Austrian cuisine is known for its hearty and flavorful dishes, which draw on a range of influences from neighboring countries like Germany, Italy, and Hungary. Many traditional Austrian dishes feature meat as a central ingredient, with beef, pork, and veal being particularly popular. Sausages and charcuterie are also common, as are dumplings and other types of bread-based dishes.
Austrian cuisine is famous for its pastries and desserts, with many of these dishes having gained international recognition. Sachertorte, a rich chocolate cake with apricot filling and dark chocolate glaze, is perhaps the best-known of these desserts, but other favorites include Apfelstrudel, a thinly sliced apple-filled pastry, and Kaiserschmarrn, a sweet dish made from scrambled pancakes.
In addition to these classic dishes, Austrian cuisine features a range of regional specialties that vary depending on the area of the country. For example, Salzburg is known for its hearty soups and stews, while Vienna is famous for its coffee culture and pastry shops. The Wachau region is known for its apricots, which are used in a variety of desserts and jams.
Overall, Austrian cuisine is known for its hearty, filling dishes that are often enjoyed with a side of beer or wine. While meat and pastries are certainly an important part of the culinary scene, there are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available, particularly in urban areas. Whether you’re looking for a classic schnitzel or a modern twist on a traditional dish, Austrian cuisine has something for everyone to enjoy.
A Culinary Tour of Austria: 20 Classic and Mouthwatering Dishes
- Wiener Schnitzel – This is one of the most famous Austrian dishes, made from a thin slice of veal that is breaded and fried. It’s often served with a slice of lemon and a side of potato salad.
- Tafelspitz – This dish is made from boiled beef, which is served with horseradish sauce, boiled potatoes, and a side of green beans.
- Kaiserschmarrn – This is a type of fluffy pancake that is made with flour, eggs, sugar, and milk. It’s usually served with fruit compote or preserves.
- Apfelstrudel – This is a classic Austrian dessert made from thinly sliced apples, raisins, and cinnamon, rolled up in a pastry dough and baked until golden brown.
- Sachertorte – This is a rich chocolate cake that was created by Austrian pastry chef Franz Sacher in the early 1800s. It’s made from layers of chocolate cake and apricot jam, covered in a dark chocolate glaze.
- Brettljause – This is a type of cold meat and cheese platter that is often served as an appetizer or snack. It typically includes a variety of cured meats, cheeses, bread, and pickles.
- Gulasch – This is a hearty stew made from beef, onions, paprika, and other spices. It’s usually served with a side of boiled potatoes or bread dumplings.
- Knödel – These are dumplings made from bread, flour, and eggs, which are boiled and often served with a variety of meat dishes.
- Marillenknödel – These are dumplings made from a sweet dough that is filled with an apricot and sugar mixture, and boiled until tender. They are often served with a side of butter and breadcrumbs.
- Wachauer Marillen – These are apricots that are grown in the Wachau region of Austria, which are known for their sweet and juicy flavor. They are often used in desserts and pastries.
Leberknödelsuppe – This is a type of soup made from beef broth and liver dumplings, which are made from a mixture of liver, breadcrumbs, and spices.
- Kaiserschmarren – This is a sweet dish made from scrambled pancakes, which are typically served with fruit compote or preserves.
- Linzer Torte – This is a type of tart made from a shortbread crust and filled with a mixture of ground almonds and raspberry jam.
- Grammelknödel – These are dumplings made from a mixture of bread, pork cracklings, and spices. They are usually served with a side of sauerkraut or potato salad.
- Germknödel – This is a sweet dumpling made from a yeast dough, which is filled with plum jam and served with a side of vanilla sauce.
- Steirischer Backhendlsalat – This is a salad made from mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and crispy fried chicken (often referred to as Backhendl). It’s typically served with a pumpkin seed oil dressing.
- Liptauer – This is a type of spread made from quark cheese, butter, and a variety of seasonings, including paprika, caraway seeds, and onions. It’s often served with bread or crackers.
- Altwiener Suppentopf – This is a traditional Viennese soup made from beef broth, root vegetables, and dumplings. It’s typically served as a hearty main course.
- Salzburger Nockerln – This is a sweet souffle-like dish made from a mixture of egg whites, sugar, and vanilla, which is baked until golden brown. It’s often served with fruit compote or preserves.
- Stelze – This is a type of roast pork knuckle that is cooked until tender and crispy. It’s typically served with a side of sauerkraut and bread dumplings.
Austrian cuisine has a rich history and a wide range of dishes that are popular both locally and internationally. From hearty soups and stews to sweet pastries and desserts, there’s no shortage of delicious food to try in Austria.