#1: Wiener Schnitzel
Every list of must eats in Vienna has got to start with the Wiener Schnitzel. It is a thin piece of veal (pork is a poplar variation) crumbed and pan-fried to perfection. It is usually served with a side of salad or potatoes. We tried it a couple of times and loved how it was so crispy and tender at the same time!
#2: Beef Soup
This has got to be my favourite Austrian dish. It's just so perfect and hearty for those colder nights. The broth is clear and nutritious, and is a perfect size for a starter. We had it quite a few times with different fillings each time, noodles, sliced pancakes, semolina dumplings, there were just so many options to choose from!
#3: Viennese Goulash
To be honest, I wasn't too fond of this dish as I found it too meaty (there weren't any vegetables?!) but I can see how it can make its way into the hearts of the cold and hungry. The meat is flavoursome and tender, and will be great for winter nights, though I'd take beef broth over this anytime!
Tafelspitz - boiled beef served with vegetables, potatoes, and condiments. Simple, unpretentious and delicious!
Because you cannot leave Vienna without indulging in their coffee culture at least once. I can probably count the number of cups of coffee I've had in my lifetime on one hand but decided to add to that while I was there. I went all out and tried all sorts! I found einspänner (first picture) very interesting - it's two shots of espresso topped with an alarming amount of whipped cream for insulation!
Let's not forget almdudler while we're on the topic of drinks. Seriously, I don't know how many bottles and glasses of this I had while in Austria. It's really just one of their local soft drinks but the subtle herbal flavour just makes it oh so delicious. No wonder it's been dubbed the national drink of Austria!
Or any other torte (cake) for that matter. However, Sachertorte is one of the most famous specialties of Vienna - a rich, dense chocolate cake with apricot jam which is entirely coated with even more chocolate. You can try the original cake at Hotel Sacher, but as for myself, I couldn't be bothered with the long queues and managed to order a little version for myself at Demel.
Apple strudel! Need I say more?
These are Austria's version of crêpes! We found a shop called Palatschinkenkuchl in Naschmarkt which had a full page of their menu dedicated to these treats. You can choose to enjoy them sweet or savoury - I chose to have mine filled with banana and then drenched in chocolate sauce!
Two other dishes that were on my list but didn't get to try were kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancakes) and Salzburger Nockerl (a sweet soufflé). There just weren't enough meals in a day! Nevertheless, I really enjoyed all the new foods that I got to try while I was there. I guess I just need to leave something for the next visit! ;)