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We admit it: Vienna isn’t really a city where new trends are born – but it is a place where people are eager to try out new things
The Viennese are creatures of habit: once we’ve chosen our favourite bar, chances are high it will still be our usual hangout ten years later. That being said, new places are popping up, especially in the inner districts – and quite a few are popular enough you’ll need to call ahead to get a table. As with everything, Vienna imports its hotspots from all over the world, adding a very dynamic and international vibe to a city that loves to celebrate its history and traditions.
Everybody seems to be talking about this hot new cocktail bar in the ninth district – even though it doesn’t look like much from outside. The grey entrance door looks as inconspicuous as it can get and on the way down into the “crypt”, first time visitors will wonder whether they got the address right. But the payoff awaits downstairs, where you’ll see every variation of Viennese hipsters squeezed in a single room. There are private booths available if you’d like a more intimate setting, but come early as the place is usually packed and doesn’t take reservations. If you just manage to get a seat at the bar, the drinks taste just as delicious. While they make all the classics, go a little crazy and order the Tiger Special, which comes with red beets – a surprisingly pleasant refreshment.
What used to be the legendary (but rather dodgy) Copa Cagrana has been transformed into a trendy beach right next to the Danube River. Since its official opening this June, visitors have been enjoying the new lawn, beach chairs on the sand as well as six pop-up bars that fill empty stomachs and quench thirsty throats on hot summer days. Gone are the shabby old schnitzel fryers and rum-and-coke joints – instead, you can now enjoy various finger foods, Mojitos and traditional Viennese sandwiches prepared by the storied Trzesniewski. Without access to the ocean, this is the closest you’ll get to a real beach in Vienna.
There can never be enough wine bars – especially when they are as appealing as this one. Located in an old basement vault, the focus lies on local wines, both the celebrated and the yet-to-be-discovered. The regional snacks are the best compliment, too – there’s nothing better to accompany a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc than a side of prosciutto or salami produced by Hansi Bauer (his actual name) from Pöttelsdorf in Burgenland, or alpine cheese from Vorarlberg. Only the olives are imported from sunny Spain – Austrian varieties just don’t seem to grow fast enough.
Sipping chilled champagne in elegant lounge chairs overlooking the Volkstheater – if that sounds like your perfect hot summer day in Vienna, you will not be disappointed at the brand-new summer lounge at hotel Sans Souci. As the title suggests, the champagne comes from Laurent Perrier, and is transformed into sparkling cocktails like the Duke of Sussex (yes, we watched the royal wedding here, too). This cocktail’s bubbly base is mixed with Hennessy Fine Cognac, Dom Benedictine, Cointreau and Angostura. No need to worry if you don’t like champagne – they have other cocktails on the menu as well.
Fifteen years ago, Japanese cuisine in Vienna meant cheap sushi… and then Kuishimbo opened its first premises. Merely an approximate two square meters, the place soon became famed for serving the best Japanese street food in town and has now finally expanded to a larger venue. Where the now closed restaurant Finkh served some of the best schnitzel in for the last 10 years, you can now get fried croquettes, seaweed fish salads and Japanese omelettes. Due to its phenomenal reputation, the second location became an immediate hit. As the space is limited in this one as well, make sure to call ahead.