Image Courtesy of Transgourmet Christian Maislinger
For centuries, Vienna has been a melting pot of cultures, as well as one of the gastronomic hubs of Central Europe. But with proximity to top Austrian wine regions, it’s no surprise that the city is also an appealing destination for wine lovers. As an added bonus, Vienna is one of few cosmopolitan cities with a designation of origin (D.O.) for wine production within city walls, with Heurigen—or winery taverns—culture even included in the country’s UNESCO index of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
“The reason Vienna is one of the most exciting places to drink wine is that [its wine scene] was created on the backdrop of the amazing producers that Austria has today,” further explains Marko Kovac, founder of Karakterre, a natural wine fair based in Austria. “For me, it’s like a new reality where the attention has been offset from France and Italy, towards Austria, as one of the leading countries for organic, biodynamic and natural wines, and not only from the locals, but from all countries of Central and Eastern Europe,” he explains.
Below, Austria and its wine culture are celebrated in all their glory in these interesting places around Vienna. Here’s where to eat and drink in the City of Dreams if you like wine.
Restaurant Konstantin Filippou / Image Courtesy of Gerhard Wasserbauer
Restaurant Konstantin Filippou
Greek-Austrian chef Konstantin Filippou holds two Michelin stars for his seafood-centric restaurant, which sits on the edge of Vienna’s 1st district. Filippou’s culinary brilliance reflects his Mediterranean upbringing and myriad travel experiences. Consequently, the artfully-plated eight-course menu features dishes like Arctic char with duck liver, umeboshi (a Japanese style of pickled, salty plum) and artichoke.
“I love the [smokey aroma] of the delicate char in harmony with the light, salty plum and liver,” says Filippou. “The liver embraces the char, without choking it, but rather worshiping it.”
The dish is a showstopper paired with the Suertes Marqués Vidonia Listán Blanco 2020 from the Canary Islands, chosen from Head Sommelier Steffi Wiesner’s 400-bottle wine list. The list, of course, focuses on organic, biodynamic and natural wines from Austria, but also has carefully-selected gems from other parts of the world.
Next door to his flagship restaurant, Filippou, and his wife Manuela, also own a more relaxed and affordable wine-centric bistro called O Boufés. One of the first wine bistros in Vienna, it helped put the city on its path as a wine-centric locale.
“Both of our restaurants focus on great food and great wine,” says Manuela Filippou. “If you want the whole tasting menu, you choose fine dining. If you want à la cart—or are a foodie-beginner—then you visit O Boufés.” At Restaurant Konstantin Filippou, the tasting menu goes for €250 with the option to add an eight-glass wine pairing for an additional €135.
Amador / Image Courtesy of Lukas Kirchgasser
This three-starred Michelin restaurant by German-Spanish celebrity chef Juan Amador is in Vienna’s wine-producing 19th district. Situated in the cellar of the Hajszan Neumann Winery, Amador is run in partnership with the prominent Viennese vintner, Fritz Wieninger, proprietor of an eponymous winery and the Hajszan Neumann winery. The cooking focuses on local produce and Amador’s blended cultural background, like Maultasche, a meat-filled pasta akin to ravioli, with morels and green asparagus matched by a generous offering of European wines like Le Piane Boca 2016. The tasting menu is priced at €345, with the wine pairing option for an additional €175.
Vegetarians will delight in knowing that the first European vegetarian restaurant with a Michelin star is TIAN in Vienna. It offers great wines to pair with the food of chef Paul Ivic, whose no-waste philosophy and focus on organic, biodynamic and Demeter-certified produce earned him a green star from Michelin for sustainability. The wine list follows the same ethos, so expect a lot of low-intervention wines that perfectly counter the intensely flavored veggie dishes, like the popular porcini, sunflower and blackberry. A vegan option is also available.
TIAN also offers a more relaxed experience called TIAN Bistro am Spittelberg. With a less-expensive tasting menu and a shortened wine list, it still offers a peek into Austria’s incredible sustainable wine scene, where you can grab up stellar wines like the Christian Tschida Birdscape Rosé 2020. At TIAN, the eight-course tasting menu currently goes for €155 with a wine pairing for €99. The tasting menu at TIAN Bistro am Spittelberg clocks in at €41 per person.