Austria, Europe and Middle East, Newsletter, Restaurant Reviews, Vienna

Plachutta. A wonderful family-run restaurant that is a Viennese Institution.

11/04/2024 by .

Anthea Gerrie tastes Vienna’s meatiest treat at iconic Plachutta

In a city packed with excellent restaurants, Plachutta remains a family-run institution where the third generation continues to honour decades-old traditions which have made it one of the hottest tables in town.  Traditions which have attracted the great and the good from Rick Stein and other visiting celebrity chefs to actual celebrities, including the cream of Hollywood as well as Europe’s arthouse screens.

They come for Austrian gemutlichkeit – home comfort, albeit enveloped in a very stylish setting – and local specialities including tafelspitz, the house speciality which is the meatiest treat in Vienna and a dish for which Plachutta is famed for the quality of its cattle.   Think thick slices of tender beef simmered in broth with marrow bones and root vegetables, served with apple-horseradish relish, a creamy chive sauce, hash browns and optional add-ons like excellent pureed spinach.


Tafelspitz (€36,20) is not the only dish served at Plachutta, which offers a comprehensive list of Austrian favourites, including one of the best wiener schnitzels in town (€28.20), a terrific steak tartare prepared either mild or spicy (€19.90), poached river fish and seasonal delights including foamy wild garlic soup in March followed in April by a complete asparagus menu.  Thus, Plachutta is a restaurant to delight vegans, whose legions are blooming in today’s Vienna, as well as carnivores.

On a Friday lunchtime in spring, it’s the city branch of Plachutta on Wollzeile which packs in the crowds.  They come for the elegant decor – thick linen tablecloths, crisply-uniformed waiters and a beautiful conservatory which brings the outdoors in from the nearby city park.  There are other branches near Schonbrunn Castle and the wineries of the Vienna Woods which may call out closer to harvest time, but Wollzeile is the one to try first, with its roll of honour laid out on the picture-lined staircase leading down to the kitchen and restrooms.

Plachutta. Plachutta.

Green booths matching the green walls make a fabulous foil to the pastel napery, gleaming wine glasses and huge copper pots which are a sure sign that tafelspitz is being served to a table.   It’s a multi-course experience, starting with a ladleful of rich broth to be enjoyed alone or with a sploosh of beef marrow smeared on the accompanying toast.   Then, leaving the soup bowl on the side for replenishments, it’s time to serve yourself meat and vegetables, moistening with a little more broth; secure your napkin close to your collar to avoid splashes and tuck in!

Although dessert seems an impossibility when the tafelspitz arrives, somehow, after 90 minutes or more lingering over its consumption, a pudding hole is found for Kaiserschmarrn – nuggets of sugared pancake dough served with a fine compote of ruby-red stewed plums (€16.80 for two or more to share).   Some regulars already used to this special dish opt for “chocolate cake in a shirt” (of whipped cream) or curd cheese dumplings with berries (both €12.20).


While excellent wines are made in Austria and the best of them served at Plachutta, it’s tempting to wash down this hearty fare just with beer, and a pale, unfiltered organic Pilsner (Bio Zwick-€5.40 per 33cl glass) was ideal.   If there’s anything more you might need, apart from a strong coffee, before rolling out of the restaurant, it might be a bed – but note Plachutta’s own “gasthaus”, which sounds like an inviting prospect, is actually a schnitzel-house near the Opera rather than a place to lie down and recover from the epic tafelspitz experience!

Tell Me More About Visiting Plachutta

Plachutta, Wollzeile 38 1010 Vienna Austria.

Tel: +43 1 512 15 77 18


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