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Eat & Drink

Austrian cuisine is strongly influenced by the traditions of the individual countries of the former empire. Typical Austrian cuisine maintains a strong influence from Bohemian (now part of the Czech Republic), Hungarian and northern Italian cooking. Each region maintains regional speicialities and local delicacies. 

It is quite common for an Austrian meal to be accompanied by some excellent domestic wine.  Austrian white wine is grown mainly in Styria and Lower Austria, while red wine is mostly produced in Burgenland. Austrian wines frequently receive top recommendations by local and international connoisseurs.


Here is an article featuring Austrian wines:

http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/06/best-austrian-wine-riesling-gruner-vineyards-terry-theise-imports.html

Typical Dishes

A typical winter meal includes a delicious soup.  One important soup that you will always find on the menu card is Frittaten Suppe which is a broth filled with slices of crepes.  The national dish, the Wiener Schnitzel, is quite popular with tourists.  Though the Wiener Schnitzel takes its name from the capital city, it was not originally invented in Vienna, rather it comes from Milan.  The original dish is made of veal meat, but most restaurants serve a version made of pork cutlet.  For side dishes, schnitzel is accomanied by boiled potatos or potato salad.

A significant contribution from Hungarian cuisine is goulash (a beef stew with onion and peppers).  Be aware that if order the same dish in Hungary, it has a different name, namely called a stew.

 

Tafelspitz is a roast of boiled beef, served with soup and side dishes.

 

For hungry pedestrians in the city, there is a quick speciality: an Austrian Würstel.  These sausages are available grilled or boiled and served with mustard, horseradish and bread.  Each sausage stand may serve a selection of sausages, particular classics include the Käsekrainer (sausage filled with small cubes of cheese), Frankfurters (which, outside of Austria is called a ‚Wiener‘), andDebreciner.  The sausage vendors remain open late into the night.

List of hot dog stands in Vienna (in German) >>>

 

Here is an article with recommendations of Vienna’s sausage stands >>>

Heuriger (Winery)

Taverns known as heurigern are an important Austrian institution. In such facilities, wine growers are permitted to pour and sell their own wine and a selection of cold snacks.  The wine of the current year is called "Heuriger", which comes from the Austrian word for "this year". 

 

The opening times of such genuine wine taverns are restricted and the way one knows whether a winery is open or not is whether there is a bouquet of twigs and brances hanging by the entrance.  The name Buschenschank is also used for the wine taverns because of the hanging Buschen (the name of the bouquet of twigs).  This is also where the word "tavern" for the wine taverns. In many tourist areas, restaurants may use the name tavern or Heuriger, but do not sell their own products.

 

List of selected wine tavern in Vienna (in German) 

Viennese Cafe Houses

Café Central Café Central

There are of course coffee houses throughout all of Austria.  Noteably, the Viennese coffee house culture even included by UNESCO in the list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011. Supposedly, the coffee house tradition comes as a result of the Turkish wars.  As legend has it, a few bags of coffee beans were brought into Vienna by the Turkish army. Today, Viennese coffee houses are characterized by an array of regional coffee drinks. The Melange (literally translated to blend), is half coffee and half hot milk, a "Franciscan" is like a Melange, but with the addition of a whipped cream topping, a kleiner/großer Brauner (literally translated to small/large brown one) is a single / double espresso with cream  is, a Verlängerter is a single espresso with cream mixed with an equal part of hot water. A pot of coffee is very un-Austrian.


Viennese coffee houses

 

Recommended coffee shops

 

Viennese coffee house culture


An excellent snack to enjoy with a coffee is the Viennese coffee house speciality, the Sachertorte. This world famous cake consists layers of rich chocolate cake and a spreading  of apricot jam. There are many other pastries to choose from, one timeless favorite is apple strudel.

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