Praterstrasse, in Vienna’s second district, runs directly from the city center to the Praterstern transport hub. Fashionable shops and cafés are springing up like mushrooms on this one-kilometer long, tree-lined boulevard.
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 center, its distinctive facade and the colorful light installation by multimedia artist Pipilotti Rist 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 almost idyllic, and is peppered with small restaurants and fashion boutiques. Café Ansari is a popular choice, with its Georgian and eastern cuisine, while neighboring 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, while the 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 handicrafts. As well as analog 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, modeled on Venice’s Ca’ d’Oro. From Supersense, it isn’t much farther 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
Courtesy Vienna Tourist Board
Images: Outdoor dining at Café Ansari
Supersense is many things – coffee shop, store, recording studio, workshop, and laboratory.