What is food in Austria

There is actually no such thing as Austrian cuisine, rather it is a mixture of all the cooking traditions of the former Austro-Hungarian multi-ethnic state and the special dishes of the Austrian regions. Recipes from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bohemia, Italy and Bavaria were adapted to local tastes and developed further. Above all, the pastries, confectionery and schnitzel dishes are internationally known.

In a typical Austrian household, lunch always starts with a soup, either the "white one", in which the vegetables are cooked raw with all the ingredients and enriched with various ingredients (e.g. dumplings). Or the "brown one", which gets its color from the roasted vegetables.

Since Austria has no coast, the fish dishes are mainly local freshwater fish - pike, perch, sturgeon, trout and carp.

If you ask Austrians what they eat most and what they like most, they will certainly answer: Meat and poultry - boiled beef, Wiener schnitzel and fried chicken. The highlight of the meal is the dessert, without a pastry - warm or cold - a meal is unthinkable for an Austrian.

Regional cuisines

Viennese cuisine likes to be “fine”, its specialties include beef soups with various items (e.g. liver dumplings and fried potatoes), typical main dishes are boiled beef with apple or bread roll, Wiener schnitzel traditionally made from veal with potato salad, juice goulash, smoked meat with sauerkraut and dumplings and for dessert there is Kaiserschmarrn, curd strudel in vanilla sauce, yeast and apricot dumplings or pancakes.

Lower Austria:
Waldviertel poppy seed noodles (a dough made from potatoes, corn flour, egg yolks and butter, formed into noodles as thick as a finger and turned in honey and poppy seeds), Marchfeld asparagus and Wachau apricots are specialties here. Game dishes are also part of the menu.

Because it belonged to the Hungarian part of the empire for a long time, the cuisine there is strongly influenced by Hungarian. People like to eat fish, chicken, goose and foie gras. The carp is an essential part of Christmas.

Styrian specialties include minced meat, a spread made from finely chopped bacon and pumpkin seed oil, which is particularly suitable for salads because of its nutty taste. Styrian cuisine is also known for its poultry dishes, e.g. with its own liver, rosemary, parsley, marjoram and soaked rolls or capon stuffed with chestnuts.

Important components of the Carinthian cuisine are grain and dairy products, meat (game) and fish. Something very special are the Carinthian cheese noodles - dumplings filled with quark and mint - and the smaller Schlickkrapfen, which are usually filled with meat.

Upper Austria:
Dumplings in all variations are characteristic of this regional cuisine. The famous Linzer Torte is also at home here.

Everyone knows the famous Salzburger Nockerln, less known but popular are the Kasnockerln. Freshwater fish, especially trout, are popular as a main course.

There are dumplings in all variations, including bacon, spinach and cheese dumplings, which are made from stale rolls, milk, cheese, eggs and herbs. Other specialties are Tyrolean G’röstl - meat, potatoes, onions and other things fried together in the pan, Schlutzkrapfen - filled dumplings - and Tyrolean gray cheese.

This cuisine is influenced by Alemanni and cheese and cheese products play an important role. Specialties are (cheese) knöpfle and spaetzle

Austrian eating habits

While the normal German is satisfied with three meals a day, it is said that the Austrians, especially the Viennese, need twice as many to be happy.

The day begins with white coffee, rolls, bread, butter and jam. Since that doesn't last long, you need a forked breakfast around ten, which can consist of goulash or a pair of sausages.

At lunchtime you are of course hungry again when there is finally something hearty: soup, meat with vegetables, potatoes and salad and of course a dessert - almost always a sweet pastry.

In the afternoon a queasy feeling arises in the stomach again, the snack hour is approaching, a meal taken at home or in the pastry shop, which is not only about eating but also about chatting. There is coffee, cake and pastries, whipped cream and also sandwiches. Cold roast meat, sausage, eggs, salad and cheese are served for dinner. This is usually taken at home, a visit to a restaurant is rather rare. If you are invited, in the course of the evening you will be offered small snacks next to the wine and around 11 p.m. black coffee, which Austrians never enjoy without a piece of cake or strudel.


Coffee reached Vienna in 1683. While the Turks did not succeed in taking the city, the aromatic drink began its triumphal march there. In the 19th century, the coffee houses had become an integral part of Austrian life. Even today you can still enjoy the melange (coffee with milk), the melange with whipped cream or the mocha.

This is the # 1 folk drink. There are 600 different types of beer, the center of production is Salzburg (there is no wine growing there). The best Austrian beers come from Styria (Gösser).

Austria has a long wine tradition, wine was already being grown here around 2000 years ago. Today Lower Austria is the largest wine-growing region. White wine is made from Riesling grapes (Neuburg Abbey, Gumpoldskirchen). The green Veltliner is also known. Red wines come from Burgenland - from Lake Neusiedl and Rust (Zweigelt, Ruster). The new wine - the Heurige - is very popular in Austria and is best drunk at the winemaker's.

Fine brandies:
Fruit brandies (e.g. from apricots), brandies made from rowan berries, gentian roots and herbs ensure good digestion after an opulent Austrian meal.
(Sources: ARD-Buffet, Wikipedia, The kitchen in the Viennese Empire)