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Danube River Cruise: Budapest & Vienna

Danube River Cruise: Budapest & Vienna
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  • Danube River Cruise: Budapest & Vienna

    Post #1 - August 3rd, 2017, 1:14 pm
    Post #1 - August 3rd, 2017, 1:14 pm Post #1 - August 3rd, 2017, 1:14 pm
    My husband and I have our first River Cruise planned for late September and I am looking for ideas. We'll be in Budapest for a few days before boarding a River Cruise that will stop in Bratislava, Melk, Durnstein and finally, Vienna where we will have a few days before heading home.

    I found some ideas posted here from last summer. Any suggestions for food, drink or sites not to miss?
    Thanks in advance!
  • Post #2 - August 4th, 2017, 3:43 pm
    Post #2 - August 4th, 2017, 3:43 pm Post #2 - August 4th, 2017, 3:43 pm
    Be sure to go to Figmuller's restaurant in Vienna. Get the pork schnitzel and German potato salad. One schnitzel is enough for two unless you are big eaters. Best schnitzel and potato salad I've eaten.
  • Post #3 - August 5th, 2017, 5:14 pm
    Post #3 - August 5th, 2017, 5:14 pm Post #3 - August 5th, 2017, 5:14 pm
    And don't forget some pastry because...Vienna.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - August 7th, 2017, 3:00 pm
    Post #4 - August 7th, 2017, 3:00 pm Post #4 - August 7th, 2017, 3:00 pm
    Hotel Sacher in Vienna has tortes involved...
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #5 - August 9th, 2017, 3:05 pm
    Post #5 - August 9th, 2017, 3:05 pm Post #5 - August 9th, 2017, 3:05 pm
    You have to have Sacher Torte, but it's not the best cake - it's a bit dry. Hotel Sacher has a dress code, too, so don't just show up there randomly.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
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  • Post #6 - August 9th, 2017, 8:52 pm
    Post #6 - August 9th, 2017, 8:52 pm Post #6 - August 9th, 2017, 8:52 pm
    So much to see, do and eat in Budapest. For a lunch, don't miss a visit to the Central Market Hall. You may have to be patient to find a seat and it can get crowded, but you'll be rewarded with some delicious food. For me, sausages and potatoes did the trick. You may also want to try the uniquely Budapest fried dough langos. IMO, they're best topped with sour cream and cheese, and drizzled with just a little garlic. If you find the langos line long (make sure to get one freshly made), there's a booth outside near the funicular just across on the Buda side of the river and it's a nice spot to sit down and have a nibble.

    I spent some time exploring my Hungarian Jewish heritage. And for dinner, a taste of the old country at Rosenstein Vendeglo. It's a slightly upscale (yet still casual) Jewish restaurant. If I were to recommend two dishes, I'd say the matzoh ball soup and the lamb with potato latke. While the latke itself was nothing special, the lamb was terrific.

    Elsewhere, I had a chilled sour cherry soup and crispy roast goose leg with red cabbage and mashed potatoes. Both were excellent . . . and I'm frustrated because while I ordinarily document every place I eat, I can't find where this was. . . . I'll keep searching. Perhaps it was in Prague, but I don't think so.

    We had dinner at Costes, a Michelin 1-star restaurant. The food was solid (not great), plated beautifully, and the many local wines elevated the meal. But I had just eaten at La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise in Prague and enjoyed it quite a bit more. I still lean towards recommending it, but not strongly.

    Don't miss the gelato at Gelarto Rosa. And the pastries at Ruszwurm Cukraszda were also excellent. We managed to fit both in between visits to nearby tourist spots so you don't need to veer far off the beaten path. In the Jewish quarter, we made a brief stop for pastries at Frohlich Bakery and Cafe - delicious pastries, including Rugelle, which if I had to guess is a Hungarian Jewish take on what we call rugelach here.

    Not everything I ate in Budapest was wonderful. The burger culture in Budapest is strong and we visited the hugely popular Tuning Bar. A cool place and hugely popular, but the burgers were just decent. Also, a small chain hummus bar was certainly convenient but the pita was a tad dry, and the falafel and shakshuka just average. Finally, a slightly upscale outdoor cafe we stumbled upon served a very mediocre version of chicken paprikash. I wanted a more traditional version and ended up with something a bit too fussy.

    As for sights, the slightly off the beaten path Memento Park was lightly visited but hugely fascinating. Oversized statues, once adoring this city, now all here serving as a reminder of past days of communism. You can follow the guide books for most everything, but Memento Park might be overlooked. On the other hand, I waited quite a while for the House of Terror and I was not so impressed, but YMMV. I would have preferred to simply read about it and the horrors suffered throughout Hungary.

    I wasn't even in Vienna for 24 hours, and most of that time was spent exploring palaces and the like and searching for Mozart . . . such a gorgeous city. But I did not miss the opportunity to visit the extravagant and world famous (and for good reason) Demel. If you plan to eat pastries in Vienna, make sure Demel is on your list. The sacher torte and everything else I tried were stellar.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #7 - August 11th, 2017, 2:03 pm
    Post #7 - August 11th, 2017, 2:03 pm Post #7 - August 11th, 2017, 2:03 pm
    Thanks for all the ideas shared so far!
  • Post #8 - August 11th, 2017, 3:56 pm
    Post #8 - August 11th, 2017, 3:56 pm Post #8 - August 11th, 2017, 3:56 pm
    This is a bit of an odd-ball suggestion for Vienna, but if you're looking to try Austrian wines, you might visit a branch of the Wein & Co. chain. These are combination shops and restaurants that focus on wine, which turn out to be very affordable places to try out different wines and to buy a bottle, if you like what you're drinking. It's not a bad place to have a glass or two before dinner -- and some of the locations are quite nice. The website is all in German, but you can scroll down and see the prices of this location, at Stephansplatz, for example:
    https://www.weinco.at/filiale/wien-stephansplatz-9311

    And though it can be crowded and touristy, the Naschmarkt in Vienna is still a lot of fun and there are plenty of good things to eat there.

    An actual surprise for me: Café Eskeles in the Jewish Museum has really good food and a nice selection of drinks :
    Café Eskeles
    Dorotheergasse 11
    1010 Wien
    T: +43 (0) 660 511 0947
    E-mail: info@cafe-eskeles.at
    Website: http://www.cafe-eskeles.at
    Hours: Sun-Fri from 9.00 – 18.00 (closed Saturday)

    But the most beautiful café and restaurant of any museum in the world is definitely the one in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The food is fine, and you pay museum prices, but the setting is spectacular.
  • Post #9 - August 19th, 2017, 1:22 pm
    Post #9 - August 19th, 2017, 1:22 pm Post #9 - August 19th, 2017, 1:22 pm
    The best meal we had in Vienna, or just about anywhere else in Europe, was at Plachutta, for Tafelspitz. It was recommended to us as an Austrian(also German) specialty. When we arrived at the restaurant it seemed like the dish was boiled beef cooked fondue style with a slew of side dishes. My wife ordered the Tafelspitz and I got some schnitzel just in case. That was a mistake. The Tafelspitz was ethereal. The beef gets cooked in some amazing broth, as opposed to oil. The sides were incredible. We went back 2 nights later.

    https://www.plachutta-wollzeile.at/
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra

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