Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars and other Wine Spots in Vienna, Austria

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller at Meinl's Wein Bar. See: A Super Wine Bar in a Supermarket: Meinl’s Wein Bar in Vienna, Austria

Wine spots - where you can have a glass of wine - are numerous in Vienna. They range from top-of-the-line restaurants, more basic neighborhood Beisls and the famous Vienna Coffee Houses to the Heurigen wine taverns and small, fancy wine bars. Here is my personal list.

Picture: Vienna

This is an updated version of an earlier posting: Schiller’s Favorite Spots to Drink Wine in Vienna, Austria (2011)


As an important cultural center of Europe, Vienna has also always had superb restaurants with excellent wine lists.  Here are a few suggestions.

Österreicher im MAK: At his namesake restaurant, located in the same building as the Museum of Applied Arts, Helmut Österreicher serves a mix of tweaked Viennese specialties and comfort food classics. Exclusively Austrian wine list.

Picture: Österreicher im MAK

Plachutta: Authentic Austrian fine dining restaurant, famous for its Tafelspitz (boiled meat).  Wollzeile 38.

Picture: Plachutta

Zum Schwarzen Kameel: Is a Viennese institution with a long tradition and excellent quality. The sandwiches are also legendary. See also below under Wine Bars.

Picture: Zum Schwarzen Kameel. See: Zum Schwarzen Kameel - The Ultimate Classic of Viennese Wine Bars, Vienna, Austria

Steirereck: Chef Heinz Reitbauer creates the very finest of contemporary Austrian cuisine in an Art Nouveau setting. Steiereck is currently  #11 in the Pellegrino list of  The World's 50 Best Restaurants.

Meierei: In the hotel basement, the Meierei of Heinz Reitbauer proposes 120 cheese varieties from 13 different countries; it is also famous for its goulash (weekdays only).


The Beisls (Yiddish for "little house") are Vienna’s main traditional eating and drinking places, where you are expected to share a table with other customers.

As the Heurige and the Vienna Coffee House, the Beisl is a Viennese institution. This is where I eat my Vienna Schnitzel and have a couple of glasses of decent Austrian wine. But do not expect to find the big Austrian wine guns on the Beisl wine list.

Figlmüller: is a celebrated for its Wiener Schnitzel. Young and old alike like meeting at this restaurant to enjoy its hallmarks of Viennese cuisine, Viennese charm and quality wines. No reservations – you often have to wait in line.

Pictures: Figlmüller

Grünauer: Recommended by a reader of schiller-wine: “ Für mich ist (und war immer) der Grünauer einfach das beste Beisl in Wien. Das Lokal ist total gemütlich und man fühlt sich dort einfach immer wohl.” Herrmanngasse 32

Meierie: Below the cutting-edge main restaurant is a bistro and dairy bar, Meierie. Interesting wines-by-the-glass list. Chef Reitbauer pays tribute to the restaurant's former incarnation as a dairy depot with an exotic selection of milks and an astounding list of 150 cheeses, many of them Austrian. I like the "Cheese Tour through Styria," showcasing six of the region's cheeses that can be paired with a glass of Sattlerhof Sauvignon Blanc. Am Heumarkt 2A im Stadtpark

Buffet Trzésniewski: Not a Beisl but also a Vienna institution. Therefore I mention it here. Everyone in Vienna knows about this sandwich spot. Franz Kafka lived next door and used to come here for sandwiches. Most people hurriedly devour the delicious finger sandwiches, which come in 18 different combinations. You can also order wine with your snack.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller at Buffet Trzésniewski


That any wine comes from Vienna seems strange on the face of it. Great urban centers are not known for their vineyards, beyond a novelty vineyard here and there. But the capital of Austria is different. Around 500 vintners grow vine on around 700 hectares, all within the city limits. Indeed, Vienna has its own appellation and is one of Austria’s 4 major wine regions, with Niederoesterreich, Burgenland and Steiermark, though by far the smallest.

Most of the Viennese wine is consumed in the about 100 Wiener Heurigen. The word “Heurige” means “the wine of the current year” – and this is what you drink there: the Heurigen owner’s wine of the last vintage, often coming in a jar.

Although the Viennes Heurigen are the most famous in the world, you find them in all Austrian (and German) wine regions. Grinzing is the most famous and consequently the most touristy. Next most popular are the nearby areas of Heiligenstadt and Nussdorf. Less touristy alternatives include Sievering and Neustift am Walde. Another option is to cross over the Danube and head for the village of Stammersdorf, and its immediate neighbour Strebersdorf. Here are my favorites.

Buschenschank am Nussberg, Eichelhofweg: With a beautiful view. Helmut O. Knall recommendation.

Hengl-Hasselbrunner: An insider favorite in Grinzing, managed and owned by Chef Matthias Hengl, whose family has been making wine for more than four centuries.

Hirt: Fifteen-minute walk from S-Bahn Kahlenbergerdorf. Lovely Heuriger tucked into the slopes below Leopoldsberg overlooking the Danube.

Mayer am Pfarrplatz: U-Bahn Heiligenstadt. Large Heuriger, where Beethoven used to live. The EWBC participants spent an extraordinary evening there, at the invitation of the WienWein winemakers association. See: With the WienWein Winemakers in Vienna in the Heurigen Drinking Gemischter Satz Wine

Picture: Mayer am Pfarrplatz

Sirbu: 19, Kahlenberger Strasse 210, Nussdorf. Fifteen-minute walk from bus 38A terminus. In the vineyards, with fabulous views from the hill above Nussdorf.

Wieninger: Streetcar 31 to Stammersdorf. 10 minutes walk. Member of the WienWein association, one of Vienna’s elite winemaker and one of the hosts at the Mayer am Pfarrplatz evening. I met Fritz Wieninger with the WienWein Group.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Fritz Wieninger

Zawodsky: Reinischgasse 3. Classic simple Heuriger, with benches set out in a lovely orchard garden with fantastic views over Vienna.

Vienna Coffee Houses

Viennese Coffee Houses have a long and distinguished history that dates back centuries. These are places where people come to read (and write) books, trade gossip, and think and dream. A single cup entitles the drinker to sit there all day if necessary.

There are different kinds of Coffee Houses, (1) the Kaffee-Konditorei where the establishment's cakes and pastries are at the center; and then there are the (2) traditional Coffee Houses, the smoky type, with a wide range of newspapers to read, and a waiter in a tuxedo. The latter serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Both types have a selection of wines, although the selection tends to be limited. As for the first type, Sacher, Demel and Imperial (in the Hotel Imperial) are the leading establishments. But people rarely go there for a glass of wine, although they serve wine.

Bräunerhof: 1, Stallburggasse 2; U-Bahn Herrengasse. Thomas Bernhard, the gloomy novelist, used to perch here. Impressive selection of international newspapers.

Central: 1, Herrengasse 14; U-Bahn Herrengasse. The grandest of all Coffee Houses, frequented by Trotsky, with tourists by the hundred. But you must go there, if only to hear the echoes of a bygone era. 

Demel: 1, Kohlmarkt 14; U-Bahn Herrengasse. The king of the Kaffee-Konditorei, with a better Sacher Torte than Kaffee-Konditorei Sacher in my view.

Diglas: In existence since 1875, is said to be the oldest café in Vienna.  It is in the center of Vienna, just a few steps away from St. Stephan’s Cathedral. One of my friends liked it so much that he had breakfast, lunch and dinner there …because of the traditional Viennese fare: Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz and outstanding pastries, he said.

Frauenhuber: 1, Himmelpfortgasse 6; U-Bahn Stephansplatz. One of the oldest Coffee Houses in Vienna – Beethoven was a frequent visitor – with vaulted ceiling and deep burgundy upholstery.

Griensteidl: at the Michaelerplatz, just by the entrance to Hofburg. A famous Austrian coffee house with a long tradition reaching back into the 19th century.

Picture: Griensteidl

Hawelka: 1, Dorotheergasse 6; U-Bahn Stephansplatz. An institution. The curious from all parts of the globe cram inside this dark Café. You feel like in a museum. See: Wine and Coffee with Guenther Hawelka at Café Hawelka (and at Buffet Trzésniewski) in Vienna, Austria

Picture: Hawelka

Landtmann: 1, Dr-Karl-Lueger-Ring 4; U-Bahn Herrengasse/Schottentor. One of the poshest of the Coffee Houses – and a favourite with Freud – with impeccably attired waiters, and a high quota of politicians and Burgtheater actors.

Schwarzenberg: 1, Kärntner Ring 17; U-Bahn Karlsplatz. Opulent Coffee House with huge mirrors and a great cake cabinet.

Sperl: 6, Gumpendorfer Strasse 11; U-Bahn Karlsplatz/Babenbergerstrasse. Slightly off the beaten track, between the Theater an der Wien and the Museum Quarter, this is one of the classics of the Coffee House scene, with billiard tables.

Wine Bars

Over the past couple of decades, an impressive wine bar scene has developed in Vienna. Generally, outstanding and very interesting wines are served at these places. There is just one flaw, as far as I am concerned: smoking is allowed in some of them, which I find very disturbing.

Enrico Panigl: One of the great wine bars of Vienna. Stays open until 4:00 in the morning on weekends. Cheese plates and charcuterie are served.  (there is also a wine restaurant by the same with Italian food)  Schoenlaterngasse 11, 16-4, Sa/So/Fei 20-4

Picture: Enrico Panigl

Eulennest - Operngasse: There are comfortable places to sit at the bar, dining tables, or a cosy living room atmosphere. The wines here are nearly Austrian only. The food is Italian antipasti-style with charcuterie, cheeses, and marinated vegetables.

Eulennest - Laudongasse in the 8th district: The former Wein + Wasser, since January 2012 a second Eulennest: The wines here are nearly Austrian only. The food is Italian antipasti-style with charcuterie, cheeses, and marinated vegetables.  

Le Cru: A new place that serves only Champagne. Petersplatz 8 – in Vienna?

Meinl’s Wein Bar: Part of Julius Meinl am Graben - a delicatessen temple playing in the league of Harrod's of London or Fouchon of Paris. A cosy wine bistro in the basement. In addition to a list of 30 international wines by the glass, you can choose from a selection of over 2000 international wines sold in the store for 10% over the shop prices. The food is cold antipasti, cheese, charcuterie and even sushi. See:: A Super Wine Bar in a Supermarket: Meinl’s Wein Bar in Vienna, Austria

Picture: Meinl's Wein Bar

Pub Klemo: Two rooms with a bar, a couple of simple tables and over 1800 wines from around the world. Wirt Robert Brandhofer has put much thought into his selection of wines which includes both famed and lesser know producers. The food is kind of an Austro-Mediterranean style with everything from antipasti or cheese to pasta or meat dishes.

Santo Spirito: Kumfpgasse 7. Eccentric wine bar that plays classical music with baroque and Middle Age tunes thrown in the mix. Situated in the 1st district, Santo Spirito serves good wines and Italian antipasti. No surprise that Santo Spirito is a preferred after-show dive of classical musicians. Santo Spirito has also been a gay favorite since it opened in 1980.

Picture: Santo Spirito

Spezerei: Small wine bar and Mediterranean tapas place. Good selection of wines. About a dozen can be drunk by the glass and several hundred by the bottle, including four house varieties. In summer you can enjoy sitting outdoors. Karmeliterplatz 2 (is on Taborstrasse – not to be confused with nearby Karmelitermarkt.)

Unger und Klein: A bottle shop turned wine bar. Typically packed with no-nonsense wine aficionados drinking the excellent wines and snacking on Italian antipasti, pannini, or a tasty selection of cheeses. Floor to ceiling shelves with mainly Austrian wines. Shelf prices are the same for enjoying on or off the premises.

Picture: Ungerer and Klein

Vis-à-vis: Wollzeil 5, just opposite of Figlmueller. Tiny bar. Viennes wine bar pioneer. The first to offer a large selection of wines by the glass. The selection of wines is superb and includes both domestic and imported wines. You might rub elbows with Viennese celebrities and politicians while tasting an array of delicious little snacks and antipasti. See: Vis-a-Vis Wine Bar in Vienna, Austria

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller in the Wollzeile at Vis a Vis

Zum Schwarzen Kameel: Bognergasse 5 (U-Bahn Herrengasse). This historic establishment was founded originally by a spice merchant in 1619. It has been one of the city's best places to enjoy a glass of wine for the last century. Outdoor seating and the bar area are casual while a more formal sit-down atmosphere can be enjoyed in the restaurant. The wine list is broad, and includes also excellent examples from all the major wine growing regions of the world. See: Zum Schwarzen Kameel - The Ultimate Classic of Viennese Wine Bars, Vienna, Austria

Wein + Co Stephansdom: Part of the Wein andCo Stephansdom wine store. At happy hour, young Viennese pack the place, which serves 60 to 100 wines by the glass alongside artisanal charcuterie. Wein + Co Stephansdom also boasts a corkage program where any of the store's wines can be opened for a small surcharge.

Picture: Wein and Co

Wein + Co Naschmarkt: A bit more relaxed and less crowded than the affiliate Wein&Co Stephansplatz.

Winetime: Stylish, but cosy little wine bar. The patron, Manfred Strametz, scours the Austrian countryside to find the best organic products for his kitchen. You can watch Manfred cook while chatting with friends. 25 different wines by the glass.

American Bar: One of the most unusual and interesting bars in the center of Vienna, this very dark bar was designed by the architect Adolf Loos in 1908. At the time, it functioned as the drinking room of a private men's club. Today, it's more democratic and welcomes a mostly bilingual crowd of very hip singles from Vienna's arts-and-media scene. No food is served, very limited selection of wines.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

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Producing Wines in Austria and Hungary - Franz and Franz Reinhard Weninger

With the WienWein Winemakers in Vienna in the Heurigen Drinking Gemischter Satz Wine

Schiller’s Favorite Spots to Drink Wine in Vienna, Austria

Tasting Leo Hillinger Red Wines with Leo Hillinger’s Assistant Winemaker Michael Hoeffken and US Importer Klaus Wittauer

Visit: Gerhard Wohlmuth sen. and his Weingut Wohlmuth in Austria

Visiting Leo Hillinger, Michael Hoeffken and Edgar Brutler at the Leo Hillinger Winery in Jois, Austria

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Austria’s Best Wines and Winemakers - Falstaff WeinGuide 2011

At the Forefront of Biodynamic Winemaking: Visiting Werner and Angela Michlits and their Weingut Meinklang in Austria

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A Super Wine Bar in a Supermarket: Meinl’s Wein Bar in Vienna, Austria

Zum Schwarzen Kameel - The Ultimate Classic of Viennese Wine Bars, Vienna, Austria

Vis-a-Vis Wine Bar in Vienna, Austria

Wine and Coffee with Guenther Hawelka at Café Hawelka (and at Buffet Trzésniewski) in Vienna, Austria


  1. Schreiners Gastwirtschaft: Anläßlich der VieVinum in der Hofburg gibt`s im Schreiners ein spezielles VieVinum-Menü. Als Besonderheit bieten wir eine Weinbegleitung mit ausschließlich österreichischen Burgundern.

  2. Schreiners Gastwirtschaft im 10. Bezirk ist auch ein Hotel

  3. Helmut O. Knall: Inzwischen gibt es einen neuen Tipp: Harald Riedl einer der besten Köche des Landes hat das Dombeisl übernommen. Und hier sonstige Tipps:

  4. Endlich mal wieder im zweiten Wohnzimmer (Anton Frank) sagt Helmut O. Knall. Vorher hat er im Eulennest fuer zwei Wochen Urlaubsvertretung gemacht.

  5. Neuer »Star« in Wien: Das »Dom Beisl« wird vom Guide Michelin mit einem Stern geadelt!

  6. Helmut O. Knall: Meixner's Gastwirtschaft hat das beste Tartar.

  7. Beste Beisl: Helmut O. Knall Grünauer oder Meixner.
    Etwas gehobener Dom-Beisl.

  8. In German, sehr, sehr guter Ueberblick von H.Knall:

  9. Vorstadtbeisl. Peter Vecchiato empfiehlt:
    Alexander's Küchenmeisterei
    Gasthaus, Gasthof, Beisl, Kaffeerestaurant, Restaurant
    Linzer Straße 120
    1140, Wien

  10. Leo Hillinger opened a wine bar in November 2014 - Wollzeile 25