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Vienna has always been a melting pot of cultures, having more to offer than just goulash and schnitzel. You can find Vietnamese takeaway right next to a century-old traditional Austrian tavern.
Twenty years ago, going for an exotic dinner in Vienna meant ordering Peking duck in a Chinese restaurant. After feasting on an enormous portion of MSG covered meat and washing it down with a shot of plum brandy, you would spend the next hours regretting the decision and wishing you had just gone for a schnitzel instead.
Fortunately, those dark days are over and Vienna now offers a great selection of virtually any cuisine in the world. After the European-wide burger craze peaked in Vienna over the last few years (including pulled pork, shredded beef, etc.), Japanese ramen and Vietnamese Bánh mì took the city by storm. It’s also finally possible to get a decent burrito without booking a plane ticket. Furthermore, Austrian cuisine itself has developed and now confidently takes a rather glamorous role, offering an assortment of dishes imported from neighbouring countries.
From Ćevapčići to Bánh mì
Have we mentioned Bánh mì before? The name of this Vietnamese specialty (which is basically a French baguette filled with Vietnamese deliciousness) was brought to Vienna by the eponymous hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Get your serving of vegetarian or meat-filled sandwiches with a side of delicious banana bread and a coffee, all for just a bit of pocket change.
Eastern European immigrants had a huge influence on the Viennese cuisine and in some neighbourhoods, there are probably more Ćevapčići (traditional Balkan sausage) being sold than in downtown Sarajevo. A former professional football player from Bosnia is now selling what some call the best Ćevapčići in town at Merak, a brand-new restaurant in the up-and-coming 15th district.
While South American cuisine isn’t big in Vienna, there is a small selection of spots you shouldn’t miss. Lima56 has brought the Peruvian cuisine to Austria’s capitol. Enjoy a Ceviche de Pescado, a delicious dish based on fish marinated in lime, mixed with corn and sweet potatoes. Also, don’t miss out on the fantastic garden seating in summer.