Gastwirtschaft Heidenkummer

Gastwirtschaft Heidenkummer masks itself as a neighborhood restaurant, but it’s well-worth a visit from downtown. This being Vienna’s well-off District 8 means a bourgeoisie air pervades the rustic premises, but not in a pretentious way. Waiters know most customers by name and treat newcomers with friendly deference. The walls are crowded with artworks, most of them modern but there’s a curious concentration of paintings and busts of Franz Joseph. Positively quirky.

I haven’t been able to go wrong with anything on the focused menu. Flavorful liver dumpling soup in a steaming and rich broth; a gentle disc of blood sausage on a bed of apple compote and potato cream (called “heaven on earth”); eye-catching and delicious beef tartare; jam-filled crepes (Palatschinken). They range €17-25. Such traditional Austrian dishes call for local beer or wines, Gemischter Satz for example, made from various grape varieties grown together in Vienna’s vineyards. Advance booking is a must. Closed on weekends!

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