The Unique Food Culture of Villach
The city of Villach, in the state of Carinthia, is one of the most beautiful places in Austria and throughout the world. Known as Die Perle am Klopeiner See (The Pearl on Lake Klopein), Villach boasts stunning architecture, peaceful lakeside views, and the best food culture you can find anywhere else in the world. Here are some reasons why!
Start with History
There is a very diverse cuisine in this region of Austria, influenced by its position on the border with Italy and the Czech Republic. Just like those two countries, Austrian cuisine can be classified as Central European food. The main course consists largely of meat dishes, with a wide range such as Goulash, Sauerbraten and Wiener Schnitzel. However, people have different tastes and some might enjoy lighter dishes such as sauerkraut or veal tartar. For dessert you could try Black Forest cake, apple strudel or Kaiserschmarrn. And if you are hungry for drinks after your meal, there are many choices from beer to coffee to cherry schnapps. All these delicious foods are best enjoyed with friends and family! Be sure to taste all that Villach has to offer while visiting. Remember to take care not to overeat so that you will have room for dessert, because it’s not just the main course but also desserts that make eating in Austria so delicious.
What makes it unique
For starters, the drinking culture is different than most other countries. Drinking in public is not just frowned upon, it is illegal. You will find some people drinking beer on their balconies, but that’s not an everyday occurrence. There are also no shots here, so forget about all those kamikaze or Jägerbombs you love. The legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.05% (compared to .08% in the United States).
Hops and fruit fill many of the fruity drinks you can order, which makes sense since it’s home to one of Europe’s largest hops farms. The food scene in Villach reflects this as well; lots of hops mixed with traditional Austrian fare. One of my favorite dishes I’ve had at a restaurant called ‘Die Kasnida’ was wiener schnitzel paired with a parsley salad, followed by apple strudel and whipped cream. The waiters were quick to explain each dish while they looked me up and down judging if I could handle the heavy meal. They weren’t wrong!
Breakfasts in Villach
Breakfast typically consists of a tart, like quark with apricot jam, cream cheese and honey on whole grain bread. Sometimes there is fruit on the side. Coffee can be taken as well. Bavarian-style yogurt is also popular in Austria because it has less lactose, so most people in the country drink it for breakfast. There are many different types, like those made from buttermilk or fresh curdled milk. My favorite kind is túrós csusza, which is sour sheep’s milk cheese that has been boiled in water to give it a thick consistency. It’s served with sunflower seeds and paprika. In this region you’ll find homemade crackers that are dipped into hazelnut paste called Nutella before eating them for breakfast too! These hazelnuts come from all over Central Europe, the Balkans and Turkey, which means these crackers may have slightly different flavors depending on where they’re bought. One thing I’ve noticed about food culture in Villach is that it seems to change every few kilometers depending on who lives nearby.
Lunches in Villach
Like most European towns, there are cafés, bakeries and ice cream parlors peppered throughout the city. Lunchtime options are just as diverse and plentiful with many small neighborhood eateries serving up a quick and easy lunch. So grab your shopping bags full of fresh fruit from the stand down the street and head to one of these favorite spots for lunch:
Kreativ Café Rittaler: Whether you’re looking for soup or sandwiches this is the place to go. The food is high quality and the staff is super friendly. The atmosphere will make you feel right at home in their cosy kitchen. You can choose between a small salad bar or a big buffet, which they prepare daily. It’s a fantastic way to try out different flavors while still getting what you want! What I like about this café is that they have an array of both sweet and savory choices. They also offer salads and soups with every entree so that you don’t need to decide whether you want a sandwich or not – it’s all available to order! All the ingredients are natural and healthy so you know you’re getting great fuel for your day ahead.
Dinners in Villach
Eating out is a popular pastime in Villach and there are a wide variety of cuisine choices to pick from. What makes this city’s food culture so interesting is that while you can find most Austrian dishes, such as Sachertorte, or German foods like schnitzel, you’ll also find Yugoslavian restaurants with typical dishes like burek and grilled kebab. What about the many types of pizzas? You will find pizza slices being sold on street corners at an affordable price but also fancier Italian style pizzas at higher end establishments. If your craving something sweet, head over to one of the many bakeries where you can buy anything from a small piece of cake to a whole pie.
Overall Villach has a rich diversity of cultures and tastes which lends itself well to those who want more than just traditional cuisines. Don’t forget to try some of their famous spaetzle dumplings too! These delicious little morsels are made of egg noodles mixed with flour, salt, and either milk or water. The dough is then rolled into long ropes that are cut into individual pieces before boiling them for about three minutes until they rise to the surface.
Street Food in Villach
Street food is traditionally associated with street vendors who sell everything from hot dogs to donuts. The most popular types of street food are sausages, chips, chicken and other local food specialties.
Sausages in particular are popular among the Austrians and some Czechs, whereas the most popular sausage in the city is Frankfurter or Wiener Würstchen which is usually served in a bread roll with a salad or cooked vegetables. Other street foods that can be found on almost every corner include Italian pizzas, hamburgers, pastries, ice cream, pretzels and cold drinks such as Coke Zero. In recent years however these traditional street food spots have been replaced by more luxurious cafés such as Café Wienerschnitzel. Located near the pedestrian zone, this café serves Vienna’s most famous dish: the schnitzel. With a wide variety of menus ranging from their original schnitzel to chicken-filled sandwiches and salads, Café Wienerschnitzel is one of the best cafes in town. All products are made fresh daily and nothing has preservatives.
Takeaways from my experience in Villach
If you love high culture with a touch of sophistication, than you will find the food in Villach to be something that you cannot get enough of. Places like Mulderschutz and Bischofshof offer up a contemporary twist on traditional Austrian dishes while staying true to their roots. The spices they use are nothing like what I have seen back home in America and they make me feel like I am sitting at a gourmet dinner or fine dining establishment rather than some small diner on the side of the road. Some of my favorite dishes were schnitzel and riesling soup which is reminiscent of foods found in Germany but still manages to keep its Austro-Hungarian heritage alive. What’s more, I can’t say enough about how good the desserts taste! Whether it’s strudel or apple tarts, one thing is for sure: there’s no way that you’ll go hungry when visiting this region! It seems that everywhere I went in town, there was some type of sweets available and it was hard to turn down all the tasty options!