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 of a cow showing where each one comes from. Most famous is Tafelspitz, once the favorite of Emperor Franz Joseph, from the upper part of the rear leg of a young ox (also known as top round).

The tender meat arrives in pretty copper plates, 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: horseradis slicked applesauce, chive-laced sour cream, and rösti (shredded and fried potatoes).

The Plachutta family boasts several restaurants today, 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 people with a drink will set you back by €80 or so. Advance booking is highly recommended.

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