For smokers, Vienna is truly “paradise found”. There are few cities left in the world where one can indulge in the centuries-old cultural tradition of a good drink and a fine smoke in such a variety of venues – and in such style.
Austrian law currently allows smaller bars and pubs to decide for themselves whether to permit smoking, an arrangement that perfectly accommodates the city’s American-style bars and their guests. Vienna’s best watering holes can be explored via a short walking tour. We chose the following highlights for their sophisticated drinking culture as well as their cigar selections.
The tour begins at Dino’s American Bar, a classic with its long bar, wood-heavy décor and tremendous selection of high-end whiskeys, rums, and gins. Dino’s managing team, including owner René van de Graaf and bar managers Heinz Kaiser and Elvis Livera, is one of the city’s best. House cocktail creations, with inventive names like Howling Monkey, Gimlet Caprese and Liaison Dangereux, are excellent and pair perfectly with the small but thoughtful selection from the bar’s humidor. And the gentlemen behind the bar set a good example, often enjoying a late-night Partagás and a Gosling’s Family Reserve rum alongside their regulars.
In Vienna, even five-star international chain hotels boast cigar lounges that are well worth a visit. At the Hansen-Kempinski, barman Markus Raidl mixes perfect drinks and provides top-notch advice on cigars.
The Park Hyatt Vienna’s discriminating selection of whiskeys faces two well-stocked humidors, and its lounge, appropriately called Living Room, invites you to while away an hour or two on inviting Chesterfield sofas.
There’s a new jewel of a bar glittering in the crown of Vienna’s nightlife: Tür 7, a speakeasy with just a few seats and a first-rate menu of spirits and signature drinks. The team, including Geri Kozbach-Tsai, Glenn Estrada and Reinhard Pohorec, embodies the ideal of perfect service. And when Reinhard Pohorec – despite his youth, one of the country’s best mixologists – gives the terrific Cantor (bourbon, port, lemon juice, egg white) its final haunting touch with a smoke gun, it pairs perfectly with a cigar from the bar’s humidor.
Dino’s America Bar
Salzgries 19, 1010 Vienna
Cigar Lounge im Palais Hansen Kempinski Wien
Schottenring 24, 1010 Vienna
Living Room im Park Hyatt Vienna
Am Hof 2, 1010 Vienna
Tür 7, Boutique Bar
Buchfeldgasse 7, 1080 Vienna
This article was published in the Cigar Journal Spring Edition 2015. Read more