5 Austrian National Dishes You’ve Gotta Try

The realm of flavorful meats and delicious pastries.

Austrian food is the realm of flavorful meats and delicious pastries. With ethnic influences from cultures like Italy and Turkey, many of Austria’s national dishes reflect the country’s multinational heritage. Here are our top five foods you gotta try if you’re ever in the country.

Wiener Schnitzel

PHOTO Mackenzie Diamond

If you’re only going to try one Austrian dish while there it has to be Wiener Schnitzel. It’s a very thin slice of butterflied meat, normally veal, coated in a layer of eggs, flour and breadcrumbs and fried until it’s a beautiful golden brown. You might be a little skeptical if you’ve never tried veal before but trust us, it will have you wanting seconds. It’s typically served with Kopfsalat (a type of salad) or potato salad, and a slice of lemon.

Fun Fact: The Wiener Schnitzel is such an important part of the Austrian culture that Austrian law prescribes that all Wiener Schnitzels be made of veal. If any other kind of meat is used instead, it can’t be called that.

Apple Strudel

apple strudel
PHOTO Mackenzie Diamond

Apfelstrudel, as the Austrians call it, is highly considered the traditional dessert of Austria. The pastry is stuffed with apples, raisins, cinnamon and sugar, and sometimes breadcrumbs. It’s then baked until golden and flakey. It’s best served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top. The strudel is a big part of the local cafe culture so make sure to grab a cup of coffee or tea to accompany it!

Sacher Torte

Sacher Torte
PHOTO Mackenzie Diamond

The Sacher Torte is considered the world’s most famous chocolate cake so you know it’s a must-try. It all began at Hotel Sacher in Vienna in 1832, and if you want a tried-and-true sacher torte, you have to go Sacher Cafe within the hotel. It’s a rich chocolate cake, thinly coated with a layer of apricot jam and then covered in chocolate icing. It’s best served with a dollop of whipped cream and a side of coffee. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, there’s no comparing this to any other chocolate cake you’ll ever have.


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Tafelspitz isn’t the most interesting dish but it’s considered the national dish of Austria for a reason. Essentially, it’s a piece of boiled beef with veggies and spices served in a broth. For all you meat aficionados out there, the meat is from the bottom sirloin primal cut and is well-aged. It’s then typically served with roasted potato slices and mixture of apples and horseradish. If you’re a meat lover then this is a definite must-eat.


Sausage Stands.
Sausage Stands. Photo: Wendy Hung

Who doesn’t love a good hotdog? Even in Austria it’s the customary street food and it’s available anywhere and everywhere. The difference between an Austrian frankfurter and an American hotdog is that frankfurters are thinner and longer and have a lighter taste than hotdogs. They’re super great for if you’re on the go and want a quick bite, or as a late night snack after some drinks.

Mackenzie Diamond

Business Associate

Mackenzie is a Connecticut native who loves finding the next big adventure. She enjoys cooking, dogs, and relaxing on a beach with a great book. If you want her heart, you find it on top of the Duomo in Florence.

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