Although the mastermind behind this authentic Latin American restaurant is also a comedian, there’s nothing funny about the concept behind it. ‘Mi Barrio’, translates to ‘My Neighbourhood.’
And it plays out like a neighbourhood here. It’s the kind of place where the Latin Americans in the city gather regularly, and the rest of Vienna gets a taste of their vibrant and oh-so-lively culture.
After thinking we were out for an early dinner in this sixth district restaurant, we ended up staying out a lot longer than expected (it had nothing to do with the cocktail special, promise).
© Mi Barrio
When you walk into this somewhat discreetly-located restaurant, you get the feeling that it’s not complete, because it simply isn’t. This is a place where things are happening, so much so, that this 500-word article could never touch on every aspect of what’s going on. You’ll have to go and experience it for yourself.
It’s a place that is the unofficial home of Latin American culture in Vienna. The location itself has been a Latin American venue for over 20 years, formerly known as Andino.
As you walk through the aged wooden doors at the entrance, you turn the corner and an array of elderly people are swing dancing, take a walk upstairs and get surprised by blues music, a comedy show, or even an international artist. And, if you come in on a Sunday, live-music will be playing while you scoff down your brunch.
© Mi Barrio
The owners come from Venezuela, Paraguay and the South and North of Spain. Due to this, the menu has some meals we’ve never even heard of that have made it all the way from Latin America.
If you’re feeling adventurous dive-in to their Lasagna that uses grilled plantains instead of sheets of pasta (they call is Lasana de Platano). If you’re just a little peckish, order the Tequenos, tasty Venezuelan cheese sticks, and be sure to ask for more sauce – you won’t get enough of it.
For those that like to play it safe, their selection of Nachos and Burritos will satisfy the most standard of tastebuds.
Their filled arepa collection is also worth diving into. For those that have no idea what an Arepa is, these trending hand-held taste bombs are made out of ground maize dough and filled with tasty ingredients, like beans, avocado, salsas, and marinated meats.
Two things you’ll find all over the menu: beans and yuca. The fried yuca served like fries are a tasty side dish. But the dish here where you get it all is the Asado Negro – a plate of deliciously marinated beef in the Caribbean style, beans, plantains and rice. It’s a plate of unexpected flavour.
They know how to make their cocktails and there’s always a cocktail-special during happy hour, so if you prefer to graze with a buzz – treat yourself to one (or more) of those, then head upstairs to see what kind of event the venue is hosting for the night.
That’s right, Mi Barrio hosts all kinds of Latin American inspired events, from live Cuban bands, to salsa nights and Spanish workshops. This huge space is a hive of culture. Many a night in summer you’ll walk in to see crowds of people dancing in their beautiful courtyard garden out the back. Just join in.
© Mi Barrio
In our case, the event consisted of a Viennese-based Latin American band, the lead singer projected his powerful chords while the rest of the band assisted in getting the whole room to dance.
This is the place to be if you’re a traveler and a lover of Latin American cultures, good vibes, and nights of tiny food adventures.