Those looking for gourmet dining experiences, get the hell out of this article. Go on, get! This guide is all about the complete opposite of high dining – it’s about burgers, chicken wings, fries, ribs, wiping your mouth on your sleeve after ripping into some greasy, fatty pub food. The kind of stuff you want to indulge in to make the world right again after having a bad cold winter’s days.
Here are 11 bars where to satisfy those cravings for good ol’ uncomplicated comfort pub food (best downed with a beer):
Beaver Brewing Company – best pub food
Where: Liechtensteinstraße 69, 1090
This handsome looking outfit serves up American-style brews & eats in the 9th district. The Beaver Brewing Company became a favourite immediately after it opened, and this might have something to do with it packing 2 of the greatest things humans have ever invented – brilliant beer brews and burgers. And the burgers are legendary. Stacked high, with a fat meat patty and plenty of filling, these burgers are hard to get your mouth around so it gets messy, but who’s ever kept it clean when eating a quality burger. Their vegetarian burger, the smoky black bean, is a creative work of burger-enius (wait, does that word play work?), while the inclusion of another veggie option – the seitan burger – makes this one of the best options when there are vegetarians amongst your pub food buddies.
Other highlights of the menu includes their range of smoked meat-centric plates, like the Honey-style BBQ spare ribs, the smoked cocoa and coffee wings (yes, you’ve got to try these babies), and the quality pastrami sandwich – all of this involving a smoking at the bar itself with cherry and hickory wood.
O’Connor’s Old Oak – best pub food
Where: Rennweg 95, 1030
MON–FRI: 10:30am–1am ( kitchen: 12pm–10pm )
SAT: 1pm–1am ( kitchen: 3pm–10pm )
This uncomplicated, honest pub defies all expectations – set in an outpost in the 3rddistrict, on the corner of a main intersection, no normal place would survive in such a setting in lazy Vienna. But this is no normal place. Having won over a regular crowd lining its bar from the nearby businesses, its charming Irish owner, David, and his team have also made it known for its high quality kitchen. It’s said that one of the best fish and chips can be had here.
The atmosphere possesses all the warmth of an Irish pub, minus the kitsch and the sports on the television, actually there’s no television to be seen. The small place can be like a smokers lung around the bar. The walk-in, wood panelled fridge is part of the décor covered in tin beer plaques, while the BP petrol bowser behind the bar adds random character. The windows open the pub right up, and sitting by them can be one of the best spots in the house, we reckon.
The dining area is separate and pleasant, like a pair of old leather pair of slippers with a hole in the big toe is pleasant.
Smoking and non-smoking areas
Molly Darcy’s Irish pub – best pub food
Where: Teinfaltstraße 6, 1010
While through the week it’s a good local pub for quiet drinks, passing through the pub on a Friday, or Saturday night when live music draws a crowd is like squeezing through somebody’s intestines. The staff are a friendly bunch, and largely responsible for the regulars that line the bar most nights.
Their pub food game has also improved greatly in recent years, making it a solid option for such. If you’re looking for a hearty cottage pie, this is the place, and their fish and chips hits the spot. Their hand cut fries are cooked to perfection, while the club sandwich is a favourite for many that come here regularly.
Credit cards accepted
Smoking and non-smoking areas
Craft Mühle – best pub food
Where: Mühlgasse 20, 1040
This comfortable bar in Vienna’s 4th dedicated to craft beer has all the main ingredients for those nights when your mood calls for greasy food and a couple of Pale Ales. Craft Mühle lines up a list of craft beers on its menu, and their menu aims to pair whatever you choose with the perfect pub food. While the fish and chips are more like chips and fish nuggets, the ribs are on point and the burgers (while expensive) do their own thing, as in, there are some original creations in the long list of burgers. The prices in the food menu are slightly above average, which will irk you a bit, but the beer is at your typical craft beer prices. The tasteful interior pulls off a brewery look – industrial theme with lots of wood and steel, and the staff are friendly.
500g Spare Ribs = 16.80 €
Fish & Chips = 8.80€
The Brickmakers Pub & Kitchen – best pub food
Where: Zieglergasse 42, 1070
The BBQ ribs being served at Brickmakers aren’t not like any other in town. 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). A crowd called 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 classing up the BBQ. And this makes all the difference to the delicate art of the smoked BBQ.
If you’ve been dreaming of pairing craft beer with some mouth-watering sticky, luscious ribs, juicy steaks, or tender brisket, head to Brickmakers.
Mel’s Craft Beers & Diner – best pub food
Where: Wipplingerstraße 9, 1010
Another craft beer bar that matches the quality of its beer list, with an honest pub grub menu. While the tacky American connotation with the word ‘diner’ cannot be found anywhere in the looks, the diner theme can be found in the menu, right next to the Club Sandwich and the Chicken Ceasar Salad. And there’s nothing tacky about them.
The burgers win us over. The Mushroom Swiss and its surrounding moat of fries is impressively tasty, and would give many dedicated burger joints a run for their money. And we would have taken our hats off to the vegetarian burger alternative, the Pesto Bortobello, if we’d been wearing one.
Everything fits to the concept, but does so in an honest way without overdoing it – the likes of BB King and Frank Sinatra on the speakers, the waiter dressed in black and white, with breeches. It makes you grateful that such charm of the past can be lived in the modernity of the present.
Shebeen International Pub – best pub food
Where: Lerchenfelder Str. 45, 1070
Shebeen has been a favourite amongst locals and expats alike for years now, and this has a lot to do with its laidback atmosphere. The dark and candle-lit pub has a sweeping bar looking out onto a large area out front, and a non-smoking area out back. Consistent throughout the whole place is the pub vibe and an orange glow.
The pub food here is no-messing-around plates of the favourites. Amongst them is a monster list of burgers, which include a couple of monster creations, like the Aussie bite, and the Wagyu beef BBQ burger. Then there’s a Ribeye steak grilled like it should be, and a Peri Peri chicken covered in a spicy-sweet sauce that will have you licking your fingers until it’s all gone (don’t forget to get under your finger nails with your tongue). There’s even a quality Thai red curry thrown into the mix. Most dishes come with a side of more-ish home-made fries, and a (very) garlicky sauce.
Peri Peri Chili bird = 11.40 €
Big Aussie bite burger = 9.60 €
Cash and card accepted
Smoking and non-smoking
Hard Rock Cafe – best pub food
Where: Rotenturmstraße 25, 1010
While the stigma of it being a global chain restaurant may repel some, there’s no denying the rockin’ (yes, pun intended) pub food that the Hard Rock Cafe serves up.
This temple of Americana is all about rock n’ roll, and fresh and flavoursome classic American dishes. From outrageously good burgers, to buffalo wings and nachos, every dish is prepared from scratch and fresh in the Hard Rock kitchen. Even the sauces are prepared in the kitchen, and most ingredients to make up the menu are sourced regionally. This location that can be found in many corners of the globe is also known for its honouring of rock royalty, with its walls that are filled with memorabilia from famous musicians.
We recommend… having their Hot Fudge Brownie at least once in your life (once you’ve had it once, you won’t resist having it again)
Crossfield – best pub food
Where: Maysedergasse 5, 1010
You’ll often get ‘Aussies’ (that’s Australian for short for those wondering) walking into this place stating there’s nothing Australian about it. And they’ll definitely cry ‘WTF?!!’ when they find kangaroo meat and grasshoppers on the menu (even though grasshoppers were part of some indigenous tribes diet). However, whether this ‘outback pub’ behind the Vienna Staatsoper, Crossfield, resembles an Australian pub or not, it certainly is an exotic experience for Vienna. If you’ve never eaten grasshoppers, you’ll have to overcome some serious psychological tests to put one of these crunchy fried things in your mouth. Served on a bed of smashed potatoes with a small side salad, the grilled grasshoppers have become a well integrated dish in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, the crocodile steak served with garlic butter is probably something you’ve never tried before, and if so, probably only for the novelty of eating a prehistoric creature. And as for the kangaroo steak – well, if you can bear to eat these cute mammals, kangaroo has increasingly become the meat of choice in recent years for Australians as it is seen as a more eco-friendly and healthy alternative to beef. With very little fat on it, kangaroo has a intense taste with some comparing it to venison.
Kangaroo filet = 17.90€
Grilled grasshoppers with mashed potatoes and salad = 9.90€
It’s All About the Meat, Baby at Charlie P’s – best pub food
Where: Währinger Straße 3, 1090
Since September 2017, the dream boat burger place – It’s all about the meat baby – left its former waterside home on the Donaukanal and has attached itself to the pub, Charlie Ps – the Irish bar outfit run by the same guy, Brian Patton. Their bodacious burgers are nothing short of the real deal, and one of the best priced boutique burgers in the city. Here, you won’t get just another boring burger, but instead, you’ll be extending your jaw around something original, which a lot of thought is dedicated to before it lands in the menu. The pub food game goes beyond burgers, with many dishes that have been a favourite party of the Charlie P’s menu for a while making the cut, including their fish and chips (accompanied by magnificent mashed peas) and some spicy Buffalo wings.
Also, because it’s attached to a pub run by a craft beer loving bunch, it’s got loads on the menu in this department, including a special beer of the month.
We recommend… definitely make a reservation as it can get busy, and do get their cheesy, cheese fries!
We love… that they do an amazing student offer for 9.90€ that includes a burger, their homemade French fries and drink!
Delirium Cafe – best pub food
Where: Judenplatz 1, 1010
While it’s not like the original in Brussels which boasts an epic 2,000-plus beer selection, it is a treat for craft beer lovers, nonetheless. Choice still abounds with 13 of Delirium‘s beers on tap brought directly from their brewery, and dozens of other bottled Belgian beer, including some obscure brews.It’s the kind of unpretentious bar you feel like you can sink into like a cosy couch. The food menu is full of un-hipsterised (no avocado here, except in the veggie burger) honest pub grub, with a brilliant line-up of noteworthy burgers, along with the other greasy comfort food favourites, like BBQ chicken wings, a pulled pork burger, a club sandwich – you can guess the rest. Also, the fries are cooked Belgian style – fried twice – giving them a crunchy moreishness. It’s a tough ride for vegetarians here, except for the meatless burger… and the beer.
Draught Belgian Ale 0.46l = 4.80€
Wild Beer Co. Witness Belgian Pale Ale bottled = 6.80€
Delirium Bad ass burger = 12.80€