Mar 26, 2024 6 min read

Knuckles And Other Delights In Vienna At Kolarik Restaurant

Whether it's summer or winter, our visit to Vienna isn't complete without eating some junk food at our favorite restaurant in Prater.

The entrance to the Kolarik Restaurant

Last year, we stayed at Hotel H+, which I've written about here, and from this hotel, we had direct transport with tram line 5 to Prater (end of the line).

From there, we walked through the amusement park, passed by the tallest tower, took a few more steps, crossed the railway, and arrived at the Luftburg – Kolarik restaurant.

How to Get to Prater

You can reach Prater amusement park by taking the U2 metro line. You should get off at the Praterstern or Messe-Prater station. It doesn't matter which station you choose, both bring you exactly where you need to be, both are close enough to the park.

Prater amusement park
Prater amusement park

If you choose to go to Prater by train, you need to get off at the Wien Nord station. There are several train lines passing through this station, so you can note them down: S1, S2, S3, S7, S15, all take you there, to Prater amusement park and the Luftburg – Kolarik restaurant, and for all these, Wien Nord is your stop. Also, from Wien Nord, you can take the S7 train directly to the airport.

When Can You Visit the Amusement Park

Prater Park is never closed. The park has free entry, and you can walk through it at any hour of the day or night without paying an entrance fee. After all, a walk costs nothing.

If you want to get to the Luftburg - Kolarik restaurant by car or taxi, you can enter through the back of the park where there is paid parking.

This tower is the landmark to reach Kolarik. You have to pass by it.
This tower is the landmark to reach Kolarik. You have to pass by it.

The park can also be visited during winter, but some attractions are closed. During Advent, one of the most beautiful Christmas markets takes place here. Last year – 2023 – there was a stage set up where every evening there were bands performing artistic programs.

The operating hours of the Kolarik Restaurant are year-round, unlike other restaurants in the park which are only open during the summer season, here I can mention the famous Schweizerhaus as an example.

The restaurant has several dining areas and spans a considerable area behind Prater Park.

Interior from the Kolarik restaurant's winter terrace
Interior from the restaurant's winter terrace

In the summer, you can reserve a table on the terrace, shaded by many trees that intertwine their branches, forming a natural canopy. Around the terrace and tables, a mist of cold water vapors from a designed system cools you, creating a comfortable atmosphere in the summer heat.

In the winter, on the terrace, you can sit and listen to carols and other songs while drinking mulled wine or their famous punsch with oranges, rum, or other flavors at the Punschgarten.

Here, there were many straw bales, and children were playing and rolling around in the hay, very happy. Also in this area, there were many playgrounds for children (a mini-carousel with cars, horses, etc).

The toys in the play area in the courtyard of the Kolarik restaurant
The toys in the play area in the courtyard of the Kolarik restaurant

Little ones could swing in motorbikes, bicycles, buses, planes, and horses. There is also a giant inflatable slide and an inflatable house shaped like an elephant.

In this season, the terrace was beautifully arranged with many cut firs and decorated with wonderful ornaments that made you look for Saint Nicholas in every corner to see what he had prepared for you.

In the beautifully arranged garden with straw beds where you can enjoy mulled wine with your family, there are also sales of Christmas trees. The Nordmann firs from the Großingerhof organic farm have a wonderful green color and a distinctive smell.

Grown for eight to twelve years under sustainable cultivation conditions in Lower Austria, they are cut at favorable phases of the moon. Once bought, they can be kept at the restaurant terrace and taken home on Christmas Eve.

More from this author:

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The retractable awning in the garden ensures a pleasant time even during summer rains and storms, but also in winter. We were caught in a torrential rain in summer and felt how much the covered terrace helped us.

We stayed until the end of the program because we couldn't leave without an umbrella. Since the program had ended and we had to leave, we took a huge promotional umbrella from them, for a fee of course, and after much pleading.

The restaurant has 850 seats on the terrace and 350 seats inside. You always need to make a reservation to be sure to get a spot.

Kolarik Restaurant's menu
Kolarik Restaurant's menu

We booked a day in advance by phone at +43 1 7294999 and here we are, present with an immense appetite for the boiled and roasted pork knuckle and grilled ribs.

Our table was waiting and our usual waiter made his appearance right away. We started with the house beer Kolarik, which I don't know how, but it immediately disappeared from the mug.

House Beer Kolarik
House Beer Kolarik

The dishes were brought to us 15 minutes after we ordered, and we began to eat. I can't put into words how the crispy skin crackled on the large piece of meat, but even now as I write, few months later, my mouth is watering.

The pork knuckle was served on a wooden platter on a large bed of fried potatoes alongside cabbage salad and finely grated horseradish. Usually, the waiter removes the bone with a simple twist and places it next to the meat like a trophy.

The pork knuckle at restaurant Kolarik in Vienna
The pork knuckle

This time, my husband dove in with knife and fork right away, not leaving the poor man the satisfaction of showing us the tenderness of the served knuckle. Inside, the meat is so tender that even the tendons are gelatinous and melt in your mouth.

As I've mentioned before, the skin is crispy and salty to match the beer well. The beer comes in a mug with foam that far exceeds the rim of the mug. The sizes of the mugs range from half a liter to 2 liters.

Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside - the king of Kolarik's restaurant menu
Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside - the king of Kolarik's restaurant menu

I recommend ordering by the liter to always drink it cold, because the mug can never stay empty since the waiters always pass by and ask if it needs to be replaced. The beer is very strong and gets to you very quickly.

For ordering a large knuckle and a portion of ribs for two people, we paid 115 euros, including our gratitude to the Kolarik family.

A tip for those who go to Prater is that if you want to enjoy all the rides in the amusement park, go to the Luftburg – Kolarik Restaurant at the end, otherwise, it's a great pity to miss out on the delicacies served here.

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