Did you know that Austria has the largest proportion of land in Europe dedicated to the organic production of vegetables, meat, dairy and eggs? A particularity that contributes to having one of the highest quality cuisines in the world.
We invite you to know in this article the 25 main dishes of typical Austrian food.
1. Wiener Schnitzel
The Viennese escalope or wiener schnitzel is one of the best known dishes in Austrian cuisine. It is prepared with a thin fillet of beef that is softened with a kitchen mallet and battered before frying.
It is similar to cotoletta alla milanesa and it is claimed that the recipe was brought to Vienna in 1857 by the marshal, Joseph Radetzky, when he defeated the Milanese. Another version suggests that the saucer, whose name was first written in 1865, came to Austria in the 15th century.
One of the secrets of the recipe is to use a fillet of white or suckling beef that comes from a specimen between 120 and 165 kg in weight, which has only fed on milk.
2. Pork roast
Pork roast is a traditional food from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Depending on the place, the meat is seasoned with different spices. The most used cuts are loin, loin head and leg.
The meat for asado is first salted and peppered, spread with mustard and browned in butter. Then, it is cooked over low heat in a meat broth, red wine, onion and other julienned vegetables.
If it is to be eaten hot, the meat is cut into thick slices, if not, it is cut into thin slices.
Roast pork is an Austrian weekend and holiday meal, served with baked potatoes and other vegetables and lots of beer.
The most popular cut to prepare it is the knuckle, which has a strong flavor, abundant fat and is very aromatic.
Potato salad typical of German and Austrian cuisine. It is prepared with hard or boiling potatoes called in Germanic countries: “salad potatoes”. The pieces of these varieties keep their shape when mixed with the other ingredients of the salad.
Kartoffelsalat is eaten with mayonnaise in some regions of Germany, but in Austria they prefer to season it with broth, vinegar, oil, mustard, pepper and salt.
There are recipes in which the potatoes are cooked and reserved until the next day, which improves their consistency. However, other cooks prefer to make the salad with freshly boiled potatoes, as they better absorb the flavor of the other ingredients.
Some other components of the dish are pumpkin seed oil, scallions, pickled apples or cucumbers, pickled cucumbers, hard-boiled egg, onions, radishes, brined fish, leftover roasts, bacon cubes, sausage bits, and peas.
It is one of the most versatile side dishes in German cuisine and a classic companion to wiener schnitzel.
Backhendl is Austrian-style fried chicken, a recipe that has been present in Viennese cuisine since the 18th century.
The chicken pieces are battered and fried so they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
It is prepared with a young and small chicken whose skin is left on for frying. An alternative to prepare it is to bake it in abundant oil or clarified butter. In some recipes it is advised to rub the chicken with lemon juice before frying it.
The heart, liver and stomach are also part of the dish and are also battered and fried.
The pieces usually take a pre-cooking before being battered and fried when the chicken is adult.
The backhendl is served with potato salad, green salad and parsley fries.
Crepes cut into strips in a veal broth so popular that it is one of the national dishes in Austria. It is similar to the French consommé célestine (consomme celestine in Italy).
The “frittaten” component of the name of the dish comes from the Italian word “frittata”, which means “to fry”, due to the frying of the crepes before making the soup.
To make the broth, first the crepes are made with a dough of flour, eggs, milk and salt. They are formed and fried on both sides in a little melted butter. When they are warm, they are rolled up one by one and cut into strips, some of which are served in deep dishes and a very hot veal broth is poured over them.
6. Austrian style goulash
Goulash is a very popular beef-based dish in the cuisine of several European countries, mainly Hungary, Austria, and others in Central Europe and the Balkans.
Goulash, as it is also known, was invented in Hungary at the end of the 18th century, where it is the national dish.
Preferred meats are those that contain gristle because of their tendency to thicken or gel.
The word “gulasch” comes from the Hungarian word, “gulyás”, which means “cattle herder”.
The dish passed from Hungary to Austria in the 19th century, where it was popularized by Hungarian soldiers at the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Although the most common goulash is beef, there are also lamb, pork and mixed meats.
It contains a paste of peppers, onion, garlic and caraway and must be stewed for a long time so that the sauce thickens.
Because of its slow cooking, it is prepared in large quantities, which is why it has become a standard dish in military barracks.
They are like balls of bread that are one of the most common side dishes of typical Austrian food. They are common as accompaniments to goulash, roast pork and mushroom or lentil dishes.
In German and Austrian supermarkets they are available ready-made to heat and consume. They are made with the white bread that is left over and in some recipes part of the bread is previously roasted with a little butter.
The dough is prepared with eggs, sunflower oil, milk, chopped parsley, salt, grated lemon peel and, if necessary, a little flour.
The balls are assembled and cooked in boiling water over low heat. They will be ready when floating.
There is a variant that is prepared with stale pretzels and another called speckknödel, made with grated bacon, popular in Tyrol.
Tyroleans eat these bread and bacon dumplings with sauerkraut, salads, and in soups.
The leftover semmelknödel is cut into small slices and fried in oil to be eaten crispy with fried eggs. They can also be mixed with eggs to make a scramble.
Tafelspitz is another classic Viennese dish made with beef. The cut used is the one at the back of the calf, near the tail, one covered with adipose tissue called in German: tafelspitz.
The whole meat is cooked in a broth of beef bones and vegetables such as onion, turnip, celery, carrot, bay leaves, juniper berries, salt and pepper.
When cooked, the meat is cut into slices and served with a little of its own broth. It can be accompanied with boiled potatoes, French fries, spinach and a green onion sauce.
The brettljause is a wooden board with sausages, cold cuts, cheeses, cold meats, hams, pickled vegetables, spreads and other snacks. It is served with bread so that diners can prepare their sandwiches to taste.
It began as a traditional dish of Austrian farmers made up of minced meat, ham, bacon, cheese and bread, but it became popular in the rest of the country where it is served at gatherings and parties.
A typical brettljause might have sliced presswurst, thinly sliced cold pork roast, thinly sliced black pudding, thin slices of cured and smoked pork, among other ingredients.
It also usually contains bell peppers (red, yellow, green) in strips, pickled gherkins in thin strips, grated horseradish, red onion rings, chopped hard-boiled eggs, verhackert (bacon jam), liptauer (spiced cream cheese), bread and parsley to decorate
Austrians have a wide variety of cookies and treats to eat at Christmas and vanillekipferl is one of the most popular. They are crescent-shaped and can be found all year round in bakeries and cafes around the country.
They are prepared with a dough made with flour, egg, sugar, butter and grated nuts, particularly almonds.
First, a small ball is made with a quantity of dough the size of a walnut and then a small stick of 8 to 10 mm in diameter, which is shaped like a half moon. They are baked and eaten with a sprinkle of vanilla sugar.
Some recipes use egg yolk and others do not. This ingredient helps vanillekipferl gain and hold shape, but makes them less soft. Apart from almonds, grated hazelnuts or peanuts are used.
Powidl is an Austrian sweet from Yiddish gastronomy similar to jam, but without sugar, sweeteners, or stabilizers. It is made with very ripe plums. The original recipe does not contain sugar.
The plums must be cooked for many hours so that the preparation reaches the necessary texture and sweetness, without having to add anything else. The fruits used are harvested as late as possible to ensure that they contain the maximum of natural sugars.
If it is packed in its traditional hermetically sealed jars, it will be preserved for a long time.
The word “powidl” comes from the Czech word, “povidla”, which means, “to tell stories”.
The process of making the candy was so long that the adults took the opportunity to tell stories to the children. It was traditionally prepared in large quantities in autumn to be consumed in winter as a sweetener and as a spread on bread.
Krautfleckerl is a typical dish of Austrian and Czech cuisine based on cabbage and fleckerl pasta.
This pasta is in the form of slightly arched squares and is traditional in Viennese cuisine. It is similar to Italian quadrucci pasta.
Caramelize sugar with powdered caraway seeds and add butter, onion, garlic and chopped cabbage. Add the fleckerl pasta previously cooked al dente in salted water.
Krautfleckerl is a classic of Austrian cuisine whose preparation with another type of short pasta does not give the same result. It is as if the fleckerl pasta squares had been invented especially for this recipe.
Germanic cuisine dumplings tasted as a garnish in soups, which can be made of potatoes, flour, semolina, fish and many other foods likely to stick together in meatballs. They are cooked in boiling water or steamed.
In Austria, potato balls filled with both savory ingredients (ham, bacon, meat) and sweet ingredients (jam, plum and other fruits) are typical.
The salty ones are eaten as a garnish in meat dishes and as added to broths. Sweets are eaten as a snack or dessert.
The huge variety of kloß includes those made with buckwheat or buckwheat, bread, matzo (flat bread), liver, apricots, plums, apples, cottage cheese, mushrooms, and even blood.
14. Viennese sausages
Viennese sausages are an iconic dish of typical Austrian food.
It is believed that the sausage was created in the Middle Ages, but not in Vienna, but in the German city of Frankfurt. Another version suggests that the Vienna-based German cook, Johann Georg Lahner, invented it at the beginning of the 19th century, calling it “Frankfurt sausage”, a name with which the Viennese did not agree.
This symbol of the Austrian capital is made from beef and pork and is smoked at low temperatures. There is a 100% beef version for people who don’t eat pork.
They are eaten on their own, with hot rolls, or as components of various recipes.
15. Linzer Cake
Linzer is a sweet cake typical of Austrian and Hungarian cuisine, similar to pastafrola. It is distinguished by the lattice of dough that it carries on the surface.
There is a recipe that dates back to 1653, which makes it the oldest documented pastry formula in the world.
The recipe book belonged to Countess Anna Margarita Sagramosa, a lady of the 17th century aristocracy. It is preserved in the Admont Abbey archives (Austria) after being discovered in 2005.
The linzertorte dough, as it is also known, contains ground nuts such as hazelnuts and a filling of currant, strawberry, raspberry, plum or apricot jam.
It is typical of the state of Upper Austria and according to one version, it took the name of its capital, Linz, so it would also be the oldest cake bearing the name of a place.
Another account indicates that it was invented by a Viennese confectioner named Linzer, although this version has not been able to be traced historically. What is proven is that it was popularized by the confectioner, Johann Konrad Vogel, at the beginning of the 18th century.
16. Salzburger Nockerlin
Sweet soufflé invented in the early 17th century by Salome Alt, mistress of Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Prince Archbishop of Salzburg.
To prepare it, egg whites are beaten with sugar and then egg yolks, a little wheat flour and vanilla sugar are added little by little.
3 balls of dough are made and conical shaped before baking in a greased pan.
They are served hot and dusted with icing sugar, as they collapse on cooling. The 3 cones symbolize the 3 snowy mountains of Saltburg (Kapuzinerberg, Mönchberg and Gaisberg).
In some Austrian cafes and restaurants they are served with a warm raspberry sauce.
Tyrolean gray cheese is a typical dairy product from the Austrian area of Tyrol, made from cow’s milk produced in the North and East Tyrol regions.
It is made from sour curds washed with Penicillium fungi during aging, one that invades the cheese by penetrating deep inside and giving the soft, grainy product its characteristic greenish-gray color.
It is an acid and intense cheese that is usually eaten with red onion and beers. It has a protected designation of origin in Europe.
Another way to eat it in Tyrol is with black bread and equal amounts of cheese and butter, which provides good calories on cold days.
It is a basic ingredient in the preparation of cheese balls and Zillertal donuts, a kind of donut made with flour, milk, butter, potato and graukäse.
18. Tiroler Grostl
Tyrolean potato sauté is a typical dish from Austria and northern Italy, especially Bolzano, to which pieces or strips of pork or beef are added, usually leftovers from a previous meal.
A fried egg is placed on top of the gröstl tiroler ration and accompanied by cabbage and a salad of beets and green leaves.
In Tyrol it is customary to prepare it on Monday with leftovers from the Sunday roast.
With fresh meat, the recipe can be made with beef fillets in combination with thickly sliced bacon.
It bears some resemblance to the farmer’s breakfast, a typical German dish of leftover meat and eggs.
Schlutzkrapfen is the name given in the Austrian state of Tyrol to the stuffed pasta similar to ravioli, which the Italians call mezzelune. Fillings can include cheeses, nuts, vegetables, and other ingredients.
The dough is prepared with rye flour, wheat flour, egg, oil, warm water and salt.
Among the ingredients that can be included in the filling are beef, potato, cooked spinach, onion, garlic, cottage cheese, butter, grated Parmesan cheese, green onion, nutmeg, poppy seeds, freshly ground pepper and salt.
The dish is an icon of South Tyrolean cuisine where it is eaten with different fillings, according to the gastronomic tradition of each locality.
20. Tyrolean Melchermuas
It is a typical Tyrolean farm meal originally prepared for farm workers.
The melchermuas used to be cooked over an open fire in the mountain huts, eating directly from the iron skillet.
They are made with flour, butter, milk and salt, plus cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling.
Melt a portion of butter and add milk, flour and salt to taste, forming a thick dough, so thick that a spoon gets stuck. The dough is divided into portions that are fried in butter.
Tyrolean peasants and highlanders still eat melchermuas as a snack, dessert and side dish, although many now prepare the recipe on the stove rather than over a wood fire.
Buchteln is a typical Austrian sweet pastry filled with jam or chocolate, which came to the country from Bohemia.
The most famous are those of the Café Hawelka (Dorotheergasse 6, Vienna), an establishment founded in 1939 that prepares them with a secret recipe.
The dough is made with plain flour, icing sugar, milk (whole or skim), egg, butter and fresh yeast. It is stretched, squared, stuffed and folded at the corners before baking.
In some regions, the filling may contain cottage cheese and fresh plum. They are eaten adding a warm vanilla sauce. There is also a version without filling (just the sweet dough) that is eaten with sauerkraut.
Käsespätzle is a specialty of the cuisine of the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and other European regions and nations (Swabia, Liechtenstein, Switzerland). It consists of flakes of pasta with cheese that is eaten as a single dish or side dish.
The pasta is prepared with wheat flour, milk, egg and salt. The homemade version of the flakes is achieved by passing the dough through the large holes of a pasta strainer, so that it drops into boiling water.
The pasta flakes have grated hard cheese on top and the preparation is baked until melted. Roasted onions are also added and they are accompanied with potato and green leaf salads.
In a variant from Upper Styria and Salzburg, the käsespätzle is made in a frying pan.
23. Tyrolean Apfelküchle
Apfelküchle is a traditional German and Tyrolean dish consisting of fried apple slices with a layer of dough. It is eaten in Austria during the fruit harvest as a main dish, side dish and dessert.
The apples are cut into slices, removing the seeds and the fibrous part. The rings are immersed in a preparation of milk, eggs, sugar and salt and fried in enough oil until golden brown on both sides.
It is a recipe from Germany that is well known in Baden-Wuerttemberg, from where it spread to Austria, other European nations and the United States, where it is very popular among communities of Germanic heritage.
Austrian gastronomy cake traditionally consumed on the first Sunday of Lent, in a celebration called Funkensonntag or Spark Sunday.
On this first Sunday after Ash Wednesday, Austrians say goodbye to winter and eat funkaküachle around a fire for the occasion.
It is prepared by making a dough with wheat flour, yeast, egg yolks, milk, liquid butter, sugar and salt, optionally adding a splash of rum.
The dough is left to rest and then stretched to a thickness of 1 cm before being cut into discs of the desired diameter, ones which are fried in oil on both sides until light brown.
It is common to eat the cake with blueberry jam, sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon.
25. Wiener Melange
The weiner melange or Viennese mix is a coffee similar to cappuccino, an icon of Vienna. It is made with a smooth grain espresso topped with hot, creamy milk and milk foam.
It is drunk by first sipping the foam and served on an individual tray with a glass of water, which the consumer drinks to cleanse their palate.
Written records indicate that preparation began in the mid-20th century in Vienna. The term “melange” comes from the French word “méler”, which means “to mix”.
This classic Viennese coffee is sweetened according to personal preference and is a popular accompaniment to Austrian desserts.
What is the typical Austrian dish?
The wiener schnitzel or Viennese escalope is probably the most representative dish of Austrian cuisine.
The first historical record of the recipe dates back to 1148 when it was described in Latin as “lumbulus cum panicio”, equivalent to “loin with bread”. This document is preserved in the Chapter Archive of the Basilica of Saint Ambrose, in Milan.
How do you eat in Austria?
Austrians are big eaters of pork, beef, cured meats (especially Viennese sausages), hams, cold cuts, potatoes (in salad, sautéed, in meatballs), bread dumplings, pasta (plain and stuffed) and cabbage.
They have a wide assortment of cakes, cookies, apple puddings and assorted sweets, which they prepare in abundance at Christmas.
How much does a meal cost in Vienna?
A plate of wiener schnitzel, Austrian gastronomic jewel and favorite food of the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Franz Joseph I, costs from 6 euros in Vienna, depending on the restaurant and not including drinks and surcharges.
Some food places in the Austrian capital that offer Viennese escalope at good prices (between 6 and 10 euros) are: Strandcafé Wien (Florian-Berndl-Gasse 20), Kriterium 2 (Ebendorferstraße 10), Café Einstein (Rathausplatz 4) and Michls Café (Reichsratsstraße 11).
Typical Austrian drink
Grüner Veltliner, a white wine made from the green grape variety of the same name, is considered the national drink of Austria.
The grape is the most harvested in the country, representing about 1/3 of the surface of vineyards, almost all planted in the northeast of the republic.
Grüner Veltliner wines offer aromas of citrus fruit, stone fruit and white pepper to the nose. Notes of toast and honey develop over time. They are available at prices from 10 euros a bottle.
Typical Austrian food: other traditional drinks
Apart from the grüner veltliner, Austria produces other excellent white wines such as Riesling (Wachau region), Sauvignon Blanc (Styria), Chardonnay, Weissburgunder and Schilcher.
The production of dark wines is less, but with magnificent references such as Zweigelt, St. Lauren and Blaufränkisch, while in sweet wines Trockenbeerenauslese and Beerenauslese stand out.
The Almdudler is a non-alcoholic herbal drink second only to Coca Cola in popularity.
Austrian typical products
Austria is the European country with the highest percentage of organically cultivated agricultural land, which produces cereals (wheat, rye), potatoes, carrots, onions, perishable vegetables, fruits and other items.
The raising of cattle, pigs and poultry is also powerful in the country, as well as dairy and eggs.
Grüner Veltliner wine, Almdudler soft drink and beer are the great national drinks.
Typical Austrian ingredients
Austria produces a wide range of vegetables, greens, tubers, cereals, aromatic herbs and fruits, which are typical ingredients of its cuisine.
Viennese sausages, the nation’s symbolic cured meat, are a component of many dishes, as are cheeses, especially graukäse.
How did you find this article about typical Austrian food? If you liked it, share it with your friends and friends.
- Click here to know the 20 dishes of typical Romanian food that you must try
- Also read our guide on the 10 best types of white wines you should try
- Get to know the 40 typical German foods that you must try