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Spittelberg y otras zonas gastro-molonas de Viena

By Silvia Artaza from gastronomistas

We thought we’d fly to the Austrian capital to discover those routes that take us beyond the city’s glittering imperial and classical legacy, beyond St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the giant ferris wheel in the Prater park. And to be sure, we found streets, neighbourhoods, and very modern projects un which all sorts of interestingly hip restaurants have sprung up, many of them quite wunderbar.

Naschmarkt and Freihausviertel

We began our tour in the Naschmarkt, the city’s best-known food market, which has become a meeting spot for all sorts of people. It’s the place to buy fruit and vegetables, but also to sample exotic cooking from all over the world, as more and more eating places are to be found amongst the market’s 120 stalls. Particularly noteworthy are Neni, with dishes from Israel and the Orient, and the “ecological” cuisine of Tewa. But the best approach is to walk around the market with your nose on the alert for the aromas that most strike your fancy. There are even more places to eat on the streets near the market, such as the spectacular On Market, specialising in Asian food, or the Café Amacord, for Viennese treats in a setting heavy with local atmosphere.

Leaving Naschmarkt, we headed for Schleifmühlgasse to find a street that is also famous for small, exquisite Indie restaurants with very tempting fare behind the show windows. One such is Babette's, a shop selling cookbooks, spices, and other items where hot food is also served, and then there’s Coté Sud with its tasty French dishes. More temptations await you on other streets of the Freihausviertel son interesantes en la ruta.

Karmelitermarkt

Like Naschmarkt, another market taking on a whole new life is Karmelitermarkt, on the other side of the Danube in District 2 (Leopoldstadt). Check out Schöne Perle, with its home-cooking interpretation of traditional Viennese cuisine, and the organic, seasonal fare offered at Zimmer 37, There are many more surprises for you on the lively, nearby streets of Praterstraβe and Leopoldsgasse.

MuseumsQuartier

Another spot worth a visit it MuseumsQuartier (MQ), a cultural enclave with numerous museums and exhibitions of a wide variety of artistic disciplines, and also brimming with the most inviting cafes and restaurants. In the courtyard, mulled wine is served these days at the Christmas market, to the music of a DJ, and in the summers you can even rent hammock space there for serious chilling. Glacis Beisl, though almost hidden in the rear part of MQ, is usually fully booked by people anxious to partake of its local and international dishes at very affordable prices in a pleasant atmosphere. If you can get a table, this is a great place to eat after a morning visiting museums.

Spittelberg

Jus behind MuseumsQuartieris the charmingly Bohemian Spittelberg, consisting of a few cobbled streets enclosed by Burgasse, Breite Gasse, Sigmundsgasse and Mariahilter. Here you’ll find a wide choice of dining options, amongst then Amerlingbeisl with its lovely courtyard, Das Möbel with its original furniture, and all for sale, Die Burgermacher for delicious hamburgers and also vegetarian dishes and a fresh “special of the day”, and Trattoria da Paolo & Anna a small Italian restaurant with chequered tablecloths and delicious food.

And if you come at Christmas time…

At Spittelberg you’ll find one of the city’s best Christmas markets, specialising in handcrafted items. Another busy and festive Christmas market is that of Rathausplatz, with 150 stalls selling decorations, gifts, and sweets treats of every variety. You should try the hot wine (Glünwein) and the Viennese pasty –you can’t leave Vienna without sampling the Apfelstrudel, and here you’ll find it at its very best.

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