Plachutta (Wollzeile)

Plachutta, the Viennese high temple of boiled beef, hardly needs introduction. Enter this oversized downtown restaurant any time of day, and you'll find elegant local Viennese of all ages (and tourists, too) sitting around tables set with white linen. 13 cuts are available, as are helpful charts showing where each comes from. Most famous is Tafelspitz, once the favorite of Franz Joseph, from the upper part of the rear leg of a young ox (also known as top round).

The tender meat arrives in a pretty copper pot and submerged in a flavorful broth alongside bone marrow, carrots, and thin noodles. Spoon up some of the liquid, slather the marrow on toast, then settle yourself in for the main prize. Don't forget about the sides: horseradish slicked applesauce, chive-laced sour cream, and rösti (shredded and fried potatoes).

The Plachutta family owns several restaurants, but this one, in the city center, is best known (their first location, opened in 1987, is in the suburb of Hietzing). A meal for two with a drink will set you back by €90 or so. Advance booking is highly recommended.

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