Hello, it’s Andria. I can’t believe I can visit Austria. Yes!! Grateful, I am so lucky. I spent four days in Vienna and three days in Salzburg with my hubby and daughter.
Austria is famous for its natural beauty. It’s true; I witness it through my eyes . It’s beautiful and stunning, just like the pictures on the laptop screen saver or postcard. You will never get bored to see and enjoy this beauty landscape, especially if you come from Asia “big” city like me.
It has been my principle in travelling that seeing the sight is important but having the authentic food experience is also equally important.
Before arriving in Vienna, I had no idea what Austrian food looks like, but as you scroll down to the city and pass some cafes and restaurants, It will be easy to guess, as it is written a lot on the board menu or ‘today’s special day meal’. Again, I felt so lucky to have had opportunities to taste authentic Austrian national dishes as well as some Austrian street food and seasonal food that only available during the Christmas Market.
So let’s begin this culinary tour and get ready to be mouth watering and hungry soon 🙂.
Austrian breakfast is simple, light and “cold”. It is similar with “Continental breakfast” as available in many (international) hotels. Coffee, fruit juice, fresh rolls, butter and berries jam, hard-boiled egg, some ham and cheese are often had in Austrian style breakfast. It will be slightly different if you have a breakfast buffet like we had, there will be more options of breads/rolls, butter and berry jams, cold cuts/meat (ham, bacon), sausages, egg both boiled and scrambled, muesli (often 2-3 options), yogurt, tomatoes, cucumbers, some variety of cheese, cakes and pastries, and a some fruits such as Melon/honey dew, pineapple or fruit cocktail.
Coffee is a must because tea is not part of Austrian culture (to know more about this read: Austria versus Tea). Since I don’t really like black coffee I always make Wiener Melange, which is a mixture of black coffee (espresso) and steamed milk or milk foam with a ratio of 1:1. It tastes like cappuccino or maybe in my opinion, Wiener Melange is the Austrian term for Cappuccino :).
Since we always had breakfast in the hotel, Christmas Market (Christkindlmarkt) were our option for lunch, sometimes dinner or just had a break for snacks or hot drinks because the temperature range was below 5C degrees almost every day. We visited three Christkindlmarkt: Rathausplatz (the biggest), Maria-Theresien-Platz and the one in front of the Schönbrunn Palace.
So, what kind of local food that we had taste there?
Hot punch or Mulled Wine
There are several variants of hot punch, but in general, they use wine (red or white), tea, sugar or brown sugar and spices such as cinnamon, lemon as basic ingredients. Some used Cranberry juice so it called Hot Berry Punch, or if you use Rhum then it is called Hot Rhum punch. With €4 or €5 you can buy a mug of hot spiced punch (or equally delicious mulled wine) to warm you up. Keep the mug to take home as a souvenir, or return it to the bar and get your €2.5 deposit back. They also have hot punch for kids, which is without wine/alcohol and the price is cheaper (€3).
Langos is originally from Hungary but widely available in Austria especially in the Christkindlmarkt food stall. Langos is a deep fried flat bread, made of a dough with flour, yeast, salt and water. For my Indonesian friends, it taste like “Cakue” but less oily. You can eat plain or you can top on with a spread of butter garlic or sour cream and/or cheese.
Bratwurst or Knackwurst, Debreziner (spicy) or Käsekrainer (cheesy), you can choose what-ever you like. All nice but yes, fatty :).
Goulash Soup in Bread.
Goulash is also a Hungarian food – a soup or stew of meat with/without vegetables, seasoned with paprika/pepper and other spices. Goulash is a popular meal in Central meal in Central Europe, Scandinavia and Southern Europe. For my Indonesian friends, the taste of Goulash is a bit similar with Oxtail soup aka Sop Buntut but the soup is ticker and darker because of the paprika powder and tomato paste. It’s fresh, delectable and perfect for winter food.
Baked potato with (blue) cheese
Made from baked potatoes, cut into two, sprinkle with ham, sweet corn and onion (but I don’t like onion) and top with cheese and sour cream. Since the potato is very hot, the cheese will be melting and blending to potato. Yummy!
Austrian sweet ball : Topfennockerl.
Slice pork with horseradish. I didn’t remember the name of this food, but the taste was nice. Sliced pork with herb, cumin and horseradish. Again, for my Indonesian friends, this food was taste just like Sang-sang but without lard 🙂
There are many more food sold in the Christkindlmarkt such as stollen (christmast fruit cake), gingerbread; prettily shaped icing confections to hang from the tree – ooh they are too pretty to be eaten, honey, pretzel, German bread, etc, and it was too much to eat J but for sure you won’t be finding any salads at the Christkindlmarkt, and pretty much everything on sale involves dumplings and pork in some way.
In every single trip, we usually planned to have a dinner in the local restaurant that served authentic local food. As we didn’t have time to do it in Vienna, then we did it in Salzburg.
(Gasthaus Zwettler’s Stiftskeller (Zwettler’s Stiftskeller Restaurant)
Address: Kaigasse 3, Salzburg (very close to Mozart Plazt);
During the trip, after reading some review on Tripadvisor, we choose this restaurant because of its good location, price and of course the taste. As this place is always full, please make reservation in advance as we did. So what we ordered?
Kaseknodeln (Cheese dumpling with clear soup).
Wienner Snithzel (must eat)
Wiener schnitzel is the national dish of Austria It is a thin, breaded and deep fried schnitzel from veal (beef, pork or chicken) It belongs to the best known specialties of Viennese cuisine. The dish is traditionally served with Kopfsalat (lettuce tossed with a sweetened vinaigrette dressing, potato saladand a slice of lemon to give the bread crumbs more taste. Though in my opinion the Schnitzel was delicious; the buttery crispy was outstanding and the meat was super soft, but my husband was just said it was same with “chicken strips” from the famous fast food restaurant for fried chicken. Hahaha, he must be quite disapointed and wished order something else.
Sachertorte (must eat)
Perhaps this is the most famous chocolate cake from Austria. Torte means Cake/Tart. Sachertorte is a chocolate sponge cake with apricot jam coated by dark chocolate icing and eaten with whipped cream. This cake is invented by the head chef of the Sacher hotel in Vienna.
It is believed that in the early decades of the twentieth century, a legal battle over the use of the label “The Original Sacher Torte” developed between the Sacher Hotel and the Demel bakery. Eduard Sacher, son of Franz Sacher, the inventor of Sachertorte, had completed his own recipe of his father’s cake during his time at Demel, which was the first establishment to offer the “Original” cake. Demel, the is a famous pastry shop and chocolatier in Vienna which founded in 1786. Well, it’s not important for us, as we haven’t taste the Sachertorte from both of them and the one that we had from from Zwettlers is delicious.
And we did not forget to taste Austrian beer!
Austrians are the world’s fourth most assiduous beer drinkers; they drink beer more than Wine. They even designed the special glass for beer – ooh that ‘why some of Austrian souvenir is Beer mug or glass.
And the last was the Apple Applestrudel (must eat)
Strudel means a layered. Its layers of thin pastry surrounding a filling of apple usually with raisin and cinnamon. Applestrudel is served in slices, sprinkled with sugar powder, with some options of topping that you can choose: Vanilla Ice cream, whipped cream or warm vanilla sauce.
We didn’t eat the strudel in Zwettlers but had one in Braun Konditorei in a small city called Mondsee during the stop on a Sound of music Tour that we did during in Salzburg. The taste was delicious, fresh, not as sweet as I imagined and blended with milky vanilla sauce. Ooh so delicious. In Braun also ordered Sachertorte, hot chocolate and Melange. Because the place is in a very touristy location, the price is slightly higher, but not too bad.
As mentioned above, Demel is a famous pastry shop and chocolatier in Vienna, Austria, which was founded in 1786. It has the best pastry display, and beautiful packaging if you order to go, that’s why its always pack with tourist.
Since the café area is quite small and always full (you have to queue to have seats), it is better to order cake/sweets for take away and enjoy it on a bench in front of the Holfburg Palace.
Beside all places that I mentioned above, there are 2 more places that we checked for brunch and lunch.
Anker is a popular chain of bakeries found all over Austria, especially in Vienna. it’s easily found in Metro and/or train Station.
Nordsee is a German fast food restaurant chain, specializing in seafood, It provides wide variety seafood meals such as fish sandwiches, seafood salads, pasta with shrimp and also other seafood processed food such as fish nugget, tempura, ect.
The pasta with shrimp, fish and chips, fish nugget and some of raw-fish sandwich that we tasted were nice, and they also have meal for kids package. If you come during lunch time, get ready for long line :). Ahh … I wished Nordsee still open in Cyprus.
hmmm… seems we’re too much eating in Austria, hope it doesn’t makes me need one size up jeans. Oops, just realized that we missed to taste Mozartkugeln, the Salzburg Chocolate ball. It’s a pistachio marzipan covered in a layer of nougat, then coating by dark chocolate. The famous but not expensive one is Mirabell brand, It’s sold anywhere especially in a gift shop. But psst, it’s not the original one, since it is sold for gift or souvenir :).
Thank you for reading and we’ll back with our stories in Vienna, Salzburg and Sound of Music tour .