The best food to eat in Vienna and where to try it

Käsekrainer at Bitzinger Würstelstad Albertina

From Strudel to Schnitzel, gallivanting glutton Raff share his tops tips on the best food to eat in Vienna and where to taste it.

Vienna is beloved by families for its rich history, awesome culture, inspiring music history, vintage theme parks, and stunning architecture. Seriously, the place is so stupidly pretty that it left me wandering about around slack jawed. Which was handy given it’s also full of incredible food, and my already gaping mouth just made it that much easier for me to shovel it in.

But Viennese food is not what I expected though. It’s so much better. Cosmopolitan and multicultural, I scoffed everything from sushi to shakshuka. But as amazing as the international offerings are, when in Vienna…

Here are my picks of the best food to eat in Vienna, and where to try them.

Sacher torte

Café Sacher Sacher Torte Vienna

There can’t be a list of the vest food to eat in Vienna, without including this dish. A Viennese classic, Sacher Torte is amongst the city’s most famous delicacies. You might think it’s just another chocolate cake, but you’d be so wrong. This thing is surprisingly complex and a good one is quite honestly a work of culinary art. Denser than your average sponge cake, it’s made with chocolate cake layered with apricot jam to add moisture and some contrasting fruitiness to the bitter dark chocolate flavours, then coated in a shiny chocolate-glaze finish. My sister, our family’s expert in all things sweet and cakey, gave it a 11/10, so you know it’s got to be good.

Where to eat Sacher Torte: It’s hard to go past the Café Sacher Wien, a grand café that was the birthplace of the original Sacher-Torte.


 best food to eat in Vienna - Käsekrainer at Bitzinger Würstelstad Albertina

Who’d have thought that it would be a simple sausage that would win my heart? But I’ve gotta admit that a juicy käsekrainer was one of favourite dishes in Vienna and I became a little addicted to the whopping great sausages stuffed into warmed rolls. So what’s so good about this sausage? Well, the lightly smoked foot long käsekrainer is filled with oozy cheese. Yes, inside the sausage. Par boiled then grilled to make sure the cheese is molten and gooey, these super snags are stuffed into a warm white roll and smothered in mustard and ketchup. A word of warning though, käsekrainer are so juicy that your first bite may necessitate your companion ducking for cover to avoid the flying juices that are bound to squirt out. Its best washed down with an Almdulder, which is sort of like Viennese lemonade, and utterly delicious.

Where to eat käsekrainer: These street eats can be found in stands all over Vienna but my tip is to join the queue at the Bitzinger Würstelstand Albertina, just across from the Vienna State Opera. It attracts crowds for a reason.

Wiener schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel at Vienna's Naschmarkt. Image © Boyeatsworld

I’m as big a fan of schnitty as any true Australian, but to be honest I bit into Austria’s national schnitty, the wiener schnitzel, with low expectations. I mean, every schnitty is pretty much the same, right? Not that I’m complaining, they’re all good, they’re all just so similar. Turns out they’re not!  Wiener schnitzel is some seriously superior schnitt!. Essentially, wiener schnitzel is a cutlet of veal pounded thin, dipped in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy, then served with a slice of lemon. And it’s good, so good in fact that I can only describe my first (but certainly not last) Viennese schnitty as a crisp, succulent flavour bomb.

Where to eat Wiener Schintzel: While you’ll find wiener schnitzel all over the city, and I didn’t come across a bad one, my first taste was as I ate my way around Vienna’s awesome Naschmarkt, a place that all self-respecting gluttons should visit.


 best food to eat in Vienna - Kaiser Spaetzle

Look, I love mac’n’cheese as much as the next glutton, but to be honest I find most of them inferior to my mum’s decadently cheesy secret recipe. Seriously, its is a thing of culinary greatness and I could eat it until it’s coming out my ears. But then I met Viennese Mac and Cheese, or Käsespätzle  as it’s known to the locals. And now there’s a contender to mum’s cheesy throne. Spätzle, in German, literally translates to egg noodle pasta. The little misshapen twists of doughy pasta have a chewy, dumpling-like texture which beautifully contrasts with the heavy handed hit of unctuous oozing cheese that its drowned in before being topped in a delicious dollop of fried onions. This dish was such a hit with all of us that we’d pop into every hole-in-the-wall restaurant that it had it on the menu.

Where to eat Käsespätzle: I can’t say with certainty where the very best is but Pürstner certainly has to be a contender. If you want to try it at home you’ll find our recipe here.


 best food to eat in Vienna - Frittatensuppe Vienna

Frittatensuppe translates to pancake soup and had me quite sceptical. I mean was it pancake flavoured soup or was it hot pancake batter? Because either way, eww. Maybe it was neither and just didn’t translate? Whatever it was I was so curious I had to order it. I’m really glad I did because it turns out that none of the above is correct. Pancake soup is a delicious beef consommé with strips of pancake ‘noodles’ spread throughout and topped with chives. It’s a delicious and comforting dish that was like a warm on for the frosty day we were having.

Where to eat Frittatensuppe: I only indulged in this eye-opening soup at Zum Leupold, a traditional restaurant in Schottengasse, but I can absolutely recommend it!


Kaiserschmarrn at Café Landtmann Vienna

A friend of my mum’s told us we had to try kaiserschmarrn while we were in Vienna. And my tastebuds owe her a huge debt of gratitude. Best described as a scrambled sweet pancake, kaiserschmarrn (which mean’s Emperor’s mess) is just that, a doughy mess of fluffy shredded pancakes served with rum soaked raisins and fruit compote, then dusted with powdered sugar. Yum.

Where to eat kaiserschmarrn: It’s not hard to find a cafe serving this delectable dessert but my vote for the best goes to Café Landtmann, a café on the Ringstraße that’s all ornate and intricate gold embellished walls, and the very place where Sigmund Freud used to ponder his coffee.


Apfelstrudel at Café Landtmann Vienna

Of course I had to include this dish in my list of the best  food to eat in Vienna. It’s an Austrian classic, and for good reason. You’ll find the apple stuffed flaky treat  all over the city and you’ll struggle to find on that isn’t superb. Homely, warm and comforting, Apfelstrudel is a dessert that absolutely buzzing with flavour from its tangy apple to the sweet, buttery, flaky pastry. And it’s best served in a lake of vanilla sauce

Where to eat Apfelstrudel: I reckon Freud was on to something because I have to rate Café Landtmann’s the best again, though Cafe Mozart comes a close second.


Café Sacher Wien’s topfenstrudel

Move over Apfelstrudel, you’ve got some serious competition here. I’m not a HUGE desert fan but I do love a good strudel, so if you can wrap the flaky, paper-thin layers of hand-stretched dough around cheese (in this case quark cheese, which is a mild, creamy cheese made from cultured buttermilk) then you know I’m going to put my hand up to try it. It is a sweet dish, but my kind of sweet dish as the cheese is mixed with sugar, grated lemon peel vanilla extract and a couple of raising)and the pastry brushed with melted butter. It’s kind of like a strudel cheesecake and it is so good, I rate it my favourite Viennese dessert.

Where to eat Topfenstrudel: It may be most famous for its sacher torte but I gave Café Sacher Wien’s topfenstrudel top marks.


 best food to eat in Vienna - Brezn (pretzel) Bitzinger Würstelstad Albertina in Vienna

Look. I’ll be perfectly honest. I’m not the biggest fan of pretzels or bretzn as they’re known here. To me they’re really just an unremarkable lump of bread. While my trip to Vienna honestly didn’t transform me into a big fan, the salty knots of lye bread are ubiquitous throughout the city, and they are undeniably some of the best in the world. While they’re not quite my cup of tea my sister couldn’t get enough of them and insists I include them in this list.

Where to eat Brezn: You’ll find them everywhere from street stalls to pubs and restaurants but Sugarpuff is as addicted to the giant bren at Bitzinger Würstelstand Albertina as I was to their käsekrainer.

Review by Raff – 14

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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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