Defining the word sausage and the meaning behind it might be a cultural issue. Oxford dictionary approaches it like this:
Sausage – pronounced ˜/ˈsɒsɪdʒ/
An item of food in the form of a cylindrical length of minced pork or other meat encased in a skin, typically sold raw to be grilled or fried before eating.
Our personal Prime Tours Definition differs a little… we say:
“Würstel”- pronounced ˜/Wǘrstel/
An item that is necessary for Vienna and the Viennese culture – no Vienna without the Würstel no Würstel without Vienna – simple as that! – typically ate as a snack in-between or as a late-night snack before during or stumbling home from partying (try to not drop it, it would be a pity.) Always cooked or grilled, to be enjoyed cut up with mustard and a piece of black bread – and of course a canned beer (Viennese dialect ‘a Hülsn’!).
Following this super, hyper scientific definition (!!!), as promised we are going to reveal our Top 5 most authentic Viennese Sausage Stands (“Würstel Stand”) selected through direct and prime experience, explain what they are specialised in and bring you closer to understanding why sausage stands are a cult in Vienna :
Heisse am Gürtel
A little far off from the tourist center but definitely worth it. ‘Heisse am Gürtel’ is specialized for the ‘Burenwurst’. This type of sausage reches back in Austrian history to the 19thcentury. It is said that the name comes from the ‘Burenwar’ (1899-1902) in South Africa, ‘Buren’ meaning: ‘Bauern’ in German and ‘Farmers’ in English. The war was heavily discussed in Austria at these times and that was also the time the Burensausage became popular in Vienna. That shows one more time how internationally related Vienna was at that time. We are not so happy about the war, though very happy that the ‘Burenwust’ reached us, for us and you to enjoy it!
Where: Lerchenfelder Gürtel, 7thdistrict
2. Alt Wiener Würstelstand ‘Zum Volkstheater‘
If you believe it or not, in Vienna we have votings for the most popular Sausage stands and we are going to present you the recent Winner of this voting – the alt Wiener Wüstelstand next to the Volkstheatre. It is one of these places that is unspoiled and authentic regardless of its central location. They have a variety of different sausages and they taste marvelous. The little extra they have for their guests is a sort of little beer garden next to the stand where they put up big barrels and plants so you can eat you sausage in a nice surrounding, which is pretty untypical because the Viennese normally eat by the bar where one can exchange words with the seller.
Where: Burggasse, 7thdistrict
3. Zum Schafen Rene
2ndplace of the voting went to… (drum roll)… ‘Zum schaften Rene‘.You like it hot? Go here! Their specialty is that they have sausage with different levels of spiciness. They are located centrally on the Schwarzenbergplatz. This is an area where many firms have their offices. Therefore, ‘Zum schafen Rene’ is a hotspot for lunch breaks, it’s very common to see business people, dressed up in fancy suites and skirts standing at this not so fancy bar having their sausage and a beer. It’s just one of these super unconventional pictures that represents Vienna in its purest form and on top it’s amusing to look at. The quintessence of this statement is that the Viennese Sausage stand brings all sort of people together, rich, poor, locals as well as visitors, on this place where the words ‘prestige’ or ‘elegance’ do definitely not house.
Where: Schwarzenbergplatz, 1stdictrict
Now finally something more poppy. Something for the evenings and nights definitely! The Donau is a Bar/ Techno Club that is famous for its light-installations and great atmosphere. The light-installations are on all walls of the bar and the uniqueness of it is that they have hired an artist that does them and installs them every night, there is no single day of repetition, every time you go there, there will be a new artwork shining on the walls for the guests to be enjoyed. Really cool! Another feature and the main feature for this blog obviously is their indoors sausage stand. The Donau sausage stand is specialized in boiled ‘Käsekrainer’ (typical Austrian cheese sausages) and finally also a little treat for the Vegan and Vegetarian community – they have soy-sausages! Our Culinary Tourists love the Donau when we bring them there during our Culinary Tours, so definitely try to check it out!
Where: Karl-Schweighofer-Gasse, 7thdistrict
5. Zum Goldenen Würstel
And last but not least ‘Zum Goldenen Würstel’ (to the golden sausage). Being located in the middle of Vienna’s historical center this is definitely one of the poshest sausage stands in the city, which typically they are rather trashy-looking (in the best way possible!) but it has to be said that the quality and taste at ‘Zum Goldenen Würstel’ is great! So if you are in the city center anyway, you can combine this perfectly with a nice little lunch break and taste the gold.
Where: Spiegelgasse, 1stdistrict (right at the Graben)