Many visitors to Vienna wish to visit a Heurigen (wine tavern). Heuriger means "this year's wine", and the Heurigen began as a way for winemakers to offer tastings of their new wine with a few nibbles, and hopefully sell a few bottles. With the advent of mass tourism, Heurigen evolved into year-round ventures serving full meals, often accompanied by traditional Viennese Schrammel music played on the accordion and violin.

The best known area is Grinzing (end station of the streetcar line #38, but other areas such as Nussdorf , Sievering and Neustift have nice places too. Part of the fun of visiting Heurigen is to take a tram or bus out to the suburbs and wander round looking for a likely place.

Unless you have made a reservation , just walk in a place and have a look- if you like it seat yourself. The waiter will take your drink order and keep a running tab which you pay at the end of the evening. Wines are usually sold open, and bought by the glass - an achterl (1/8 litre), or a viertel (1/4 litre), or by a half-litre carafe. Most places also have a selection of bottled wines. Waiters generally will not interrupt your evening, so when you want to order more or pay up ("Zahlen bitte!"), you will need to attract their attention.

Many only serve drinks at your table, and for food you must visit the buffet (sorry not all you can eat) food is nicely displayed- often you pay by weight of the meat or salad you buy- not expensive.

Then just return to your table.

Depending on the season some special things are available

Most- cloudy looking grape juice not yet fermented- very sweet.

Sturm- watch out! This partially-fermented grape juice is stronger than you think. It has a light, fruity taste and a kick like a mule. It can also cause digestive distress when drunk in quanity( more than 3 glasses) a quick visit to a restroom is often needed

Many drink a Gespritzter or spritzer  - a mix of soda water and wine. White wine also mixes well with Almdudler, a local herb-based soda, to make a Bauernmischung. 

Wines available- will vary by place. Vienna is primarily a white-wine producing area, though reds are also very good.

White

Grüner Veltliner-   fruity and found almost everywhere as probably most produced variety in the area.

Riesling- mild and aromatic

Neuburger- often taste a little like nuts

Red

Zweigelt-   good deep red , fruity

Blauer Burgunder - also fruity

Food

Food offered in Heuriger tends to be of the simple, alcohol-soaking variety, and is usually traditional Austrian "drinking food".

Liptauer Brot - a cream cheese and paprika mix served on bread

Schinken - ham

schweinsbraten - pork roast

sauerkraut or krautsalat- a warm cabbage pickled in vinegar

kartoffelsalat - potato salad (the Austrian version is slightly different from the British/American, and usually includes some red onion).

Sauerbraten - roast pork, previously marinated in vinegar to give a sour taste. Nicer than it sounds. 

Wiener Schnitzel of course - usually either turkey (von der Pute) or pork (vom Schwein).

If music is being played- a good chance the musicians will stop by your table play and ask if you have any requests. Often these guys know thousands of songs - do not be timid ask for what you want - a small tip 2-3 euro will be accepted

 

For a list of heurigen  look to the tourist office website under restaurants - www.info.wien.at