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Sabine Maier: My Vienna

Sabine Maier is known as Vienna’s ‘city spy’ because she knows the city’s coolest venues so well. She has just published Frühstück in Wien (Breakfast in Vienna), her second guidebook, and whatever she recommends becomes a hit. She shares some top tips with SHOP

City Guide
Paulina Szmydke,

Where were you born?
On a romantic Alpine lake in Upper Austria.

Where do you live?
In Alsergrund, Vienna.

What’s best about your neighborhood?
I live close to the small yet elegant chocolate manufacturer Xocolat, where one of the best Austrian chefs, Christian Petz, works. You can watch, participate in workshops – and buy, of course. 

If money was no object where would you live?
Vienna in the winter, in a villa in Piran, Slovenia, in the summer

Which is your favourite street in Vienna?
Servitengasse – where Xocolat is located!

Do you have a favourite Vienna restaurant?
The private dinners and brunches at Hofzeile 27 are extraordinary. It’s the private home of the Fellner family, and a restaurant, too.

Where do you go for a drink with friends?
Dachboden, on the top floor of the new 25hours design hotel. It has a great interior, laid-back atmosphere and a superb terrace with a good view over the city centre.

Any recommendations for dishes to try?
For the courageous: blutwurstgröstl [blood sausage]. For everybody else: topfengolatschen [sweet cheese pastries].

Which places sum up Vienna for you?
Belvedere, Café Demel for the world’s best cakes, and Karl Marx Hof.

Where do you take out-of-town friends?

Which do you think is the best museum in town?
The Fälschermuseum.

Which Viennese person do you most admire?
Experimental physicist Anton Zeilinger, renowned for his quantum teleportation with protons.

Which are your favourite clothes and accessories stores?Too many. Currently it’s Amicis, because the new autumn collection by Alexander McQueen has arrived.

What can’t you live without?
The Donaukanal next to my place. I jog here, eat, lie in the sun or visit the Badeschiff.

Any places you’d recommend visitors avoid?
The Christmas market in front of the city hall on a Saturday.

Any advice for those visiting your city?
In Vienna people grow grapes, so try some of the young winemakers’ creations.

Can you recommend a good hotel?
Hotel Altstadt.

Tell us a secret.
Right next to the stairway leading up to the tower of Stephansdom (St Stephen’s cathedral) stands a tree of heaven which is occupied by live silkworms.



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