Exploring Austrian cuisine: What do they eat in Austria?

Exploring Austrian Cuisine: What Do They Eat in Austria?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Austrian cuisine! If you’re curious about what the locals eat in Austria, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will delve into the rich culinary traditions of Austria and discover the unique flavors and dishes that define this vibrant country’s gastronomy. From savory meat-based dishes like Wiener Schnitzel to delightful sweet treats like Sachertorte, we will uncover the hidden gems of Austrian cuisine that will surely leave your taste buds craving for more. So, let’s embark on this flavorful journey and explore the delectable world of Austrian food!

Traditional Austrian dishes

Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel is one of the most famous and beloved dishes in Austria. It is a breaded and fried veal cutlet, traditionally served with a slice of lemon and accompanied by potato salad or parsley potatoes. The veal is pounded thin, coated in breadcrumbs, and then fried to a golden perfection. The result is a crispy and tender cutlet with a delicious flavor. Wiener Schnitzel is considered a national dish in Austria and can be found in almost every traditional Austrian restaurant.


Sachertorte is a classic Austrian dessert that originated in Vienna. It is a rich and decadent chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam in the middle and a dark chocolate glaze on top. This famous cake was invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 and has since become a symbol of Austrian culinary excellence. The Sachertorte is often served with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream and is enjoyed by both locals and visitors alike. It is a must-try dessert for anyone exploring Austrian cuisine.


Tafelspitz is a traditional Austrian dish that consists of boiled beef, usually from the tenderloin or sirloin cuts. The beef is slowly cooked with aromatic vegetables and herbs, resulting in a flavorful and tender meat. Tafelspitz is typically served with a side of boiled potatoes, horseradish sauce, and a mix of apple and horseradish sauce called "Apfelkren." This dish is a favorite among Austrians, especially for Sunday family dinners or special occasions. Its simplicity and delightful taste make it a true representation of Austrian comfort food.

These traditional Austrian dishes, including Wiener Schnitzel, Sachertorte, and Tafelspitz, showcase the rich culinary heritage of Austria. Whether you are a meat lover, a dessert enthusiast, or simply curious about Austrian cuisine, these dishes are a must-try when exploring the gastronomic delights of Austria.

Regional Specialties


Käsespätzle is a popular regional specialty in Austria. It is a traditional dish made with soft egg noodles and melted cheese. The noodles are typically handmade by mixing flour, eggs, and water to form a thick dough. The dough is then pushed through a special spätzle press or grated into boiling water. Once cooked, the spätzle is layered with generous amounts of grated cheese, such as Emmental or Gruyère, and then baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Käsespätzle is often served with caramelized onions on top, adding a sweet and savory flavor to the dish. It is a hearty and comforting meal that is enjoyed by both locals and visitors alike.

Salzburger Nockerl

Salzburger Nockerl is a famous dessert originating from the city of Salzburg in Austria. This sweet dish is named after its resemblance to the hills surrounding the city. Salzburger Nockerl is a delicate soufflé made with egg whites, sugar, and a hint of vanilla. The mixture is whipped until it forms stiff peaks and then baked until golden brown. The result is a light and fluffy dessert that practically melts in your mouth. Salzburger Nockerl is often served with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a side of fruit compote. It is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a feast for the eyes with its picturesque presentation.


Brettljause is a traditional Austrian snack or light meal that is commonly enjoyed in the alpine regions. The word "Brettljause" translates to "board snack" in English, as it is traditionally served on a wooden board. This hearty platter typically includes an assortment of cured meats, such as prosciutto, salami, and speck, along with various types of cheese, pickles, and freshly baked bread. It is a perfect option for those looking to sample a variety of flavors and textures in one sitting. Brettljause is often accompanied by a glass of local wine or a refreshing Radler (beer mixed with lemonade) to enhance the overall dining experience.

These regional specialties showcase the diverse and delicious cuisine of Austria. Whether you’re a fan of cheesy delights like Käsespätzle, have a sweet tooth for Salzburger Nockerl, or prefer a savory snack like Brettljause, there is something to satisfy every palate in Austria’s culinary offerings.

Austrian desserts


Apfelstrudel is a traditional Austrian dessert that has gained worldwide popularity. This delectable pastry is made by filling a thin and flaky dough with a mixture of sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. It is then rolled up and baked until golden and crispy. The combination of tender apples, sweet flavors, and crunchy texture makes Apfelstrudel an absolute delight for the taste buds. It is often served warm and accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.


Topfenknödel, also known as curd cheese dumplings, is a beloved dessert in Austria. These dumplings are made from a mixture of curd cheese, eggs, flour, and a hint of vanilla. The dough is shaped into small balls and boiled until they are soft and tender. Once cooked, the dumplings are rolled in a mixture of buttery toasted breadcrumbs and dusted with powdered sugar. The result is a heavenly treat with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a delicate sweet flavor. Topfenknödel is often served warm and can be enjoyed as a dessert or a sweet main course.


Mohnnudeln, or poppy seed noodles, are a unique and indulgent dessert that is popular in Austrian cuisine. These delightful treats are made by mixing cooked pasta with ground poppy seeds, sugar, and butter. The poppy seed filling adds a nutty and slightly sweet flavor to the noodles, creating a harmonious combination of textures and tastes. Mohnnudeln are often served with a generous dusting of powdered sugar and can be enjoyed as a standalone dessert or as a comforting breakfast option. The distinctiveness of this dessert makes it a must-try for anyone exploring Austrian cuisine.

In conclusion, Austrian desserts offer a wide range of flavors and textures that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Whether it’s the classic Apfelstrudel, the comforting Topfenknödel, or the unique Mohnnudeln, these desserts showcase the rich culinary heritage of Austria and are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Popular beverages


Sturm is a unique Austrian beverage that holds a special place in the hearts of locals. It is a young wine that is only available for a short period during the autumn harvest season. Made from partially fermented grapes, Sturm is slightly sweet and cloudy in appearance. Its low alcohol content and fizzy nature make it a refreshing drink to enjoy on a sunny day. The taste of Sturm is often described as grape juice with a tangy twist, making it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.


Almdudler is a beloved Austrian soft drink that has been enjoyed for decades. This herbal lemonade is made from a secret blend of 32 alpine herbs, giving it a distinct and refreshing taste. Almdudler is known for its bubbly and mildly sweet flavor, with hints of citrus and herbal notes. It is often consumed as a standalone beverage or used as a mixer in cocktails. Almdudler has become an iconic symbol of Austrian culture and is widely available throughout the country.

Vienna coffee

Vienna coffee is a classic Austrian beverage that has gained international recognition. This delightful concoction consists of black coffee topped with a generous amount of whipped cream. The secret lies in the quality of the coffee beans and the skillful preparation. Vienna coffee is often enjoyed as a dessert drink, accompanied by a slice of cake or a pastry. The rich aroma, velvety texture, and the indulgent combination of coffee and cream make Vienna coffee a must-try for coffee enthusiasts visiting Austria.

These popular beverages are just a glimpse into the diverse and delightful world of Austrian cuisine. Whether you prefer a refreshing glass of Sturm, a bubbly Almdudler, or a decadent Vienna coffee, Austria offers a range of unique and delicious drinks to satisfy every palate.


In conclusion, Austrian cuisine offers a delightful blend of flavors and culinary traditions that reflect the country’s rich history and diverse influences. From hearty meat dishes like Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz to sweet treats like Sachertorte and Apfelstrudel, Austrian cuisine is known for its indulgent and comforting nature. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Vienna or enjoying the picturesque landscapes of the Alps, be sure to savor the unique and delicious dishes that Austria has to offer. With its emphasis on quality ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, Austrian cuisine is sure to leave a lasting impression on any food lover. So, next time you find yourself in Austria, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the flavors and delights of this vibrant culinary scene.

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