4 of the best and most authentic Italian restaurants in Vienna - Vienna Würstelstand

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4 of the best and most authentic Italian restaurants in Vienna

Excluding Austrian, Italian has to be the most common cuisine found in Vienna’s restaurant scene. This makes sorting the ones that make you go ‘meh’ and the ones that make you scream ‘Mamma mia!’ no easy task.

But our resident Italian, and food connoisseur (ok, she loves eating), Mila, has selected her pick of the 4 most authentic Italian restaurants in Vienna. These places don’t just serve pasta drowned in sugo, and plain pizza, yet the vast repertoire of the Italian kitchen. And Mila will even introduce you to the charismatic owners behind them.

Ristorante Rossini – Best Italian

MON–SAT: 12pm–2:30pm & 6pm–11:30pm
SUN: closed

Forget all the stereotypes – you’ll feel at home when you come to Rossini. An Italian friend of mine loves to eat at Rossini because he doesn’t even have to order his dinner; as soon as they see him, they know what he’s going to have. His favourite pizza, a Margherita con prosciutto, is even named after him. Even the insalata mista, a simple mixed salad, tastes good, tastes Italian. If you dare not go beyond the pizza and focaccia here, you’ve missed out. You can eat fresh bread, made twice daily in their oven.

The owner, Enzo, hails from Pozzuoli, Campania, in southern Italy and opened Rossini in 1985. His hometown is near the sea, hence the abundance of superb seafood dishes. Fresh Italian ingredients arrive here on a weekly basis, while you can also drink quality Italian wines, including a decent vino sfuso della casa (household cask wine). Enzo’s clients are mostly Italians, which is a good sign, we’d say. You won’t see tourists here, but only connoisseurs of the cuisine.

The Mamma Mia dishes Mila recommends: The vitello tonnato (veal with a special tuna sauce and capers) is a masterpiece, perhaps the best in town. But the pappardelle al cinghiale (pappardelle with wild boar sauce), the spaghetti alle vongole, and the melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplants parmigiana style) are also household specialties.

Also good to know… in summer there is a lovely garden.
We recommend… ordering the focaccia as a starter.

Bacco Tabacco e Venere – Best Italian

MON–FRI: 12pm–12am
SAT–SUN: closed

When you enter his restaurant you can feel the genuine Dolce Vita atmosphere, and Alberto Stefanelli is always there to greet you with his charming smile and mustache. A photo of Marcello Mastroianni is above the old wooden counter. Just like in a Fellini’s film, you smell the essence of Italy everywhere. The wooden shelves full of fine Italian wines, the wooden tables, the red and white checked tablecloths. It is exactly how you’d find an Italian trattoria in Tuscany. And it just so happen Alberto comes from Montecatini, nearby Pisa and Florence.
Alberto started Bacco Tabacco e Venere as a wine shop fifteen years ago. Then gradually, he started adding a few small bites to accompany the wine: salame, prosciutto, finocchiona, pancetta. Little by little, this typical trattoria became what it is today. Alberto only uses high quality ingredients and his recipes are his grandmother’s, and the same food she used to cook for him when he was a boy.

Don’t expect to choose from a menu what to eat here, yet rather just prepare yourself to eat through many courses. Alberto will make the decisions for you. You’ll love the surprise element when a delicious and fresh burrata, pappa al pomodoro, with tomatoes and bread, a typical poor dish of the Tuscan countryside, or a homemade tagliolini, ravioli or pasta turns up on your plate. The dishes served change every couple of months, influenced by what produce is in season. When it’s truffle time, you can feast on tagliolini al tartufo, or superbly made eggs with truffle scales. The desserts are also outrageously good, whether it’s the tiramisu or the coffee mousse. Just like La Città delle Donne, the kitchen is Nicoletta’s domain. Nicoletta is the creative, young and gifted chef here, while she’s also the soul of the restaurant.

Smoking is permitted, meaning the place is typically in a haze, and this is the only thing which strays from the typical Italian atmosphere. But it seems unavoidable, as the restaurant’s name is part of an Italian saying: “Bacco tabacco e Venere … mandano l’uomo in cenere” meaning “wine, tobacco and love turn men into ashes”. Every rose has its thorns.

The Mamma Mia dishes Mila recommends: Be sure not to skip the appetisers: crostini, parmigiana di melanzane, baked fennel, fried artichokes, frittata with zucchini.

We recommend… to book a table in advance, it is a well-loved, tiny place.
We also love… the small ice-cream specially made by the Schwedenplatz Eis Salon, available in Spring and Summer

Al Borgo – Best Italian

MON–FRI: 11:30am–3pm & 6pm–11pm
SAT: 6pm–11p
SUN: closed


It’s the perfect place for an anniversary, or a romantic dinner, but it’s also the restaurant where Austrian politicians, actors and football players love to go. This is a fancy Italian restaurant, where one can feast on recipes originating from all over Italy that have been revisited with a contemporary touch. Francesco is the twenty-seven-year-old chef at Al Borgo who loves to experiment and create modern dishes out of tradition.

He made for me a tasty risotto allo zafferano e liquirizia (Risotto with saffron and liquorice), which was perfectly made, the Milanese way. It’s a classic of the Italian cuisine, however the liquorice powder gave it such a contemporary twist – don’t bother asking for it, as it’s not on the menu. But don’t worry – what is on the menu allows you to dream, and will sometimes overwhelm your imagination, and expectations. The service is very friendly, so much so that the waiters can often be seen cuddling the guests.

Carlo, the owner, comes from Parma, and is a true character of the place. His congeniality is one of the reasons why Al Borgo is so cozy and popular. Entire weeks at Al Borgo are dedicated to cuisine from specific Italian regions, while fresh Italian ingredients are delivered on a weekly basis. The extra virgin olive oil, sourced from Puglia, will have you tasting the sun and scent of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Mamma mia dishes Mia recommends: The crema di patate con cioccolato bianco e tartufo is an interesting combination, as are the following dishes: Crema di ricotta di bufala con avocado, gamberi e marmellata di pomodoro (cream made with buffalo ricotta, avocado, prawns and tomato marmalade), and the spaghetti neri alla chitarra con calamari, piselli al profumo di limone (squid ink spaghetti with squids, peas and lemon).

Danieli – Best Italian

Danieli’s will have you believe that it’s an Italian restaurant owned by an Italian, however its owner is an Austrian in love with Italy. Yet this fact steals nothing from its credentials. It can also boast to be one of the rare Italian restaurants in Vienna with a menu free of mistakes – and this small detail can only add to its qualities.
Danieli, whose name comes from the wonderful hotel in Venice, is like an idealised version of Italy – like how a romantic, passionate lover would see the country.

The ambience is charming, luxurious, but bordering on overkill. But that’s why many people love it. The food is exceptional, and the ingredients are of an extremely high quality, while all the most famous Italian wines are represented. Fish and seafood is Danieli’s specialty. My risotto alla pescatora (risotto with seafood) is made with tomato sauce, old style, like my grandmother used to make and has the power to take me back to my childhood.

The pizza is good, however it is neither made according to the traditions of Naples (higher and with high crust edge), nor Rome (thin and crunchy). Italians are rare amongst the chefs and waiting staff, however it is a family-friendly, well-loved restaurant amongst the locals.

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