Austrian food is hearty and traditional; often of good quality, it makes use of local and seasonal ingredients. For ready-made snacks, try a bakery (Bäckerei), confectioner’s (Konditorei), or local market. Fast food centres on the Würstelstand, which sells hot dogs, Bratwurst (grilled sausage), Käsekrainer (spicy sausage with cheese), Bosna (spicy, thin Balkan sausage) and Currywurst. In Kaffeehäuser or cafés and bars you can get light meals and snacks starting at about €7; daily specials (under €10) and lunchtime set menus (Tages- or Mittagsmenü) are usually good value. Pizza and burgers are cheaper than main dishes (Hauptspeisen; €10–18) such as schnitzel (tenderized veal or pork): Wienerschnitzel is fried in breadcrumbs, Jägerschnitzel is served with a sauce (usually mushroom or tomato). There is usually something available for vegetarians- often Käsespätzle, similar to macaroni cheese. Two seasonal ingredients worth trying in spring and early summer are Bärlauch (wild garlic), delicious in soups and pasta sauces, and Spargel (asparagus), typically the white variety and served with hollandaise.

Drink

For Austrians, daytime drinking traditionally centres on the Kaffeehaus, a relaxed place serving alcoholic and soft drinks, snacks and cakes, plus a wide range of coffees: a Schwarzer is small and black; a Brauner comes with a little milk; a Melange is half coffee, half milk; a Verlängerter is an espresso diluted with hot water; an Einspänner is a glass of black coffee topped with whipped cream (schlag). Coffee is pricey in a kaffeehaus (€3-5 a cup), though for this you can linger for hours. Most cafés also offer a tempting array of freshly baked cakes and pastries, as do Café-Konditorei (café-patisseries), where the cakes take centre stage.

Night-time drinking centres on bars and cafés, although traditional Bierstuben and Weinstuben are still thick on the ground. Austrian beers are good quality: most places serve the local brew on tap, either by the Krügerl (half-litre, €3.50-5), Seidel (third-litre, €2-4) or Pfiff (fifth-litre, €1-3). The local wine, drunk by the Viertel (25cl mug) or the Achterl (12.5cl glass), is often excellent. The Weinkeller is the place to go for this, or, in the wine-producing areas, a Heuriger or Buschenschank – a traditional tavern, usually serving cold food as well.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Austria features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The surprising history of sex in Central Europe

The surprising history of sex in Central Europe

So what is it that draws us to Vienna? The waltzes? The white horses? The cakes? Let’s be honest, it’s the sex. Sex, that is, in the best possible taste:…

30 Nov 2016 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
Austria's KäseStrasse: the hike that's a cheese-lover's dream

Austria's KäseStrasse: the hike that's a cheese-lover's dream

Despite the name, Bregenzerwald’s KäseStrasse (Cheese Street) in Austria’s Vorarlberg region is not a marked route along a specific road. Instead it deno…

02 Nov 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs