The 6 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. Sausage kiosks are notoriously democratic: construction workers, students, and elegant office people stand side-by-side as they enjoy a lunch or late-night meal. Most popular is the cheese-filled Käsekrainer, but you can also order 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!

#1 Leo Würstelstand

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 they come.

#2 Alles Wurscht

If you like Viennese sausage shops in theory but in fact prefer things more upscale, then Alles Wurscht is just 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 most fashionable artisan bakery. Cash only!

#3 Würstelstand am Südtiroler Platz

It’s hard to think of a more Viennese sausage kiosk than Südtiroler, located by the city's main train station, the Hauptbahnhof. It's all about the ambiance here, fueled by an unending stream of eclectic customers and a lively vendor lady who has, as they say, been around the block. 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, too, and open daily until 4 a.m.

#4 Wiener Würstelstand

Vienna's sausage vendors tend to be old-school establishments where quality or cleanliness isn't always the main 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.

#5 Bitzinger Würstelstand

Bitzinger is one of the most famous and certainly the most touristed sausage shop 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 Renaissance 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, spend a moment at the monument against war and fascism across the street.

#6 Zum Scharfen Rene Würstelstand

Rene's Würstelstand, located on Vienna's elegant Schwarzenbergplatz, specializes in spicy sausages. The meats themselves are regular, but customers can request that they be smothered in the homemade chili sauces of proprietor René Kachlir. The spice level of the default "curry" sauce is perfect for my taste, but adventurous eaters can ask that he ratchet up the heat. Mr. Kachlir's sausages and sauces proved 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.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I also never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider making a one-time payment (PayPal) or becoming an Offbeat Patron.