Complete guide to typical Austrian food: 20 traditional dishes and desserts we explain the cuisine divided into vegetarian dishes, soups, meats, sweets and typical drinks.
Austrian cuisine is a truly cosmopolitan combination of the culinary traditions of the national territory and the strong and enduring influences of the former countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, especially: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and northern Italy.
Highlights of Austrian cuisine
There are three outstanding elements of Austrian cuisine that stand out especially:
- Exceptionally rich choice of game dishes
- Some of the most delicious desserts in the world (without being over the top!)
- The elegant Viennese coffee culture
We describe them all in the following sections.
Austrian restaurant style
One other thing that makes eating in Austria special: the charming, old-fashioned and elegant service of most restaurants across the country . Not only in Vienna , famous for its elegance, but even in small mountain towns in Austria, I was impressed by the impeccable manners of the waiters and the perfect hospitality.
Also on an aesthetic level, Austrian restaurants are usually elegant and pleasing to the eye. The gastronomic culture of Austria for centuries never fails to impress. Elegant porcelain coffee sets, great attention to detail in the way food and drink are served and presented, a ceremonial way of serving the guest – all make the Austrian dining experience exquisite and memorable.
- Vegetarian dishes
- Dishes with meat
1. Typical Austrian food: vegetarian dishes
As Austrian cuisine is very meaty, vegetarians who want to try something local and authentic can mainly rely on cheese or sweet dishes . The portions are usually large and even the sweet dishes are very generous, so you will not be hungry. Cheesy dishes like Käsespätzle (next point) can be served with or without bacon, so always ask if a vegetarian version is possible.
Alternatively, finding vegetarian restaurants in Austrian cities shouldn’t be a problem.
1.1. Käsespätzle – Noodles with cheese
This dish, also typical of Germany and Switzerland, is based on a very characteristic type of fresh egg pasta – Spätzle . It is cooked with copious amounts of cheese and sprinkled with dried fried onions (and often bacon, so request a vegetarian version in advance).
1.2. Kaiserschmarrn – Broken Sweet Pancakes
This fantastic dish or dessert is made from large pieces of fluffy, sweet pancakes . They are powdered with sugar, mixed with fruits, raisins, etc. It is an extremely tasty dish and the portion is often large enough to replace a meal, or to share for dessert.
1.3. Marillenknödeln – Apricot dumplings
It is a sweet fruit dough ball filled with a whole apricot , powdered with streusel and sugar. The dough for the ball is prepared from potatoes or fresh cottage cheese with flour and eggs.
1.4. Knödeln – Bread dumplings
This dish originally comes from the Czech Republic , but has been “domesticated” in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There are different types of Knödeln, the most classic being Semmelknödeln: bread dumplings. These are tangerine-sized balls made from dry muffins mixed with eggs and milk, salt, parsley, or fried onion. Knödeln usually only accompanies meat dishes, but you can ask for it to be served as a garnish with a little vegetarian sauce, or to accompany a vegetable dish.
1.5. Kärntner Kasnudeln – Carinthian Noodles
This dish, similar to the Polish national dish – Pierogi, is typical of the Carinthia region in Austria . The meatballs have a delicate filling of fresh curd cheese and mint leaves, usually served with melted butter and chives or mint on top.
2. Typical Austrian food: meat dishes
By far the most typical Austrian dish, appreciated and known internationally, is the Wiener Schnitzel. It is a thin slice of meat, traditionally veal, breaded with egg, flour and breadcrumbs , and fried until it turns a golden color. It is served with a lemon wedge and fresh parsley, and is generally served with potatoes or Semmelknödel, typical bread dumplings.
2.2. Tafelspitz – Beef boiled in broth
This very typical Austrian meal is made from sliced beef boiled in broth , usually served with a special apple sauce mixed with horseradish and sometimes chives.
2.3. Rindsuppe – Beef Soup
It is a clear, slightly greasy , golden brown broth , cooked with beef, served with noodles and sliced tuber chunks.
2.4. Goulash – Beef Stew
The origin of this dish is Hungarian, but it became popular during the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Vienna and throughout the country. It is a heavy stew. In Austria it is traditionally made from lean meat seasoned with paprika and cooked with onions and sometimes other vegetables. In Austria it is often served with bread dumplings.
3. Typical Austrian desserts and sweets
That is the part of Austrian cuisine that I recommend the most! The Austrian desserts and pastries are delicious and will make you want to ask for more and more. Try them all!
Apfelstrudel – Apple strudel
Topfenkolatsch and other Viennoiserie
1. What is the national dish of Austria?
The most typical Austrian dish is definitely the Wiener Schnitzel.
2. What is a typical Austrian breakfast?
Austrians eat a typical ‘continental’ breakfast. More precisely: wheat rolls or Schwarzbrot, a very dark rye bread (delicious), with butter and jam (usually apricot). Or bread / rolls with slices of cold cuts and cheese. Sometimes cakes like Topfenkolatsch are also eaten for breakfast. Breakfast drinks are typical: coffee, tea or juice.
Source : euroviajar.com