Bratwurst and Sacher Torte – or what we ate in Salzburg

June 24, 2011 by  

I’d hate to be a vegetarian in Austria, where meat features heavily on every menu – it can be rather daunting to be constantly faced with slabs of roast pork, huge bratwurst sausages or goulash made with beer. Most of the food we ate in Salzburg was tasty, rib-sticking stuff majoring on roast meat with potatoes or dumplings, and to be honest my husband could think of nothing finer, washed down with a large beer. At it’s best this style of Austrian cuisine can seem like a slap-up Sunday lunch every day, but after a week of it you’ll probably be longing for a light green salad to counteract all that heavy richness.

Roast pork knuckle and dumplings at Sternbrau in Salzburg

Roast pork knuckle and dumplings at Sternbrau in Salzburg

Traditional Austrian dishes

If you want a restaurant in Salzburg that serves traditional Austrian fare, you can find it  in the pub style restaurants and Gasthaus such as the Sternbräu restaurant in the centre of the old town with 14 different restaurant rooms, each with a different decor but all serving traditional Austrian dishes.  The restaurant was originally a brewery and even Mozart apparently enjoyed a meal or two there. We were recommended some typical Salzburg dishes  such as Tafelspitz – boiled beef with horseradish sauce, Bierfleisch, a goulash made with beef cooked in a beer sauce or the roast pork knuckle served with dumplings. My other restaurant recommendation is Gasthas Kuglhof, near the airport, which is the sort of place the locals go when they want a hearty meal in a convivial setting, and we were staying conveniently close at Hotel Zur Post, who gave us the recommendation. The surroundings are a little more rural and there’s a nice garden at the back to sit outside in summer.

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut in Salzburg

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut in Salzburg

Wiener Schnitzel and potato salad in St Wolfgang

Wiener Schnitzel and potato salad in St Wolfgang

Street food in Salzburg

If you’re lucky enough to hit the streets on a festival or holiday, you may come across a tent with a brass band playing and tables set outside with food on sale to soak up all the beer, which of course is the main focus! You normally order your beer (my favourite is the weissbier) from the dirndl wearing waitresses with the leather wallets passing to and fro taking orders, who you pay directly. Sometimes you can also order your food from them too, or go and get it direct from the stall. We tried the bratwurst sausage with sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) and a roll with mustard or ketchup on the side. Personally I found it a bit dry and preferred the other Austrian favourite, the Wiener Schnitzel that we had at the Mayday festival in St Wolfgang, served with a warm potato salad on the side and some berry relish. It was a bit more classy than the bratwurst, but then St Wolfgang is a pretty classy kind of place, set beside the lake with the picturesque painted houses.

River fish at Hotel Weissen Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria

River fish at Hotel Weissen Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria

For something lighter try the fish

If you can’t face another plate of roast meat, then look out for the fish on the menu. It’s usually a river fish served with lighter vegetables such as seasonal asparagus, that I ate for dinner at the lovely hotel Im Weissen Rössl at St Wolfgang where we stayed overlooking Lake Wolfgang.

Smart Food at Maybar in Hangar 7 in Salzburg

Smart Food at Maybar in Hangar 7 in Salzburg

Smart Food at Maybar in Hangar 7 in Salzburg

Smart Food at Maybar in Hangar 7 in Salzburg

Gastronomic Salzburg

If you’re looking for food in Salzburg that will offer more of a gastronomc experience than something to soak up the gallons of beer, then I highly recommend Hangar 7 on the edge of Salzburg Airfield. The flagship restaurant Ikarus, where they invite a different international chef each month to create a guest menu, is a place to go for the culinary experience, but we ate at the Mayday Bar which is more informal and has a interesting concept of Smart Food. You can choose from three different set menus, either brain food, mood food or beauty food where you try a succession of light dishes prettily served in glasses. This was much more my scene, with an artfully arranged pile of salad here, a froth of sauce there and a fruit smoothie to wash it down, safe in the knowledge that it was all super-healthy and making you smarter, happier or better looking.

Sacher Torte and Plum strudel at Steinterrasse in Salzburg

Sacher Torte and Plum strudel at Steinterrasse in Salzburg

But what about the Sacher Torte?

If you’re ready for something a little sweeter, you can pass many a happy hour sitting in a cafe with a coffee and a slice of cake, such as the boozy, chocolate Sacher Torte, made famous by the Sacher Hotel. You can still try it there sitting on the terrace overlooking the river, but I’d also recommend the Steinterrasse on the 7th floor of the Hotel Stein where they also serve it with a great view over the river and the old town. Another traditional favourite is the Apfelstrudel or the plum cake we tried that is topped with fruit and a crumble topping.  The most famous Salzburg desert is the Salzburg Nockerl, a sweet souffle of eggs and sugar and Topfenknödel with puffed pastry balls filled with cream cheese.

Mozartkugeln chocolates from Furst in Salzburg

Mozartkugeln chocolates from Furst in Salzburg

Don’t forget to bring home some chocolate Mozartkugeln

In Salzburg it’s hard to avoid the chocolate Mozart balls or Mozartkugeln that are sold in every gift shop and on every street corner. The most ubiquitous are the Mirabell brand, that are sold wherever you see the cut out Mozart boards. My husband and son even developed a competition to see which of them could spot the most of these Mozart cut outs. Most chocolate shops sell the Mozartkugeln singly so that you can taste before you invest in huge quantities to bring home as gifts. If you’re a chocolate connoisseur, I’d go for the Fürst brand that are made with high quality chocolate and marzipan and buy the cheaper Mirabell brand for your colleagues in the office who won’t know the difference!

Where you’ll find the Austrian food we recommend

  • Sternbräu – a restaurant in Salzburg with 14 different rooms and 3 garden courtyards all serving traditional Austrian dishes in the heart of the old town
  • Gasthaus Kuglhof is a traditional inn in a rural setting close to Salzburg airport and 5 minutes walk from Hangar 7
  • Try your Sacher Torte at the Hotel Sacher where it was invented, or at the Steinterrasse on the 7th floor of the Stein Hotel, where they also serve great ice cream sundaes and cocktails as the sun goes down.
  • Hangar 7 is an aeronautical and motor museum on the edge of Salzburg airport and a well known food destination, with the top class Ikarus restaurant and the Mayday bar where we tried the informal Smart food menu.
  • Look for the Fürst Mozartkugeln exclusively in their four Konditorei around Salzburg – this article on Mozart and the Chocolate factory gives you a run down of the different brands of Mozartkugeln
  • While in Salzburg we stayed at Hotel Zur Post, a comfortable, family run Gasthaus just outside the old town area of Salzburg.
  • While in St Wolfgang we stayed at the gorgeous small luxury hotel, Im Weissen Rössl set right beside Lake Wolfgang.

More good things from Salzburg

Cars, Planes and Smart Food at Hangar 7 in Salzburg
Podcast – Salzburg and Lake Wolfgang in Austria
Video – Spring flowers and romance in the Mirabell Gardens

Visitor Information for Salzburg

For more information about things to do in Salzburg, visit the Official Salzburg Tourism website
For more information about Holidays in Austria visit the Austrian Tourism Website and follow them on Twitter @Austria_UK

Check out this great video about Salzburg, Innsbruck and Graz as well as the other videos about Holidays in Austria

My thanks to the Austria National Tourism Office UK for sponsoring our trip to Salzburg and Wolfgangsee

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Comments

14 Comments on "Bratwurst and Sacher Torte – or what we ate in Salzburg"

  1. Abby on Sat, 25th Jun 2011 4:48 pm 

    Rib-sticking is right — everything looks amazing! Yumm!!

  2. Jennifer on Sun, 26th Jun 2011 5:32 am 

    I’m glad I wasn’t hungry when I read this, because if I was, I’d be raiding the fridge by now. This is a great post!

  3. Heather on Sun, 26th Jun 2011 9:01 pm 

    Thanks Jennifer, the Austrian food was definitely food to fill you up, you couldn’t be hungry after all those dumplings!

  4. The Schafburgbahn steam train at St Wolfgang in Austria - video | Heather on her travels on Sat, 2nd Jul 2011 10:52 am 

    [...] 16 Salzburg and Lake Wolfgang in Austria – Podcast Spring Flowers and Romance in the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg – video Bratwurst and Sacher Torte – or what we ate in Salzburg [...]

  5. Review of Hotel Zur Post in Salzburg | Heather on her travels on Mon, 4th Jul 2011 10:49 pm 

    [...] been highly recommended by the hotel, and so we walked just down the road from Hangar 7, for some traditional Austrian food, while I kept them company with a [...]

  6. Heather on her Travels: Our comfortable Gasthaus at Hotel Zur Post in Salzburg | Bristol Classifieds – Bristol and South West Free Classified Ads! on Fri, 8th Jul 2011 12:02 pm 

    [...] been highly recommended by the hotel, and so we walked just down the road from Hangar 7, for some traditional Austrian food, while I kept them company with a [...]

  7. Lost in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg - video | Heather on her travels on Wed, 13th Jul 2011 10:57 pm 

    [...] We all made friends again, but after all my racing around I felt I’d seen enough of the fortress, despite there being a very inviting outdoor cafe with a fabulous view. We descended on the funicular and established ourselves outside the beer tent at the bottom and soaked up the atmosphere of the brass band and the May Day festivities with a plate of Bratwurst and a Weiss-bier. [...]

  8. used car dealer on Thu, 20th Oct 2011 8:07 am 

    Food and travel is inseparable indeed. What great way to enjoy the place than to consume their food. Wow, the food looks great in Salzburg, I feel like i’m gaining pounds while feasting my eyes on them and wondering how they taste.

  9. Heather on Fri, 21st Oct 2011 5:13 pm 

    @used car dealer – I did enjoy the Austrian food in Salzburg, although the traditional dishes are pretty rich and heavy to eat every day – hearty fare to get you through a long winter

  10. May Day at The White Horse Inn on Lake Wolfgang in Austria - video | Heather on her travels on Mon, 14th Nov 2011 10:34 pm 

    [...] Riding the steam train – on the Schafburgbahn at St Wolfgang – video Podcast – Salzburg and Lake Wolfgang in Austria Bratwurst and Sacher Torte – or what we ate in Salzburg, Austria [...]

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  12. A Culinary Journey through Styria, Austria | Heather on her travels on Mon, 16th Apr 2012 10:30 pm 

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  13. A Culinary Journey through Styria, Austria_Go Time Travel Blog | Go Time Travel Blog on Tue, 17th Apr 2012 4:19 am 

    [...] Bratwurst and Sacher Torte – or what we ate &… Cars, Planes and Smart Food at Hangar 7 in Salzburg May Day at The White Horse Inn on Lake Wolfgang, Austria – video [...]

  14. Belgian Food & Beer - The Trappist Experience | Heather on her travels on Tue, 6th Nov 2012 1:54 am 

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