Austria

Restaurants in Austria

Expect plenty of hearty, meat-centric dishes on the menu at the restaurants in Austria. While Austria isn’t typically known for its culinary prowess, the nation is seeing a culinary renaissance, and the stick-to-your-ribs, meat-and-potatoes dishes that characterize Austro-Hungarian cuisine are expertly prepared at Austrian restaurants. Prepare for a calorie-fest with popular dishes like wiener schnitzel (boneless meat fried in a coating of flour, egg and breadcrumbs), goulash (a hearty soup or stew of meat and vegetables), and fresh apfelstrudel (apple strudel).

Some of the best restaurants in Austria include Motto am Fluss in Vienna, which serves Austro-international cuisine prepared with organic cuts of meat in a stylish but low-key setting; Steirereck im Stadtpark in Vienna, a Michelin-starred establishment helmed by chef Heinz Reitbauer that offers a modern twist on Austrian classics, like barbecued Alpine beef served with Viennese figs and celery, pan-fried grayling fish with sesame, and a cheese trolley that boasts hundreds of cheese varieties; Magazin in Salzburg, where chef Richard Brunnauer serves dishes inspired by seasonal offerings like scallops with vine-ripened peaches or venison medallions in porcini sauce; and El Gaucho in Graz, an exceptional Argentine steakhouse that will make you swear you’ve been transported to another continent.

The fashionable cafe has a glass-enclosed winter garden designed by the cutting-edge Austrian firm Wehdorn Architects, that poses a striking contrast to the wood-paneled Jugendstil interior lit by ornate brass chandeliers.

In the high-altitude hamlet of St. Christoph, this ski-in, ski-out restaurant is a rustic chalet with a cozy atmosphere and a Bordeaux-heavy wine list.

Crowds descend upon Gordon Bukovcan's cozy wine bar throughout the day. After all, the bar is on the lower level of renowned Julius Meinl gourmet supermarket, where many customers head downstairs (shoppping bags in tow) to enjoy a glass of wine.

A family tradition since 1618, Zum Schwarzen Kameel is renowned for its traditional Austrian food. Owner Peter Friese has maintained the restaurant's formidable reputation since 1974, with modern flourishes such as exotic spices taking center stage.

The food here is exceptional, especially the headcheese and clear beef broth with crêpe slivers. The trouble is everybody who works there knows it. There can be an attitude problem.

Wrenkh (lunch for two $40), a wood-paneled place with a busy sidewalk annex, serves light, creative foods sourced from the Naschmarkt, like local venison and a smoked tofu steak atop a bed of polenta.

Travelers hurrying through a visit to Zoo Vienna might easily miss the 1722 farmhouse that houses what is arguably the best restaurant in the zoo.

Open since May 2001, Die Halle has drawn art-loving tourists and Austrians alike with its affordable menu (most breakfast and lunch items are under 10 euros).

Marked by a larger-than-life milk bottle statue, this café is housed in a restored 1903 milk bar in the Wiener Stadtpark (Viennese City Park).

Mingle with Vienna's upper crust within the glass walls of Fabio's, one of Vienna's most popular and trendiest dining spots.

Café Museum, designed in 1899 by pioneering architect Adolf Loos, was closed for nearly a year until new management reopened the old haunt of Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka as a tradition-minded coffeehouse in October 2009.