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El Gaucho – Raising the Steaks

El Gaucho – Raising the Steaks

In an LED-lit glass case, six cuts of beef take the stage. The waiter explains how differences in thickness and fat content influences the taste, or how long to grill it. The cooled presentation box was a conscious service choice. “Austrians like to eat steak but they don’t really know what they’re eating,” explained Peter […]

Cosmopolitan Chez François

Cosmopolitan Chez François

People who say “the journey is the reward” have clearly never been to François im Vierzehnten (François in the 14th). While the trek through this part of the 14th District – characterised by discount supermarkets and cheap cell phone stores – is charmless, the destination is the real deal. Still few would expect Franco-Canadian chef […]

Disco Volante Marinara on the Dancefloor

Disco Volante Marinara on the Dancefloor

Parli Italiano? Even before entering Disco Volante in the 6th District, it feels like Italy – apart from the rain and the greyness of Gumpendorfer Straße. Instead of “Ziehen” (Pull), the small sign on the door says “Tirare” – which I of course push instead of pull. Disco Volante’s interior quickly fulfils expectations. A giant […]

Simple Soul Food On Wiedner Hauptstraße

Simple Soul Food On Wiedner Hauptstraße

A nearby church bell is just chiming 6 p.m. as the last outside tables fill up at Zur Herknerin, Stefanie Herkner’s Wirtshaus in Vienna’s 4th District. As usual, all of them are reserved, but Herkner, who fulfils every cliché of a Wirtin with her red cheeks and her outgoing and genial attitude, manages to find […]

Restaurant Hebenstreit: Dining for Intellectuals

Restaurant Hebenstreit: Dining for Intellectuals

“Let’s have coffee in the living room,” fellow students would often say as we left class at the University of Vienna some 20 years ago. My friends did not mean their own shared apartments or hostels, though. What they meant was a small, cosy (and smoky) little place called Café Hebenstreit, today a restaurant. Hebenstreit […]

Heavenly Understatement

Heavenly Understatement

It was supposed to be “more of a bar, that also serves food”, co-owner Carsten Philippi explained. “People keep ordering starters and main courses, but that wasn’t the idea.” He and his culinary counterpart Una Abraham just go with the flow, and the guests do come for her famously delicious dishes. Philippi shrugged, “I don’t […]

Restaurant Review: Particularly Persian

Restaurant Review: Particularly Persian

For insiders, Pars is old news. It’s long been the go-to place for Persian expats. When he began working at his parents’ small establishment in the upper Lerchenfelderstraße in 1998, owner Shahram Marandi says it was already established as the spot where Iranian students went to hang out. What started as a Persian snack joint […]

Geeky Gourmet: A Tasting Menu by Tablet

Geeky Gourmet: A Tasting Menu by Tablet

Perching on a white-upholstered bench in a low ceilinged and cosily lit modern eatery, I was tucking hungrily into a dish of crocodile wrapped in bacon. Yet the exotic dishes on offer are not the oddest aspect of eating at Viereck on Johannesgasse in Vienna’s 1st District. More unusual was the fact that, bravely resisting […]

Die Burgermacher: Gourmet Enough for a Knife and Fork

Die Burgermacher: Gourmet Enough for a Knife and Fork

One problem facing newcomers to any city is finding a set of restaurants you enjoy. You may have to try four or more Chinese places before you settle on one that merits your becoming a regular. The same goes for pizza, sushi and the local Beisl. In the case of hamburgers, the search is a […]

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