While Vienna may be known for dishes such as Wiener schnitzel and Sachertorte, Austria’s regions also have their own culinary specialities that are well worth sampling. For example, when visiting Innsbruck, be sure to try the Tyrolean bacon, which is especially delicious fried with potato and eggs. In Salzburg, sample the Kasnocken (cheese dumplings), which are usually served in soup or with sauerkraut.
Of course, choosing where to eat is just as important as what to eat. A refined ambience can make the difference between an unforgettable evening and a merely satisfactory one. In recent years, Austria’s dining scene has evolved into an exciting, modern affair. Here, we’ve rounded up a list of dining options that offer more than just good food, whether that means a memorable setting or innovative presentation.
Located on top of the Mönchsberg next to the modern art museum, M32 offers visitors breathtaking panoramic vistas across Salzburg. The interior is as eye-catching as the view; designed by Matteo Thun, it features a ceiling display made from 390 stag antlers, bullseye lights, bare concrete and vivid colours. The lunch and dinner menus, which provide a contemporary take on traditional Austrian and Mediterranean cuisine, change slightly every day to make the most of seasonal ingredients; or visit earlier in the day for a memorable breakfast.
M32, Mönchsberg 32, 5020 Salzburg, +43 (0)662 841000
Located on the seventh floor of Innsbruck’s Rathausgalerie, the elegantly designed Lichtblick restaurant makes the most of its position with floor-to-ceiling windows ensuring 360-degree views. Visitors will be impressed by chef Andreas Zeindlinger’s inventive dishes such as pollock with spicy cous cous and lime foam, or Austrian classics such as roast veal with Styrian horseradish. Whether you choose to eat in the restaurant or simple have a drink in the adjacent bar, the mountains make a stunning backdrop.
Lichtblick, Maria-Theresienstrasse 18, 6020 Innsbruck, + 43 (0)512 566550
This hotspot in Salzburg’s historic centre is a restaurant, bar, lounge and terrace café in one. One of the best known aspects of this popular place is the delicious bite-sized gourmet food served in handmade waffle cones. This novel presentation allows diners to try a wider range of dishes than usual. From starter to desserts, guests can try anything from beef tartare with potato purée to sea bass with Jerusalem artichoke or lamb medallions.
Carpe Diem, Getreidegasse 50, 5020 Salzburg, +43 (0)662 848800
If you’re looking for something a little different, try Mezzanin 7 private supper club. Located in a beautifully decorated apartment, it offers a private dining experience like no other in Vienna. Available as a brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner, the vintage menu draws from family recipe books. The team behind the concept comes from a mix of fashion, tourism and hospitality backgrounds, which is reflected in the eclectic interiors and fun, nostalgic vibe.
Mezzanin 7, Liechtensteinstrasse 12, 1090 Vienna