The Naschmarkt (ie. nosh market) frequently came up on the list of must visit spots in Vienna, especially for foodies. The Naschmarkt is an outdoor food market in the Viennese Mariahilf district. It’s over half a kilometer long and boasts over 100 different food stalls.
One end of the market has a concentration of little restaurants ranging from Indian to Japanese to Viennese. There were seats outside each restaurant for dining al fresco but it was much too cold to think about eating outside when we were there in mid-February!
After scoping out the restaurants at the beginning of our Naschmarkt exploration, we continued on to the food stalls and shop fronts. The stalls were teeming with bags of spices, fresh produce, kebaps, cheeses, sausages, baklava, olives, hummus, breads and pretty much everything under the sun. S bought a few pieces of baklava after falling in love with it in Greece. I, on the other hand, bought salsa verde and a bag of mung dal lentils, both of which I’ve had a hard time finding in Germany. A little random, yes, but they were pretty exciting finds for me!
We also stumbled upon a beautiful bakery called Oberlaa which came recommended to us by Lonely Planet Vienna. Oberlaa has multiple locations across the city, including the store we visited in the middle of the Naschmarkt. Being the macarons lovers that we are, we had to get a few. And by a few, of course I mean 7. Hey, it’s the number that fit in the box! We tried raspberry, vanilla, pistachio, orange, lemon, and black currant. They were all delicious!
For lunch, we settled on a little Chinese and Japanese restaurant near the start of the Naschmarkt called Yumi. They had a huge selection of dishes on the menu. In the end, S and I shared a rainbow roll, BBQ pork buns and shrimp dumplings. I also had a miso soup which I’d been craving and it was nice to warm up a bit after around walking outside. The sushi and BBQ pork buns were pretty good but the shrimp dumplings were disappointing and completely fell apart. The staff were very friendly though and the restaurant was not too crowded when we ate our late lunch around 3pm.
If you love outdoor markets, then I’m sure you’ll love visiting the Naschmarkt.
Café Sperl was the number 1 café on our list of coffeehouses to visit while in Vienna. Not only is Café Sperl a Viennese institution dating back to 1880 and listed on the Austrian Register of Historic Places, it was also famously featured in the movie “Before Sunrise” which is filmed all over Vienna. (I highly recommend watching this movie before a trip to Vienna to get inspired!)
The interior is beautifully decorated as it was originally in 1880 and is full of charm. You can sit back and peruse one of the many newspapers available on a billiard table while you sip a traditional Viennese coffee. That’s my idea of a great afternoon!
In addition to our coffees, we also ordered a late lunch the day we went. I really enjoyed my mushroom and truffle risotto which was flavourful and not too heavy. S sampled the Speck Nockerl which neither he nor I had ever seen or tasted before. As far as I can tell, it’s like a cheesy, bacon-y comforting dumpling casserole. In any case, S cleaned his plate!
S is a big burger lover and really wanted to go to this burger restaurant called burgermacher. I’m a bit ambivalent about burgers, especially since I don’t eat beef which sort of limits my burger options. We went on a Wednesday night around 7:30pm and every table in the small restaurant was occupied. The main server offered us some complimentary house-made clementine lemonade while we waited for a table which was a nice touch. We only had to wait about 10 minutes before a table was free. S ordered the Fleischeslust Burger, a take on their classic burger but with bacon. Though they did have 2 vegetarian burgers on the menu, I wasn’t really that hungry and just ordered a side of fries. The house-made ketchup was rather yummy, as were the different hot sauces on each table. S said his burger was good, but not the best one he’d ever had. The staff were friendly and the restaurant was buzzing with locals so it seems to be a pretty popular choice.
Pure Living Bakery
Pure Living Bakery was our last café visit in Vienna. Like Oberlaa, Pure Living Bakery came recommended by Lonely Planet Vienna. The bakery was opened in 2007 by a former flight attendant who fell in love with the relaxed cafés and bakeries she’d often visited on her travels to California. She decided to open up her own cozy bakery in Vienna with homey, American-style baked goods like cinnamon rolls, brownies, and bagels.
We stopped by the original Hietzing location after our visit to the Schönbrunn Palace. We had a little trouble finding the bakery and had to ask for directions. Once we arrived, the little bakery was packed. I claimed a table while S ordered the drinks. We each got a cinnamon roll and I had a latte. The cinnamon roll was pretty tasty and my latte was the best I’d had in Vienna. The bakery definitely seemed to be a much-loved neighbourhood hangout. It was a sweet way to end our time in Vienna.
Can you recommend any restaurants or cafés in Vienna? I’m making a list for the next time I’m there!