Every year the Danube Canal promenade gets a little more sexy, with laid-back bars, delicious street-food-style eateries and the urban attitude to match. Here are our top 10 picks for 2017
2., Obere Donaustrasse 65 (map)
Anyone who has been down to the canal over the last few years can’t deny that Tel Aviv Beach has taken the promenade by storm. Unlike other urban sandboxes, TLV has an unequaled authenticity to it that keeps the sippers of Violet Spritzers and G&Ts coming back every year.
Then of course there’s the hummus, oooh the hummus! The NENI empire is famous for giving Vienna multiple sources of authentic Israeli cuisine, but there is nothing like munching on falafel while feeling the sand between your toes and listening to feel-good grooves.
If it’s super hot, go for a Cucumber Cosmo and their homemade frozen yogurt. Yum.
Figar macht Urlaub
2., Obere Donaustraße 77 (map)
Daily starting at 12:00
(01) 890 99 47
This is the summertime pied-à-terre of one of the pearls of the 7th district’s Kirchengasse. There, Figar is known for the breakfast but on the Canal, the fare is more evening oriented.
Summery grill cuisine and salads, they have chicken skewers, fish and that squeaky cheese halloumi. They are a great choice for vegetarians and vegans along this meat-heavy stretch. On occasion there is a DJ and they can seat around 100 people.
2., Salztorbrücke (map)
0660 127 17 84
These guys were the first to set up shop along the promenade. When Geri Ecker took over the glass house next to Salztorbrücke in 2005 his dream was to bring the beach feeling of the Adriatic to Vienna.
Geri was adamant that his concept was something Vienna had been waiting for and he was right. Now they not only serve delicious cocktails and other drinks, but also Thai food, as well as organic and vegan options. He invites food trucks and ice cream stands to sell to his patrons and could perhaps be called the Godfather of today’s Danube Canal.
1., Franz Josefs Kai 2 (map)
(01) 25 255 – 11
If you don’t plan on taking your shoes off, this ground-level retreat from the big bad city is more like a cruise ship than a beach holiday.
Sample their all-day breakfast burger wth scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese and avocado, or their delectable tartelettes, with lemon meringue or chestnut and cassis. This place is perfect if you’re in a chic mood, but still want to be served by a charming hipster waitstaff.
Since no one really wants to leave Vienna, their motto is Spritza statt Nizza (spritzers instead of Nice) and they’ve replicated the clean, makeshift look of their 6th district Heuriger, and have situated it as the pole-position spritzer stop as you descend the stairs at Schwedenbrücke.
These guys value their Viennese schmäh and give every patron the feeling of being not only welcomed, but important. The staff is attentive.
They also serve fresh and hearty open-faced sandwiches and crunchy organic salads, in a familiar, heurigen-style ensemble. Blessedly uncomplicated.
1., Franz-Josefs-Kai 5 (map)
Sundeck daily from 10:00, Food from 17:00
0660 312 47 03
This is quite literally the most central public swimming area around. And astoundingly, it’s not the grimy, mucky mess you’d expect from a pool so close to a three-lane street. Their somewhat exhibitionist sundeck (yes, everyone can see you) is still a great place to sip cocktails and tan, or just lie in the sun with a book, pretending you’re on a cruise ship. Rumor has it these guys are trying to convert the ship that never sails into a hotel. We vote yes. Vienna can never have enough cute hotels and the world needs more on boats.
1., Aspernbrücke (map)
0664 887 95 576
So along this promenade of Thai food, wine mixed with bubbly water, hummus and cocktails, you were wondering when we’ll get to the Salsa lessons, right? Yup, it may seem random, but that’s what our friends at Chaya Fuera are offering, alongside crossfit and yoga classes. The drinks are good and cold, the music is chill and there is a quasi-exclusive terrace for very imposing people. Enjoy!
1., Herrmannpark, by the Urania (map)
0688 866 60 36
This has been around for 10 years now, so it’s also a Canal pioneer. For many this is the go-to outdoor spot for an after work drink or outdoor public viewing. It is no longer the cleanest of beaches in Vienna, but they do serve a decent burger, and since it’s situated where the Canal meets the Wienfluss it may have one of the best views on this list.
But don’t go for the food. It’s really the location and the nighttime mood that are the draw.
2., Franzensbrücke (map)
These guys have pioneered the stretch of canal by Franzensbrücke, away from any seeing or being seen. The decor, if you can call it that, combines a painted wood hut with plastic tarps and beach umbrellas, creating the mood of a neighbor’s back yard in the ‘90s and a bit of the ripped-plastic aesthetic of Naples. Good coffee and cold drinks are combined with a somewhat hipster-ish food offering.
Mon–Fri, 17:00–23:00, Sat–Sun 12:00–23:00
If name of the restaurant or this video doesn’t just say it all, read our feature article on IAAMB here.