Food and Drinks

Food you have to try in Vienna

During your travels, you have surely tasted many special dishes that left a deep impact on you… and on return, you‘ve probably tried to recreate some of them for special occassions to the delight of your friends or family, who still speak of them.

Which are the most loved classics in Vienna? We reveal it on our blog.

Many recipes and dishes that are considered typical Austrian specialities would probably never have found their way into Austrian cookbooks without the influence of other European cultures. The recipes, discovered by various Austrians abroad, were brought to Austria and changed, refined and adapted to the Austrian palate. The cookbooks of typical Austrian cuisine are like a walk through European cultural history. Bon appetit!


Viennese goulash is really one the typical dishes of classic Viennese cuisine. It‘s a stew of meat, usually with hot peppers and other spices. Its origins date back to the 9th century, when Hungarian shepherds made the stew. In Vienna, the former center of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, a special kind of goulash was developed, which has more onions but no tomatoes or other vegetables. A variant of the Viennese goulash is Fiakergulasch, which is served with a fried egg, bratwurst and a bread dumpling.

Tip: Goulash can be eaten with noodles (spaetzle, or galuska) or with potatoes.

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Soups play a big role in Austrian cuisine, and Grießnockerl soup, a clear beef broth with semolina dumplings, is the favourite. The preference of the Habsburg dynasty for soups of all kinds can be traced back to the 16th century. The most popular is a clear beef broth with countless variations with vegetables, dumplings or other additions.

Tip: Find your favourite additions - semolina dumplings, vegetables, shredded crepes  or liver dumplings.

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It‘s the top hit in Vienna, but it actually originated in Venice. Italian chefs baked meat in white bread crumbs back in the 16th century, as did the Jewish population in Constantinople. According to legend, the breaded escalope found its way to Austria around 1857 with the Austrian Field Marshal Radetzky, who had defeated the Italian Revolution in Lombardo-Venice in 1848-49, as Commander General of the Austrian army. We can still feel the influence of the monarchy, for without Emperor Franz Joseph we would not be able to enjoy this fine speciality today.

Tip: In the city centre, you can find a restaurant on every corner for your Schnitzel experience. You can usually choose between different potato dishes and rice as sides.

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You can‘t visit Vienna without tasting Tafelspitz! Did you know that Tafelspitz is closely linked to the history of Viennese cuisine, in which cooked beef plays an important role? Beef, which came to Vienna from the Pannonian steppes of Hungary, has been cooked in large quantities since the Middle Ages and was eaten by the upper classes. But it was considered "bland", as hours of cooking destroyed much of the flavour, so it was cooked with spicy ingredients such as halved onions and peppercorns and served with leeks and horseradish. Aristocratic circles, however, preferred roasts. Only when Emperor Franz Joseph I. pronounced that Tafelspitz was one of his favorite dishes and made cooked beef a fixture of his private dinners, did it become socially acceptable. Today, it is an indispensable part of the menu at banquets.

Tip: It is a perfect fit with Grießnockerl soup, as the two can be cooked together

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Knödel (Dumpling)

Austrian dumplings can be boiled or baked. The oldest pictorial representation of dumplings dates back to the 12th century in South Tyrol. Making dumplings is great because you can fill them with whatever you want. They can be served as sides, in soups, or even as dessert (e.g. filled with fruit).

Tip:        The star of Austrian cuisine - also for vegeterians and vegans thanks to the huge number of variations.

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This meat loaf is served as a hot snack. Who invented it? Its origins go back to Bavaria in Germany. In 1776, Charles Theodoe, Elector of Bavaria, came from the Palatinate to Bavaria. He was accompanied by his personal butcher. One day, he came up with the idea of baking finely chopped pork and beef in loaves of bread, inventing what is now known as Leberkäse. It is usually served with a roll, with or without fried egg, roast potatoes or spinach as a main course. A specialty is Leberkäse with horse meat, which you can get at Naschmarkt and many other places in Vienna.

Tip:        If you‘re in a hurry, you can get a streetfood version to go at one of the many sausage vendors.