9 restaurants where to warm up with some spicy food in Vienna

The English speaking magazine. Making the most out of Vienna and life.

9 restaurants where to warm up with some spicy food in Vienna

If you’re looking to warm up from the inside out, these are the 9 restaurants that’ll burn away all of your winter blues. Ok, maybe they won’t keep your shoes from getting wet in that brown, slushy-type snow everyone loves, but they will give you that warm feeling inside that only spicy food can, and make you sweat.

Aroi Thai

Aroi Thai

Aroi Thai – Spicy Food

MON–Thu: 11:30am–3pm & 5pm–10pm
FRI-SAT: 11:30am-3pm & 5pm-11pm
SUN/holidays: 5pm–10pm


Tom Ka Gai with chicken = 4.50€
Vegetable Spring Rolls = 3.90€
Panaeng Curry with chicken = 11.90€
Laab (Thai speciality) with beef = 13.50€

accept card

We recommend taking a tiny, pocket-sized fire extinguisher with you to Aroi Thai for the heat that will be roaring at the back of your throat after you brave their dishes at a ‘Thai spice level’. The restaurant’s name is fitting as “aroi mak” means “delicious” in Thai and the customers filling almost every table in the place can tell you this food is most definitely “aroi mak.” It’s not uncommon for the staff to already know the order (and level of spicy-ness) of many of the guests since most people are return customers. The hardest decision of our lives was whether or not to have a second helping of the incredible Tom Ka Gai soup or to save room for a Thai-spice-level red curry. Obviously, we decided to have seconds on the soup AND eat the curry. Pant size, be damned! This food was worth the discomfort of having eaten too much. Pro tip: if you want to avoid looking like an amateur by coughing up a storm after your first bite of curry, order a Thai iced tea with milk to help put out the dancing devils in the back of your throat.

Special Perk: everything is freshly made and can be made vegan (they even have a full vegan menu) or otherwise specified. They can also make Thai specialities upon request.


Spicy food in Vienna - Chili & Pfeffer

Spicy food in Vienna - Chili & Pfeffer

Spicy food in Vienna - Chili & Pfeffer

Spicy food in Vienna - Chili & Pfeffer

Spicy food in Vienna - Chili & Pfeffer

Spicy food in Vienna - Chili & Pfeffer

Best spicy food in Vienna - Chili & Pfeffer

Chili & Pfeffer – Spicy Food

MON–FRI: 11:30am–2:30pm & 5pm–10pm
SAT: 5pm–10pm
SUN: 12pm–10pm


Xiao Long Bao = 5.30€
Szechuan Chicken Nuggets = 7.80€
Tempura prawns = 11.50€

accept card

If you’re going to tackle the menu at Chili & Pfeffer and you’re not an avid fan of heating up your tastebuds, we do recommend going for the ‘Leicht Scharf’ option or sticking to the less spicy meals on the menu. Because, as the name would suggest, they put plenty of chili and pepper and their dishes.

Chili and Pfeffer specialise in the kitchen of Szechuan, a province in China known for its spicy food and fragrant flavours. They source their chilli and pepper directly from the Szechuan province, so yeah, it’s the real deal.

We couldn’t get enough of their version of chicken nuggets and the king prawn tempura. Their menu is so extensive, you’ll want to hit this place up repeatedly to cover the menu. This is the perfect place for say, like, a 10th date – when you’re slowly starting to get comfy with each other and eating with your hands and stinking of garlic for the rest of the night is totally acceptable.

Special perk: This restaurant, although small in size, has still managed to rack up two awards!


Spicy food in Vienna - Schönscharf

Schönscharf – Spicy Food

MON–FRI: 11:30am–2pm
SAT–SUN: closed


Thai red curry with beef = 12.90€
Thai jungle curry (vegan) = 11.90€

accept card

While you wouldn’t expect a musician from Tirol to be the owner of a small Thai food operation in Vienna, at Schönscharf this isn’t where the surprises end. The music-food combination at work here is such a great pairing, our Shazam playlist seemed to grow endlessly throughout the evening. And so did the numbness in our lips.

We started things off with a local beer from Tirol, as we eagerly anticipated the Thai offerings promised to us in this tiny spot near Schwedenplatz. The restaurant has all of two tables, one long one – made out of wooden pallets – and another two-seater. You can tell the food is made to be delivered, or taken home and not eaten on site, however, we highly suggest you do if there’s room.

Our taste adventure at Schönscharf took us right into the heart of a bustling Thai street somewhere near the beach. Thai curry and chilli form the flavour base for every meal served here. The red curry was as spicy as it was delicious and the papaya salad was yet another surprise for the evening (do not turn up here and not try this one if you like it spicy). If we could’ve removed our belly’s and attached new ones, we could’ve stayed and eaten everything on the menu while sipping on our schnapps for the rest of the evening amongst what seemed to be local fans of this spice bomb of a place.


Curry Insel – Spicy Food

MON: closed
TUE–FRI: 5pm–11pm
SAT–SUN: 11am–11pm


Mains = 7–15.80€
Lassi = 3.40€


accept card

Close to the Rathaus in the 8th district, this family-owned Sri Lankan restaurant has been open for 20 years and has always been as warm and inviting as it is today. Their homelands national colours of yellow and red are splashed across the walls and there’s a huge, fun, Bollywood-style poster hanging at one end of the room, featuring the owner and his family with Vienna and Sri Lanka in the backdrop.

Many come to Curry Insel with one thing in mind and one thing only – spice me up baby! All menu items come with the option of getting them mild, medium, hot, original hot, or VERY hot. We tasted a selection of curries (lamb, chicken, coconut and pumpkin) ranging from mild to original hot. With tingling lips and running noses, we were pretty happy with the amount of heat packing in the ‘original hot’ and we’d probably need a mango lassi on hand before ordering the ‘very hot’!

The flavours were complex, the meat cooked perfectly, and the service excellent. We especially loved the flaky parotta with garlic (it’s kind of like roti – just in case you weren’t in the know).


China Kitchen No. 27 – Spicy Food

MON–SAT: 11:30am–11pm
SUN: 12pm–11pm


Gong Bao chicken = 12.80€
Appetiser portion of Sichuan style Dan Dan noodles with peppery sauce = 6.80€

cash only

The easy on the eyes colour theme of green, and the plants hanging from the roof act to calm you before the spice hits your tastebuds of this neat little authentic Chinese restaurant. Run by another proud Chinese family bringing the fiery flavours of the Sichuan kitchen to Vienna, the China Kitchen are a friendly crowd that know their way around the kitchen. They’ve got all of the Sichuan favourites, from hot pots, Huigou Rou (double-cooked Pork Belly), the chili, chicken and nutty masterpiece, Gong Bao, and all the other delights of this kitchen that will blast your tastebuds and leave you numb and sweating. Meanwhile, they also have more adventurous dishes amongst their house specialities, like jellyfish, or octopus salad. Plus, they’ve got a special menu for the Dim-Sums…num, num, num


Sri Thai Imbiss – spicy food

MON–FRI: 6pm–9pm
SUN & public holidays: closed


Green chicken curry = 15.90€

cash only

Going downstairs into this small basement restaurant/take away is like falling down the Thai equivalent of Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole into a Bangkok street market. Between the slap in the face from the spicy fragrant smells from the open kitchen and the portraits of the Thai royal family covering the walls, it becomes quickly apparent that this place is the real deal.
This is the kind of place that’s everybody’s hidden spot. It’s definitely a pilgrimage for curry-lovers. The décor is no-nonesense but charming in its own way. The cooking here is a one-woman-operation run by Chang-Mai-born, Vangprai. Having begun her cooking career as a street food seller in her hometown, she has fulfilled her dreams by seemingly transplanting that Thai street stall into this tucked away little secret taste sensation of the 3rd district. Time and patience is needed here, as freshness is paramount. Her specialties are her boldly spiced curries, which are hard to beat for their authentic vivid flavours. However, be sure to heed the warning of the baskets of chilies at the front counter – when the menu says extremely hot, what they really mean is – you’re-going-to-cry like-a-baby  kind of hot. Keep in mind, there are a few sacrifices you have make to eat here – 1.) Kissing: Cultural sensitivity demands strictly no kissing at the table. (Who needs to kiss when eating anyway) 2.) Your kids: Because of precautionary measures with the open kitchen and limited space, children under 14 are not allowed. Drooling is allowed, however. These few eccentricities haven’t seemed to deter business however, as the place is packed every night. Reservations are essential.


Tulsi Indian Cuisine – Spicy Food

MON: closed
TUE–SUN: 11:30am–2:30pm & 6pm–10pm


Murgh Makhani = 15.60€
Garlic Naan = 3.60€
Mango-cardamon Lassi = 3.60€


accept card

Slightly disconcertingly, the white tiles that make their way from the floor, up the walls reminds us of our Oma’s kitchen. But there’s a romantic atmosphere here after dark. The menu is geared for one and all – from those that like western neutered curries like the sweet Murgh Makhani (Butter chicken) to those that like to sweat while eating. If you like firey curries, you’ve got to ask for them to spice it up. And, ohhhhh, will that spice things up, alright.

We recommend… also trying the Tandoori, prepared and cooked in a traditional style.


China Bar – Spicy Food

Daily: 12pm–12am


Fish with seafood soup in a claypot = 15.60€
Sweet and spicy salmon in a black bean sauce = 14.50€
Tsingtao beer = 4.50€

accept card

This restaurant/ bar, created by the charismatic Simon, not only serves up some of the most bold (and spicy) Asian dishes in town, it also has an interesting drinks menu. Simon describes the feel of the place to be like a European translation of an Asian street food scene.
“The idea is that the China Bar is not contained by four walls, but spills out into the open, onto the street.” Set next to a playground, under a mighty big shady tree – with a bench seat wrapped around it – the China Bar’s summer garden has a lively atmosphere that is unique in Vienna, although there’ll be no need for that at this time of year. Plenty of people who know of it head here for a spice kick, and if you’re seeking for the same, you should too.


Get content that you love in your inbox!

#nospam - only the good stuff that makes you smile and helps you make the most out of Vienna...and life!

We’re committed to your privacy. We will use the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content and services in the form of a newsletter. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.