Where to drink in Vienna
The answer is: everywhere. The Viennese love a drink, bars in Vienna are rarely empty, and the sight of men in suits gunning cans of beer on the way home from the office is not infrequent. Beer is of an inordinately high standard in Austria, but sadly Vienna’s main brewery, Ottakringer, is not among the best – you’d do best to look out for small regional beers such as Schremser, Weitra and Schnaitl.
Like most cities, Vienna’s best drinking holes change with the seasons. In the summer, al fresco drinking is de rigueur throughout the switched-on 7th district: this is when discerning boozers congregate on the terraces of some of Vienna’s best bars – such as the lively French-owned Le Troquet, the eccentric Ungar Grill (expect spontaneous musical interludes on the bar’s baby grand) and the much-loved Espresso.
The Innere Stadt has Vienna’s highest density of bars, especially the so-called Bermuda Triangle off Schwedenplatz. However, apart from the dark, sensuous First Floor cocktail bar, it’s mainly the stomping ground of tourists and out-of-towners. More rewarding are city centre classics such as the Loos Bar (great architecture, better drinks) and the beery Café Alt Wien, full of gregarious ageing bohemians.
No capital city in the world produces as much wine as Vienna, which boasts over 700 hectares of vineyards within its boundaries. If there’s no time for a trip to a heurige (suburban wine tavern), an excellent introduction to Viennese and Austrian wines can be had under the roof of WEIN & CO, a wine merchant/bar whose city-wide branches have a reputation for drawing in thirtysomethings on the pull. For something more atmospheric, try the delightful garden of Weinstube Josefstadt or Panigl in the 8th district, both good stop-offs on the way to the music bars of the Gürtel.
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Le Troquet Kirchengasse 18. +43 1 522 0681
Ungar Grill Burggasse 97. +43 1 522 41 69
Espresso Burggasse 57. +43 676 596 1645
First Floor Seitenstettengasse 5. +43 1 532 1165
Loos Bar Kärntner Durchgang 10. + 43 1 512 32 83
Café Alt Wien +43 1 512 52 22. Bäckerstrasse 9
WEIN & CO Linke Wienzeile 4. +43 1 50706 3102
Weinstube Josefstadt Piaristengasse 27. +43 1 406 4628
Panigl Josefstädter Straße 91. +43 1 406 5218