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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Skip the Schnitzel in Vienna


3. What to Do

Take a scenic stroll through the Stadpark to find the chic milk bar Meierei.  

Forage in the Naschmarkt, the indoor-outdoor food bazaar that has supplied Austrians for centuries. Forsake store-bought balsamic after a stop at Gegenbauer, the oil-and-vinegar shop helmed by a third-generation vinegar-maker who sells 60 different varieties like apricot, quince, beer, or elderberry. Next, head to vendor Leo Strmiksa (a.k.a Gurken Leo), considered one of the last of Austria’s sauerkrautlers, who's been presiding over his massive barrels of Salzgurkens (brine-pickled gherkins) and kraut for the past 30 years. Pair your sauerkraut with some charcuterie from Der Urbanek and a wedge of cheese from Käseland.

Take the long way through Stadtpark (think Central Park, but along the Danube) to get to Meierei. The swanky dairy bar offers about twenty different kinds of warm and cold glasses of flavored milk. Pair the coconut or lavender flavors with one of the endless selection of Austrian cheeses on display.

Silence your sweet tooth at the legendary Demel’s, once the official confectionery of the Imperial Court, where puff pastries and tins of candied violets are displayed under gold-leaf-dotted ceilings. Later, pop by the tiny Fruth for confections reminiscent of Soho's MarieBelle in a shop that feels like it's the size of a truffle. Schokov, the creative chocolatier in bohemian Spittelberg, just opened its third boutique on the Gersthofer Strasse. Among the treats you'll find are strawberry and pepper Berger chocolates from Salzburg and pumpkin-seed marzipan Zotter bars.

Published on Nov 19, 2009 as a web exclusive.

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