Abroad Bites: Vienna, Austria
About two weeks ago, my mom came to visit me in London! My mom and I are incredibly close, and the past four months without seeing her have been really hard, so of course, spending time with her was absolutely amazing. After spending a few days in London, exploring the city, eating tons (of course), and catching up, we headed off to Vienna, Austria (followed by Prague, Czech Republic, but that’s for a different post).
Vienna is a magical city, full of culture and bustling people and things to do and see. The city is super walkable, so it was easy to spend hours getting lost in the streets, wandering in and out of cute boutiques and small cafes and little gelato shops. It’s safe to say we ate more than our fair share of gelato in the week we were gone, and OMG – it was all so good. Vacation calories don’t count, right?
My mom’s good friend is from Germany, and Vienna is one of her favorite cities, so she gave my mom recommendations on her favorite places to check out, and my mom and I also had some “must do’s” while we were there, so we definitely kept busy on our trip. We also were so lucky with the weather! I swear, my mom brought California weather with her when she visited. London was the warmest it’s been since I got here on the few days she was here (mid-70s), and the 70 degree weather followed us from Vienna to Prague. It was definitely nice to have a break from fog and rain!
While I’m so sad that my mom is gone, I’m beyond excited for the next few weeks – as your reading this, I’ll have been gone for about a week already. Some of my great friends and I are traveling to Marrakech, Madrid, Barcelona and Florence! If you want to keep updated on my trip, I’ll be posting updates on Instagram (@rachelconners) and Twitter (@bakeritablog)! Okay – now what you’re really here for. The pictures! Let’s go…
The first night we were there we didn’t arrive until afternoon, so we strolled around a bit and got a lay of the land. We didn’t do much that was too exciting, but we did get some amazing ice cream. We saw this tiny little shop with a huge line outside, and figured it must be good. The place was called Eis-Greissler, and after doing research after eating the ice cream, we realized they’re well known for their interesting flavors. We were boring, and I got caramel and cookies, and my mom got some sort of cake batter flavor I think. It was really good gelato though…still dreaming about it. On our first full day was the Schönbrunn Palace, that everyone told us was a must do, and obviously, it was a palace so we needed to see it. I was dying to take pictures inside, but it wasn’t allowed. Sorry guys – but the palace did have beautiful gardens. Though they weren’t in full bloom, it was still gorgeous!
When my mom and I were entering the Palace, we saw that they had something called the Strudelshow. If it had anything to do with strudel, you know I had to go, so when we saw it was a demonstration of how the palace made their apple strudel, we had to go! We had just missed the show (which was every hour, on the hour) so we took our tour, and came back for the next one.
And wow. I never realized what a process strudel is to make. I’m dying to try it now, and I’m definitely going to once I return to the states. The dough must be super elastic, which scares me slightly, and you can see in the pictures how big it gets. It will definitely be a fun adventure attempting it. We also got to try a piece of strudel, and it was absolutely delicious. Oh, how I love thee.
See the process photos below!
After the Studelshow, we left the Palace and headed over to Naschmarkt, which was recommended by my mom’s friend. I’m always down for a food market, and we wanted lunch. The market was smaller than we expected, with a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, dried fruit stands, and little cheese and wine shops. There were also a ton of restaurants, with everything from Indian, to seafood, to Thai. We strolled around, and grabbed lunch at a Thai restaurant! Mine was delicious, but my mom wasn’t as excited about hers.
This was the first dish in our Thai lunch, which they brought to us for free as a starter. It was a bit like an elongated potsticker, in a sweet soy sauce. It was pretty darn delicious, especially considering we didn’t even order it!
This was my lunch, which was labeled as a coconut chicken with noodles. I didn’t really get very many coconut vibes, but the chicken was incredibly flavorful and crispy, with a delicious sauce. The noodles were also pretty good, though I did add a bit of soy sauce to jazz them up a little bit.
That night for dinner we did what everyone needs to do in Austria – eat weinerschnitzel! We went to Figlmuller, one of the more famous places in Vienna to get it. It was really good. Super thin and crispy, and perfect with a squeeze of lemon. We got the recommended potato salad on the side, and though it was good, neither my mom nor I particularly like potato salad, so we weren’t overly thrilled with it.
The next day we went to the famed Sacher hotel to try the Sachertorte – supposedly one of the best chocolate cake ever which had a worldwide reputation. Obviously I needed to try it. Seriously guys – don’t waste your time or money on this one. It was a bad chocolate cake. Not even just no great. It was dry, with no chocolate flavor. The frosting was pretty good, but the cake. Ugh, just no. The coffee however, was delicious. We got Viennese coffee which has milk and whipped cream and it was pretty heavenly.
After our poor torte experience (which we were bitter about for the rest of the trip. Talk about wasted calories!) we explored the city, seeing St. Stephen’s Cathedral and a whole bunch of gorgeous buildings, many of which housed classical music concerts or operas.
We left for Prague the next morning, so for dinner we stayed close to the hotel and headed into an Italian restaurant called Vapiano to grab something quick. We split a caprese salad, and a brie and bacon pizza (!!!). Absolutely hit the spot, and made a delicious last meal in Vienna.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the city if you’ve ever been, or what you’d like to do if you got the chance to visit someday. Hope you’re all wonderful, talk to you soon! xoxox