I love food. Man, do I love food. But I usually only eat small portions of it. All day long, that is. So when I got to Austria and saw the gigantic portions there, I knew I had to adapt. Typical Austrian food is meant to keep active people going in the cold winter temperatures. After you've taken an hour or two to digest, I think that is.
Now, the portions of the food in Austria might have been a bit oversized for me, but I did eat some delicious things while I was there and I tried a whole range of new dishes to refill my energy levels after doing some winter activities.
Not all of these dishes were typically Austrian, but I do want to share them with you so that you can try them on your Austrian holidays.
Food in Austria: let's dig in!
Kaiserschmarrn is an irresistible traditional Austrian food mostly enjoyed as a dessert. They're a bit thicker than pancakes and taste “eggier” or richer. They're not big and round but cut into small pieces and covered in delicious powdered sugar. Kaiserschmarrn is usually served with preserved or fresh fruits. I tasted mine with apple mousse. Yum!
I've also tried a more sophisticated version of Kaiserschmarrn once but must say I liked the original better.
Want to try your hand at some Austrian desserts? Check out this cookbook with more than 400 recipes of Austrian dishes to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The first night I was in Austria, I went to this place where they served big chunks of ribs on slices of a tree trunk! I'm not a big meat eater, but these ribs were simply amazing! They came with a simple salad and some fries, but I didn't even touch the fries as -again – the portions were so huge and it felt like a waste to eat anything but the meat. I did have some salad, though. You know, to compensate.
3. Schlutzkrapferl Tris
I still can't pronounce this one! It's traditional Austrian pasta that looks a bit like giant ravioli with three different fillings. I had spinach, pumpkin, and delicious Austrian cheese. It was served with spring onions in a sauce of melted butter. Delicious, but heavy. Definitely not something you want to have when you're on a diet!
I always thought dumplings were an Asian thing but as it turns out, they’re also typical food in Austria! Kaspressknödeln are sturdy, flat cheese dumplings that are fried in a pan and sometimes also briefly put in the oven. You can have them with a salad or in soup as I did. Just one of these babies will keep you filled for hours. Seriously.
I rarely drink alcohol and don't like the taste of it, so I was a bit wary of doing a Schnapps tasting. Now, Schnapps is too strong for me (40% alcohol!), but I had a great time during the tasting because before I got to try several flavors — I was given all these little bottles with scents and I had to guess what the scent was. So much fun!
Afterward, when I got my Schnapps, I also tried guessing what flavor it was, and sometimes you could tell, but sometimes it was pretty hard. One time I got Schnapps that had the same flavor as one of the scents I'd smelled, but it didn't smell anything like the scent. Pretty interesting.
6. Tiroler Gröstl
Tiroler Gröstl was the first thing I ate when I arrived in Austria. I'd been traveling for almost 8 hours and was starving when I made it to my hotel, the Adeo Alpin in St Johann in Tirol. I needed a decent meal. Well, this pan with potatoes, bacon, and an egg on top definitely was decent! I tried my best to finish it as it was so good but had to acknowledge defeat near the end.
I know, I know, a hamburger isn't traditional Austrian food, but sometimes you just crave something, you know? After three typically Austrian lunches and two typically Austrian dinners, I needed this, and boy was it good. The meat was amazing. Again, I'm not a meat-eater, but this meat was juicy and tasteful and so delicious.
You’ve probably tried a Wiener schnitzel, a Sachertorte, or an Apfelstrudel, but of course, these are not by far all the popular Austrian foods. You could even say that there are multiple Austrian cuisines, as every region has its own dishes and unique spins on other dishes by using different, local ingredients.
So if you’re looking for recipe ideas to wow an Austrian friend or to put on your list of things to try on your next trip to Austria, have a look at these mouthwatering dishes that showcase the best of Austrian cooking.
More Austrian traditional foods you can’t miss
If you’re visiting Austria in November, make sure to try the Martinigans, one of the best examples of typical Austrian food. The dish consists of a roasted goose with a tasty, aromatic stuffing that gives the meat a unique flavor.
The name Martinigans comes from Martins-gans, or St. Martin’s goose, prepared for the festivities of St. Martin on 11 November. It goes back hundreds of years and traditionally it’s been the last big meal you have before Christmas.
Fancy a traditional Austrian breakfast? Then Riebel is the easiest to make, very filling, and nutritious. This famous Austrian food is from the Vorarlberg region, and it’s a porridge prepared with cornmeal, milk, salt, and butter. The cornmeal is left to simmer for a long time and then fried in butter.
Riebel can be made sweet or savory and it also works well for lunch or dinner. The sweet dish is served with applesauce, cheese, and fruit, while the savory Riebel is prepared with mushrooms and cheese together with a meat dish.
Funnel cakes are popular in several countries, and Austrian food is not without its very own funnel cake recipe. Strauben originated in the Tyrol region, in western Austria. It’s quick and easy to prepare, making it a typical fair and festival food! All the recipe calls for is flour, egg yolks, salt, and some recipes include ingredients like white wine or fruit schnapps. The ingredients are mixed and poured into the hot oil. Traditionally, it’s served with applesauce and sprinkled with icing sugar. Delicious!
The food in Austria will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth! Mohnnudeln is thick potato dumplings sprinkled with poppy seeds (a traditional Austrian ingredient) and sugar. They’re a fantastic option for a unique dessert or light dinner on your next visit to Austria, but don’t be surprised if you see locals have it as a main course.
Once upon a time, only royalty could enjoy this delicacy of boiled veal with vegetables accompanied by carrots, mashed potatoes, and a creamy sauce. Luckily for us, it’s the 21st century and you can indulge in this sensory experience, too. Because Tafelspitz is not just one dish – the meat is simmered over a long period, resulting in a tasty, clear broth which is the first course of your meal.
As you can see, the picturesque mountains and cozy towns are not the only attraction in Austria – the food in Austria is just as heavenly! And it’s not just the recipes. People at home as well as in restaurants favor fresh, local ingredients, so every dish offers you a taste of the country. So, make a list of the dishes that caught your imagination, and don’t forget to try some of the best food in Austria.
That's it, I'm hungry now. I'll let you ponder over these delicious foods while I go grab a bite!
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets canceled, you get sick or hurt abroad, and sometimes even when your electronics break or get stolen. I always make sure I'm covered on every trip I go on.
Don't have travel insurance yet? Check out SafetyWing. They offer super flexible plans that you can even sign up for while you're already on your trip. On top of that, they were the first travel insurance to cover COVID, and when I got COVID, they reimbursed all of my expenses without making a fuss. Their customer support team is great and I can personally recommend them.
PIN FOR LATER