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Eating Like A Local in Vienna (What to Eat in Vienna, Austria)

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As most of you know probably know by now, I have a very healthy relationship with food. If you can call devouring everything tasty and spending 80% of my wages and travel fund on food, healthy. Hence I wanted to leave Vienna having discovered what to eat in Vienna and Austria.

In Vienna I stayed with the very first couchsurfers I ever hosted, over two years ago.

And the best thing about staying with locals is that they know all of the local food and the best places to get it. It’s a lot easier to avoid that tourist trap of a restaurant if you have a local showing you where to eat.

Lucky for me, Lukas and Steffi have a similar relationship with food. In the same way as me, they prioritise food when they travel which I think is an awesome thing. Thus when I asked them what to eat in Vienna, they had a huge list of different dishes and different restaurants that they were hoping to take me to during my stay.

Most of our days were planned around eating somewhere or a particular dish, and that was totally fine with me!

So I think this guide to what to eat in Vienna is pretty thorough!

What to Eat in Vienna, Austria- Main Dishes

Cordon Bleu

what to eat in Vienna

The first thing you need to know about typical Austrian food is that it isn’t exactly what you would call healthy. It mostly consists of meat and carbs.

Cordon Bleu is a dish that consists of a massive schnitzel stuffed with cheese and ham. It is usually so massive that it’s a challenge to eat it all. If you have this for lunch, chances are you won’t need dinner at all.

The thought of so much meat and cheese had me feeling a bit reluctant to eat this, but once I took my first bite I was in heaven. It was soooo juicy, nothing like the terribly dry schnitzels that I’ve broken my jaw on in Australian pubs.

The Austrians know how to cook their meat!

 

Where to eat it:

Gasthaus Josefstadt

Florianigasse 43, 1080
01 4099883 —> reservation recommended in summer

(near subway „U6 Josefstädter Straße“ or „U2 Rathaus“ … in between)

Leberkäse

 

what to eat in Vienna

There really is no other way to describe this dish than Austrian ‘spam’. While this doesn’t come in a can, it does have the same consistency and gelatinous look of spam.

To say I was reluctant to eat this was an understatement. At first glance it didn’t appeal to me at all.

But my friends harped on about how good it was and that I absolutely needed to try it. So we went to one of the most famous Leberkase stalls in Vienna and order three of them.

They come stuffed with all kinds of flavours. Between the three of us we ordered the Leberkase with cheese, Leberkas with chilli and the Leberkase with roasted onions, bacon and chilli. The best way to eat it is in a roll with pickles.

This dish reminded me that looks aren’t everything. It ended up being one of my favourite Austrian dishes. It was super delicious!

 

Where to eat it:

Leberkas-Pepi

Operngasse 12, 1010 Wien

(closed on Sundays and holidays)

opposite of the opera

(near subway „U1/U2/U4 Karlsplatz“)

Bosna

what to eat in Vienna

A bosna is a typical Austrian street food. You’ll often find drunk people lining up at midnight at a bosna stand to devour this particular snack.

A bosna is basically a grilled sausage stuffed in a hot dog bun with onions and a curry powder sauce.

I wasn’t that enamoured with this dish when I first tried it in Vienna. But I had one of the best ones in Salzburg at the ‘Witch’s Hut’, and it made me fall in love with this simple, cheap and delicious dish. If you can find one with a good sausage and loaded with onions it will be super delicious.

Where to eat it:

Zum kleinen Sacher (Sausage stand „the small Sacher”)

subway station U6 Thaliastraße

 

Geröstete Knödel (Roasted dumplings)

what to eat in Vienna

Huge potato and bread dumplings are a staple of the Austrian diet. It’s basically mashed potato or breadcrumbs combined with stuff to form a big ball of deliciousness.

This particular dish is when the dumplings are roasted and then fried off with eggs and onions.

I had lots of dumplings during my stay in Vienna and although I did prefer the smaller ones, they are still pretty yummy. You are bound to eat them as they come served as a side dish with many typical Austrian meals.

They are also a great vegetarian option!

 

Where to eat it:

Gasthaus Josefstadt

Florianigasse 43, 1080
01 4099883 —> reservation recommended in summer

(near subway „U6 Josefstädter Straße“ or „U2 Rathaus“ … in between)

 

Gansl (Goose)

what to eat in Vienna

This is a particular dish that you can only really find in November/early December.

Goose is served specifically to celebrate the holiday of St Martin’s Day.

Goose is something I’ve never even thought about trying. But after eating live octopus in South Korea, there isn’t much that I’m not willing to try.

This dish ended up being my favourite meal of the whole trip.

I’ve been told by my friends that Goose needs to be cooked perfectly otherwise its terribly dry and not very tasty at all. Lucky for us, the goose at the particularly local restaurant we went to, wasn’t just cooked well, but was the best goose that my friends have had.

The dish was so full of flavour, and had this almost salty taste to it. As a universal lover of everything with salt involved, I was in my happy place whilst eating this dish. Especially when I could drown it in the gravy/jus that is served with it. This particularly sauce is made from the leftover fat after cooking it, and only made the dish that more delicious.

It came served with the typical side dishes of red cabbage, cabbage and potato and bread dumplings. And the apparently not so typical side dish of lentils.

We also ordered the goose soup which was also tasty, but no where near as delicious as the main course. I’d probably skip this one in the future to make more room for goose!

what to eat in Vienna

 

 

Where to eat it:

Zum Alten Beisl („the old Beisl“)

Rotenhofgasse 4, 1100 Wien

(near subway „U1 Reumannplatz“)

01 6027879 —> reservation recommended

 

 

Hirschbraten mit Knödel, Rotkraut und Preiselbeeren (roasted stag/deer with bread dumpling, red cabbage and low bush cranberry)

 

what to eat in Vienna

Another upside to visiting Vienna and Austria in the winter, is that it is the season where you will find deer served in many of the small Austrian restaurants.

This was, after the Goose, my favourite meal in Austria. I’ve never had much of an opportunity to eat deer before and I was expecting a very gamey taste. Instead the deer meat was super soft and cooked to perfection. Combined with the stew type gravy and I was in food heaven.

It’s a very red meat, so expect to feel almost like you are eating beef. If you are travelling to Austria in winter, I’d recommend putting this at the top of your food list!

 

Where to eat it:

Gasthaus Josefstadt

Florianigasse 43, 1080
01 4099883 —> reservation recommended in summer

(near subway „U6 Josefstädter Straße“ or „U2 Rathaus“ … in between)

 

 

Schweinsbraten (Roast Pork)

what to eat in Vienna

 

This dish, if done well, should be juicy and soft.

Unfortunately the first one I ate was a little bit disappointing and put me off ordering this dish again.

But when we went to another restaurant on Friday night, my friend ordered it and let me try some of his. It was absolutely delicious! I had such food envy, wish I would have ordered it for myself. Going back to eat it again is definitely on my to-do list for my next trip to Vienna!

what to eat in Vienna

 

Where to eat it:

Am Nordpol 3 (Czech/Bohemian/Austrian cuisine)

Nordwestbahnstraße 17, 1020 Wien
01 3335854 —> reservation recommended

 

Leberschoberlsuppe (liver dumpling soup)

 

what to eat in Vienna

Liver isn’t exactly a dish that automatically appeals to me.

But this dish was super tasty, and nothing at all like I’d imagine liver to be.

The broth was full of flavour and the dumplings tasted like any other salty lump of meat that taste amazing when added to a good broth.

 

Grießnockerlsuppe

This soup consists of semolina dumplings in a beefy broth.

It’s a great appetiser dish and if you go to the right place, expect a really good broth with a great balance of flavour.

 

Where to eat it:

Am Nordpol 3 (Czech/Bohemian/Austrian cuisine)

Nordwestbahnstraße 17, 1020 Wien
01 3335854 —> reservation recommended

 

 

Schinkenfleckerl (pasta with Austrian ham)

 

what to eat in Vienna

Pasta? Austrian?

I know what you are thinking. But apparently the ‘bow’ type pasta (as I use to call them as kids) combined with this particular ham is very delicious.

We also had this dish at some famous Austrian chef’s restaurants. He is super down to earth so opens up a cafeteria style restaurant every weekday between 11.30am-1.30pm. It’s very hard to find but when you do it’s a goldmine of cheap and delicious Austrian dishes.

 

Where to eat it:

Minoritenstüberl by Andreas Wojta

Minoritenplatz 5, 1010 Wien

Right behind the Burgtheater (opposite of Rathaus (City Hall))

(near subway „U3 Herrengasse“)

 

Erdäpfelnockerl mit Fenchel-Oberssauce und Räucherlachs (gnocchi with fennel, cream and salmon)

what to eat in Vienna

 

The Austian version of gnocchi is a little different to the Italian version in the sense that it is a little more dense. They obviously go heavy on the potatoes!

You’ll find this dish served with a variety of sauces, but I had an amazing one with fennel, cream and smoked salmon at the same restaurant where we had the great Schweinsbraten.

I absolutely loved this restaurant. It had a really cool vibe going on, and had some delicious meals at really reasonable prices. They even had a menu in English so feel free to ask for it!

Where to eat it:

Am Nordpol 3 (Czech/Bohemian/Austrian cuisine)

Nordwestbahnstraße 17, 1020 Wien
01 3335854 —> reservation recommended

 

Goulash

what to eat in Vienna

 

You’ll find goulash all over this Central Europe. It is super popular in Hungary, Austria and Germany.
Goulash is basically a cross between a stew and a soup and is often made using beef. A good goulash is actually quite spicy, the meat is soft and the sauce is full of flavour.

I had an amazing goulash, but unfortunately you can’t go try that one for yourself, as my friend’s mum made it for us!

It’s often served with little ‘nockerls’ (a smaller version of the Austrian gnocchis but usually not made with potato).

 

What to Eat in Vienna, Austria- Desserts

Of course, Austrian food isn’t just about savoury dishes. There are a wide range of sweet dishes that you should also add to your ‘to eat’ list.

 

Briochekipfer (Brioche Croissant)

what to eat in Vienna

 

Briochekipfer is typically eaten for breakfast with coffee. I’m not a huge fan of croissants to begin with so this dish definitely was not for me.

 

Sachertore

what to eat in Vienna

 

This famous Austrian cake is layers of chocolate cake. If you like chocolate you’ll love this.

I’m not a huge cake person but this one was delicious!

 

Linzer torte

what to eat in Vienna

 

The Linztorte was one of my favourite cakes to eat in Austria. As you might guess from the name it comes from a region in Austria called Upper Austria, in particular its capital city Linz.

It’s a cake made up of nuts and jam. The one we had in Salzburg was absolutely delicious. From the description I expected it to be really dry but instead it was super moist (as any good cake should be) and the jam in it was delicious.

 

Apple Strudel/Curd Strudel

 

what to eat in Vienna

I tried Bavaria’s famous strudel in two different flavours; the classic apple strudel and a curd strudel with cream.

The apple strudel was definitely my favourite! This is a dish not to be missed whilst in Austria or lower Germany.

 

Where to eat it:

Coffee Houses!

Café Hawelka (real old Viennese coffee house)

Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Wien

01 5128230 —> reservation recommended since it’s very crowded

Krapfen

what to eat in Vienna

This was one of my favourite desserts in all of Austria. It’s basically a fluffy donut filled with apricot jam! Delicious!

Where to Eat It:

Groissboeck

Various stores. Find out more here: http://groissboeck.at/kontakt/

 

What to Eat in Vienna, Austria- Drinks

 

Gluhwein

what to eat in Vienna gluhwein

 

You’ll only find this particular drink if you travel to Austria in November and December. Gluhwein is hot wine (usually red) this is boiled with lots of wintery spices. It’s a great drink in the winter months, when you might not feel like that ice cold glass of beer.

 

Beer

what to eat in Vienna beer

 

There are many types of Austrian beer that are worth trying. Pretty much every restaurant in Vienna will serve it, just ask for the Austrian beer.

You especially need to drink beer when eating Leberkase, it’s an Austrian tradition. Even tradies/builders start their day with Leberkase and a beer!

Spritzer

what to eat in Vienna spritzer

 

Instead of being called weak for mixing your wine with lemonade or water, in Austria, it’s a common drink.

White wine is mixed with mineral water, so it’s not a sweet drink but it goes down so easily!

 

Lombomba

what to eat in Vienna

 

You’ll also struggle to find this one outside of the Christmas markets. It’s hot chocolate, done Austrian style. Basically that means a creamy hot chocolate topped with cream sprinkled with cinnamon. But what’s special about Lombomba is the shot of rum they pop in it. Delicious!

 

Hot Punsch

Another staple of Christmas in Vienna is hot punch. You’ll find it in a variety of flavours with a variety of spirits. Just pick whatever sounds good for you! I particularly like the elderberry ones.

 

Gluhmost (Hot Cider)

what to eat in Vienna gluhwein

 

Cider is one of my favourite drinks, and hot cider is the perfect solution to European winter. I had the best one at the Old Hospital Christmas Market in Vienna.

 

Schnapps

what to eat in Vienna schnapps

 

Austrians love their schnapps and you’ll find a wide variety of flavours in most restaurants. I particularly love peach schnapps!

Where Should I Stay in Vienna?

If you are a budget traveller or are just looking to make some friends, I always recommend staying at hostels. As I was staying with friends I haven’t stayed at a hostel I can personally recommend, but I heard great things about Wombats.

AirBnB is also a great option if you are on a budget or looking for a bit of space.

For all of your bookings, whether hostel or hotel I always recommend Booking.com, specifically because most of the time you can make a reservation without a deposit and many bookings are fully cancellable and refundable. I love being able to lock in my accomodation early, but then shift things around if my plans change!

Booking.com

 

Do you have any other advice for what to eat in Vienna and Austria? Is there a specific restaurant you would recommend?

Let me know below!

 

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