No trip to Salzburg, Austria is complete without some great food! I’ve rounded up some of the best Salzburg restaurants to plan your next trip.
Salzburg has quickly become one of my favorite cities in Europe. It’s cram full of old-world Europe feel combined with Baroque elegance in a historic town. And don’t even get me started on the Christmas markets!
Since no trip is complete without great food, I rounded up a bunch of great meal options for you to try!
Classic Austrian Fare
Gasthaus Wilder Mann
Is it just me, or is the first place you eat always one of your favorites??
In my defense, this was also the number one place on my list of spots to try. So we started pretty strong here.
Since this was our first night in Salzburg – and indeed, our first night in a series of Austrian & German cities – we wanted schnitzel. It’s a favorite of ours, and this spot didn’t disappoint. Logan had a typical Wienerschnitzel and I tried a cordon bleu version of schnitzel, and both were delicious! Gasthaus Wilder Mann may have been my favorite traditional meal of the trip.
We went to Gasthaus Zwettlers for a typical Austrian lunch! It’s a great location, right near Residenplatz and DomQuartier. This place had decor that was fun and a bit kooky – colanders and pots functioned as shades on lights, and brick-a-brack dot the walls. Because of its location, it fills up fast, so make a reservation or get there earlyish.
I had the bratwurst here, and while it looks beautiful on the plate, I honestly didn’t love it. It was a texture thing – I like sausages a bit coarser than this one. But they had a big menu, and Logan liked his schnitzel!
Barenwirt is bit further away from the main tourist action, but still very much walkable. It’s nearer the part of town with the modern art museum, and has very much of a local clientele – always a good sign!
I loved that Barenwirt feels very unassuming in its presentation and decor, but the food is both excellent and a bit more upscale in presentation than you might expect.
One thing we’ve noticed as a group of two is that we often were seated with another couple or pair to fill bigger tables. We rarely spoke the same language, so after a few pleasantries and smiles we left each other to their meals, but that night our table mates told us that no trip to Austria was complete without finishing a meal with schnapps. Naturally, we agreed! Growing up in the States has given me a bad impression of schnapps, but our version that night was a pleasant warming digestif. It came in a variety of flavor options – the berry option was better than the pear, in my opinion, but both were a fun local way to finish the meal!
Zum Fidelen Affen
Five minutes after walking through the door, it’s clear that Zum Fidelen Affen is a family-run establishment. I think the hostess/waitress was married to the bartender/server, who also looked like the son of the chef. I saw one other person in the kitchen washing dishes, but somehow the three of them kept a busy lunch service moving without feeling understaffed.
After a few days of heavy meals, I opted for a traditional clear beef broth soup with a dumpling and pretzels, and it was delicious. I did eat a few bites of Logan’s meal too, so the soup isn’t enough to keep you full all afternoon long, but it was delicious and also nice to mix it up a bit.
More Lunch & Dinner Options
If you need a change of pace from the Austrian classic, but still want a good beer spot, this is perfect. Glorious Bastards is a fun, modern spot that will fill you up and make you happy with its food & drink.
It’s technically in a mall but stay with me: it’s worth a visit. Think upscale burgers and craft beer with a modern hipster gastropub vibe. We really enjoyed breaking up the Austrian food with a good burger! And the salad didn’t hurt either.
They also offer steak, grilled meats, and pizza, but as a resident of Italy, I can’t bring myself order pizza out of the country. 😉
Since first eating here, we’ve found a Maredo Steakhouse in nearly every German and Austrian city we’ve visited. It serves South American steaks and has that most American of features, the salad bar.
I make fun, but after a week of meat and dense carbs, I went to town on that salad bar. Logan and I split a tomahawk – he has a serious meat obsession! – and some veggies and we were in heaven. It’s an excellent steak and the sides are massive and fresh. It was one of the better steaks I’ve had in Europe.
Breakfast, Drinks & Desserts
Restaurant S’Nockerl im Elefant
You can’t go to Salzburg without trying nockerl. It’s a dessert of massive proportions, easily enough to feed four people with each other. We headed to one of the spots most known for nockerl: Restaurant S’Nockerl im Elefant, also known as Hotel Elefant.
Nockerl is part soufflé and part meringue – somehow light and fluffy while still being incredibly filling. It’s often but not always served with a raspberry sauce on the bottom. My advice? Definitely get one with the sauce – the tartness of the raspberries offers a great balance to the sweet nockerl.
From reading about it, I’ve seen multiple people suggest ordering it as a main course because of how filling it is. It’s pretty sweet, so I didn’t do that, but I get why you would! Maybe after having soup for lunch, get this when you get hungry again.
It’s also prepared to order and takes 20-30 minutes, so if you’re planning to order it at the end of the meal, tell the waiter when you order the mains. We headed to Hotel Elefant for dessert because we’d heard it had an excellent nockerl and had a round of drinks while we waited.
There’s something so… romantic? special? fill in your adjective for that feeling you get when you eat at a place where famous people have been eating FOR CENTURIES. Mozart’s family were regulars at Cafe Tomaselli, and the location is nestled into the heart of Salzburg’s old town.
Austria has a massive cafe culture, and they’re always seemed like the kind of place you could spend all day reading a great book or chatting with friends.
Ordering is a bit unusual here. Seat yourself and wait for a waiter to come and take your drink and breakfast order, and then later a separate waiter will come by with a cake tray to let you choose what you want. You pay her separately for the cakes and pay for the rest of your meal at the end with the original waiter. I have no idea why they do this, but it’s always been this way, apparently.
The cakes are all works of art, so you can’t go wrong. Cafe Tomaselli is known for Sachertorte – a Viennese chocolate cake that’s lovely, so if you don’t know where to start, go with that. I tried the vanilleobsttorte, a combination of chocolate cake and cream with fruit on top, and it was lovely.
Can you really say you’ve been to Austria or Germany if you haven’t been to a beer hall or beer garden?
And if you’re going to try on in Salzburg, go to Augustiner Braustuebl! It’s actually part of a larger beer company based in Munich, which I highly recommend in both cities! A massive beerhall with a bunch of rooms to sit and enjoy a beer or two. You can buy food at a number of stalls, or just enjoy the brews and grab dinner later.
There are a couple of adjoined spots under the Sternbrau name. There’s a hotel upstairs and an upscale restaurant that is more well known. The restaurant that could have been good, but it looked expensive compared to other excellent meals we’d already had in Salzburg, so it never made our list for dinner.
But they also have a lounge next door, which we wandered into for a chance to get off our feet and relax after a day of museums and Christmas markets. While a bit more expensive than a beer hall, they had a good selection of wine, beer and coffee drinks in cozy chairs near a roaring fire. The perfect spot to chill out for a bit after hours of exploring! I tried a veltliner while I was here – an Austrian white wine I loved!
I know that was a long one, but I truly love good food! I hope these suggestions set up you for an epic exploration of Salzburg restaurants.
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