Rib-bety, rib-bety, rib, rib, rib! Some may say that BBQs are best enjoyed in summer, but to us, that’s like saying that cereal is only to be eaten for breakfast ( what kind of crazy talk is that! )
We’ve put together this list so that all the fans of a well-marinated rack of ribs, cooked (or smoked) to perfection, can satisfy your cravings also during the colder months.
Here are 5 of Vienna’s best spots for finger-licking ribs during winter:
1516 Brewing Company – best ribs
Where: Schwarzenbergstraße 2, 1010
This place is a legend amongst the international community and the pub lovers in this city, and a few things that contributed to this fame is its quality pub grub and the awesome beer flowing from its taps. While they have a few brews of their own, they also select some damn fine craft beers to put in their menu. As for the ribs, it’s the baby back ribs (the word ‘baby’ in the name makes it hard to tear meat from them at first) that you’ll be looking to get here. Tender and falling off the bone, these sweet, sticky marinaded babies (sorry, we won’t mention the baby part, again) are juicy. You get a full rack with plenty of meat on dem’ bones, a small side of ‘slaw and chips.
BBQ Baby Back Ribs with coleslaw and potato wedges = 19.90€
Ribs of Vienna – best ribs
Where: Weihburggasse 22, 1010
MON–FRI: 12pm–3pm, 5pm–12am
Ribs of Vienna is one of those places you may have discarded as a tourist trap too quickly. The restaurant attracts a lot of tourists, and you may find a pretty massive line outside the restaurant during busy lunch hours, but (and here’s the but) the ribs may be the best you’ve ever had! Keep that in mind when you’re snubbing your nose at the place. For 18 years, this big-ass restaurant buried underground in the 1st district has been priding itself on it’s ribs. Looking at the menu, we feel like we’re in a Disneyland for rib-lovers, as our eyes dart up and down the long list of spare ribs in it’s varying prep’ styles and sauces. What draws most underground below the arched roof is their ‘1 meter spare ribs’ claim to fame (we feel like that deserves to be blinking on some big billboard in neon lights somewhere). The top hits at Ribs of Vienna are ribs in the flavours of ginger, dijon, and diabolical. In December, the restaurant is bringing a spicy Christmas flavour in the name of ‘gingerbread’ spareribs to the menu…MMMM, nothing more seductive than some festive fleisch!
Ribs of Vienna (1m ribs served with coleslaw and 2 dips) = 15.90€
The Brickmakers Pub & Kitchen – best ribs
Where: Zieglergasse 42, 1070
The rib being served at Brickmakers is not like any other on this list. This bar and kitchen is not only offering amazing things in the way of craft beer, but they’re also serving up probably the city’s best slow cooked BBQ – Texas style (said with exaggerated Southern American accent). Big Smoke are laying out the menu at Brickies (our affectionate name for Brickmakers), with their smoked low and slow style Texas BBQ. Not only that: it’s not just some beer-bellied, smoke-in-the-mouth guy at the grill, yet rather talented chefs at the grill classing up the BBQ. And this makes all the difference to the delicate art of the smoked BBQ. As Brickies press pimp, Shane, puts it: “Getting this kind of BBQ right is not easy, it requires the perfect controlled conditions, along with somebody who knows what they’re doing.”
The hickory smoked baby back ribs have become a hit on the menu, which makes the hours and hours they take to prepare in the smoker worthwhile. You can order it in the two size variations of 500g (14.90€) or 750g (19.90€) and you’ll get some red ‘slaw (coleslaw) on the side. Each cut and type of meat has been carefully selected despite the cost.
500g pre smoked ribs = 14.90€
Brandauer Schlossbräu – best ribs
Where: Am Platz 5, 1130
A few minutes walk from the U4 station, Hietzing, you’ll find Brandauer Schlossbräu. This place is a unique creature – unpretentious from the outside, old-school Habsburg grandiose on the inside. A large, multi-level dining room with a hexagon shaped bar takes center stage and greets visitors on their way in. Look up for some cool chandeliers and paintings of long-gone Habsburgers looking down at you. It’s as good a place as any to munch on some ribs.
We’re seated in one the small concaves, overlooking the rest of the restaurant. Settling down with one of their house brews, we can’t wait for our ribs to arrive. The serving is generous – two large strips of ribs, accompanied by fried potatoes, red onions and three different dips on the side.
From our first bite, it’s quite clear that these ribs are freshly grilled. They’re crunchy on the outside, yet tender on the inside. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dip them into the sauces with vigor, though. We’re not proud to say that we asked for extra portions of sauce with a carnivorous look in our eyes. The waiter knew better than to leave the sauces empty again, and continued his friendly service throughout lunch. We were never left wanting for anything, and he was quick to fill up our glasses.
For 17.50€, it’s a good price for the portion you have slapped in front of you. Also, the side of fried potatoes means you can skip on the appetizer. It’s also enough to share for two people. As suckers for Kartoffelsalat (potato salad), we ordered this as a side, which came highly recommended. It’s that perfect mix of greasy, finger-lickin’ good ribs and vinegary potato salad that will have you eating more than you planned to at Brandauer
Plus: go all out and couple your ribs with their house Zwickl beer. Also, in summer, their Biergarten is amazing.
Ribs = 17.50€
Strandcafé an der Alten Donau – best ribs
Where: Florian-Berndl-Gasse 20, 1220
Ribs and a riverside view attract the masses to Strandcafé where the waiters are warriors, those who don’t reserve are long-waiters, and the summer vibe is palpable during the sunny months.
During winter, this place only sees those craving their famed BBQ, especially their ribs. The sight to be seen playing out in the open kitchen will give away what they’re famous for here – an army of cooks tend to piles of ribs on a sweeping charcoal BBQ, Steckerlfisch ( a spiced fish grilled on a stick in a traditional way ) is roasting away, and rows of the famed fresh Strandcafé Bratwürste sausages make smoke. A lot of people recommend this as THE place for ribs if you ask, and while they were more-ish and had us behaving in a way that we wouldn’t want our lovers to see (let us break it down for you in slow motion – teeth tearing at meat, no serviette found so fingers are wiped on shirt, sucking on bones, forearm used to wipe away grease and mess from mouth region…ok, the chin and neck region, too) we’re just saying – don’t expect your tastebuds to be tap dancing. At most, we’d say they’re a solution to sate the craving in a city where a demand for quality BBQ outstrips supply. However, ribs are best when fresh, which means judging by the turnover here, you’re in good hands.
Pork ribs = 19.90€