Austria Food and Drink
Viennese cuisine is strongly influenced by southeast European cuisine, notably that of Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Dalmatia. Austrian desserts and cakes are particularly renowned. Gourmet culture is evident in the cafés, where coffee-drinking has been raised to a high art.
• Wiener Schnitzel (a traditional dish of breadcrumbed and fried veal escalope).
• Tafelspitz (boiled beef) is regarded as Austria's national dish.
• Palatschinken (Austrian pancakes).
• Apfelstrudel (apple strudel).
• Mehlspeisen is the national term for cakes and puddings. There are around 60 varieties of Torte, which is often consumed with coffee.
The main meal of the day is lunch. All restaurants have waiter service, as do most bars and coffee houses. Bills are settled with the arrival of drinks.
On restaurant bills, a service charge of 10 to 15% is included, but it is usual to leave a further 5%.
Local wines (often served in open carafes) are excellent and cheap: most of the wines are white; Riesling and Veltliner are particularly well-regarded.
Obstler (fruit schnapps) is usually very strong, well-flavoured and cheap.