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Austrian cuisine – best dishes

Apart from its delicious cuisine, Austria has many great places and customs that tell the cultural story of the country. Here are some additional resources that you might be interested in:

One of the best ways to observe Austrian culture is by indulging in their traditional cuisine. By getting to know Austrian cuisine, you will get a fuller understanding of life in Austria.

Most popular dishes in Austria

Vienna coffee and cake

Austrian food culture is sophisticated and yet it shares similarities with the traditional cuisines of other nations. The rich Apple Strudel inspired by Turks and sausages from Germany are just some examples of cultures merging together in traditional cuisine.

Austrians enjoy a light breakfast, followed by a large lunch, and a light dinner. Snacks are common since most Austrians have a few hours between meals. One of the most popular snacks is a traditional sausage. Austrians serve sausages in many varieties.

Each region in Austria has it’s own traditional cuisine highlights. However, in modern society many times we hear Austrian cuisine associated with the food served in Vienna.

Let’s look at some of the most famous traditional cuisine dishes in Austria.

Vienna schnitzel

Something that you might find in every corner of Austria is Vienna Schnitzel. This is the national dish of Austria and it even includes name “Vienna” in it.

More commonly you might hear it called “Wienerschnitzel”. It is the most popular dish in Austrian cuisine. Even though each region has it’s own recipe for preparing this traditional dish, it always contains the same base ingredients.

A fillet of veal that has been thinned with a tenderizer, coated with flour, eggs, and bread crumbs. Then it is cooked in oil to reach perfection and served either alone or with a side dish.

Vienna sausages

While you might find Vienna Schnitzel mostly being served in restaurants, this traditional Austrian dish is commonly regarded as street food. Vienna Sausages or Wiener Wurstel are often served in designated stands called “Wurstelstand”.

This dish is usually eaten with mustard but you can choose other sauce as well. Another variety of this traditional dish is Bosna. This is a spicy variety of the same sausage.


Another popular traditional dish in Austria is boiled beef called Tafelspitz. Even though this is not the most common way to cook beef, this savory Austrian dish won’t let you down.

The secret of a good Tafelspitz is a piece of cow’s meet from the lower back. The meat itself is lean with a thin fat layer on its upper part. Usually, it is served in the broth it was boiled in or with roast potatoes.


Nockerl is a special Austrian dish that is hard to find elsewhere. More than 200 years old, Nockerl has been shaping the traditional cuisine in Austria.

Basically, this dish consists of a large dumpling that has been made of either flour, semolina, or soft cheese that are bound together with eggs and milk. It is served either as a sweet dish or as the main dish depending on the additives.

As simple as it sounds, this dish is certainly worth having. There are several varieties of this traditional food, all you have to do is pick one and try it.

Apple strudel

Chances are you have already heard of or even tried this delicious Austrian dessert. Even though it is native to Austrian cuisine, many historians claim that during the Siege of Vienna by the Turks, this dish came to life thanks to Turkish people.

Apple strudel has the same puff pastry used by Turks in baklava. An apple filling is rolled inside of this pastry and topped with a vanilla sauce. The filling is usually enhanced with spices like cinnamon, sugar, and bread crumbs.


This is the Austrian variety of crepes. It is a thick pancake with rum-soaked raisins that is torn to pieces and caramelized in the pan. It is served with plum compote or other jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

This caramelized pancake variety is definitely one of the best comfort foods you will find.

Viennese coffee and chocolate

The art of coffee brewing is very important in Austrian traditional cuisine. The main habit that allowed this coffee culture to evolve is Vienna’s Kaffehaus Kultur. This refers to many hours spent by Austrians in coffee houses engaging in intellectual activities like discussions.

Each house has its own special way of brewing coffee. The premium ones are mostly served with alcohol. As an addition to this coffee, you can have traditional Austrian chocolate that is famous all over the world.

There are even dedicated chocolate shops all over offering a wide variety of Austrian chocolates that you can take with you or enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Austrian cuisine overview

Even though we looked only at several traditional dishes in Austria, these are the most typical ones. By knowing the main traditional dishes, you already got a glimpse into Austrian cuisine and many of its specialties.

Austrians are keen on meat, sweets, and hot beverages. You might have noticed that their traditional dishes are mostly comfort food. This might be due to the climate that makes people crave comfort food for warmth.

Nevertheless, Austria has a lot to offer in terms of variety in traditional cuisine. If you have fallen in love with Austrian cuisine and wish to travel to this country, you might find these articles useful:

Be careful, by traveling to Austria you might fall in love with this place and never come back.

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