Traditional Austrian Food & Drink

Your Guide to Traditional Austrian Food & Drink

traditional austrian food and drink

Off to Austria? Pack your appetite because here, good food isn't hard to find – it's everywhere.

Your culinary journey could start in the stylish cafes of Vienna, or in the warm, historic taverns of Salzburg, or perhaps in the rustic charm of Mayrhofen's alpine huts.

And let’s not forget about the globally celebrated gourmet village of Lech. Famous for its incredible food scene, Lech is known as the gourmet village of the world, with more award-winning restaurants per capita globally.

Imagine dining with a backdrop of majestic mountains, with a side dish of, "You must try this." Ischgl stands out here, hailed as the culinary hotspot of the Alps, and a reputation as the 'culinary mecca of the Alps.’'

So, lace up your walking shoes and loosen your belt. Here’s a taste of some classic Austrian dishes you must try.

Austria Eats and Treats

Traditional Austrian Food and Drink You Simply Must Try

Tiroler Gröstl | Wiener Schnitzel | Erdäpfelsalat | Tafelspitz | Speckknödel | Spinatknödel | Beuschel| Kasspatzln

Martinigansl | Vienna Sausage | Brettljause | Kaspressknödel | Schlutzkrapfen | Zillertaler Krapfen |

Schweinebraten | Pretzels | Kiachl | Kaiserschmarrn | Moosbeernocken | Strauben | Apfelradin

Apfelstrudel | Prügeltorte | Linzer Torte | Sachertorte | Austria Drinks


Tiroler Gröstl

traditional austrian food

Tiroler Gröstl is a cosy, filling dish from the Tyrol region of Austria. It's basically a tasty mix of sliced potatoes, onions, and bits of beef or pork, all fried up in butter until they're nice and crispy.

To top it off, it's usually served with a fried egg on top. Sometimes, you'll also find it with a side of pickles or horseradish for extra flavour.

It's a clever way to use up leftovers and makes for a perfect, hearty meal, especially when shared straight from the pan. A true example of authentic Austrian food.


Wiener Schnitzel

classic austrian dishes

No guide to Austrian cuisine would be complete without mentioning the legendary Wiener Schnitzel. Definitely one of the famous Austrian dishes.

This breaded and fried veal cutlet is the culinary equivalent of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 – absolutely classic, deeply satisfying, and unmistakably Austrian.

It's usually accompanied by a simple salad or some parsley potatoes, (Petersilienkartoffeln) and cranberries (Preiselbeeran) because honestly, when you're the star of the dish you don't need much else.

The Wiener takes it all.



authentic austrian food

Erdäpfelsalat is a simple, yet classic Austrian potato salad often found on the side of a plate or as a light meal. A staple of traditional Austrian cuisine.

It's made from boiled potatoes and sliced onions, tossed in a tangy dressing of vinegar, oil, and mustard.

Sometimes, you might also find it jazzed up with bacon, parsley, or pickles. This salad is especially popular in Vienna and is another favourite pairing with Wiener Schnitzel.



famous austrian dishes

Tafelspitz is a traditional Austrian dish where beef is gently boiled in a flavourful broth with root vegetables and spices, making the meat tender and tasty.

It's usually served with a side of horseradish mixed with minced apples, adding a unique kick to the dish.

The name "Tafelspitz" refers to the specific cut of beef used, similar to the "Topside" cut in Britain.

This dish is a favourite across Austria, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants, and was even a top pick of Emperor Franz Joseph I. A highlight among typical Austrian dishes.



traditional austrian cuisine

Speckknödel are hearty dumplings from Tyrol, packed with bacon and boiled to perfection. A classic example of a typical Austrian dish.

They're usually served in a warm broth (Speckknödelsuppe) or with tangy sauerkraut and a fresh salad on the side. These dumplings are a comforting classic in the region, making for a filling and delicious meal.



traditional austrian food

Spinatknödel are tasty spinach dumplings from Tyrol, often enjoyed as a main. These tasty dumplings are especially great when accompanied with brown butter.

They're a clever way to use up old bread, mixing it with spinach, eggs, butter, garlic, onions, and usually parmesan cheese to create something delicious.

Once boiled, these dumplings get a luxurious finish with melted butter poured over them and a generous sprinkle of grated cheese.



typical austrian dishes

Beuschel is a traditional Austrian stew with a rich history, made primarily from offal, usually calf's heart and lungs, though other meats can also be used.

It's simmered in a dark brown sauce and is a dish that you'll mostly find in old-school local eateries that pride themselves on their traditional offerings.

Originating in the 19th century, Beuschel gained popularity as offal found its way into upscale dining.



traditional austrian food

Kasspatzln is a comforting cheese noodle dish loved in parts of Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland, especially famous in Tyrol.

A classic example of a popular Austrian dish, it's made with local cheeses like Bergkäse or Graukäse, giving it a distinctive taste.

The process starts with making a soft dough, which is then shaped into small noodles using a special tool called a spätzlehobel.

These noodles are boiled and mixed with sautéed onions and a lot of grated cheese until everything's deliciously melted together.

Served with a sprinkle of parsley and crispy fried onion on top, Kasspatzln often comes with sides like fresh salad, potato salad, or applesauce, making it a hearty and beloved meal.



authentic austrian food

Martinigansl is a festive dish traditionally enjoyed on St. Martin's Day, featuring a roasted goose filled with dried plums and chestnuts.

While there are several takes on this dish, it's often served with red cabbage, potatoes, or Knödel dumplings.

The rich gravy that sometimes accompanies it is made from the goose's own juices and stock, adding a savoury depth to the meal.

This celebratory dish can be found in traditional restaurants, where it's savoured for its deep flavours and ties to holiday tradition.


Vienna Sausage

traditional austrian food

Vienna Sausage is a staple street food found all over the city, easily spotted at numerous sausage stands on many corners.

This popular sausage is slow-smoked to perfection, known for its slender shape and is often served with white bread, dark sourdough, or a side of mustard and horseradish for an extra kick.

While these stands might also offer other fast food favourites like kebabs and noodles, the Vienna Sausage remains the main attraction, celebrated for its rich pork taste and a delightful blend of spices.



typical austrian dishes

When in Austria, you’ll want to try this authentic Austrian food.

Brettljause is the ultimate Austrian snack platter, a hearty mix of meats and cheeses laid out on a wooden board, perfect for a satisfying bite.

This popular choice in taverns and rural spots mainly features pork-based meats and a selection of Austrian cheeses, many of which are naturally lactose-free.

The platter often includes extras like veggies, eggs, and even black pudding, adding to its appeal.

It's a common find in taverns throughout Austria, with many local restaurants also proud to serve up this traditional, tasty treat.



traditional austrian cuisine

Kaspressknödel are a beloved cheesy treat, featuring flat bread dumplings stuffed with flavourful grey or mountain cheese.

These cheesy delights are pressed flat and fried until they're golden brown on each side, creating a crispy exterior and a gooey, cheesy middle.

You can enjoy them in a warm beef broth or alongside a fresh green salad.



popular austrian dishes

Schlutzkrapfen are delicious pasta parcels from the Tyrol region, shaped like crescents and filled with a savoury potato mixture.

These delightful dumplings are boiled in salted water and then served with a drizzle of brown butter and a sprinkle of parsley.

They combine simple ingredients to create a comforting and hearty dish that's perfect for a taste of traditional Tyrolean cuisine.


Zillertaler Krapfen

traditional austria food

Zillertaler Krapfen is a celebrated specialty from the Zillertal Valley, renowned not just for its delicious taste but also for its place at the heart of Tyrolean celebrations.

Though it may be a bit challenging to make, the effort is well worth it. These treats feature a savoury grey cheese filling encased in a perfectly crispy shell.

It's a traditional Austrian dish that brings a taste of Tyrolean festivity to any table, combining rich, cheesy flavours with a satisfying crunch.

A must-try for fans of authentic Austrian food.



austria food

Schweinebraten is a classic Austrian dish, a succulent oven-roasted pork that's a staple at celebrations like weddings.

This hearty meal is typically served with bread dumplings and sauerkraut, creating a comforting and satisfying feast.

The pork is roasted in a shallow broth, ensuring it's flavourful and tender.

A favourite in traditional Viennese restaurants, Schweinebraten is a quintessential part of traditional Austrian cuisine.



typical austrian food

Pretzels hold a special place in Austrian cuisine, particularly in Vienna and the Salzburg region. Widely available in heurigen (wine taverns), breweries, bakeries, and street stands, these oversized, soft, and warm treats are a go-to snack.

When in Vienna, embracing the local street food culture by enjoying a pretzel, whether it's the classic salted variety or an adventurous cheese or chocolate-filled option, is a must for an authentic experience.



Kiachl traditional austrian food

If we’re talking about famous Austrian dishes, then Kiachl is on the menu.

It is a traditional Austrian treat, a type of doughnut pastry that's fried in lard for a crispy, golden finish.They come with a delicious filling of cranberry jam and are lightly dusted with icing sugar for a sweet finish.

Kiachl can be enjoyed in two ways: savoury with sauerkraut or sweet with the jam. Originally, this delightful pastry was savoured during harvest time and on special holidays, making it a cherished treat for festive occasions.



traditional austrian food

Kaiserschmarrn, or as it’s traditionally spelt on Austrian menus, ‘Kaiserschmarr’n’, is a unique sweet pancake, cut into big, fluffy pieces and topped with icing sugar.

This dish is a must-try, a fluffy, torn pancake with a royal twist—named after Kaiser Franz Joseph I, who had a particular fondness for it.

Prepared with a sweet batter of flour, eggs, sugar, salt, and milk, then baked in butter and gently pulled apart with forks, Kaiserschmarren is a delightfully light yet indulgent treat.

Served with stewed plums, it offers a perfect blend of sweetness and texture that's truly fit for an emperor.



typical austrian food

Moosbeernocken, also known as Moschbernockn, Schwarzbeernocken, Heidelbeerküchle, or Heidelbeertatscherl, is an Alpine specialty, taking advantage of the brief season when wild mountain blueberries are ripe for picking.

Traditional restaurants in Tyrol whip up this delightful dessert, which features these fresh blueberries in a pancake-like batter, all dusted with a sweet sprinkle of powdered sugar.

It's a simple, yet utterly delicious treat and a must-try for traditional Austrian cuisine.



traditional austrian dessert

Strauben, a traditional Austrian funnel cake, brings a unique twist to sweet treats with its delicious mix of ingredients including flour, egg yolks, salt, and a splash of white wine.

They are also known for their "ruffled" appearance, which is where they get their name.

This snack involves a simple batter made from flour, eggs, and milk, which is creatively poured to create whimsical, curly shapes before being fried to a perfect golden brown.

Once crispy and ready, they're dusted with powdered sugar and served alongside tart cranberry jam.

Strauben are a must-try for anyone looking to get a taste of traditional austrian food.



traditional austrian cuisine

Apfelradln, or "apple wheels," are a sweet, simple delight. Slices of apple are dipped into a light batter and then fried in a pan until they turn a lovely golden brown on each side.

Served hot and fresh, they're sprinkled with a mix of cinnamon and sugar for a warm, comforting treat that perfectly balances the tartness of the apple with sweet and spicy flavours.


austria traditional dessert

Apfelstrudel is a classic Viennese dessert that you can enjoy pretty much anywhere in the country. Whether you pop into a cosy café or a fancy pastry shop, you're likely to find this delicious treat on the menu.

The recipe, which dates back to 1697, involves wrapping thinly rolled puff pastry around a filling of apples, raisins, and almonds.

Normally, this scrumptious dessert is served with cream but the real magic happens when you pair it with warm vanilla sauce.

A must-eat for those seeking the authentic taste of classic Austrian dishes.


Similar to the Apfelstrudel, Topfenstrudel is another traditional Austrian dessert. It’s a bit like a rolled up cheesecake inside a pastry.

It’s filled with a creamy cheese curd, similar to cheesecake filling, and often mixed with raisins.



austrian dessert

Let's just say, once you've had a slice of Prügeltorte alongside your coffee, there's no turning back. You've been sweetly spoiled for life.

Prügeltorte is a special type of Austrian cake, often seen at celebrations like weddings, christenings, and during the Christmas season. It is a beloved part of traditional Austrian cuisine.

It's created in a unique way by drizzling a liquid batter, made from eggs, butter, sugar, flour, and a hint of lemon zest, over a rotating spit.

This process gives the cake a distinctive hollow centre, which can be filled with cream or adorned with flowers for decoration. The sides of the Prügeltorte may also be embellished with icing.


Linzer Torte

traditional austrian food

The Linzer Torte, named after the Austrian city of Linz, is a delightful shortcake pastry filled with redcurrant jam.

It holds the title of the oldest cake in the world and stands as a true Austrian classic.

This delicious treat is typically served with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a light dusting of sugar, making it a timeless favourite for its rich flavour and charming presentation.



traditional austrian cake

The Sachertorte Cake is a luxurious chocolate cake with roots in Vienna, dating back to 1832.

Crafted by a 16-year-old apprentice chef named Franz Sacher for Prince Metternich, this cake quickly won the hearts of chocolate lovers around the globe.

The original Sachertorte recipe remains a closely guarded secret, known exclusively to the skilled confectioners at Hotel Sacher in Vienna, making it not just a dessert but a piece of culinary history.

A crown jewel among classic Austrian dishes.


Austrian Drinks

austrian drinks

In the cosy cafes of Vienna, coffee reigns supreme, offered in countless styles and always accompanied by a glass of water.

For those with a sweet tooth, Viennese hot chocolate is a must-try, decadently rich and topped with a swirl of heavy cream.

But if you're looking to quench your thirst with something uniquely Austrian, reach for an Almdudler. This local soft drink, bursting with the flavors of alpine herbs, is considered the national beverage of Austria.

Venture into eastern Austria, and you'll find yourself in the heart of the country's wine region, known for producing exquisite Riesling and Veltliner wines.

Beer lovers, fear not because Austria has you covered with a variety of brews from local breweries scattered across the country, including popular names like Stiegl, Ottakringer, Egger Bier and Zillertal Bier.

For over 500 years, the village of Zell am Ziller has crafted beer with tradition and care. While large breweries often rush their beer to completion in about ten days, Zillertal Bier takes a different approach.

Here, brews are given the luxury of time, aging for at least eight weeks to reach flawless perfection.


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