Austrian Food Guide

Wiener Schnitzel

austrian food guide vienna austria wiener schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel is one of Austria's national dishes and it is one of the most popular foods in the region.

Made with thin slices of veal, the Wiener Schnitzel is pounded flat, rolled in a breading mixture and then fried in large amounts of lard or butter.

Traditionally, Wiener Schnitzel is served with either a green salad or potato salad however you'll also find the dish served with rice, sliced potatoes, or even French fries.  In the northern regions of Austria, Wiener Schnitzel is often served sardines, lemons, and cucumbers.

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Tafelspitz

austrian food guide vienna austria tafelspitz
Tafelspitz is a simple yet hearty dish that is considered one of Austria's most classical meals.  This meal was once the favorite of Franz Joseph I, the emperor of Austria and his love for the dish cemented it in many late 19th century and early 20th century Austrian cookbooks.

Made from a boiled piece of veal or beef, Tafelspitz is boiled in beef broth before being served on a plate with a unique mixture of horseradish and minced apples.

Knödel

austrian food guide vienna austria knodel
Boiled dumplings known as Knödel are a staple in Austrian cuisine and they can be served as a hearty meal on their own or as an accompaniment or side dish.

The Knödel are kept simple when they are on the plate as a side dish whereas they will be given more hearty flavors when they are served as a main dish.

Some classical Austrian variations for heartier Knödel include minced meat mixtures that are rolled in with the dumpling dough as well as stuffed varieties that include sweet ingredients like jam or savory ingredients like meat, liver paste, and potatoes.

Leberkäse

austrian food guide vienna austria leberkase
Leberkäse is a popular Austrian specialty that literally means "liver cheese".  Despite the name, Austrian Leberkäse often showcases ground meats like beef, pork and veal in favor of using significant amounts of liver.

The dish is made by processing ground meats with onion, garlic, and a small amount of ginger and lemon.  The mixture is then pressed into a baking dish, baked until fully cooked, and served in slices.

Leberkäse is popular as a snack, lunch food, as well as a casual dinner option and is usually served with some type of potato side dish and a slice of rye bread.

Travel Tip
Many restaurants in Austria offer a two course Mittagsmenü lunch menu for between €6.50 and €9.
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Schweinsbraten

austrian food guide vienna austria schweinsbraten
Schweinsbraten is a unique slow roasted pork dish that is popular in many regions of Austria.

The dish is made by roasting pork shoulder flavored with a significant amount of garlic and a combination of caraway, cumin, and coriander seeds.

Schweinsbraten is very garlic heavy as many as 20 cloves worth of crushed garlic are rubbed over the entire roast shoulder and then marinated in these spices overnight before roasting begins.

Gulash

austrian food guide vienna austria gulash
Gulash is a delicious stew that is often served during the wintertime as a way to warm up especially as vacation resorts and hotels.

The most popular type of Gulash in Austria is a hearty beef stew with plenty of onions.  Traditional Austrian Gulash is made with pieces of cubed beef, a large portion of diced onions and a mixture of tomato paste, caraway seeds, and flavorful marjoram.

The final dish can be served with noodles or rice but you'll find Gulash is most often served with dumplings.

Käsekreiner

austrian food guide vienna austria kasekreiner
Käsekreiner is a smoked sausage that is found on almost every street hot dog stand in Austria.

The sausages are made with coarse ground pork and cheese, usually Emmentaler cheese.  Käsekreiner are either fried, grilled or boiled and are traditionally served with horseradish and mustard although modern street stands may offer other accompaniments like ketchup or even a dusting of curry powder.

Travel Tip
As with most countries in Europe, tipping at restaurants in Austria is not expected.  Leave a 1 or 2 euro coin if you were happy with the experience.

Wiener Würstel

austrian food guide vienna austria wiener wurstel
Wiener Würstel is a traditional Austrian sausage that is a specific specialty of Viennese cuisine.

Classical recipes for Wiener Würstel are made with beef and pork with a sheep intestine casing and are traditionally served with the casing intact and, unlike the Vienna Sausage commonly sold in America, they are served as long, whole sausages rather than as mini sausages meant for dipping.

Wiener Würstel may be served with a variety of accompaniments although horseradish and hot mustard are considered classical choices.

Spätzle

austrian food guide vienna austria spatzle
Spätzle are egg noodles served as a standalone meal or alongside heartier dishes like Gulash and stews.

The noodles have a unique texture as they are thinner and chewier than other noodles due to the addition of water to the dough and the use of coarse Dunstmehl flour.
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