Austrian food: What do they eat in Austria?

Austria is renowned for its rich culinary heritage and diverse food culture. In this article, we will delve into the delicious world of Austrian cuisine and explore the traditional dishes that make up the country’s gastronomic identity. From hearty comfort foods like Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz to delectable desserts like Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel, Austrian cuisine offers a delightful blend of flavors and influences. Join us as we uncover the secrets of Austrian food and discover what makes it so unique and beloved worldwide.

Traditional Austrian dishes

Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel is one of the most famous traditional Austrian dishes. It is a breaded and fried veal cutlet that originated in Vienna. The dish is made by tenderizing a thin slice of veal, coating it in breadcrumbs, and then frying it until golden brown. The result is a crispy and flavorful meat dish that is typically served with a slice of lemon and a side of potato salad or parsley potatoes.


Sachertorte is a classic Viennese chocolate cake that is a must-try for any dessert lover visiting Austria. This rich and moist chocolate cake is filled with apricot jam and covered in a glossy chocolate glaze. It was created in 1832 by Franz Sacher and has since become an iconic symbol of Austrian cuisine. Sachertorte is often enjoyed with a dollop of whipped cream and a cup of coffee, making it the perfect indulgence for any sweet tooth.


Tafelspitz is a traditional Austrian beef dish that is known for its tender and flavorful meat. It is made by simmering beef in a broth with vegetables and spices until it becomes tender and juicy. The dish is typically served with a side of roasted potatoes, creamy horseradish sauce, and a variety of vegetables such as carrots, peas, and green beans. Tafelspitz is considered a classic Sunday family meal in Austria and is often enjoyed with a glass of Austrian beer or a local wine.

These traditional Austrian dishes, including Wiener Schnitzel, Sachertorte, and Tafelspitz, offer a glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of Austria. Whether you’re a meat lover, a dessert enthusiast, or simply looking to explore new flavors, these dishes are sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Regional Specialties


One of the most beloved regional specialties in Austria is Käsespätzle. This hearty dish originates from the Alpine regions and is a type of soft egg noodle dish combined with melted cheese. The spätzle noodles are typically handmade and cooked until they are tender. They are then layered with a generous amount of grated cheese, usually Emmental or Gruyère, and baked until the cheese is perfectly melted and gooey. Käsespätzle is often served with caramelized onions on top, which adds a delightful sweetness to the dish. It is a comfort food that locals and visitors alike can’t resist.


Goulash is another iconic Austrian dish that has gained popularity worldwide. It is a rich and hearty stew that originated in Hungary but has become a staple in Austrian cuisine. The Austrian version of goulash typically consists of tender chunks of beef cooked in a flavorful broth seasoned with paprika, onions, garlic, and various herbs and spices. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a delicious and comforting dish. Goulash is often served with a side of bread, dumplings, or potatoes, making it a satisfying meal, especially during the colder months.


Erdäpfelsalat, also known as Austrian potato salad, is a popular side dish that accompanies many traditional Austrian meals. It is a simple yet tasty salad made with boiled potatoes, sliced onions, and a tangy dressing. The dressing typically includes vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper, which gives the salad a zesty and refreshing flavor. Sometimes, chopped fresh herbs like parsley or chives are added to enhance the taste. Erdäpfelsalat is often served alongside schnitzel or sausages, providing a delightful contrast to the rich and meaty main dishes. It is a versatile and classic Austrian dish that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

These regional specialties are just a small taste of the diverse and delicious cuisine that Austria has to offer. Whether you’re a fan of cheesy delights like Käsespätzle, hearty stews like goulash, or refreshing salads like Erdäpfelsalat, Austrian food is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Popular Austrian street food


Bratwurst is a beloved street food in Austria. This traditional Austrian sausage is made from a mixture of minced pork and beef, seasoned with a variety of spices such as garlic, mace, and marjoram. It is then stuffed into natural casings and grilled to perfection. The smoky aroma and juicy flavors make Bratwurst a must-try for any food lover visiting Austria. It is commonly served in a crispy roll with mustard and sauerkraut, adding a tangy and savory kick to the already mouthwatering sausage.


Another popular street food in Austria is Käsekrainer, which translates to "cheese-filled sausage." This delectable sausage is similar to Bratwurst but with a delightful surprise inside. Käsekrainer is stuffed with small chunks of Emmental cheese, which melt when grilled, creating a gooey and flavorful filling. The combination of the juicy sausage and melted cheese makes Käsekrainer a true indulgence for street food enthusiasts. It is commonly served with a side of mustard or horseradish sauce and a fresh roll.


Leberkäsesemmel is a popular snack that can be found at many street food stalls in Austria. Translated as "liver cheese roll," this dish does not actually contain liver or cheese. Leberkäse is a type of meatloaf made from finely ground beef, pork, and bacon, which is then baked until it has a crispy outer layer. Served in a soft roll, Leberkäsesemmel is typically enjoyed with mustard or ketchup. The combination of the savory meatloaf and the softness of the roll creates a delightful texture and flavor contrast.

When exploring the vibrant streets of Austria, be sure to try these popular street foods. Bratwurst, Käsekrainer, and Leberkäsesemmel are not only delicious but also provide an authentic taste of Austrian cuisine.

Austrian desserts


Apfelstrudel, also known as apple strudel, is a popular Austrian dessert that has become a staple in Austrian cuisine. This delectable pastry is made by thinly stretching out dough and filling it with a mixture of sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and breadcrumbs. The strudel is then rolled up and baked to golden perfection, creating a crisp and flaky crust that encases the warm and sweet apple filling. Apfelstrudel is often served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of vanilla sauce or whipped cream, adding a creamy and indulgent touch to this classic Austrian dessert.


Topfenstrudel is a delightful Austrian dessert that features a filling made from topfen, which is a type of soft cheese similar to quark or cottage cheese. The filling is combined with sugar, vanilla, and sometimes raisins or rum-soaked dried fruits, creating a creamy and tangy mixture. This flavorful filling is then wrapped in a thin layer of dough and baked until golden and crisp. The result is a deliciously light and moist strudel that is bursting with the unique taste of topfen. Topfenstrudel is often served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of vanilla sauce, making it a delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth.


Palatschinken, also known as Austrian pancakes, is a beloved dessert in Austria. These thin and delicate pancakes are similar to French crepes but have their own distinct Austrian twist. Palatschinken can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, with different fillings and toppings. One popular variation is to fill the pancakes with apricot jam or Nutella, roll them up, and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Another delicious option is to spread a layer of sweetened quark or topfen on the pancakes and top it with fresh fruits or a fruit compote. The versatility of palatschinken allows for endless possibilities, making it a versatile and delightful dessert that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

In conclusion, Austrian desserts are a true delight for those with a sweet tooth. From the iconic Apfelstrudel with its crispy crust and warm apple filling, to the creamy and tangy Topfenstrudel filled with soft cheese, and the versatile and delicious Palatschinken, Austria offers a range of desserts that will satisfy any dessert lover’s cravings.

Typical Austrian beverages


Gespritzter is a popular Austrian beverage that is commonly consumed during the summer months. This refreshing drink is made by mixing white wine with sparkling water or soda. The ratio of wine to water can vary depending on personal preference, with some people opting for a more diluted version while others prefer a stronger wine flavor. Gespritzter is often served over ice with a slice of lemon or lime for added zest. It is a light and bubbly drink that is perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day.


Almdudler is a beloved Austrian soft drink that has become an iconic part of the country’s beverage culture. This herbal lemonade was first introduced in the 1950s and has since gained a loyal following. Almdudler is made from a secret blend of 32 natural Alpine herbs, giving it a unique and refreshing taste. It has a light and fizzy texture, making it a great alternative to traditional carbonated sodas. Almdudler is often enjoyed on its own or mixed with white wine to create a delightful spritzer. It is a must-try for anyone looking to experience authentic Austrian flavors.


Sturm, also known as "young wine," is a seasonal beverage that is highly anticipated in Austria. It is made from freshly pressed grape juice that is still fermenting, resulting in a sweet and slightly alcoholic drink. Sturm is typically enjoyed in the autumn months when the grape harvest is in full swing. The taste of Sturm is often described as fruity and vibrant, with a hint of effervescence. This young wine is best enjoyed chilled and is a popular choice during wine festivals and outdoor gatherings. It is a true taste of the Austrian wine culture and a must-try for wine enthusiasts visiting Austria.

These typical Austrian beverages offer a glimpse into the country’s rich culinary traditions. Whether you prefer a refreshing spritzer, a unique herbal lemonade, or a taste of the young wine, these beverages are sure to delight your taste buds and provide an authentic Austrian experience.

In conclusion, Austrian cuisine offers a delightful array of dishes that reflect the country’s rich culinary traditions and cultural diversity. From hearty meat-based specialties like Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz to the indulgent desserts such as Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel, Austrian food is a true treat for the taste buds. The use of high-quality ingredients, innovative cooking techniques, and a love for preserving traditional recipes make Austrian cuisine a must-try for any food enthusiast. So, whether you find yourself in a cozy Viennese café or a rustic mountain inn, don’t miss the opportunity to savor the flavors of Austria and experience the unique gastronomic delights this country has to offer.

Share This Post: