Austrian Mountain Food: 7 Hearty Meals You Need To Try

After an exhilarating morning buzzing about the crisp slopes, a proper filling meal is going to be the next order of business. Austrian mountain food is all incredibly soulful. It makes you and your stomach happy. You normally wouldn’t indulge like this, but when you spend the day skiing you feel like you have earnt it. Food doesn’t get more comforting than the truly delightful fare you will find up an Austrian mountain.

You would be forgiven for coming to Austria for the bread alone. The semmel is the round crusty roll.

1) Wiener Schnitzel

The ultimate Austrian mountain food and Austria’s shining star on the international food stage, everyone has heard of the Wiener schnitzel. It’s crispy. It’s golden. It’s the size of your face. Wiener schnitzel was traditionally made with veal but now pork is more common. The pork is pounded to make it nice and thin, and then it’s breaded and fried. It’s served with a slice of lemon and a mountain of fries or potato salad. If you only eat one thing in Austria (you fool!) it should definitely be a wiener schnitzel.

Austrian mountain food, wiener schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel

2) Kaiserschmarren

Kaiserschmarren is a light and fluffy shredded pancake. The pancake is cooked and ripped up, then sprinkled with sugar and butter and put under the grill to make it wonderfully caramelised. It’s served with rum soaked raisins and for the full effect it should have a thick coating of icing sugar nestled on top. A tart apple sauce should come with it to finish it all off. Although anywhere else in the world this dish would firmly come under the ‘dessert’ category, in the world of Austrian mountain food it is more than acceptable to devour one of these for your lunch.

Kaiserschmarren. So fluffy!

3) Schnapps

Need a power boost to get through the afternoon ski sesh? Then you need a Willy shot! I kid you not, this is what you should ask for at the bar. These rocket fuel-esque shots are pear schnapps with a little ball of fresh pear on a stick. Munch the schnapps infused pear and then knock back the shot. As well as being offered up the mountain Willy shots will feature heavily at après ski. The Austrians take Après very seriously. They have their own Après ski TV and radio channels. There’s a fair amount of Willy and Jägermeister shots involved. And dancing on the table in your ski boots.

4) Germknödel

Yay! Another dessert lunch! These Austrians really have their priorities straight. This one is a perfectly rounded steamed yeast bun, filled with plum jam and served with a creamy vanilla sauce and a mix of poppy seeds and powdered sugar on top. This is a great combination of the not too sweet bun, the rich plum jam and the crunch from the poppy seeds. I’ve been eating these since I was a kid on ski holidays with my family, and they are still just as wonderful today.

Germknödel with the crunchy poppy seeds on top

5) Goulash

A staple Austrian mountain food and always a solid choice for lunch. Goulash is a hearty meat soup originating from Hungary. It varies from place to place but it always uses beef, onions and a healthy amount of Hungarian paprika. In the Austrian Alps you should order this steamy bowl with a semmel, a round crusty roll with the distinguishing flower pattern on top. This is perfect for a cold snowy day when you need something fiery to warm you up.  

Austrian mountain food goulash soup
Warming bowl of Goulash Soup

6) Tiroler Gröstl

As the name suggests, this dish can be found in the Tirol region of the Austrian Alps. You can’t really go wrong with a plate of fried potatoes, bacon and onions with an oozy fried egg on top. I would say it has a British bubble and squeak vibe about it which is, of course, a great thing. This normally comes as an enormous portion so it could be good to order with a side salad to share with a ski buddy.

7) Käsespätzle

Käsespätzle is Austria’s answer to mac and cheese. Spätzle is a type of pasta made with fresh eggs that feature’s in south German and Austrian cuisine. They resemble little dumplings and are a carb lover’s dream. These soft bundles of joy are layered with a mix of cheeses likely to include Gruyere and Emmental. Heaped on top will be brown crispy onions that have been fried in butter. This meal really is pure indulgence and is a must-try Austrian mountain food.

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