a branch at Praterstern in October 2023. It will occupy the building that formerly hosted the restaurant Pure, including the interior designed by Viennese architectural firm KENH. The new café will be called Engländer Praterstern and will offer Viennese cuisine.
The Hotel Almanac, located in a luxurious palace on the Ringstraße, is a new addition to Vienna’s hotel scene. The in-house restaurant Donnersmarkt promotes the concept of “plant-forward cuisine”, offering menus that focus principally on regional and seasonal vegetables. Meat and fish play a more minor role. The name of the restaurant is a reference to the builder of the palace, Hugo Henckel von Donnersmarck, and the Viennese tradition of holding weekly markets. The ambience is first-rate, and there is also a cocktail bar and café to enjoy during your visit.
The restaurant DiningRuhm, renowned for its Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, known as Nikkei cuisine, is gaining a new offshoot: at the new ZentRuhm in the 1st district, the focus is on international tapas dishes in a casual bistro setting.
Aspic also focuses on tapas cuisine. The dishes at the minimalist restaurant are creative, and even fermented foods are used extensively. One of the classic dishes is the pork belly with kimchi. The dishes are meant to be shared, which is particularly popular among the younger generation.
The popular Kutschkermarkt in the 18th district has also had a new restaurant since September. The Kutsch sees itself as a classic market restaurant, where fresh products are cooked directly from the market. At lunchtime, classic Viennese cuisine is served, while in the evening, modern, Austrian bistro cuisine is served at a high level.
A new fine dining restaurant will open its doors in October 2023: award-winning chef Stefan Doubek will open his eponymous restaurant Doubek and cook here on a wood-fired flame grill designed exclusively for him. The restaurant has just eight tables, while the interior has been designed by the Viennese Studio Riebenbauer.
Steinhart will likewise offer evening fine dining experiences from September 14 in an old brick building that used to be home to the Gösserhalle. The restaurant recently had its soft opening with a lunch menu and currently offers drinks, wine, tapas and snacks in the evenings. It represents an exciting new addition to the “Neues Landgut” urban development area.
Focus on Viennese cuisine
Die Feinkosterei on Judenplatz is a tapas restaurant that specializes in Austrian and Viennese cuisine. As of now, there is also a branch at the newly renovated Neuer Markt. It is ideal for those who want to taste the entire range of Vienna’s culinary offerings.
Servus is another establishment that focuses on Viennese cuisine. The chef focuses on regional produce and the menu even includes Viennese snails from the Gugumuck snail farm.
Out-of-town dining destinations
A traditional inn has been resurrected in the Mauer outer district of Vienna. The premises of the former Schwammerlwirt inn have been modernized and renovated, and the inn that opened in its place is called Das Prost, serving highly recommended Viennese cuisine. There are still visible traces of the building’s 124-year history.
Häuserl am Roan has long been a well-known stop-off point for a bite to eat along Vienna’s Höhenstraße. Now, a young couple has taken over the inn and reopened it as Am Roan. The renovation has been extremely successful and visitors have been able to enjoy superb Austrian and Viennese cuisine, much of it organic, since the summer of 2023. The restaurant also offers an outstanding view of Vienna.
There is also a new dining experience on offer at Marina Wien, the local harbor for yachts and motorboats on the Danube. Maya Garden is both a restaurant and beach club at the same time. Maya Garden features a lot of Bohemian design. The Donaumarina station on the U2 subway line is within easy walking distance. Superb terraces on the water’s edge with views out over the Danube provide touches of Mediterranean flair.
There are also new Heurigen and Buschenschanken (family-run wine taverns), although they have changed somewhat from traditional Heuriger taverns. Hertz & Seele, a modern inner-city wine tavern, has opened in Spittelberg, offering food, cocktails and DJ sets. Diners can also order a vegan lunch platter, and the guest garden in Spittelberg is a popular spot.
WEIN[:Garten:] is a new wine tavern in Stammersdorf, a very popular area for Heurigen among Viennese locals. The opening of the tavern is a dream-come-true for four career changers and amateur vintners. A range of breads with various sandwich spreads complement the selection of wines.
Sausage stands reloaded
Vienna’s first certified organic sausage stand in the 8th district has gained a sibling – located at the Platte near the U4/U6 station at Spittelau. Vienna’s sausage stands are anything but ordinary. The hot dog known as the Bologna Wü, for example, comes with roasted fennel salsiccia, arugula and olive tapenade. The outstanding sausage-based offerings are all prepared by hand. The proximity of the stand to clubs such as Grelle Forelle and das Werk means it is very popular during evening hours. Given that the surrounding area is not residential, DJs can also perform in the vicinity of the sausage stand.
Extrawürstel on Taborstraße also focuses on offering high-quality snacks (in some cases, they use the same suppliers as the sausage stands) as well as specialties such as Kimchi Bosna. Its menu also includes vegetarian and vegan options.
There is an exciting new addition to Vienna’s bar scene to report as well. Marco Pani is one of the most famous bartenders in Vienna, and this year he opened his own Bar Pani. His signature drink called Thai Massage comes highly recommended.
Pigalle is a French-inspired cocktail bar spread over two floors. With plenty of red and velvet, it aims to evoke the ambiance of the famous red-light district in Paris with the same name. The menu is also French – from Crémant to French cocktail names, along with typically French bar food.