If you’re tired of local company, Vienna has a number of international pubs where you’ll bump into expatriates supping a glass of beer and discussing the merits or otherwise of their new home.
One of the better ones is Shebeen, a popular venue for foreigners and locals alike. Billed as “international”, it does have a distinct Irish flavor to it, reflected in the choice of beers and the cuisine. The former include Irish stalwarts like Guinness and Kilkenny, backed up by a range of international beers like Grolsch or Newcastle Brown Ale.
The cuisine is your typical pub food (i.e. untypical for Austria), with steak, burgers and fish and chips, rounded off with a touch of Asia in the form of curry or vegetable samosas. The portions are large and the prices fair: the basket of chips should last you a week or two.
The staff are young, friendly and largely from English-speaking countries like Ireland or South Africa. The seating is basic and the interior lighting dark to the point of needing a flashlight to find your way around, which is great for privacy and isolation, should you want it.
The best time to experience Shebeen is when a football/soccer match is on – it screens many matches involving British and European clubs or international teams. When a big tournament is on, the place is heaving with supporters enjoying the beer and sport, but without the threatening or drunken behavior you get back in the equivalent UK venues.
Indeed, since different screens and TVs show different matches, you can find groups of French, Irish and English drinkers each watching a game with splendid indifference to the historical rivals on the next table. And in among them, Austrians there to sample the atmosphere or enjoy a refreshing alternative to what passes for football locally.
Address: Shebeen, Lerchenfelderstraße 45, 1070 Vienna, Austria