The interior of the Corbaci café and restaurant in Vienna’s museum of architecture is as unusual as you would expect. French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal designed the space with limited materials and budget and the unfinished walls and simple lighting aim to reveal the processes behind buildings. The ceiling is the room’s central focus; domed and clad in blue, white and yellow oriental tiles, it was inspired by Turkish cafés and enhances the room’s original architecture. In contrast, the cuisine is relatively simple, focusing on Austrian dishes created with organic, seasonal ingredients.
Corbaci, Architekturzentrum Wien, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, +43 (0)664 7363 0036
Orlando di Castello
Renowned designer Denis Košutić created an interior for Orlando di Castello that makes an immediate impression; all-white walls and leather seating exemplify futuristic kitsch while the addition of red accents and a recurring ODC motif breaks up the minimalist space with style. The menu is equally innovative. Ostensibly simple dishes such are served with a twist; a classic beefburger, for example, is presented in brioche buns and topped with blue sheep’s cheese. Be sure to stay for dessert; the Ménage a Trois combining almond crisp, chocolate wafers and dark chocolate cream is especially delicious.
Orlando di Castello, Freyung 1, 1010 Vienna, +43 (0)1 533 7629
Although it occupies an often-overlooked space in the vestibule of Vienna’s Burgtheater, the Restaurant Vestibül offers one of the city’s most unusual dining rooms. The décor makes the most of the historic building’s original features; heavy marble columns and dramatic archways with gothic details dominate, offset by whimsical floral column sculptures and minimalist dark wood furnishings. The menu has a homemade, wholesome feel and is based on traditional recipes and fresh seasonal ingredients; every element is made from scratch, from the hearty meat stock to the elderberry juice, without any additives, so that every dish is as healthy as it is delicious.
Restaurant Vestibül, Universitätsring 2, 1010 Vienna, +43 (0)1 532 4999
Skopik & Lohn
Diners at Vienna’s cosmopolitan Skopik & Lohn always react strongly to its striking artwork; some find it modern and fresh while others find it disquieting, but either way it always provokes healthy debate. Painted by Austrian artist Otto Zitko, the bold black swirls that cover the restaurant’s ceiling are in marked contrast to its subdued, traditional wooden furnishings and 1940s design touches. The menu is similarly full of contrasts; taking influence from both French and Mediterranean cuisines, with a Viennese twist, the selection veers from traditional Wiener schnitzel and potato salad to chicken with melon, fennel cream and a goose liver jus.
Skopik & Lohn, Leopoldsgasse 17, 1020 Vienna, +43 (0)1 219 8977
Sir Terence Conran’s crisp, clean design aesthetic has brought the otherwise traditional Café Drechsler firmly into the 21st century. The polished marble bar, exposed light fixtures and whitewashed timber panels provide a stylised blank canvas that allows the typically Austrian cuisine and rich coffee to take centre stage. The café is open 23 hours a day and attracts a suitably cool crowd, who benefit from added extras including free international newspapers and Wi-Fi. Don’t miss Café Drechsler’s goulash – one of Vienna’s most popular dishes.
Café Drechsler, Linke Wienzelle 22/Girardigasse 1, 1060 Vienna, +43 (0)1 581 2044