Besides museums and palaces Vienna is food. Especially pastry. I know I may get killed for this but it seems to me Vienna has two savory dishes if you don't get into the goulash debate and those are Tafelspitz which is not as enticing in English as it is "boiled beef." BUT it has all these cool condiments like applesauce with FRESH horseradish and chive cream and this INCREDIBLE pureed spinach which is usually saved for the beginning and end of one's live when teeth are not present, but it HAS to be savored now. I loved it. The best Tafelspitz I had was at HUTH, this wonderful modern restaurant in District 1 was wünderbar.
The other savory dish is of course, Wienderschnitzel. We ate it at the best place for it, Figlmüller. This place is as fun to eat at as it is to say. I loved it. And it is served with this wonderful potato salad with lamb's lettuce and pumpkin seed oil.
That having been said, I would not choose pounded veal breaded and fried as my national dish. I just wouldn't. I would go for a wurst or some incredible pasta thing or healthy fish stew. This from a guy with a haggis/fish and chips background.
But the pastries...
I have always wanted to write a film titled "Cafe Society" and this would be the place to film it. They have loads of 200 year old cafes where you can just sit and drink gorgeous coffee and gorge on Sachertorte. That is life in Vienna and no one thinks less of you with Schlag all over your mouth.
We ate at Demel, Cafe Scharzenberg (ask for the sublime and funny Andreas), Sacher (You just gotta), Landtmann (effin' schön) and the wonderful cafe in the Kunsthistorische Museum. Sadly Vienna is not short of Starbucks like every other place on the planet.
Aida is a chain bakery that is lovely and the pink motif works.