Most of the more popular Austrian dishes are part of international cuisine everywhere. Wiener schnitzel, goulash and various strudels are Austrian specialties.
There are numerous other less known specialties worth trying, especially dishes with small dumplings. Do not miss the Viennese pastries which can be sampled in any coffee shop. It is quite usual to make acquaintances in public places, especially in the coffee shops. A favorite occupation of Austrians is to sit in their local, favorite cafe, drink coffee and read the newspapers. It would be true to say that the average Austrian has a large appetite and food is an important part of their culture. A continental breakfast of coffee and rolls is taken upon rising but, for the older generation at least, there is a tradition of taking a second, heavier breakfast at 10a.m. Afternoon tea is called jause and it is served after 4p.m. It consists of sandwiches, pastries, coffee and tea.
Even in the small inns, food is served in substantial quantities. Austria is both a beer and a wine drinking country. The beers are excellent and the wines wonderful. The best red wine is Voeslauer with Klosterneuburger a close second. But Austria is best known for its white wines such as Duernsteiner, Gumpoldskirchner, Grinzinger, Nussdorfer, Riesling and Veltliner. Austrian champagne is good. Schnapps, or other distilled liquors, obtainable in great and potent varieties, are also well worth trying. . Heuriger is a famous institution in all Austrian wine growing areas. A law - more than 300 years old - allows Austrian wine producers to sell their own wine and other products grown and prepared by themselves at their places subjected only to very low taxes. Because the number of days to do so is in some way limited they mark with a bunch of branches they hang over the entrance that the Heurige is open. The famous Heurigen wine of new vintage is served by the wine growers in the gardens of their premises in all the winegrowing areas at particular times of the year, always served with wonderful buffet food of roast meats and salads and delicious deserts. Often there is music and singing. The best time to visit a Heuriger is late afternoon or early evening.
Vienna abounds in wonderful restaurants, bars, small smart eating places and coffee house. There are also traditional kellers where, in some, you can listen to traditional live music while you eat. The beautiful winter garden, with its restaurants, coffee shops and bars, is interesting to see.