Food & Drink

Viennese cuisine is strongly influenced by southeast European cooking and consists mostly of meat dishes, such as wiener schnitzel, with potatoes or dumplings.

Regional Dishes

Burgenland

Burgenland's cuisine has been influenced by Hungarian cuisine owing to its former position within the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Dishes consist mainly of fish, chicken or goose, for example goose livers. Polenta is a popular side-dish. On St Martin's Day (November 11) a Martinigans (St Martin's goose) is often prepared, whilst carp is a typical Christmas dish.

Carinthia

Carinthia's many lakes mean that fish is a popular main course. Grain, dairy produce and meat are important ingredients in Carinthian cuisine. Carinthian Kasnudeln (noodle dough pockets filled with quark and mint) and smaller Schlickkrapfen (mainly with a meat filling) are well-known local delicacies. Klachlsuppe (pig's trotter soup) and Reindling (a type of cinnamon raisin bread fruit loaf) are also produced locally.

Lower Austria

In Lower Austria, local delicacies such as Waldviertel poppies, Marchfeld asparagus and Wachau apricots are cultivated. Their influence can be felt in the local cuisine, for example in poppy noodles. Game dishes are very common. Lower Austria is striking for the differences within its regional cuisine due to its size and the variety of its landscape.

Salzburg

Kasnockerln (cheese dumplings) are a popular meal, as are freshwater fish, particularly trout, served in various ways. Salzburger Nockerln (a meringue-like dish) is a well-known local dessert.

Styria

In Styrian Buschenschanken (inns), Verhackertes (a spread made from finely chopped bacon) is served. Schilcher, a very dry rosé, is the regional style of wine in West Styria. A typically Styrian delicacy is pumpkin seed oil, which lends itself particularly to salads on account of its nutty taste. Many varieties of pumpkin dish are also very popular. Heidensterz, a pancake made from buckwheat flour, is a local dish enjoyed in cold weather.

Tyrol

Tyrolean bacon and all sorts of dumplings play an important role in the cuisine of the Tyrol. Dumplings are prepared with bacon, spinach or Tyrolean Graukäse (a sour milk cheese) and eaten on their own, in a soup, or as a side-dish. Graukäse is also dressed with oil and vinegar and served garnished with onion rings. Other local delicacies are Tiroler Gröstl (pan-fried meat, potatoes and onions) and Schlutzkrapfen (noodle dough pockets filled with meat or potatoes). Doughnuts and Kiachle (fritters) fried in dripping are also popular. Melchermuas (a type of pancake) is still prepared in an iron pan in alpine lodges.

Tyroleans eat much beef and many hot soups, and goulash, although from Vienna, is also served in the Tyrol. Soups like Kartoffelsuppe (potato soup) and oxtail consommé are frequently eaten.

Upper Austria

Various types of dumpling are an important part of Upper Austrian cuisine, as they are in neighbouring Bavaria and Bohemia. The Linzer Torte, a cake which includes ground nuts and marmalade, is a popular dessert from the region.

Vienna

Typically Viennese dishes include:

  • Apfelstrudel (a kind of apple dessert)
  • Beuschel (a ragout containing calf lungs and heart)
  • Buchteln (yeast and butter bakery filled with apricot jam)
  • Gulasch (a hotpot similar to Hungarian pörkölt - gulyás is a soup in hungary)
  • Liptauer cheese
  • Palatschinke (a Viennese crêpe, from the Hungarian palacsinta)
  • Rindsuppe (beef soup)
  • Sachertorte (a chocolate cake)
  • Selchfleisch (smoked meat) with Sauerkraut und dumplings
  • Tafelspitz (boiled beef, often served with apple and horseradish sauce)
  • Topfenstrudel (a cream cheese strudel)
  • Vanillekipferl (sweet vanilla-hazelnut biscuits)
  • Wiener schnitzel (a thin slice of veal or other light meat, coated in breadcrumbs and fried)

The Danish pastry is said to originate from Vienna and in Denmark is called wienerbrød (Viennese bread).

Vorarlberg

The cuisine of Vorarlberg has been influenced by the cuisine of neighbouring Switzerland and Swabia. Cheese and cheese products play a major role, with Käsknöpfle and Kässpätzle (egg noodles prepared with cheese) being popular dishes. Other delicacies include:

  • Flädlesuppe (pancake soup)
  • Funkaküachle (cake traditionally eaten on the first Sunday of Lent)
  • Käsdönnala (similar to a quiche)
  • Krutspätzle (sauerkraut noodles)
  • Öpfelküachle (apple cake)
  • Schupfnudla (made from a dough of potato and flour)

Desserts

Austrians eat many desserts. One such is called vanillekipferl, which are crescent-shaped biscuits coated in confectioner's sugar, sometimes served around Christmas season. The dough is made with vanilla bean and almonds.

There are over 57 varieties of torte, often consumed with coffee at a kaffehaus. Some examples of cakes and tortes are:

  • The Dobosch torte, a layered cake with chocolate frosting and caramel glaze.
  • The Panama torte, a chocolate cake made in celebration of the opening of the Panama canal.
  • The Sachertorte (getting its name from its inventor -Eduard Sacher) a cake made with chocolate (and apricot jam in some areas).
  • The Zwetschkenkuchen, an upside-down style cake usually topped with plums or peaches and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Other sweet things include:

  • Marzipan, which is sweet almond paste sometimes dipped in chocolate.
  • Heisse Schokolade, which translates as hot chocolate, and is served with homemade schlag (whipped cream).

Snacks

For snacking in between meals there are open sandwiches, different kinds of sausage with mustard and bread, as well as sliced sausage, Leberkäse rolls or Schnitzelsemmeln (rolls filled with schnitzel).

There are also other common delicacies, such as the Bosna or Bosner (a spiced bratwurst in a hot dog roll), which is an integral part of the menu at Austria's typical fast-food joint, the sausage stand (Würstelstand).

Drinks

Coffee

Coffee is served in a variety of styles, particularly in the coffeehouses of Vienna. An Austrian Mokka or kleiner Schwarzer is similar to espresso, but is extracted more slowly. Other styles are prepared from the Mokka:

  • Großer Schwarzer - a double Mokka
  • Kleiner Brauner or Großer Brauner - single or double Mokka plus milk
  • Verlängerter - "lengthened" (i.e. diluted) Mokka plus milk
  • Melange - half Mokka, half heated milk, often topped with foamed milk
  • Franziskaner - Melange topped with whipped cream not foamed milk
  • Kapuziner - kleiner Schwarzer plus whipped cream
  • Einspänner - großer Schwarzer topped with whipped cream

Wine

Wine is principally cultivated in the east of Austria. The most important wine-producing areas are in Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland and Styria. Young wine (i.e. wine produced from grapes of the most recent harvest) is called Heuriger and gives its name to inns in Vienna and its surroundings which serve Heuriger wine and food. In Styria, Carinthia and Burgenland the heuriger inns are known as Buschenschanken. The Grüner Veltliner grape provides some of Austria's most notable white wines.

Beer

Beer is generally sold in the following sizes:

  • 0.2 litre (a Pfiff)
  • 0.3 litre (a Seidel or kleines Bier)
  • 0.5 litre (a Krügerl, Halbe or großes Bier)

At festivals, one litre Maß and two litre Doppler in the Bavarian style are also dispensed. The most popular types of beer are pale lager (known as Märzen in Austria), naturally cloudy Zwicklbier, and wheat beer. At holidays like Christmas and Easter bock beer is also available.

Other Alcoholic Drinks

In Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Styria and Carinthia, Most, a type of cider or perry is widely produced, whilst Sturm, a semi-fermented grape-juice, is drunk after the grape harvest.

At the close of a meal, schnapps or fruit brandy is drunk, which in Austria is made from a variety of fruits (for example apricots), as well as rowanberries, gentian roots, or various herbs. The produce of small private schnapps distilleries, of which there are around 20,000 in Austria, is known as Selberbrennter or Hausbrand.