The 7 Best Sausage Kiosks in Vienna

Sausage shops are deeply rooted in Vienna and countless Würstelstands peppered across town are proof that this wonderful culinary tradition is still alive. They are notoriously democratic institutions: construction workers, students, and elegant office people stand side-by-side as they wolf down a greasy, cheese-filled Käsekrainer. You can also opt for roasted Bratwurst, cooked Frankfurters, smoked Waldviertler, or paprika-spiked Debreziner. If you specify, the vendor will serve you bite-sized pieces. Even better with beer on the side. Cash only!

If you like Viennese sausage shops in theory but prefer things more upscale, then Alles Wurscht might just be the place for you. Hiding behind architect Theophil Hansen's 19th century masterpiece for the Vienna Stock Exchange, this new-wave sausage kiosk is the project of fine dining chef Sebastian Neuschler.

Every morning except Sunday, he and a colleague dole out beautifully presented sausages, truffle fries, fried calamari, hand-cut beef tartare to a well-off crowd of nearby office workers. Champagne, rather than beer, is more your speed? Not a problem. All products are sourced from reliable producers; the rolls, for example, come from Öfferl, Vienna's fashionable artisan bakery. Cash only (an ATM is on the premises)!

Opened in 1928 and just a tram ride away from the city center, Leo is the oldest existing sausage shop in Vienna (beloved Austrian Chancellor, Bruno Kreisky, was among the fans). The bratwurst, nicely browned and crunchy on the edges, has yet to disappoint me, but the specialty of the house is the cheese-filled Käsekrainer. Mustard, kaiser roll, a can of beer on the side, and you have a deeply satisfying meal for five euros, whether at 1 p.m. or at 1 a.m. Also served: wine, snacks, cigarettes. Being outside the tourist zones means this is as Viennese an experience as it comes.

Located on Vienna's Schwarzenbergplatz just steps from the old city, Rene's Würstelstand specializes in spicy sausages. Customers can ask proprietor René Kachlir to blanket their chosen piece of meat in his homemade chili sauces. The spice level of the default "curry" sauce is perfect for my taste, but there's room to ratchet up the heat for adventurous eaters.

Mr. Kachlir's sausages and sauces have proven to be so popular that they're now also sold under his own label at Billa, the local supermarket chain. Note that opening hours are a bit inconsistent and that Rene's is closed on the weekends.

You've just gotten out of the Museums Quarter or the Kunsthistorisches Museum, feeling intellectually and aesthetically stimulated, but also desperately hungry and on a budget. What to do? Easy answer: walk to the Alt-Wiener Würstelstand, a traditional standing-only sausage shop just steps from both of these august institutions.

About €6 will buy you a sizable, nicely crisped sausage with a side of mustard and a kaiser roll. I usually opt for the spicy, cheese-filled Käsekrainer, but let your inspiration take you to the road less traveled, be it a Waldviertel, Frankfurter, Bratwurst, or Burenwurst. Open until late night every day of the week.

It’s hard to think of a more Viennese sausage kiosk than Südtiroler, located by the city's main train station, the Hauptbahnhof. Accordingly, the customers are an eclectic group. Together with a vendor lady who has, as they say, been around the block, they give a soul to this place. The standout order here is the cheese-filled Käsekrainer “Art des Hauses.”

Art, in this case, translates to a generous drizzle of chopped onions, paprika, curry mix, and big blobs of ketchup and mustard. It’s delicious. Sausages, schnitzels, burgers, and even gabelroller – pickled herring filets – are served. Low price points and open daily until 4 a.m.

Vienna's sausage vendors tend to be old-school establishments where quality or cleanliness isn't always the priority. Wiener Würstelstand, a polished new-wave sausage kiosk, embodies a different ethos: here, the meat is organic; the bread bio-certified; the beers crafty. Not to mention vegan sausages, which are also served.

You could shrug and wave this off as hipster-apocalypse, but places like this will ensure that sausage shops survive the 21st century (in the city of Gustav Mahler, it's good to remember his famous adage: "Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."). Naturally, Wiener Würstelstand is located in Vienna's well-off and progressive District 8 and its price points are a bit higher than usual. Also: the wait can be maddeningly long.

Bitzinger is one of the most famous and touristed sausage shops in Vienna (past visitors include Mick Jagger). This modern kiosk is located in the heart of the city, right behind the Opera House. While waiting in line, take a glance at the plastic rabbit sitting atop the kiosk as a playful reference to Albrecht Dürer's drawing exhibited at the neighboring Albertina Museum.

Apart from classic sausages – cheese-filled Käsekrainer, roast Bratwurst, Frankfurters – there's also champagne for the glitzy post-opera crowd. Once here, you could spend a moment seeing the monument against war and fascism across the street.