This summer, I had the privilege of studying abroad in Vienna for 3 weeks with the most incredible group of people. I took a psychology class and with that got to see Freud’s house and tour Narrenturm. But beyond all the mental health explorations there were tons of opportunities to nourish my physical health with some delicious food.

Although I preface this as food in Vienna, while there I traveled to Salzburg, Prague and Budapest so some of the food facts are from surrounding cities. Let’s munch!

Schnitzel and Strudel Are Actually Some of my Favorite Things

lemon, potato, meat, fish
Lucy Bedewi

Before Austria, I had no idea exactly what schnitzel was. All I knew is that it was fun to say and because of that, presumably delicious. And it did not disappoint. Basically it is a piece of pork or veal that is breaded and then fried. Then to top it all off you can either squeeze lemon onto it or dip your schnitzel into some cranberry sauce. This way you can fully max out the sweet and salty experience.

Then for the strudel, you have two main choices…Afpelstrudel and Topfenstrudel. The first is what it almost sounds like, apple strudel, and it is way better than anything close to it in the US. Probably because there, baked goods just taste fresher and contain only real ingredients.

The second is Topfenstrudel and my best description of this would be a sweet cheese filling in a flaky, buttery crust. It’s like if a cheese Danish and a warm cheesecake met and had babies. This is now one of my favorite desserts.

A Melange Became my Every Morning Coffee

It’s no secret that cafes are everywhere in Vienna. Upon getting there, I did not want to stick to what I knew in the coffee realm. I wanted to venture out from just lattes and cappuccinos. On the first day, I ordered a Melange without asking what was in it. Turns out it’s the Austrian take on the traditional cappuccino. I loved it because it filled my morning coffee needs and wasn’t too sweet.

Italian Food is Still Divine

prosciutto, ham, pizza
Lucy Bedewi

One thing we got a lot of while in Vienna was Italian food. Perhaps it’s because Austria borders Italy. Tons of amazing pizza, pasta, gnocchi and tiramisu were abundant. I felt like I ping ponged between Austrian food and Italian food everyday.

Hot Dogs on the Street Are a “Yes”

Lucy Bedewi

Specifically Kasekrainers are a “yes”. What they are is a cheese filled sausage that is placed into fresh bread and dressed with condiments. The sausages there are not like the skinny little sorry excuses for a hot dog we have in the states. They are meaty, filling and make for constant cravings.

Iced Coffee is with Ice Cream

cream, chocolate
Lucy Bedewi

Yes, you read that right. In Austria, ice is not really a thing. It exists but it is not nearly as common as it is in the US. Since I went in the summer, I didn’t always want a piping hot cup of coffee in my hands and Vienna definitely had the solution. It was an eiskaffee on the menu and it was essentially coffee with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. It was so decadent and perfect for those hot days. This definitely needs to be added to the Starbucks menu for when black coffee with ice just isn’t cutting it.

To enhance this incredible coffee experience, I recommend pairing it with a famous Sachertorte. It's a chocolate cake with a layer of apricot that is another must eat in Vienna. 

When in Prague, Eat Trdelnik

chocolate, cake
Lucy Bedewi

I cannot stress this enough. What it is is essentially a thick churro filled with either chocolate or vanilla ice cream. If you want to get fancy, you can get the dough part dipped in chocolate or caramel sauce. It made walking around Prague pretty sweet.

When In Budapest, Go to the Market

Lucy Bedewi

I only spent about 36 hours in Budapest, but while I was there I was able to check out this massive marketplace called Great Market Hall. On the bottom floor it is a grocery store on steroids with tons of vendors selling cheeses, sausages, chocolates and fresh produce. Then when you go upstairs, you have an equal amount of vendors selling souvenir items such as magnets and postcards. Upstairs is also where I was able to get some delicious stuffed cabbage for lunch.

Naschmarkt and Falafel

salsa, pork, corn, chili, chicken, tacos
Lucy Bedewi

One fun place that I found myself hanging out in often is the Naschmarkt. It is an open-air market that has many vendors selling every food item under the sun. I have to say though; the fresh falafel was the star of the market. It was incredible and I definitely recommend making that a lunch if you ever find yourself there.

Beer is Taken Seriously

apple, ice, juice, beer, tea
Lucy Bedewi

I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a beer person. In Austria though, specifically Salzburg it felt like more of an art. There were so many variations of beer. Way more than just light and dark. They varied in strength, fruitiness and price. Trying to pick a beer off the beer menu was more choice than selecting a university.

Food is the Best Time to Connect

wine, beer
Lucy Bedewi

My favorite part of shared meals went beyond just the food and drinks in front of me. I loved being able to have candid conversations and get closer to everyone in my program. We would laugh over vineyard wines and compare all the new foods on our plates. Making friends over food outweighs just eating (unless it’s schnitzel, then debatable).

All in all Austria was an amazing experience that had me leaving a piece of my heart in Vienna.