Staples: Mind boggling array of sausages, and world famous coffee
Specialities: Kasekrainer, puss filled cheesy sausage!
Serving Suggestion: Sausages to go on the street, or enjoy a long and leisurely coffee as a Viennese social experience
The sausage stand and the coffee house are two Viennese institutions and you will probably spend much of your time in Vienna at both.
The Sausage Stand
Pizza vendors and burger stalls are almost non-existent in Vienna. The truly traditional Viennese snack is the sausage. The sausage stands or Wurselstands are to be found literally on every street corner of the city. The Wurstelstand has a mind-boggling array of sausages, some of the most popular of which are:
Wurstel mit senf – Classic Frankfurter sausage served with a dollop of sweet (suss) or hot (scharf) mustard (senf) and a semmel, a white bread roll.
Debreziner – a thin, spicy, peppery sausage
Bratwurst – fatter version of the Frankfurter
Weisswurst – meaning ‘white sausage’, this is even fatter than the Bratwurst.
Kasekrainer – a.k.a. the ‘pus-filled’ sausage this is similar to a bratwurst but injected with cheese. Careful when eating as the cheese invariably spurts out everywhere – definitely a favourite.
Leberkase – although not really a sausage, it’s worth a mention. Most sausage stands sell ‘liver cheese’ – its like a loaf of baked sausage meat and cheese.
A recommended stall to be initiated into the Viennese school of sausage is Wurstelstand Leowhich is situated outside the Blau Stern café, at Doblinger Gurtel 2, 9th District. The lovely Leo will even juggle with his sausage equipment while-u-wait!
This is where the Viennese famously come to be alone, in company. Trying to get ‘coffee to go’ in Vienna can prove to be something of an impossibility – they just don’t do it, so when in Rome, be prepared to wait. Coffee is to be savoured and enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere and the coffee house is where to do it. There are a staggering 1,717 of them in the small city of Vienna and each has its own style and atmosphere. However they do usually have one thing in common – snooty, grumpy waiters in tuxedos who serve you very much in their own time.
Café Hawelka (Dorotheergasse 6) – an institution in itself, the Hawelka has been run by Mr. & Mrs. since the end of the 2nd World War. Very dark and smoky, you get a feeling of turn-of-the-century intellectual Vienna.
Kleines Café (Franziskanerplatz 3) – a lovely place to come in summer, as the seating outside is in the pretty Franziskanerplatz. The service is friendlier than many other places and you can get good food here too. The atmosphere is bohemian.
Café Alt Wien (Backerstrasse 9) – Covered in posters advertising everything from concerts to demonstrations, the Café Alt Wien feels like a good place to come if you’re plotting a revolution. It dispenses with the tuxedoed-waiter idea too.
Other Places to Eat in Austria
K + K StiegelBrau Restaurant
Cheap weekday lunches, moderate prices (15 Euro head), three choices of beer, a salad bar, good Austrian food and a garden. What more could you want?