Eating with children in Vienna
From fussy to cool
Anyone who is on the go with little ones and is looking for a relaxing bite to eat doesn’t always have it easy. And bigger kids also often require intensive thought and searching before the right location for a relaxing meal is found. Happily, there are enough possibilities in Vienna for you to find something every time.
Small and “bigger” connoisseurs – and different requirements
Let me start off with a fact that all parents with more than one child know: Small children have different requirements in selecting a place to eat than do those entering their teens. With my daughter, up until a couple years ago the top priorities were a playground, crayons or paints, or at least a halfway quick meal, and boredom threatened if all these things weren’t available. Now, at nearly 13 years of age, the food itself and the ambiance in the restaurant are most important. “Moby Dick” fish sticks and little “princess” schnitzel now understandably have no chance at this age. It has to be hip and cool, “feeling” and authenticity are sought after, the origin of the food is questioned, and the experience while eating and the music in the restaurant play a likewise important role. The young future customers already have quite a good feeling for whether everything is running smoothly and harmonizes.
Yet many of the younger guests already have highly specific and often high demands, not only for the items on offer on the children’s menu, which unfortunately are often behind the times when it comes to healthy eating. While many households meanwhile value healthy eating, some restaurateurs have been dozing off in this regard. “Pinocchio” plates don’t necessarily have to consist of a pair of sausages with French fries and ketchup (the lollipop at the edge of the plate is then the tip of the iceberg for nutrition-conscious parents). Rather, with a bit of imagination, healthy foods can also be brought to the table. The little ones also like to reach for vegetables and such, when prepared in a way suitable for children and with lots of colors, which is generally also more agreeable to parents as well.
Many restaurants offer the possibility of ordering half-sized portions from the regular menu – which many parents (and myself as well) find very good. In keeping with the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” you should offer your children’s taste buds as much variety and breadth as possible; everything should at least be tried, age-appropriate dishes and healthy food should be given priority. Artificial flavor enhancers destroy many taste buds in any case, pure foods no longer taste good to many children because they grow up with junk food and don’t know any better, and they demand fast food – the constantly rising numbers of overweight children is surely a consequence of this development. Getting to know new things and sometimes traditional regional things as well and deciding for yourself what to eat – this strengthens one’s personality and is fun! Many restaurants have recognized this and take care of their future guests.
Tips for little people…
If you’re looking for an all-round program for the kids, “Bamkraxler” in Nussdorf is the right place for you. From a children’s playground to a sandbox all the way to a climbing wall, from the children’s playing corner to a children’s library all the way to a Punch and Judy show at fixed times – with so many possibilities for letting off steam, sitting still while eating will be a cinch. If all of that doesn’t appeal to someone, they can even borrow a Nintendo DSi. The food is still rather traditional, but well-made. Parents even have time as well as peace and quiet for eating.
The “Praterfee” and the “Luftburg” are similarly action-packed – the food is down-to-earth and hearty, the playground, trampoline and bouncy castle are within reach and within view, and the Prater amusement park itself offers a varied program, with many show people, carousels and other attractions. If you prefer nature, it’s best to rent a bicycle and ride along the Prater Hauptallee or on one of the large meadows into the green Prater.
The zoo in Schönbrunn has always been an attraction for the whole family. Meanwhile, you can also eat quite well there, for instance down-to-earth cuisine at the “Tirolergarten”, various breakfast variants and snacks at the “Café Atelier Nonja” in the ORANG.erie, or Viennese classics at the “Kaiserpavillon”. The finest organic ice cream is available at the “Rhino-Bar”, and you can get hearty dishes in the “Biergarten”. The zoo in Schönbrunn also continues to be beautiful for cool big people and is an experience every time…
If you are looking for fresh air to breathe and a panoramic view, “Am Himmel” in the 19th District, right next to the Himmelstrasse, is just right. At the “café-restaurant Oktogon”, there is seasonal plain fare and on weekends and holidays there are various breakfast variations. The forest playground and the arbor vitae circle promise adventure in nature. With the view of Vienna, you feel as though you’re “in heaven” (“am Himmel”) in the truest sense of the word.
… and big people
Playgrounds, crayons, paints and Punch and Judy wrench only a tired smile from bigger children – not cool at all! Venues such as the “Rochus” in the 3rd District fall into the cool category. Here, the principle “see and be seen” holds. The audience is hip, for the most part young and happening, and every now and then a celebrity crosses your path. The music is trendy, as is the design of the place. Tasteful crossover cuisine and flexible set menu and breakfast “boxes” are well-received by kids.
Similarly happening is the “Motto am Fluss”. Its location on the hip Donaukanal is already reason enough for coming here. It’s difficult to get a table in the restaurant on short notice, although it’s a bit easier in the café. Small, fine snacks and tasty breakfast variants invite you to enjoy and chill out.
The “Klee am Hanslteich” in the Amundseegasse in the 17th District is also cool and relaxed. The stylish ambiance and the beautiful surroundings at the pond are worth a visit to the outskirts of Vienna. The modern, contemporary restaurant design and the fine seasonal delicacies from the kitchen fit the restaurant well.
Last but not least – there is a restaurant tip with a “view” towards enjoyment in the city as well. In the Gault-Millau-rated restaurant “Das Schick,” with its Austrian-Spanish cuisine, not only are there unique culinary specialties, but from the 12th floor the kids also have an impressive view of the city – and thereby lots to discover.
From burger king to sushi queen
The recommendations can be continued pretty much indefinitely. Many additional restaurants and international cuisines, from African to Japanese all the way to Vietnamese, typical taverns, cafés, etc., are on offer in Vienna. And every now and then you can get a burger from one of the fast food giants or a bratwurst from a sausage stand. At some point, both the adults and the children will have found their personal favorite restaurant. Every new restaurant visit opens up new horizons to the young ones and arouses curiosity. This is fun for the children – and in the end for adults, too, who then enjoy a relaxed meal with the kids and, properly fortified, are then truly able to enjoy Vienna.