Associations World Congress: Viennese taste: Enjoying food and drink to the fullest
16 March 2017
Posted by: Damian Hutt
For those of you joining us for the Associations World Congress in Vienna, from 2-4 May 2017, here is some more information to help you enjoy your stay.
The Viennese like things simple and pleasant. So Viennese bistros are nice and comfortable. As long as we can remember, these restaurants have been serving up solid, tasty home cooking from schnitzels to goulash, liver with herbs in butter to Kaiserschmarren, a kind of shredded pancakes. This consistency has led to a renaissance of the bistro culture that has recently been celebrated in familiar restaurants such as the Ubl, Gasthaus Wolf and Glacis Beisl as well as the renowned Wirten am Eck'.
The enjoyment of a good drop of wine crafted from the 700 hectares of Viennese vineyards is not limited to these places. The most exclusive local restaurants have long featured Viennese Riesling and Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder). And the Wiener Gemischter Satz. This specialty, which was even awarded the DAC seal of quality recently, involves growing the grapes of at least three different white wine varieties and pressing them together. Especially the guests at the heurige enjoy young and old Viennese wines along with the hearty delicacies from the buffet. These romantic and cozy taverns can be found by the dozen in the wine villages at the edge of the city such as Grinzing and Nussdorf.
The Viennese coffee house has been an oasis of gemütlichkeit for ages. And since 2011, the traditional Viennese coffee house has even belonged to the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. Traditional cafés such as the Central, Griensteidl, Landtmann, Museum and Demel entice with a wide variety of coffee drinks, international newspapers and pastry creations. Modern representatives of the genre such as the Leopold or Drechsler enrich the tradition with stylish flair. A close relative of the café is the pastry shop. Their specialty, pies and cakes, are the icing on Vienna's dolce vita in the form of Bundt cake and sachertorte. In a recent addition to the scene, chocolatiers such as the Xocolat, Fruth and Blühendes Konfekt offer sweet temptation.
In Vienna too, gourmet temples are at one end of the pleasure scale – such as the Silvio Nickol Gourmet Restaurant, the restaurant of Konstantin Filippou or Steirereck im Stadtpark, which ranks 9th in the "World's 50 Best". And at the other end, you can find... fast food! However, with a special Viennese twist: A trip to the wurst stand, especially after visiting the ball, and sometimes after a concert or the opera, is quite the custom.
The city serves up a cornucopia of different taste experiences, from hearty to organic and ethnic. Offerings that are often ideally combined with a surprising ambience: No matter whether you're dining with a view in "Das Loft" restaurant in the Jean Novel Tower on the Danube Canal or having a drink in the "American Bar" once furnished by the architecture innovator Adolf Loos: the show and taste experience go hand in hand. This also holds true for the trendy restaurants on the new campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, which is an architectural highlight.
You’ll find epicurean delights in every corner of the city on the Danube. Nevertheless, some quarters are especially tempting to gourmets by offering an enormous variety in a small area. Such is the case with the Naschmarkt. This highly fascinating Viennese market serves up exotic offerings from around the world and boasts of a number of must-visit gastronomical establishments in the market and surrounding streets, from the ON Market to the Amacord. Trendy pubs, such as "Wetter" and "An-Do" entice at the Brunnen and Yppen markets, while round the corner at the Karmeliter market, the "Engel" and "Pizza Mari" have been the topic of conversation for quite a while. Other culinary spots worth experiencing are the dining districts on the Spittelberg, in the Servitenviertel, around Margaretenplatz and in the Freihausviertel.
A host of culinary events – from the Genussfestival in the Stadtpark to the Vienna Wine Hiking Day to the Snail Festival and special restaurant weeks – add further gustatory pleasures to the mix of delicacies.
The Viennese restaurant scene in numbers:
- Viennese cuisine: Vienna is the only city in the world to give its name to a unique style of food
- Over 800 dining establishments are concentrated in the 1st district alone
- Around 7,400 outlets – from restaurant to coffee house
- Around 2,000 coffee houses of all kinds – from the traditional café to the Espresso
- Traditional Viennese coffee house culture: an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO since 2011
- Around 2,500 sidewalk cafés
- 9 Viennese restaurants awarded by the Michelin Guide: Restaurant Steirereck, Silvio Nickol Gourmet Restaurant in Palais Coburg and Mraz & Sohn (each with 2 stars), six further restaurants with 1 star each
- Gault Millau 2017 lists 116 toque-winning establishments in Vienna
- Restaurant Steirereck: 9th place in the World‘s 50 Best Restaurants
- Wine list of Palais Coburg named best in the world out of 4,000 wine lists of leading restaurants around the globe by the British wine magazine "The World of Fine Wine"
- Around 95 wine restaurants, wine inns and wine tavern buffets
- Vienna is also the only metropolis in the world that grows enough wine within the city limits to make it worth mentioning. Around 700 hectares under vine, 190 vintners, 400,000 working hours per year
- Vienna Gemischte Satz: awarded by Slow Food as a Presidio product and has also held DAC status since 2013
- White wine is grown on 80 percent of the area under vine and one quarter of the area dedicated to white wine is accounted for by the Wiener Gemischte Satz
- Around 650 Viennese farmers
- Agricultural area: 15 percent of the total area, or around 6,000 hectares
- 20% of the agricultural land in Vienna is organically cultivated, putting Vienna on the Austrian average
- Around 30 registered Christmas markets and market-style Christmas events