Austria is a storybook country with gorgeous scenery and warm people, but nothing compares to the adventure you will find at your table. The country has mastered the art of crafting dishes that will stick in your mind like a song. Austrian food is in such perfect harmony that you will feel like you’ve bitten into a European symphony. Prepare yourself for all the beautiful notes of Austrian cuisine when visiting!
What Is Special About Austrian Food
Austrian cuisine is classic for its style and handling of basic ingredients. The cuisine here elevates the simple into something spectacular with the addition of sweetness and spice. The chefs have honed the art of merging sweet and savory into the perfect dish. Their style has been influenced by their European neighbors and their historic cooking traditions.
The ingredients used here are decided by local availability and Austrian chefs love to work with local meats and cheeses. Local produce and grains are also common inclusions in Austrian food. Every bite is a delicious window into the history and culture of the Austrian people.
Most Famous Austrian Food
Wiener Schnitzel (Breaded Veal)
This dish is paramount to Austrian cuisine. Wiener schnitzel has been beloved by locals and internationals for centuries. The locals in Austria love this good so much that it is protected by laws that dictate what can be used in the making of this traditional Austrian food. Every bite of this beautiful Austrian dish is a true bite of their culture.
Wiener schnitzel is a simple, yet extremely flavor dish. It consists of very thin veal cutlets that are lightly breaded and then pan-fried. The incredibly rich veal transforms into a tender treat from pan-frying. This iconic dish is commonly served with a simple salad and lemon wedges for seasoning. It is the perfect starting point on your journey to discover Austrian foods.
Traditional Austrian Food
Viennese Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
If there is one area of cuisine that Austria is known for it is its sweets. They have the market cornered on European cakes and pastries but this delicious Austrian dish truly takes the cake.
Viennese apfelstrudel is the national dish of Austria and it is an appley sensation! This delectable Austrian food is their traditional apple strudel. It is made with a buttery apple filling and a flakey pastry. It is often paired with whipped cream, ice cream, or custard to make the most generous of Austrian desserts.
This amazing boiled variety of dumplings is the perfect bite of Austrian cuisine. This bread dumpling makes an appearance in lots of other Austrian dishes, like soups and stews.
The basic dumplings are a simple mince of leftover bread, onions, and spices. They are then topped with luscious brown gravy or thrown into a soup. This delicious culinary workhorse is exactly what you need in a hearty Austrian stew.
This Austrian pastry is familiar to many people internationally and well-loved for its versatility. Kaisersemmel is better known to some as the Vienna roll or kaiser roll and it is a staple of Austrian cuisine.
These airy rolls are made from a simple dough with yeast and malt for extra flavor. They are scored with a lovely star that makes this Austrian food instantly identifiable. They bake into golden wonders that are perfect for soaking up a stew or holding succulent meats.
Spargel (White Asparagus)
This unique local produce is the perfect Austrian food to sample aside from rich Austrian meats and cheeses. Spargel is a local white-colored variety of asparagus that locals love to munch with everything! Spargel has the texture and versatility of green asparagus but with a slightly milder flavor. This vegetable is often served with a creamy sauce.
Germknödel (Sweet Dumpling)
A wonderful testament to the sweet side of Austrian foods is the germknödel or plum dumpling. This gorgeous dish consists of a sweet plum-filled dumpling topped with butter, sugar, and a heavy coating of poppy seeds.
Slicing into this Austrian staple is a luxurious and tasty display that will make your stomach smile. The buttery sauce works perfectly with the fruit plums to make a perfectly sweet bite of Austrian cuisine.
Mondseer (Austrian Cheese)
This cheese is a complex and satisfying slice of the Austrian tradition. Mondseer is an interesting local semi-hard cheese with great balance.
This cheese has a great texture and a well-rounded flavor with tangy, salty, and creamy notes. It is an extremely versatile Austrian food. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Mondseer is a frequent element of Austrian cheese boards and is perfect for salads and sandwiches.
Krautfleckerl (Pasta and Cabbage Dish)
This humble-looking dish is pure Austrian comfort on a plate. Krautfleckerl is a heart medley of pasta and fried cabbage. It is traditionally made with caramelized onions and delicious white wine sauce that will keep you coming back for more. Some versions include bacon and others skip it, but either way, this pasta dish is a delight!
Mohnnudeln (Sweet Poppy Seed Noodles)
This unique Austrian food is a sweet pasta made from potato dough. It sounds a little mad but mohnnudeln just works! This sweet delicacy has been delighting Austrains for centuries.
To make mohnnudeln, the potato noodles are tossed with creamy butter, confectioner’s sugar, and tons of poppy seeds. The result is sticky, glazed, starchy pasta that you can’t help but love!
Austrian Food: Breakfast
Tiroler Gröstl (Breakfast Skillet)
This fun fried breakfast is loved by people spending their days playing in the Austrian mountains. This medley of hot breakfast flavors sings in perfect harmony to create the perfect pre-ski breakfast.
This Austrian breakfast food uses potatoes, bacon, and onions to create a crispy fried base on which to lay rich fried eggs on. It’s a one-plate wonder that will fuel your big Austrian adventure.
Bruckfleisch (Breakfast Stew)
This Austrian delicacy is the meat-lovers answer to breakfast. It may resemble a stew but locals love to eat it for breakfast. This is a lush Austrian dish made from roots, onions, and pork all stewed together in a thick brown gravy. Organ meat is typically added to this waste-not dish to make it all-around rich and hearty.
Tiroler Omelett (Bratwurst Omelet)
Tiroler omelet is a satisfying Austrian dish to start your day with. It is a protein-packed omelet that is sure to satisfy. The flavorful plate also consists of bacon, bratwurst, dairy, tomatoes, and parsley. This filling breakfast is a classic food in Austria to eat for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Kaiserschmarrn (Shredded Pancakes)
This sugary Austrian dessert was once loved by emperor Franz Joseph I. This sweet delight is made from a gently sweetened shredded pancake stuffed with dried fruits. The batter is cooked until it’s lightly caramelized and delicious.
Kaiserschmarrn is finished with a dusting of powdered sugar that makes this dish look irresistible. This Austrian treat is best served with applesauce.
Riebel (Cornmeal Porridge)
Life in Austria calls for hearty meals to start the day so riebel is a great choice. It has been made for ages because its ingredients are inexpensive and easy to procure, but this classic Austrian food turns those basic ingredients into an alluring buttery porridge.
The porridge is made by cooking cornmeal, butter, salt, and milk until it becomes mealy and porridge-like. Austrians love to eat this porridge with applesauce or local cheese.
FLAVORS AROUND THE WORLD
Austrian Food: Lunch, Sides, and Snacks
This remarkable Austrian food is full of surprises! Käsekrainer is a classic Austrian sausage that marries so many beautiful savory flavors. The sausage is made in wide links that are chock-full of chunks of cheese.
Käsekrainers are parboiled and then usually grilled-to-serve. You will find these sausages from taverns to fine restaurants across Austria. They are delicious on white or rye bread with mustard.
Käsespätzle (Cheese and Onion Dish)
This generous Austrian food is a warm dish of comfort. Käsespätzle is the Austrian specialty of spätzle with freshly grated cheese and onions.
Spätzle is a traditional small egg noodle that holds up well to lush sauces and creamy cheeses. Käsespätzle will remind you of macaroni and cheese only much more dreamy and flavorful. This classic Austrian dish makes a great side dish or comforting main on a cool night.
Brettljause (Meat and Cheese Board)
This snack board is a favorite of locals in Austria. Brettljause lets one sample all the flavors of excellent Austrian sausage, cheese, and deli meats in one awesome nosh.
Brettljause is a traditional Austrian meat and cheese board. The inclusions range and there are no real rules but like charcuterie boards elsewhere in the world, these boards only use the best cold cuts and cheeses available.
Bread and pickles or other veggies are often included for interest, completing this great Austrian grazing food.
Backhendl (Fried Chicken)
Wiener schnitzel is not the only fried delicacy in Austrian cuisine, this classic food in Austria is here to give the American Southern fried chicken a run for its money. This is the Austrian take on crispy fried chicken and it is crunchy and irresistible.
Traditionally this involves frying the whole bird into crispy, golden-brown goodness! Pair this Austrian dish with a side of potatoes or käsespätzle for a perfect plate!
Belegte Brote (Open Sandwich)
This Austrian food can be traced back to the middle ages when people ate meat on trenchers, which served as inspiration for today’s belegte brote or open-faced sandwich.
Austrians love to eat this for lunch or as a snack. It’s the perfect way to sample some superior Austrian cold cuts and cheeses.
These sandwiches are often served at tea time or lunch on a platter with many different options for toppings, smoked salmon, mortadella, bacon, and cheese are common toppings for these Austrian dishes.
Kürbis Suppe (Pumpkin Soup)
This classic Austrian soup is such a comfort on a cool fall or winter day. Kürbis suppe is the Austrian take on pumpkin soup. This traditional soup uses wonderful local pumpkins and dairy to create a creamy and generous soup.
The base of this soup is usually Hokkaido pumpkin which has a light sweetness. Add in a little beef stock, some leeks, and spices and you have the perfect bowl of Austrian warmth!
Austrian Food: Dinner
Potato Gulasch (Potato Stew)
Goulash is a typical Austrian food that can be found in many different forms. This version of Austrian goulash uses potatoes as the base for the unctuous stew. This is the vegetarian answer to a hearty stew and it is absolutely satisfying.
This dish combines potatoes, tomato paste, spices, and sometimes beans into a mouthwatering stew. Soak this stew up with kaisersemmel or rye bread for a wonderfully warm taste of vegetarian Austrian cuisine.
Tafelspitz (Beef with Apples)
This humble dish has been a staple of local cooking for decades. Tafelspitz is a classic Austrian food made from beef. The meat is boiled with roots, like turnips and potatoes, then served simply with applesauce. It is a humble farmer-style meal that uses what is available. It is the perfect bite of traditional Austrian cooking.
Martinigans is a classic style of cooking duck that has been stuffed with herbs, chestnuts, and dried fruits. This gorgeous goose is an Austrian tradition.
The wonderful stuffed duck renders into a brown delight that pairs beautifully with knödel or potatoes. This dish in Austria is often served around holidays and large celebrations because it is such a show-stopping meal!
Fiakergulasch (Meat Stew)
If you are familiar with Austrian goulash this is the dish you expect to see. Fiakergulasch is a classic of Austrian cooking and their take on a Hungarian goulash.
The Austrian interpretation uses beef, tomato, paprika, potatoes, and more to make a deeply colored and tasty stew. Many locals swear by this as a hangover cure and may enjoy Austrian goulash as morning-after breakfast.
No matter when you eat this warm stew your stomach will be coated in pure generosity and deliciousness!
Kasnudeln (Filled Pasta)
These tasty bites are classic Austrian food. Kasnudeln is a type of Austrian pasta that is stuffed with tasty fillings. These dishes in Austria are similar to Polish cuisine perogies in that the common fillings include potatoes and cheese.
The pasta is typically boiled and then coated in a buttery herb sauce for serving. Try this pasta as a meal on its own, or pair it with a gorgeous pork chop for a heart bite of Austria!
Discovering Traditional Austrian Food
From mountains to waterfalls to caves there are so many impressive landmarks in Austria to discover, but no wonders are as great as what you will discover on your plate.
Austrian food is a celebration of big flavors and hearty cooking styles. Their food focuses on the sweeter side of life and has something to comfort every palate. Pack your appetite for comfort food and get ready for some delicious Austrian dishes!