When people ask me if Vienna is worth a visit, my answer is always YES YES YESNot just because of the beautiful buildings such as the Opera House, Schloss Schönbrunn and the Ring that will transfer you 150 years backwards when Austria was still a Monarchy, but because of the food. 

The Austrian kitchen is quite heavy and veganism is no option: we like meat, sauces, strudel and butter. If you do follow my advice and set your feet on the ground of Vienna I wouldn't be surprised if you gain some weight. Here are my top 10 picks of what to eat in Vienna. 

1. Bitzinger Würstlstand

If you stroll along a street in Vienna you will easily walk passed a couple of these sausage-bars or "Würstlstand" as we call them. At Bitzingers it's all about the location; enjoy your "Käsekrainer" with a good portion of mustard, a pickle and rye-bread in-between the opera house and the museum Albertina. On top of the sausage-bar you can see a statue of Albrecht Dürer's famous rabbit - the painting is exhibited in the Albertina

2. Figelmüller 

This is probably the biggest pork schnitzel you can get in Vienna.... maybe even in Austria. Since 1905 Fieglmüller is known for their enormous sizes and crispiness. The schnitzel is extremely thin and could easily be as big as a whole pizza with its 30cm diameter. It comes with corn and potato salad marinated with pumpkin seed oil. You will most likely experience a massive wait in front of the restaurant. Is it worth the wait? OF COURSE IT IS.

3. Hotel Sacher 

The Hotel Sacher is know for accommodating famous guests during the Viennese ball-season, but also for it's cake: the Sacher Torte, a heavenly sinn of fluffy chocolate dough, marmalade and coated with chocolate. You will find this cake in almost every café, but the traditional recipe of the Hotel Sacher is kept top-secret in safe.

4. Plachutta

When you arrive at the airport in Vienna you'll see huge advertisements claiming Plachutta's "Tafelspitz" as the emperor's favorite meal. The Tafelspitz is cooked beef in a clear vegetable fond (soup). The beef gets tender and soft whilst cooking for hours. Before you put some hot soup, meat and vegetables in your small cup-sized plate you add some wild chive and "Frittaten" - a kind of unsweetened pancake cut into stripes. With it comes some toasted bread and most importantly a special apple-flavoured horseradish. Amazing.

5. Demel 

The "K.u.K Hofbäckerei" in the logo of Demel means that this pastry-maker supplied the monarch with their sweet treats. Demel has a huge range of pastries: the apflestrudel might be the most famous one: a strudel filled with apple. This pastry is very simple but one of the best Austrian desserts — definitely worth a try if you haven't already. The café itself has a beautiful interior design and is located in the first district on one of the main shopping streets. 

6. Cafe Central 

When people ask what the most common Austrian dessert is, my answer is always the same: again and again the apfelstrudel. Some might argue that there are other desserts as well, like the kaiserschmarren, that is almost as popular as the apfelstrudel — but I'm telling you, in Viennese cafés people do eat loads and loads of this crispy-thin pastry filled with apple. The Café Central is one of Vienna's most famous cafés where you can fall into the Viennese café culture. The Viennese love spending time in cafés, reading through the newspapers and having, of course, coffee. The Austrian culture is an easy-going one: we don't like to be rushed, and, for obvious reasons, Starbucks and it's to-go coffee isn't really popular. 

7. Naschmarkt 

The Naschmarkt is not a specific restaurant recommendation; it is an open air market with many food stands. The market is known for its exotic offerings of food from across the world. Before large supermarkets filled their shelves with pineapples, bananas and many other fruits and vegetables from places far away, the Viennese could buy them at the Naschmarkt. Still, the market offers a vast variety of food from mostly Asian countries. In the midst of it all stands some of the best restaurants in Vienna, such as the NENI.  It is worth strolling through the Naschmarkt, especially in summer, finding yourself a nice table in the shadow and watching the happenings on the market. 

8. Josephsbrot 

This is the reason I don't eat fresh bread in London: Josephsbrot (it basically means Josephs bread). Not only does Josephsbrot make some pretty amazing bread and pastries, but all of Austria is full of amazing bakeries offering several different kinds of bread. Some of them have their own creations; in total Austria's bakeries offer together more than 340 kinds of bread. Josephsbrot has a special sourdough bread: crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside. Get yourself some butter from Austria's cows and it makes a perfect breakfast, or lunch, or snack, or...ALL TIME FAVORITE!

9. Julius Meinl am Graben 

Julis Meinl was founded in 1862 when they started selling green coffee beans and slowly developed into a gourmet food supermarket. Today the supermarket is in the heart of Vienna, and yes, the food is worth spending some more money on. There might be some places that call themselves gourmet markets, but they actually have the same stuff as regular markets. Scammers. As a loyal customer (especially before Christmas) Julius Meinl actually has different food and special offerings you can only find there such as rare cheese from France and the best meats and sausages. Also, there is a restaurant in the store with one of the nicest sitting-corners in Vienna. 

10. Heuriger Zimmermann

For a couple of weeks during the summer in East-Austria, winemakers open very traditional restaurants called heurigen. Zimmermann is one of them. The food is definitely the most comforting food an Austrian can have; bread with different kinds of spread, meat dishes and strudel — not only sweet strudel, there are some amazing vegetable and meat ones as well. The heurigen are mostly located outside of the city center of Vienna and most of them won't have an English menu. One time it happened to me that a Japanese couple ended up sitting next to us at a heurigen far outside of Vienna. For the Austrian guests, especially the older ones, this was a sensation! As the owner couldn't translate the menu into English, I ordered the food for them. When it arrived the whole restaurant was watching the couple try the food — it was hilarious. If you are not used to this kind of food you might get disgusted by the amount of fat and pork meat, but thats just how the Austrians, including me, like it. 

There you have it: the only guide you'll ever need to navigate your stomach through Vienna.