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Culinary Delights

River-side delicacies

The diverse scenery and sights alone attract travelers to the Danube between Passau and Bratislava. Beyond that, there is a wealth of typical regional specialties, award-winning wines and appealing delicacies to make a tour of this kind an unforgettably pleasurable experience.

Gourmet tour in Upper Austria

Dumplings and beer are generally considered the culinary hallmarks of Upper Austria. Rightly so, considering that this province has all variations of this dish, from baked Mühlviertel dumplings to their smaller counterparts from the Innviertel. They are usually served with a hearty "Bratl in der Rein", as a pork roast is called here, plus the local beer. It usually comes from one of the many microbreweries in the nearby Mühlviertel, where ancient tradition, crystal-clear water from bedrock aquifers and hops assure the typical regional taste.

But the Danube region in Upper Austria has even more to offer in the way of delicious products. Good examples are the fresh vegetables from the Eferding Basin, where 29 types of potatoes and 70 types of other vegetables flourish, among them the famous Eferding cucumber. Or Schlägler organic rye. Or Sauwald potatoes. Served with tasty Danube fish such as rare wels catfish, huchen (Danube salmon), and zander. All these delicacies are served in the inns and restaurants of the Danube region in Upper Austria. These establishments concentrate largely on down-to-earth regional fare. Delicious "most", the name for the local fruit cider, is also served with the meal followed by a fine brandy afterwards. Both beverages are made from the fruit found on the meadow orchards close to the Danube, also from the area around Linz.

Gourmet tour in Lower Austria

Wine is for Lower Austria what most (cider) is for Upper Austria. Six of the nine Lower Austrian winegrowing areas (Wachau, Kremstal, Kamptal, Traisental, Wagram and Carnuntum) and the Klosterneuburg wine region are within the Danube region of Lower Austria. The Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage region, is internationally for its wine. Superb Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners flourish on the steep and sunny terraced vineyards of its primary rock slopes. The top regional wines are of course also served at award-winning local restaurants, many of which are located along the Danube. First among them is Landhaus Bacher (3 toques).

The thirty "Genussregionen" (gourmet regions) have been defined as sources of especially delectable foods ranging from Marchfeld asparagus and Wachau apricots to beef from the Alpine foothills. These items are served in gourmet temples, simple country taverns or the 60 Wirtshauskultur restaurants in Lower Austria dedicated to fine quality regional fare. Unique events featuring Ancient Roman delicacies at the Roman city of Carnuntum add to the culinary kaleidoscope, as do annual fine food festivals like the wachau GOURMETfestival in the spring and the Carnuntum Experience.

Gourmet tour in Vienna

Viennese cuisine can point to similar special characteristics and is the only cuisine in the world named after a city. Famous specialties such as schnitzel and kaiserschmarren are inseparably linked to this Danube metropolis. They are served in beisls, the Vienna version of a bistro. This local institution has undergone a renaissance over the last ten years thanks to some architectural reinterpretations. Along with the renowned Vienna coffeehouses like Central, Landtmann, and Demel, there are an increasing number of modern, stylish cafés.

Many Vienna heurige taverns also score big with modern design - as an aesthetic addition to the traditional taverns and their warm coziness in the Vienna wine villages of Grinzing, Nussdorf and Stammersdorf. After all, Vienna is the only metropolis in the world that has a substantial amount of viniculture within the city limits. Mostly white wines, among them Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC, flourish in the 700 ha of vineyards. The culinary scene in the city is likewise enhanced by luxury restaurants such as Silvio Nickol and Steirereck (ranked 10th among the "World's 50 Best"), organic and ethnic eateries, pastry shops and sausage stands, the exotic Naschmarkt and other outdoor markets, gourmet festivals, and restaurant festivals.