We had the opportunity to travel to Vienna for our anniversary in July which we celebrated in Griechenbeisl Restaurant. It was a very short trip but we managed to make the most of our time to and at the Austrian capital. So in the next few weeks, I will be sharing our impressions and what we did on this trip. I have already published a full Vienna guide for three days here. And if you plan on including an opera performance to your itinerary, I highly suggest reading this post about our experience.
Vienna has always been one of our most favorite cities in Europe, at least the ones that we’ve managed to visit so far. It is an incredibly beautiful city which can offer something for everyone’s taste. From adventurous days at the Prater to leisure walks in the city parks or the Vienna Zoo. From gorgeous architecture and historical landmarks to delicious dining experiences. We try to include in our itinerary as many things as possible every time we visit the Austrian capital and this time was not an exception.
The trip coincided with our 12th Anniversary so we knew we had to find a very good restaurant to celebrate it. So as usual, we turned to TripAdvisor and a restaurant caught our attention very quickly. Tucked in a small alley in central Vienna, Griechebeisl had very promising reviews online. It seemed to promise us not only delicious food but also a wonderful atmosphere full of history. We did not hesitate and booked a table for two in advance for an early dinner on 15th July.
You will find plenty of reviews for Griechenbeisl online but I wanted to share our impressions as well.
“Those who love Vienna dine at the Griechenbeisl, the oldest Inn in town. Enjoy traditional Viennese dining in a cosy historical ambiance. Find yourself in the same room in which famous guests like Mark Twain, Beethoven, Mozart, Luciano Pavarotti and Johnny Cash enjoyed their dinner.”
Griechenbeisl’s history is indeed very remarkable. It has been serving guests for 550 years and the whole ambiance of the place is reflective of that. Guests can enjoy the music of a zither player – although our table was outside, I am sure that listening to him would have been quite an experience.
For many centuries the Griechenbeisl was a meeting place for artists, scholars and politicians many of whom are immortalised by their signatures on the walls of the famous ‘Mark Twain Room’. In this room you will find signatures from the likes of Karl Lueger, Graf Bismarck, Egon Schiele or Johnny Weissmüller.
An interesting story can be told regarding the “plague pit” that you can find at the entrance of the restaurant. The famous Der Liebe Augustin bagpiper used to perform with his bagpipe at the inn in the 17th century. Every Viennese child knows the songs and stories about ‘Der liebe Augustin’ who fell into a plaque pit while intoxicated with alcohol, and yet survived. The plague pit at the entrance is a reminder of this legendary incident.
What We Loved At Griechenbeisl?
We loved the atmosphere the most, without any doubt. The ambience is unrivalled when you think about sitting in a 500-year old eating house. It’s amazing that this restaurant has survived so many centuries and still continues to pass on its history. The building itself is also very beautiful with original features still intact.
Sometimes when you eat in a traditional, historical restaurant, the service can be hindered. This is definitely not true for Griechenbeisl. The team was very friendly, efficient, and attentive without being overwhelming. It’s true that famous people used to dine here but we did receive the same quality of service. Our waiter made us feel like we were celebrities ourselves which is a true testament to their attention to detail.
The food itself was also very delicious. The majority of the menu consists of traditional Viennese food like Viennese Schnitzel. Kaloyan had the sirloin with fried onions and roasted potatoes to the side. I had the salmon with a green and strawberry salad as a side. Both were excellent. With this high quality of the food and it’s central location, Grichenbeisl surprised with its relatively decent prices. It was not too pricy and we definitely thought that our dinner was great value for the money we paid (64 Euro for two main dishes, two glasses of wine and a bottle of water, along with a tip and couvert per person).
What We Didn’t Like At Griechenbeisl?
There were very few things that we did not like about Griechenbeisl. As a heads up, it seems that the menu on the website does not correspond to the menu that they give you on site. Prices are relatively the same but there are significant differences in the dishes they indeed offer in the restaurant. For example, the salmon that I had is not even an option on the website menu. So have this in mind in case you would like to select your meals ahead of time.
While the food and drinks were great, both in terms of quality and price, the bottled water was another story. We really felt that we were served tap water. Which would have been fine, if we were not charged 4 Euro for it.
And finally, I wanted to highlight a slight inconvenience that may be an issue for other travelers. You need to book a table in advance otherwise they cannot promise you that one will be available. The process is very easy and straightforward on their website, just requires a bit of planning in advance.
Overall, we would say that Griechenbeisl was a great restaurant for us to celebrate our anniversary while we were in Vienna. We would definitely return if we have this opportunity in the future.