Austrian food is the yummiest fare we’ve never been able to ask for. While point-and-hope has sort of worked to get us some Austrian treats, it’s not a strategy we recommend. With dishes called käsespätzle, brettljause, and kaiserschmarrn they are a mouthful to say but an even better mouthful to taste.
We’re not ones to hold you back from traditional dishes when travelling. We’ve therefore prepared our Austrian faves with handy translation so you can order with ease. Don’t let these tongue twisters stop you getting your tongue tasting!
Wiener schnitzel is probably Austria’s most famous savoury dish. Thin cuts of meat (traditionally veal) coated in breadcrumbs then fried to a golden colour, wiener schnitzel is best served with a slice of lemon on the side.
This is Austria’s ultimate comfort food, especially after an active day in the Alps. Noodles, eggs, butter, onions, and mountains of mountain cheese ensure you’re replenished whether you’ve been snowboarding or hiking. It’s also good to soak up your après ski activities!
For another hearty dish, opt for knödel. These tennis-ball sized dumplings come in a range of flavours from savoury to sweet. The sugary version typically holds its surprise in the centre. The Tiroler speckknödel is also popular thanks to the addition of chopped bacon.
Translating to ‘snack on a board’ this is traditional mountain food from the Arlberg region. When you order brettljause, you’ll receive cold-cut meats, cheeses, and pickled veggies, with rustic bread to accompany the flavourful combination.
Trust us when we say that tafelspitz does not translate as well in words as it does to your palate. Made from boiled tri-tip beef and vegetables in a spiced broth, this is particularly great in winter.
Hearty Arlberg mountain fare, gröstl is a meal of bacon, potatoes, and onions that is commonly eaten for breakfast (or as hangover fare). Originally from the Tyrol, gröstl used to be a leftover meal but has more recently become a brunch staple in trendy urban cafes.
Lauded as the Austrian gnocchi, these are one of the most common dishes a vegetarian will find on the menu. An easy recipe of eggs, flour, milk, butter, and salt, nockerl are drop-fried into boiling water and usually offered as a side dish.
Austrians love their desserts (who doesn’t?) and the fluffy kaisers
Well hello, afternoon tea! We know there are other desserts but we cannot pass by sachertorte. It has its own national day so of course, we can’t resist! The rumours are that the original recipe is top-secret but what we do know is that the thin layer of apricot jam makes sachertorte a winner.
If it’s good enough for Maria von Trapp, it’s good enough for us! We can’t leave you without an honorary mention of Vienna’s “crisp apple strudel”. We adore the papery thin pastry that melts in your mouth with the warm apple-and-raisin filling oozing as you take your first bite. Köstlich!
Find out what other delicious things you can eat in Austria by exploring the Austria Tourism website.
Written by Zoe Macfarlane, a KARRYON contributor