Tafelspitz – a specialty of Viennese cuisine – is served in many of the city’s restaurants
© WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud
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The term 'beisl' probably comes from the Yiddish word 'bajiss', meaning 'house'. The classic Viennese bistro has a spacious bar, where wine is chilled and beer is poured, dark-painted wood paneling, simple tables and chairs and a mixed crowd. The kitchen is dominated by tradition: soup with pancake strips or dumplings, schnitzel and offal, goulash and tasty pastries, such as Palatschinken and Kaiserschmarren, set the tone of the menu.
Steman on Otto-Bauer-Gasse in the 6th district is a splendid example of a bistro. It celebrates the delicious traditions of Viennese cuisine and has been a meeting point for all generations for more than 100 years.
A similarly long history with a nicely retained patina in the guest parlor can also be found at Rebhuhn in the 9th district, not far from the Sigmund Freud House. It is one of the frequently found corner bistros in Vienna, which are located at the junction of two streets.
Gasthaus Wild is situated on Radetzkyplatz in the 3rd district. Following a revitalization project, this bistro now bathes in the glow of times gone by: the furnishings are mostly original. Viennese cuisine from top to bottom is also offered by Ubl in the 4th district, near to Naschmarkt. Its menu includes Wiener schnitzel, roast liver, shin and black pudding, making the bistro one of the most authentic of its kind.
Not far away is Gasthaus Wolf. It is a 'beisl', as it is written in the book, with excellent Viennese cuisine and a pretty bar out front. In the guest room, a cozy atmosphere is created by old Resopal tables and green paneling.
The typical Viennese bistro can also be found in the elegant 1st district. Gasthaus Pöschl offers many Viennese features as far as the ambience and food are concerned. The wood paneling on the walls is lighter here than in the classic bistro, while the goulash is one of the kitchen's highlights. Slightly more sophisticated is the Dom Beisl by St. Stephen's Cathedral, which has served refined French-Viennese-Mediterranean cuisine under Harald Riedl since summer 2012.
A more recent addition to the bistro scene is Gasthaus Floß behind the former stock exchange. The furnishings, with lots of dark wood, are based on the style of an old bistro and traditional Viennese recipes are brought to the table. An upmarket traditional bistro is Schnattl in the 8th district. Fine Viennese classics and a pretty courtyard await guests here.
The modern also has its place in the Viennese bistro. Skopik & Lohn is located in the trendy district at Karmelitermarkt. The classic wood furnishings have been combined with an eye-catching, modern ceiling and wall design, while the Viennese cuisine is mixed with a hint of France. The furnishings and cuisine at Glacis Beisl in the MuseumsQuartier bridge the gap between modernity and the tradition of a Viennese bistro.