8 Solid Sausage Kiosks in Vienna

Sausage shops 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. Vienna's countless sausage shops are proof that this wonderful culinary tradition is still alive. If you specify, the vendor will serve you bite-sized pieces. Even better with beer on the side. Cash only!

#1 Alles Wurscht

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, Leberkäse sandwiches, truffle fries, fried calamari, and hand-cut beef tartare to a 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)!

#2 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 that Leo Würstelstand is as Viennese an experience as it comes.

#3 Zum Scharfen Rene Würstelstand

Located on Vienna's Schwarzenbergplatz just steps from the city center, 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 ramp 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.

#4 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. Accordingly, customers are an eclectic bunch. The place is presided over by a vendor lady who has, as they say, been around the block. The standout order is the cheese-filled Käsekrainer which can be upgraded to “Art des Hauses.” Schnitzels, burgers, and even gabelroller – pickled herring filets – are served. Low price points and open daily until 4 a.m.

#5 Wiener Würstelstand

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 higher than usual. Also: the wait can be maddeningly long.

#6 eh scho wuascht

Even as a tourist, there are reasons to visit Vienna’s central cemetery, the final resting place of such notables as Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Ligeti, Falco, Adolf Loos, Josef Hoffmann, Theophil Hansen, and many others. If the hunger strikes, I can recommend eh scho wuascht, a traditional sausage shop outside the cemetery’s main entrance (Tor 2). 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. (Your other option is the Oberlaa pastry shop on the other side of the gate.)

#7 Bitzinger Würstelstand

Bitzinger is the most famous and 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, you might notice the plastic rabbit sitting atop the premises as a playful reference to Albrecht Dürer's famous 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 at the monument against war and fascism across the street.

#8 Hermann's Würstelstand

More than just the car wash hides in District 7's Stiftgasse Parking Garage – Hermann’s Würstelstand is especially lively in the evenings when Viennese people from the myriad nearby bars congregate here to lower, or raise, their blood alcohol levels. Not everything is a hit, but the Bosna, a glorified hot dog, is notably delicious and my default order.