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In the same neighborhood, but a bit less refined, is Spatzennest (St. Ulrichsplatz 1), where a fresh vegetable salad, Zwiebelrostbraten (steak topped with fried onions) and a glass of red wine is less than $25.

Take the U1 to Meixner's Gastwirtschaft (Buchengasse 64), an Otto Wiesenthal favorite in the 10th district. He calls it "Viennese cuisine at its best."

Michelin awards its red, Bib Gourmand symbol (good food at moderate prices) to several Vienna restaurants: Vestibühl (Dr. Karl-Lueger-Ring 2) in the Burgtheater, Fadinger (Wipplingerstrasse 29), Artner (Floragasse 6), Tempel (Praterstrasse 56), Hedrich (Stubenring 2), Gaumenspiel (Zieglergasse 54), and the aforementioned Zum Schwarzen Kameel and Meixner's Gastwirtschaft.

The only restaurant with Gypsy music that's not strictly for tourists is the inexpensive Balkan entry, Beograd (Mühlgasse 15), near the Naschmarkt.

Doug Linton, a sometime Gemütlichkeit contributor and Vienna resident, wrote a book about the city's famed coffee houses (To the Coffee House!, Glattau & Schaar Verlagsges, ISBN 3-9500 828-3-2) and his favorite is Diglas (Wollzeile 10) which has excellent three-course lunch menus for around $15. Two other places with alt Wien style are Café-Restaurant Frauenhuber (Himmelpfortegasse 6) and Café-Restaurant Schwarzenberg (Kärntnerring 17).

You can benefit from our mistake by never setting foot in La Scala (Elisabethstrasse 13), near Le Meridian Hotel, where the food is barely edible, some of it possibly from cans.

View our recommendations for Vienna