Vienna Insights: Locals Share their Favorites

Viennese artists, curators and gallerists share their favorite spots in the city. Part one with Rosemarie Schwarzwälder of nächst St. Stephan, Angela Stief of Albertina Modern, Sophie Tappeiner, Rosa Rendl and Andreas Duscha.

Rosemarie Schwarzwälder in her Gallery © Nathan Murrell

Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, gallery owner of nächst St. Stephan

1. What do you particularly appreciate about your city?

I think—in contrast to other historical cities—Vienna has retained its old glory.

2. Where do you like to go out to eat?

I like to go to Pichlmaiers zum Herkner.

3. What’s your favorite art or cultural venue in the city?

I appreciate the Albertina and the Frederick Kiesler Foundation, but also institutions like the Secession, MAK or the Kunsthistorisches Museum. And I’d be remiss not to mention Galerie nächst St. Stephan.

4. Where do you go to relax?

I go to the Weinviertel.

5. What is the most surprising place you’ve discovered in Vienna?

I have lived in this city for too long for anything else to surprise me.

6. Can you share any insider tips?

Every now and then I get a cappuccino at the organic bakery Öfferl in the Wollzeile, and sit down on a bench in the Riemergasse. During lockdown, it was a quiet, relaxed place in the inner city.

Angela Stief © Sandro E. E. Zanzinger

Angela Stief, Head of the Curatorial Department at Albertina Modern

1. What do you particularly appreciate about your city?

It’s not for nothing that Vienna has been at the top of many global ranking lists for years. I think the city is just the right size. The quality of life here is high compared to other large cities, and the cultural offerings are great. Besides, it’s so close to the countryside.

2. Where do you like to go out to eat?

My favourite place is Café Engländer. Apart from that, I like to try out a lot of new restaurants.

3. What’s your favorite art or cultural venue in the city?

The Albertina Modern, of course.

4. Where do you go to relax?

I like to take my racing bike and ride out of the city. In the winter I go to Bikram Yoga and then do another hour of Yin Yoga. This combination is so relaxing that you wish it would never stop.

5. What is the most surprising place you’ve discovered in Vienna?

I don’t actually really like the superlatives. There are great studios under the U6 subway arches, or in the Zacherlfabrik. But I also find places like the Eden Bar and the Hotel Orient very strange and archetypal of Vienna.

6. Can you share any insider tips?

An insider tip of mine—which will now no longer be one—is the Hotel Looshaus in Payerbach, about an hour outside of Vienna. It is a late work by Adolf Loos, and a listed building.

© Sophie Tappeiner

Sophie Tappeiner, gallerist

1. What do you particularly appreciate about your city?

The city has a lot to offer culturally, and you can get to the countryside very quickly. I also appreciate the quality of life here.

2. Where do you like to go out to eat?

Vienna has many great places to eat: at lunchtime I really like to go to the Japanese restaurant Ganko, right across from my gallery. I enjoy Viennese cuisine, and I particularly like to go to Zur Herknerin or to the Wirtshaus Wolf. I am also a fan of Restaurant Kommod—a real gem.

3. What’s your favorite art or cultural venue in the city?

If I had to choose an institution, it would be the Secession. They have an excellent program. But also spaces like Kevin Space, Pina and School, among many other initiatives, contribute a lot to making Vienna more visible to the international community.

5. What is the most surprising place you’ve discovered in Vienna?

Angelika Loderer, an artist I represent, showed me that there are organic fields in the middle of Vienna. This year, I have a self-harvest plot there, where I grow various vegetables. Out in the field I regularly meet with artist friends. As someone who has lived in cities all their life, it is a fascinating experience to take care of plants, and to watch how everything blooms and thrives. Angelika has also initiated the collaborative project “Foster”.

6. Can you share any insider tips? 

For visitors to Vienna? Take a day trip to the Wachau during the warmer months.

Rosa Rendl © Anais Horn

Rosa Rendl, artist and designer

1. What do you particularly appreciate about your city?

There are many places of retreat, natural spaces, and opportunities for swimming.

2. Where do you like to go out to eat?

I like to go to Senior Vhino, Shin Taiwanese Eatery, the traditional Japanese restaurant Benkei, or the O.M.K Deli. For Austrian cuisine, I go to Dogenhof or Café Engländer.

3. What’s your favorite art or cultural venue in the city?

That would be the Konzerthaus.

4. Where do you go to relax?

The best place to relax is in the Augarten.

5. What is the most surprising place you’ve discovered in Vienna?

I’d have to think about that for a long time.

6. Can you share any insider tips?

At Lange Gasse 41, find out and you will be surprised.

© Andreas Duscha

Andreas Duscha, artist

1. What do you particularly appreciate about your city?

What I like most about Vienna is that it is Vienna.

2. Where do you like to go out to eat?

A few timeless classics for me are Skopik & Lohn, Mochi Ramen Bar, the old Viennese inn Zur Stadt Krems, Wohnküche, Shoyu, the pizzeria Il Mercato and the Café Bacco. For a quick snack, I recommend Berliner Döner and the McDonald’s on Taborstraße.

3. Whats your favorite art or cultural venue in the city?

As an exhibition space, I really appreciate the Secession. The FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3 art center in the building of the former BAWAG bank is a fantastic space that is too rarely used.

4 Where do you go to relax?

Apart from my studio, I either relax in the Augarten, go to the Danube Island, or sit in a street-front café where I have the opportunity to people watch. Sometimes I also go to the National Library.

5. What is the most surprising place you’ve discovered in Vienna?

I am currently surprised by the development of the city. There is a lot happening in each of its districts.

6. Can you share any insider tips?

At the moment I am very fond of the 20th district.

Lis Fuereder is editorial assistant at on central east magazine.