Austria dining is a pleasurable experience, provided that you like meat. Vegetarian options are becoming more evident in Austria, but in a country this devoted to meat-based dishes, a certain amount of lassitude is understandable when it comes to radical change. In addition to meat, dumplings and other starchy sides are often the norm, and it's the hearty kind of cuisine that you might expect would be borne out of a mountainous land. After all, you have to keep your strength up in the Austrian Alps. For those who like bread, Austria dining will already have something to satisfy your palate and stomach, and when in Vienna, you have to finish at least one meal with a slice of world-famous Sacher Torte. An enchanting land full of castles and majestic peaks, Austria is a country that begs to be explored, and while your at it, don't forget to also explore the country's culinary side. Austrian food is full of variety, making for one exciting dining adventure after another.
More and more Austria restaurants are serving international fare, but you can still go out and find a bunch of places where traditional Austrian food is on the menu. When the truly authentic Austria restaurants are what you are after, keep your eyes peeled for a Gasthof or Gasthaus. These kinds of establishments tend to offer affordable lunch menus that include soup, the main dish, and sometimes dessert. Soups are popular when it comes to Austria dining, and among the country's favorites are Gulyassuppe and Leberknodlsuppe. The former is a kind of Hungarian goulash, while the latter is comprised of chicken liver-stuffed dumplings and a meaty broth. You will notice with dishes like Gulyassuppe that Austria cuisine is heavily influenced by countries that were once part of its monarchy. These include Hungary, Italy, and the former Bohemia.
It was in Vienna that the face of Austria cuisine was more-or-less shaped and molded, as the country's capital incorporated a range of foreign influences, arriving at its own refined dishes in the end. Wiener Schnitzel, which is breaded and fried veal, is for all intents and purposes a national dish, and it was developed in Vienna. Tafelspitz, which is a dish that consists of boiled beef served with potatoes and plenty of horseradish, is another renowned Vienna dish that you will want to sample. Usually served only on Sundays, it is often accompanied by the all important dumplings. For those who don't know, dumplings are balls of dough that have either been steamed or boiled. When you've finished your main course in Vienna, topping it all off with a slice of that aforementioned Sacher Torte is about as Viennese as it gets. A chocolate torte, Sacher Torte is covered in chocolate icing, and in the middle is rich, apricot jam. Add a dollop of lightly sweetened, freshly whipped cream, and you"re in for a delightful experience.
When it comes to food in Austria, you can definitely enjoy a range of intriguing dining experiences. Goulash, which came from Hungary, is prepared all over Austria, and it's a savory stew of beef that is spiced with paprika. Pork is also used in Goulashes, which definitely hit the spot after a day of skiing. For a different spin on Vienna's Sacher Torte, you can head to Linz to try a version that incorporates a red currant jam instead of apricot jam. Almonds are also added, giving what is called Linzertorte an appeal all its own. In Salzburg, the most renowned dessert specialty is called Salzburger Nockerlin. It is a type of meringue pie, and because of its creamy peaks, it is said to resemble the Alps that dominate the nearby countryside. Though beef and pork seem to reign supreme in Austrian food, fish also has its place. Austrians enjoy fresh fish from the lakes and rivers. The salmon trout that can be caught in Austria's Salzkammergut lake district is something that all fish fans will want to try on an Austria vacation. Salmon trout has a flesh and roe that are quite like those of salmon. Also worth trying when visiting Salzburg or Innsbruck is pheasant, wild boar, and moufflon, which is a peculiar kind of wild sheep.
When it comes to Austria dining, you have to wash it all down with something, and especially in Vienna, wine is common at the table. The Austrian wine region comprises Vienna and various areas both north and south of it. The wines that Austria is putting out seem to only be getting better and better as the craft is continually honed over time. While Austria restaurants in the eastern part of the country tend to serve more wine than beer, beer is often more popular towards the west, as is the case in Tyrol, for example. However, this seems to be becoming lost in the mix, and more and more Austrians across the country are keying in on their countries wine varietals. Of course, no discussion of Austria cuisine could leave out coffee. Vienna is particularly known for its café culture. For those adverse to coffee, you can always warm up to a rich and delicious hot cup of cocoa.