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Traditional Austrian Dishes That You Should Try

Traditional Austrian cuisine has been influenced by its neighbouring countries, especially from the times of the Habsburg Empire. As a consequence, there are many popular dishes in Austria that are also widely known in the whole Central European region. But we shouldn't forget about the tasty offerings of the Alps, either. Here is a list of dishes that you should give a try when staying in Austria. If you want to prepare these culinary specialties, grab one of the cook books below that offer Austrian recipes.

1. Beloved local food and drinks to taste

Find below a list of popular Austrian food types and brands that both locals and tourist find delicious.


  • Wiener Schnitzel: a type of schnitzel made of a thin, breaded, pan-fried veal cutlet
  • Schachertorte: chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam, coated in dark chocolate icing
  • Tafelspitz: beef boiled in broth
  • Wiener Würstel: thin parboiled sausage traditionally made of pork and beef
  • Kaiserschmarrn: soft, fluffy pancake ripped into bites and slightly roasted in a pan, served with compote, applesauce or stewed plums
  • Apfelstrudel: apple strudel
  • Topfenstrudel: cream cheese / cottage cheese strudel
  • Austrian Goulash: stew like soup
  • Erdäpfelsalat: potato salad
  • Powidltascherl: plum jam turnovers / dumplings (here is a ready-made version by Iglo)
  • Knödel: dumplings
  • Leberkäse: a loaf of corned beef, pork and bacon
  • Rindsuppe: beef soup
  • Tiroler Gröstl: bacon, onion and potato fry-up
  • Germknödel: fluffy yeast dough dumpling, filled with plum jam, sprikled with poppy seeds on top
  • Vorarlberg Käsknöpfle (or Käsespätzle): a combination of soft egg noodle and various cheeses
  • Wachauer Marillenknödel: a dumpling stuffed with an apricot and covered with streusel and powdered sugar
  • Punschkrapfen: a pastry with a fine rum flavor, coated in pink icing and has the shape of a cube
  • Buchteln: sweet rolls made of yeast dough, filled with jam, ground poppy seeds or curd
  • Palatschinken (Eierkuchen): pancakes similar to French Crepes
  • Linzer torte: a cake of crumbly pastry with jam filling, covered by a lattice of dough strips
  • Mohnnudeln: poppy seeds covered noodles
  • Frittatensuppe: soup with stripes of crepes (Palatschinken) in it
  • Topfengolatschen: quark pastry with the texture of puff pastry or Danish pastry


  • Wiener Melange: coffee, half Mokka, half heated milk, often topped with foamed milk
  • Einspänner Coffee (Viennese Coffee): made with two shots of espresso and lots of whipped cream
  • Almdudler: soft drink based on mountain herbs and with a flavour reminiscent of elderflower beverages
  • Schnaps: drink with high alcohol content, made from a variety of fruits and herbs
  • Jägertee: alpine tea, made with spiced rum, red wine, tea, plum brandy or liqueur and spices
  • Mozart Liqueur: it's a cream liqueur. The classic one has chocolate flavour, but there are some seasonal ones as well, such as strawberry flavoured or pumpkin flavoured.

Popular brands and snacks:

  • Mozartkugeln (Mozart balls pralines)
  • Manner wafers
  • Darbo jams and sauces
  • Staudt's jams, preserves, compotes and sauces
  • Zotter organic chocolate
  • Heindl pralines
  • Hofbauer pralines
  • Casali Schokobananen (chocolate)
  • Casali Original Rum-Kokos balls (pralines)
  • Julius Meinl coffee
  • pumpkin seed oil from Steiermark
  • Inzensdorfer canned ready-made food
  • Hink Wien canned liver pate / rilettes / corned beef
  • Xocolat chocolate and pralines

2. Where to Buy Austrian Dishes That You Can Take Home with You

Do you believe you might have gotten hooked on those delicious pastries and cakes that you were consuming perhaps way too many during your stay in Vienna? And what about those fine canned goods that you can spread on bread for breakfast? Or the countless artisan pralines and homemade jams and juices? If you want to take home a piece of Austrian cuisine, then there are several places you can look around.

Gift shops:

In the tourist areas of the city, especially downtown where the shopping streets are located, you will find several gift shops. Many of these have food on stock, such as chocolate, pralines, cream liqueurs, wafers, Mozart balls, liver pate, corned beef, teas and spices. Some of these gift shops are located at frequent public transport hotspots, such as railway stations.

Supermarkets, shopping malls:

Supermarket chains such as Spar / Interspar and Billa often have a separate section for Austrian specialties. Interspar is a large supermarket store where you will find more variaty of different food. In shopping malls you can come across delis and artisan food shops (e.g. for pralines). Check out our list of supermarkets and shopping malls, here.

Farmers markets:

Farmers markets attract a number of local food producers including businesses that create fine artisan food. Naschmarkt is the most famous farmers market in the city and there you will find a lot of sellers that have traditional dishes and homemade culinary specialties.


The Viennese coffee house culture is world-famous. It's tied to late-19th century and early-20th century literary and intellectual figures of the city. Eating a piece of cake or pastry as accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea is still an enjoyable way of slowing down during a busy day. Many renowned cafes in Vienna sell their own biscuits and pralines to visitors in a prepacked form, so you can take it with you as a gift. For example, Gerstner Cafe that is situated opposite the Opera House has some delicious biscuits that you can buy. Check out our list of recommendations for cafes, here.

Organic food stores:

A couple of Austrian culinary specialties are available either in organic version or in a gluten free / dairy free / sugar free version. You can look for these items in larger organic food stores. The biggest chain is Denns BioMarkt.

3. Impress Your Friends with Cooking an Austrian Menu

Have you been seduced by the delicious dishes of Austrian cuisine? Why not trying to prepare them yourself? Check out the cookbooks below for inspiration and then get immersed into culinary delights. Whether you would only cook for yourself or you want to impress your family and friends with these recipes, it will most likely be an adventure for everyone's tastebuds.

by Monica Meehan, Maria von Baich
buy at Amazon

by Dietmar Fercher, Andrea Karrer
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by Alexandra and Christoph Wagner Gurtler
buy at Amazon