Austrian food: 47 top cuisine & dishes to try—Vienna & beyond!

Gröstl, Nockerl, Apfelstrudel - Austrian food is not just fun to pronounce but also fun to eat.

Get a taste of Austrian food culture as we take you on a trip from the fancy coffee houses of Vienna to the cozy mountain huts of Tyrol and take a look at the most famous Austrian meals and snacks.

In German, we say “Liebe geht durch den Magen” (Love goes through your stomach), so don’t be surprised if a culinary journey through Austria will make you fall in love with the country, its language and its culture. And with every bite of a delectably gooey Käsespätzle, you’ll understand both a little bit better.

Vienna: The culinary heartbeat

Vienna is the city of cozy coffee houses and delicious pastries. Influenced by imperial culture as well as café culture, it’s therefore known as the culinary heart of Austria, beating to the sound of Austrian live music mixed with a quiet “Schmatzen” (the sound people make when they eat) since it’s hard to quietly keep your enjoyment to yourself when the food is that good!


Traditional food in Vienna

These iconic Viennese dishes have made Austrian cuisine famous worldwide:

  • Wiener Schnitzel: A breaded and fried veal cutlet that’s traditionally served with a slice of lemon and a side of potato salad or parsley potatoes
  • Tafelspitz: A tender boiled beef dish that has already been a favorite of Austrian emperors. It’s traditionally served with a side of horseradish and boiled potatoes
  • Sachertorte: One of Austria's most famous desserts, Sachertorte is a decadent chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam in the middle, covered in a smooth, glossy chocolate glaze - perfect with a cup of Viennese coffee!

Must-visit eateries and markets in Vienna

Don’t miss out on these must-visit eateries and markets for a taste of traditional food in Vienna:

  • Café Central: Located in the heart of Vienna, Café Central is an impressive coffee house that was established in 1876. It serves Viennese coffee specialties, such as the creamy Einspänner, a double espresso topped with whipped cream, and the classic Wiener Melange, a mix of espresso and steamed milk.
  • Naschmarkt: This bustling open-air market is a food lover's paradise. Almost a mile long, the market offers fresh produce, spices, cheeses, and meats. Try local specialties like Austrian wines, artisanal chocolates, and freshly baked bread or indulge in international delicacies.
  • Figlmüller: If you’re looking for the most authentic Wiener Schnitzel, this is the place to go. The restaurant has been serving their famous schnitzels since 1905. Plus, schnitzels at Figlmüller are so large that they hang off the edges of the plate, so you better come hungry!

Street food in Vienna

The Austrian version of a food stand is called Würstelstände. These stands are traditional sausage stands scattered throughout the city of Vienna. Here are three quintessential street foods to try in Vienna:

  • Käsekrainer – A cheese-filled sausage made with a mixture of pork, beef, and chunks of cheese, typically served with mustard and freshly baked bread
  • Bosna – The Austrian twist on the classic hot dog, the Bosna features a blend of bratwurst sausage seasoned with onions, mustard and curry powder, all tucked into a crusty white bread roll
  • Leberkäse – A popular Austrian street food item that literally translates to "liver cheese" even though it contains neither liver nor cheese. It’s a baked loaf made from corned beef, pork, bacon, and onions, served hot in a “Semmel” with mustard

Tyrol: Alpine delights

Dairy products, especially cheese, play an important role in Tyrolean dishes. The Alpine pastures provide excellent grazing conditions for cattle, and Tyroleans are proud to use fresh, locally-sourced dairy. Their cheeses range from the mild and creamy Tilsiter to the acidic Graukäse, a low-fat cheese that is a favorite in many hearty recipes.

Tiroler Grostl.

Traditional dishes from Tyrol

Here are three of the most famous traditional Tyrolean dishes:

  • Tiroler Gröstl – A combination of diced potatoes, onions, and Speck (a type of smoked pork), crisply fried and usually topped with a fried egg
  • Schlutzkrapfen – Similar to ravioli, this half-moon shaped pasta is filled with either spinach and ricotta or potato, and sprinkled with grated Parmesan
  • Zillertaler Krapfen – Savory dough pockets filled with a mix of gray cheese, potatoes, and onions, these are typically boiled or fried and served with sauerkraut

Best places to eat in Tyrol

Tyrol offers breathtaking Alpine landscapes that make it the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. If you get to visit, make sure to visit one of these famous places to eat:

  • Stüva (Ischgl) - Located in the Hotel Yscla, the restaurant has earned a Michelin star for its innovative approach to Tyrolean cuisine. Guests can enjoy extra fancy versions of regional specialties, like venison with juniper berries and local mushrooms.
  • Restaurant Tannenhof (St. Anton am Arlberg) - Restaurant Tannenhof offers a dining experience in the beautiful Alps, focusing on Alpine herbs and meats. It’s especially known for its intimate setting and exceptional service.
  • Schwarzer Adler (Kufstein) - This historic restaurant serves traditional Tyrolean dishes in a cozy setting. The kitchen specializes in hearty meals, using recipes that have been passed down through generations.

Street food in Tyrol

The streets of Tyrol are rich with local delights, especially during seasonal festivals. Here are three traditional street food items from Tyrol:

  • Kiachl – These yeast dough pastries are a festive favorite you can find on any Austrian Christmas market. They’re fried until golden and can be served sweet with dusted powdered sugar and apple sauce, or savory topped with sauerkraut. Either way, they’ll help you warm up in the chilly mountain air.
  • Speckknödel – Dumplings made from a mixture of bread, milk, eggs, and Speck, seasoned with onions and parsley
  • Krapfen – Especially popular at local fairs and street markets, these savory filled pastries are a staple in Tyrol.

Salzburg: From Mozart to Marzipan

Salzburg is not just the city of Mozart, but also a culinary hub. Here, the mixture of Austrian and Bavarian traditions creates a unique cuisine, known for high-quality ingredients and local specialties.

Salzburger nockerl.

Famous Austrian food from the Salzburg region

Here are three popular examples of specialties from Salzburg:

  • Salzburger Nockerl - An iconic sweet soufflé from Salzburg, with fluffy, golden peaks that are said to represent the city's surrounding mountains
  • Salzburger Kasnocken - Similar to German Spätzle, these small, cheesy dumplings are a comfort food staple in the region, often served with caramelized onions and a side of green salad
  • Salzburger Bierfleisch - It can be translated as “beer meat from Salzburg” as it’s indeed made by slow-cooking beef in a rich sauce of dark beer

Festivals and events celebrating Salzburg's gastronomy

Salzburg's calendar is dotted with festivals and events that offer both locals and visitors a chance to indulge in Salzburg’s dishes:

  • St. Rupert’s Fair – This is Salzburg's oldest and most traditional festival, celebrated in September.
  • Salzburger Dult – Held in May, this fair is a perfect occasion to savor authentic Austrian dishes like Bratwurst and Kaiserschmarrn. You can also try various types of Knödel, including the sweet Marillenknödel (apricot dumplings) and savory Speckknödel (bacon dumplings).
  • Salzburg Christmas Markets – From late November through December, the Christmas markets are a highlight for tasting seasonal treats. You can try the famous Glühwein (mulled wine) or Lebkuchen (gingerbread), alongside Mozartkugeln for a sweet taste of local confectionery. The markets also serve Reindling, a traditional Austrian cake with cinnamon, nuts, and raisins, perfect for the chilly winter days!

Street food in Salzburg

Here are three popular street foods that you don’t want to miss out on when visiting Salzburg:

  • Salzburger Brezen - These are not your ordinary pretzels. Larger and softer than their German counterparts, Salzburger Brezen are a common sight at local markets and street food stalls
  • Kasnocken – These small, cheesy dumplings remind me of mac ‘n cheese, and serve as a great snack on street markets and at food stalls
  • Leberkäsesemmel - This dish consists of a thick slice of Leberkäse (a type of meatloaf) in a crispy roll. In Salzburg, it's commonly found at street vendors as it’s perfect for a quick bite while sightseeing

Styria: The green heart of Austria

Styria is the green heart of Austria, with green hills and a commitment to fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Styrian cuisine is characterized by its use of pumpkin seed oil, fresh apples, and scarlet runner beans.


Traditional Austrian food from the Styria region

In Styria, the connection between the land and the table is palpable. The region’s fertile soil produces a variety of fruits, particularly apples, which are used in everything from ciders to the iconic Apfelstrudel, and the vineyards of southern Styria produce high-quality white wines.

Farm-to-table dining is a longstanding tradition in Styria as well. This commitment to local sourcing is evident in the popularity of farmers' markets and roadside stands throughout the region.

Wine culture in Styria and its pairing with regional dishes

The most well-known wine variety from Styria is Sauvignon Blanc, which pairs perfectly with Styrian trout or char, when the fish is served smoked or with a light lemon-butter sauce.

Another notable Styrian wine is Schilcher, a rosé made from the indigenous Blauer Wildbacher grape. It’s an excellent match for Styrian meats and hearty dishes like Jause, a traditional platter of cold cuts, cheese, and pickles.

If you like a Chardonnay, try the region's Morillon, with a pumpkin seed oil-dressed salad with goat cheese.

Street food in Styria

Here are three popular street food items you can find in Styria:

  • Verhackertes – This is a traditional Styrian spread made from minced pork belly, seasoned with garlic, salt, and pepper, and the famous Styrian pumpkin seed oil. It’s typically served on fresh rye bread or a crusty roll.
  • Brettljause – A variety of cold cuts, cheeses, pickled vegetables, and spreads, all served on a wooden board
  • Käferbohnensalat – Made from Scarlet Runner Beans, this colorful salad is usually garnished with finely chopped onions.

Burgenland: Culinary crossroads

Burgenland translates to “fortress land” due to its famous forts and castles. Its cuisine is a fusion of Austrian, Hungarian, and Croatian influences featuring dishes like spicy fish stews and sweet-and-sour cherry strudels.

Pannonian fish stew.

Signature dishes from the Burgenland cuisine

Here are three examples of classic Burgenland dishes:

  • Pannonian fish stew – A Burgenland specialty, this stew is influenced by Croatian and Hungarian cooking practices. It often features a variety of local fish, like carp and pike, stewed with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and plenty of paprika.
  • Grenadiermarsch – A hearty dish made from leftover potatoes and pasta, marinated with spicy paprika
  • Uhudler Jelly – This sweet jelly is derived from Uhudler wine, a local wine made from hybrid grape varieties, and usually served on bread.

Best food and wine experiences in Burgenland

Burgenland attracts food and wine enthusiasts from around the globe. Here are three of its best food and wine experiences to explore:

  • Wine Tasting at Neusiedler See – The region around Lake Neusiedl is ideal for sweet wine production, particularly ice wines and late-harvest wines. Visitors can tour the vineyards and wineries, sampling wines while enjoying panoramic views of the lake and its surrounding reed belts.
  • Uhudler Festival in Südburgenland – This festival celebrates the Uhudler wine, which has a cult following due to its unusual grape varieties and its wild strawberry flavor. The event features wine tasting sessions, local cuisine, and live music.
  • Gourmet Dining at Taubenkobel – Located in Schützen am Gebirge, Taubenkobel offers an upscale dining experience with traditional Pannonian dishes. The restaurant, set in a beautifully restored farmhouse, also offers a selection of local wines.

Street food in Burgenland

Here are three popular street food items to look for in Burgenland:

  • Langos – Langos are deep-fried Hungarian flatbreads typically topped with garlic butter, sour cream, and grated cheese.
  • Debrecziner Sausages – These spicy pork sausages, named after the Hungarian city of Debrecen, are popular at outdoor gatherings in Burgenland.
  • Marillenknödel – Marillenknödel are apricot-filled dumplings made from potato or Quark dough, boiled and rolled in sugary breadcrumbs.

Vorarlberg: Alpine flavors with a twist

Vorarlberg, nestled in the westernmost part of Austria, is renowned for its use of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, including a variety of mountain herbs like thyme, rosemary, and wild garlic from the surrounding mountainsides.

Cheese also plays an important role in Vorarlberg, since the local cheese is made from the milk of cows grazing on high alpine pastures, and the region is proud to produce some of Austria's finest varieties.


Notable dishes form Vorarlberg

Here are three dishes that are central to the region of Vorarlberg:

  • Käsespätzle – These yummy egg noodles, lovingly mixed with melted local cheese and topped with crispy onions, are Vorarlberg’s take on comfort food.
  • Riebel – Made from corn and wheat semolina, Riebel is cooked until it forms a crumbly oatmeal consistency. It can be enjoyed as a savory meal with cheese or sweetened with applesauce or fruits.
  • Montafoner Sura Kees – Sura Kees is a low-fat mountain cheese that is typical of the Montafon valley in Vorarlberg. Its slightly sour taste makes it a distinct ingredient in salads and soups.

Cheese-making traditions in Vorarlberg

Vorarlberg is famous for Alpine Dairy Farming. The cheese-making process here is strongly linked to alpine dairy farming known as Almwirtschaft. During the summer months, cows graze on high-altitude pastures, where the rich grass enhances the flavor of their milk. This milk is then used to produce different types of cheeses directly in mountain huts, through traditional production methods.

One of the most famous cheeses from Vorarlberg is Bergkäse, a hard mountain cheese that is aged for several months.

Street Food in Vorarlberg

Like a lot of typical Austrian food, Vorarlberg’s Street Foods are quite meat heavy, but keep in mind that there are often tofu alternatives if you’re vegetarian or vegan!

  • Suben – Essentially a type of blood sausage that’s grilled and served with mustard and fresh bread
  • Wälder Wurstsalat – This consists of a sliced sausage mixed with cheese, onions, and a vinegar-based dressing
  • Apfelküchle – A sweet treat of sliced apples dipped in a batter, fried until golden, and then dusted with cinnamon sugar that’s especially popular in street stalls during the fall

Carinthia: Austrian food between lakes and mountains

Carinthia’s cuisine is influenced by its proximity to Slovenia and Italy (check out our delicious article about Italian cuisine here). The influence of Slovenian cuisine is evident in Carinthia’s love for hearty, comforting dishes, while Italian influences have brought about Carinthia’s use of pasta in dishes like Polenta mit Gorgonzola, where creamy polenta is served with rich Gorgonzola cheese.

Kärntner Kasnudeln.

Traditional Austrian food from Carinthia

Here are three of those traditional Austrian foods from Carinthia:

  • Kärntner Kasnudeln – Often considered the signature dish of Carinthia, these are dumplings filled with a mixture of curd cheese, potatoes, mint, and chives. Traditionally, they are roundish with a crimped edge called a "Krendel".
  • Jota – A hearty stew with sauerkraut, beans, potatoes, and smoked pork
  • Reindling – This is a traditional Carinthian yeast-based cake, which is a popular treat especially during Easter and other festive occasions

Outdoor dining culture and culinary festivals in Carinthia

Carinthia’s idyllic landscapes and warm climate make it a perfect setting for an active outdoor dining culture, which is a big part of the local lifestyle. After all, crystal-clear lakes and majestic mountains are the perfect setting for dining al fresco.Here are some highlights of Carinthia's outdoor dining and culinary festivals:

  • Lakeside Dining: Carinthia is full of lakes like the Wörthersee, a popular spot where visitors can enjoy gourmet meals at lakeside restaurants and bistros that offer stunning views.
  • Al Fresco Eateries in Klagenfurt: The capital city of Klagenfurt features beautiful outdoor cafés and restaurants in its historic city.
  • Culinary Festivals: The Kärntner Speckfest (Carinthian Bacon Festival) in Hermagor is a celebration of the region’s famous Gailtaler Speck, featuring tastings, cooking demonstrations, and local crafts.
  • Mountain Huts and Culinary Hiking: The mountain huts (Almhütten) offer simple meals, cheeses, cured meats, and homemade breads and can be reached via beautiful hiking trails!

Street food in Carinthia

Here are three Carinthian street food items that are perfect on the go:

  • Carinthian Brettljause –This is a special platter served on a wooden board featuring local cold cuts, cheeses, pickles, and spreads like liverwurst and horseradish.
  • Kärntner Reindling – This sweet, cylindrical cake is filled with cinnamon, sugar, raisins, and nuts. As street food, it’s usually sliced and served as a sweet snack with coffee or tea.
  • Laxn - In the areas around Carinthia's many lakes, smoked fish, especially trout (locally referred to as "Laxn"), is a common street food, served on a paper plate or in a roll.

Upper Austria: Flavors along the Danube

The Danube River (Donau) is known as one of Europe's major waterways, which brings an abundance of river fish and other freshwater delicacies to the region. These are commonly featured in local recipes, and complemented by the agricultural produce from the surrounding fertile lands, which supply the kitchens with fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Mühlviertler Hasenöhrl.

Famous Upper Austrian dishes

Here are three famous Upper Austrian dishes:

  • Mostbratl – A traditional roast pork dish that is particularly popular in the rural areas of Upper Austria. It's marinated in cider (Most) and seasoned with garlic, caraway, and mustard.
  • Mühlviertler Hasenöhrl – This translates to “Rabbit’s ear from Mühlviert” - but don’t worry. As meaty as the Austrian cuisine may seem, this is not made from actual rabbit ears. It’s actually a vegetarian, fried pastry from the Mühlviertel region, shaped like a rabbit's ear.
  • Linzertorte – Originating from the city of Linz, this is one of the oldest known cakes in the world, famous for its lattice design. It’s made from flour, almonds, and lemon zest, and filled with black currant or raspberry.

Farm-to-table movement and sustainability in Upper Austria

In Upper Austria, the farm-to-table movement has become extremely popular, reflecting a broader trend towards sustainability, organic farming and the use of locally-sourced, fresh ingredients in Austria.

It emphasizes direct relationships between local farmers and consumers, which has led to an increase in farmers' markets and farm shops throughout the region. These venues offer consumers access to the freshest produce, meats, and dairy products, harvested or produced often within miles of where they are sold.

Chefs are increasingly basing their menus on the seasonal availability of local ingredients. Many local farms are adopting techniques like crop rotation, pesticide-free farming and other new practices that ensure the health of the land, improve farm animals’ living conditions, and produce healthier food options for consumers.

Street food in Upper Austria

Here are three street food items that are popular in the region:

  • Blunzengröstl – A hearty dish made from diced blood sausage that is pan-fried with potatoes and onions
  • Linzer Torte Cookies – These cookies are a portable version of the famous dessert of Linzertorte
  • Donauwelle – This layered cake combines vanilla and chocolate sponge. It’s named “Donauwelle”, or “Danube wave” after its its wave pattern

Before you start packing

If you already picture yourself enjoying a slice of sweet Donauwelle in one of Austria’s finest restaurants, with a backdrop of snow-capped Alpine peaks and lush green valleys, make sure you learn some helpful German phrases first to use in this German-speaking country!

Our German language blog will teach you everything you need to know - including the subtleties of Austrian German and how to order the best food!

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