Tuesday, 22 April 2014

My culinary discoveries in Germany and Austria

1) Knödels
One of the most memorable meals I had during my short trip to Germany and Austria was at Knödlerei in Salzburg. This place was a suggestion of my friend Kat, an Austrian friend who was so kind to drive all the way from Vienna to meet me for lunch and have a stroll around Salzburg afterwards. Knödlerei is a lovely and informal place next to the university building, and offers many kinds of dumplings, from the traditional ones to some creative varieties, with wasabi or salmon. I had tried the signature dish of this part of Europe before, and was disappointed. After trying Knödlerei, however, I understood that, when made by expert hands, knödels can  be very very tasty. I chose a selection of different traditional knödels, served with onion sauce and sauerkraut, and tackled my sightseeing in Salzburg with a full belly. Guten appetit!

Yummy knoedels dish at Knoedlerei, courtesy of knoedlerei.at 

2) Bauerngröstl

If you happen to be in Innsbruck, please stop by Gasthaus Goldenes Dachl and order a Bauerngröstl, which is a traditional Tyrolean dish that they make superbly here. It is made of roasted potatoes, fried onions, delicious beef meat, with a fried egg on top, plus chopped parsley to garnish. I had never heard of this dish before going to Goldenes Dachl for dinner, but I swear it's worth it.

Austrian cuisine, by the way, revealed to be quite tasty. From paprika-seasoned goulashsuppe, to various kinds of spätzle, I cannot complain: I always had something tasty to try.

3) Cakes
From the generous Sachertorte slice I had in Strudel-Café Kröll in Innsbruck, where of course they also have every kind of strudel you can think of, to the delicious strawberry and chocolate cake I had at Katzentempel café in Munich, I found out that this area of Europe knows how to bake cakes. Sachertorte, in particular, was invented in Vienna, but is easy to find everywhere in Austria. It's a chocolate cake with two layers of apricot jam, and a generous chocolate icing on top. I think I don't need to point out that it's delicious!

Sachertorte in Innsbruck
And yes, if you were wondering, Katzentempel is a cat café! I had always dreamt of visiting one, so before leaving for Munich I googled "cat café Munich", and the awesomeness of Katzentempel made me decide that it was worth stopping by. It's very close to the museum area, so it was not much of a detour. More about Katzentempel in another post!

4) The infamous currywurst

The history of this common German snack is peculiar. It was invented in Berlin by a German lady,  Herta Heuwer, just after the Second World War. The lady had at her disposal the ketchup, curry powder and Worcester sauce brought by the British soldiers, and added them to the traditional bratwurst to feed the construction workers that were rebuilding the city after the devastation of the war.

Currywurst isn't fancy, just a simple sausage usually served in stands or fast-food joints, but it's a signature dish of Germany, and I just had to try it.

Currywurst portion with French fries

5) Beer

Beer really tastes better in this area of Europe. I'm not one of those persons who can distinguish different kind of lagers, but it's obvious even to me that the beer here is at another level. It's cheap, cheaper than bottled water actually, and it flows very easily down your throat.

6) Asian food

Both Munich and Innsbruck thrive with Asian restaurants. From the Nepalese restaurant close to the main building of the university of Innsbruck, to Vietnamese restaurants and cute noodle bars in Munich, I was satisfied with the variety of ethnic food in these two cities. If you had enough potatoes, can't stand cabbage, or dislike sausages, head to one of the many Asian restaurants in town. 

On Sunday, while strolling around Munich, I had lunch in Warmi Nudel Bar, for instance. It is very close to the Alte and Neue Pinakothek. It's a cheap and cosy place that offers Japanese-inspired dishes, even though the owners appear to be Chinese. You are asked to make a combination of ingredients to compose your dish, which is always good. The vegetables were very fresh, and the meal was warm and filling.

My noodle soup with fresh vegetables and meat

7) Pretzel

Every bakery has them, and every tourist must try one. These heart-shaped snacks are perfect if accompanied by a beer and a weisswurst. The most common variety is topped with salt, but I've seen many other toppings, like poppy or pumpkin seeds. I enjoyed walking along the streets of Munich while munching on my pretzel.

Pretzels for sale in Salzburg

8) Wurst wurst wurst

I am a fan of wurst because as a child my grandfather, who lived for many years in Switzerland, would cook them for me and serve them while I was sitting on a wooden bench next to his huge vegetable garden. While I was in Germany I had several kinds of wursts, but I'm sure I've not even scratched the surface of the wursts you can have in Bavaria and Austria.


  1. I had currywurst for the first time in Berlin and it was so simple yet so delicious. I have yet to try knödels, but they look wonderful!

  2. So much good food! I love sachertorte and currywurst!! Did you try the Radler? It's a type of beer that's mixed with lemonade and it's sooooo good! :D

    1. No, I didn't try Radler, but I tried Hugo. Do you like that?

  3. Oh my gosh...this post makes me hungry! There are no better discoveries than food discoveries (especially for foodies like me). :)


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