Here's what Wikipedia says about the beloved Austrian Heuriger:
Heuriger (German pronunciation: [ˈhɔʏʁɪɡɐ]; Bavarian: (pl.) Heiriga, Heiricha) is the name given to Eastern Austrian wine taverns in which specially licensed local winemakers serve their most recent year's wines for short periods following the growing season. They are renowned for their atmosphere of Gemütlichkeit shared among a throng enjoying young wine, simple food, and traditional music.
We couldn't have phrased it better ourselves! If you spend time in Vienna and/or Eastern Austria, your visit won't be complete without spending a few hours at a Heuriger of your choice. It's one of those things in Vienna that are famous for a reason and loved by tourists and locals alike.
Just imagine: Vienna has 1,700 acres of vineyards inside its city limits! Because most Heurigen in Vienna make their own wine, they are almost always located on the outskirts of the city where their vineyards are. The slightly longer time it takes to reach them definitely pays off, though - often, you are blessed with the most amazing views on the city as Heurigen tend to be on the hills surrounding Vienna. Plus, it's nice to escape the bustling hot city for a bit in the summer time! Wine is the main deal here - most Heurigen don't even have beer on the menu! Apart from that, there's a variety of homemade soft drinks and lemonades available. The fare is typically hearty and on the meatier side, but in recent years there has been a strong movement to include vegetarian dishes such as crispy spinach-cheese-strudel or potatoe pies as well: A gigantic salad buffet as well as open-faced sandwiches with various spreads are well-known staples too. IMPORTANT NOTE: Many Heurigen do not accept cards, so make sure you have enough cash with you.
Most travel guides send visitors straight to Grinzing, an area in the 19th district which is filled with Heurigen. While they're definitely not a bad choice, they can be overpriced and also lack the above-mentioned atmosphere of a true Austrian Heurigen. To make things a little easier for you, here's our top 5 of Vienna's authentic and delicious Heurigen where you will meet mostly locals and won't be greeted by busses full of tourists outside:
1. Weinbau Leitner, 1160 Vienna
This Heurigen sits on the Wilhelminenberg in Ottakring in between beautiful villas and features amazing views over the city, especially at sunset. The prices are fair, the food is delicious and you have to try the Stelze!
2. Edlmoser, 1230 Vienna
Mauer is one of those places in Vienna where you're not quite sure if you're still actually in the capital of Austria - its quaint and charming village feel will make you feel right at home. Edlmoser was recently voted one of the best Heurigen in the whole country! It's also very close to the Lainzer Tiergarten, a wonderful park where you can take stroll afterwards.
3. Wieninger, 1210 Vienna
Stammersdorf is another one of those regions in Vienna very well-known for their Heurigen. They are countless amazing options, but this one is our favorite: It has an intimate feel, incredible food and even better wine. The traditional and authentic decor is a major plus as well!
4. Kroiss, 1190 Vienna
Sievering is an area in the posh district of Döbling with - you guessed it - several great Heurigen. Our favorite is the family-owned and operated Kroiss, which opens its doors every uneven month from 3.30pm to serve Grüner Veltliner, Zweigelt and many more.
5. Zum Gschupften Ferdl, 1060 Vienna
We have to include this one as an exception: This Heurigen is actually in the city center and thus does not produce or offer its own wine specialties. What it does offer is a vast variety of "Brettljausn", a spread of organic meats, cheeses and veggies along with a selection of organic wines and juices from the best producers around the city. It caters to a younger, hipper crowd and is packed with locals and visitors alike pretty much every night.