World Cuisine Guide

Austrian Cuisine

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Architectural Detail on
Viennese Building

Austria is a country of about eight million inhabitants situated in Central Europe. Austrian cuisine is rich and diverse, influenced by the foods of the countries that once were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and further enriched by the unique specialties of the provinces that make up the country. The lovely capital, Vienna, has a strong tradition of fine cuisine.

Dining Customs

Typical Austrian meals usually include several courses, including an appetizer, soup and a main dish. Wine or Beer is often served with meals.

Austrians dine in the Continental manner, holding the fork in the left hand and cutting with the right. If you are invited to an Austrian home, be sure to be punctual.

Austrian Dishes

Austrian cuisine is satisfying and robust. Main courses are mainly meat based, accompanied by potatoes or dumplings, and throughout the day, snacks or cakes, such as the wonderful tortes that Vienna is famous for might be eaten.


Leberknödel Suppe - Liver Dumpling Soup

A classic Austrian soup made from clear beef broth with large liver-dumplings.

Meat, Poultry and Game

Wiener Schnitzel - Breaded Veal Cutlet

This famous Austrian dish is said to have originally come from Milan. It is made from veal that is pounded thin, dipped into a mixture of egg and breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown. It is served with a wedge of lemon.

Tafelspitz - Boiled Beef

A traditional Austrian dish of tender boiled beef with apple-horseradish sauce served with home-fried potatoes.

Gulasch - Goulash

Influenced by Hungarian cuisine, with its use of Hungarian dried red pepper, Austrian Gulasch is a stew that can be made from pork, beef, potatoes or a wide variety of other ingredients.

Backhendl - Fried Chicken

Chicken dipped in a mixture of flour, breadcrumbs and beaten egg, and then deep-fried. This dish is usually served with lemon wedges and a green salad. During the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph this dish was a symbol of prosperity in Vienna.

Noodles and Dumplings

Speckknödel - Bacon Dumplings

Large Tyrolean dumplings made with Bauernspeck (Cured, smoked bacon). Served as a main course with a salad.

Semmelknoedel - Bread Dumplings

The popular boiled dumplings are made from Semmel, a type of Viennese roll. They can be served with meal dishes or gulasch.

Boehmische Knoedel - Bohemian Dumplings

Originally from Bohemia, these dumplings are made from stale bread, an egg, and flour. They are shaped into a roll, boiled in water and then sliced. They can be served with meat dishes that have gravy.


Kartoffelsalat - Potato Salad

Potato Salad is a common accompaniment to many Austrian dishes.

Cakes, Pastries and Desserts


There are many variations of this famous cake made from flaky pastry dough and jam, but the lattice-like pattern of dough decorating the top is characteristic.


A classic Viennese chocolate cake layered with apricot glaze and frosted with chocolate glaze.


A Dobostorte is made from layers of vanilla sponge cake and chocolate cream, topped with a caramel glaze.

Apfelstrudel - Apple Strudel

Thin pastry rolled with a filling of apples and raisins.

Salzburger Nockerln - Salzburger Dumplings

A sweet souffle from Salzburg made mostly from egg whites.

Vanillekipferl - Vanilla Crescents

Small iced shortbread crescents with ground almonds mixed into the dough.


Wurst - Sausages

Many types of sausage can be found in Austria, including Frankfurters, Bratwurst, and spicy Hungarian sausages.

Belegte Broetchen - Open-faced Sandwiches

Small open-faced sandwiches with a variety of different toppings.



Austrian vineyards produce fine wines and is especially known for white varieties such as Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. Heuringers, or wine-taverns serve new wine (the term heurig means "this year's") and snacks such as fried chicken.


Austrian coffee is superb and is served in a huge variety of styles, from Melange, which is half steamed milk and topped with whipped cream to Schwarzer, strong black coffee. Vienna is famous for its coffeehouses, where a leisurely afternoon can be spent sipping coffee, eating fine pastries and reading one of the many newspapers available to the patrons.

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