If Dogs Run Free Fantasy realm featured

Prepare to have a sore neck after leaving this bar… because you’ve spent the night craning it up at the upside-down peaks installed on the ceiling. The space below is as minimalistic as it comes with an asphalt floor and plastered walls, nothing to detract away from the ceiling, an oft under-appreciated space but here, the spectacle. Created under the theme Mensch und Natur, the installation is supposed to be the first in a series, all constructed to spark conversations about art and design. Co-owned by an actress, a restaurateur, a graphic designer and two architects, it’s easy to see why they settled on such creative themes.

While the name itself should strike a chord with Bob Dylan fans, it leaves others confused, and once some of the bar’s potent cocktails have been imbibed, the existential “what ifs” and guessing games begin—just what IDRF wanted. One of the forerunners of modern cocktail culture in Vienna, the bar has an unwavering commitment to booze, providing an impressive list of classic and inventive drinks that get you drunk but in style. Just make sure the ceiling doesn’t distract from watching where you’re walking.

Pizzeria Disco Volante Pirouetting slabs of melted cheese

There’s a giant disco ball oven, there’s a giant disco ball oven, there’s a giant disco ball oven. And it spins! OK, if that doesn’t excite you, then we have no idea what will.

If you’re not one for the theatrical service, then maybe it’s the pizza itself which will keep you coming back for more (with a lean menu of only olives for starters, pizzas for the main, and one salad to choose from, we know it’s not the variety). When you’re hankering after a slab of well-priced, authentic Italian grub, then look no further. These pizzas are among the best in town, with fresh, high-quality ingredients and a dedicated team of Italian chefs accounting for the kudos.

Oh, and you can also take it away with you, just in case you have something more exciting than a giant rotating disco ball oven at home.

Scheer They do make 'em like they used to featured

Scheer is a rare-breed: A bespoke shoemakers, traditional cobbler and artisanal leatherworkers, all expertly shaped and stitched into one. Upstairs in their lamp-lit atelier, custom-made shoes of phenomenal quality are crafted to order and then placed directly into customers’ hands.

Meanwhile, in the ground floor room — a stunning, high arc-ceilinged, open space with patchily patterned concrete walls, 19th century wall coverings and polished wooden floors — it’s all about goods and accessories: Bags, wallets, keyrings and iPhone covers amongst. And, to keep your goods going for life, Scheer also packs a cobblers-come-leather-hospital, where they can patch up anything from sneakers to suitcases.

Grelle Forelle Earplugs at the ready featured

The Danube Canal was already a summer-time party hotspot but Grelle Forelle has taken it to an entire new level, single-handedly taking the upper-crust Viennese nightlife scene and vigorously shaking it until it’s back to being a scruffy, young party-mad lil’ upstart. Grelle Forelle abandons all pretence. No photos, no guestlists and definitely no private tables. Instead, a soundsystem of eardrum-perforating strength, maximum cred lineups and a committed crowd going long and hard. Who said Vienna was just about sophistication?

Galerie Emanuel Layr Young at art

Layr Wuestenhagen originally opened in 2002 as a project space for emerging artists by two gallerists, Emanuel Layr and Thomas Wüstenhagen. After initial success and a hunger for larger projects, the gallery moved to a larger space, which now includes viewing galleries, offices and additional project spaces.

In March 2011 the gallery was reestablished under the directorship of Emanuel Layr, with a focus toward solo exhibitions occasionally punctuated by broadly scoped group shows. Since then the gallery’s eye for emerging talent has helped to support numerous young artists.

Levante Parliament Historically modern featured

Braiding rationalism, minimalism and technology, the Levante Parliament hotel works as both a crashpad and makeshift gallery. Since opening its doors in 2006, they offer 70 rooms and suites constructed to showcase its modern architectural structure and fine, raw materials: natural stone, glass, chrome and stained wood twist and turn to lend the hotel an earthy, handsome aesthetic. Displayed prominently in the hotel’s front area are photographs by Curt Themmessl and delicate glass structures by artist Ioan Nemtoi, who also helped conceptualize Levante’s restaurant and bar areas with a glass bar countertop and fire frames.

But the modern appeal here wasn’t always the case—the hotel’s building dates back to 1908 at the height of the Vienna School and Bauhaus movement. Today, Levante’s fitness center, sauna, garden and courtyard should appease those tired jet-setters in need of classy tranquility in the big city.

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