The gateway to Praterstrasse on the Danube Canal is marked by a spectacular glass palace designed by French star architect Jean Nouvel. Home to the luxury Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom hotel and the Stilwerk design centre, its distinctive facade and the colourful light installation in the 19th floor panoramic restaurant, visible from some distance away, make a lasting impression. The end of Praterstrasse closest to Vienna’s historic first district is quiet and idyllic, peppered with small restaurants and fashion boutiques. Café Ansari is a popular choice, with its Georgian and eastern cuisine, while neighbouring Japanese restaurant Mochi is no less sophisticated and recently opened an excellent take-away outlet called o.m.k. For a quick lunch, there’s Stewart, which serves up soups, stews and curries made from locally sourced ingredients. Avant-garde fashionistas from Vienna and further afield have been seeking out Praterstrasse pioneer Myung Il Saba-Song for years. In her cool concept store, Song, she brings together cult labels such as Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga Edition, and AF Vandevorst, as well as fashion by selected Austrian designers. An attached gallery hosts art exhibitions. Wubet stocks a small, select assortment of scarves and bags made in Ethiopia, Chile and Peru.
Praterstrasse widens at Nestroyplatz, where the Theater Nestroyhof-Hamakom is located. The U1 subway line runs below the traffic on the street. There are plenty of new arrivals here, including Balthasar which serves distinguished coffee and delicious cake and Supersense, an unusual mix of café, concept store and hand crafts. As well as analogue treats including vinyl and classic instant cameras, it contains a recording studio, a printing press and culinary delights from small producers – all inside a beautiful 19th-century palace, modelled on Venice’s Ca’ d’Oro. From Supersense, it isn’t much further to the end of Praterstrasse, where the Prater awaits with its funfair and its sprawling avenues, meadows and woods.
- Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom, Praterstrasse 1, 1020 Vienna, www.sofitel-vienna-stephansdom.com
- Stilwerk, Praterstrasse 1, 1020 Vienna, www.stilwerk.at
- Café Ansari, Praterstrasse 15, 1020 Vienna, www.cafeansari.at
- Mochi, Praterstrasse 15, 1020 Vienna, www.mochi.at
- o.m.k., Praterstrasse 16, 1020 Vienna, www.o-m-k.at
- Stewart, Praterstrasse 11, 1020 Vienna, www.stew-art.at
- Song, Praterstrasse 11-13, 1020 Vienna, www.song.at
- Wubet, Praterstrasse 11, 1020 Vienna, www.wubet.com
- Theater Nestroyhof – Hamakom, Nestroyplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, www.hamakom.at
- Balthasar, Praterstrasse 38, 1020 Vienna, www.balthasar.at
- Supersense, Praterstrasse 70, 1020 Vienna, www.supersense.com
- Prater, 1020 Vienna, www.praterwien.com