Wake up and get a thorough introduction to Vienna’s dynamic food and drink scene around 9:30am. With a local guide, you will see the best places to stop for all manner of sweet versus savory. Walk through the trendiest neighborhoods in a small group and discover the legendary markets of this extraordinary city. Find out where to sip the best coffee in a city filled to the brim with historic coffeehouses and hear about the legendary debate over who invented the most famous dessert in Vienna.
Begin your Vienna tour on one of the most famous and attractive shopping streets in the city: Graben. Home of the the court jeweler Heldwein and the famous porcelain factory of Augarten, the area is littered with imperial architecture, opulent coffee shops, and first-rate eats.
You'll stop at the coffee shop where it all began: a historic site that has been serving coffee nearly every day since 1685. We will also make a chocolate stop (it’s got to be done in this sweet-toothed city!) at a famous pastry shop and chocolaterie established in 1786. Then it’s off to the hotel that claims it invented the fabled Viennese dessert Sachertorte, a sublime chocolate cake with a fine layer of apricot jam and chocolate icing. The kitchen here churns out over 500 of these a day.
Next up is the century-old Naschmarkt, easily one of Europe’s best open-air markets. It is a mile long and showcases over 120 food stalls and some delectable restaurants that are cooking up some of the best food in the city. Enticing fruits and vegetables are available from vendors alongside delicacies from all over the world. Maybe pick up some uhudler (a fruity Austrian wine) and stone chocolates (sugar-coated chocolates that resemble pebbles) to bring back home as souvenirs.
You will then take a stroll through the buzzing bohemian district of Mariahilf, which formed part of the old red light district of Vienna. Your guide will point out some stunning art nouveau buildings, highlight the best hipster boutiques in the area, and recommend several hidden restaurants for you to try during your stay.
Then you will move on to Brunnenmarkt, one of the oldest and liveliest street markets in all of Austria, and an enthralling sprawl of Turkish grocers, fruit and vegetable producers, and home-ware bargains. This is a great spot for picking up souvenirs and taking colorful photos of locals going about their daily business.
You will then stop at one of the tiny restaurants that surround Yppenmarkt (adjacent to Brunnenmarkt — there are so many markets you will be spoiled for choice!) to try some of the best produce the city has to offer; think crunchy vegetables, fresh fish, exotic spices, and cheeses.
Then it’s time to investigate the famed Viennese coffee culture. Coffeehouses have played a very important role in shaping the culture of the city over the centuries, with the first cup being brewed all the way back in 1683. The Austrian Inventory of Cultural Heritage describes the coffeehouses as places “where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.” Enjoy a series of private tastings in a new and very popular coffeehouse in the trendy 7th district.
Your introduction to Vienna’s food and drink scene ends here, but remember to ask your guide for more recommendations on what to see and (most importantly) what to eat and drink for the rest of your trip.