Vienna—Old World Formality with an Edge

This article was excerpted from The Wall Street Journal’s Insider’s Guide to Vienna.

Vienna can seem much like a living museum with the Baroque Hofburg Palace, the Roman ruins beneath Hoher Markt, the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral and even cafes where an old-world formality pervades. Yet there’s also the edgy side, evidenced in working-class Neubau district and the ethnically diverse Karmeliter district—and places like Fett + Zucker, where Viennese classics are going vegan and gluten-free.



Hotel Imperial. Originally a private palace for the grandniece of the Austrian emperor and Hungarian king Franz Joseph I. Its cafe serves delicious best pastries. Kärntner Ring 16.

Wratschko Gastwirtschaft. For very good, authentic Austrian food, go to this wonderful wood-paneled pub in the Neubau district. Try the “schulterscherzl.” Only classical music is played (and jazz later at night) for a very civilized touch. Neustiftgasse 51, 43-1-5237161

Nussberg/Grinzing. Vienna is the only capital in the world that produces significant quantities of wine within its borders. Even in winter, one can walk in the hills surrounding the city, and sit and enjoy a glass of Grüner Veltliner or Welschriesling in a traditional wine tavern like Mayer am Pfarrplatz. Pfarrplatz 2.



Taubenkobel. Outside of Vienna in the town of Schützen am Gebirge is Taubenkobel restaurant—their degustation menu is second to none. Located in a restored farmhouse with a gorgeous garden and a swimming pond. Hauptstrasse 33, Schützen am Gebirge,

Intermezzo Bar at the Hotel InterContinental Vienna. The design is very “Mad Men”—go for cocktails and great oysters after a walk in the Stadtpark. Johannesgasse 28.

The American Bar (Loos Bar). Adolf Loos was one of the Viennese architects who established modernist architecture in the city. The 1908 American Bar, commonly known as the Loos Bar, expresses his concepts for small-scale interiors—the room is only about 13 feet by 20 feet, but each detail is very carefully designed. Kärntner Durchgang 10.

Schleifmühlgasse and Eschenbachgasse. These two streets are packed with art galleries. The gets crowded on art weekends and during openings.


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