Culinary Salzburg: Eating out & Restaurants
Italian pasta, hefty Bavarian stews and a dash of Pannonian spices - the influences on the cuisine of Austria are manifold. Diverse food offerings in Salzburg also mirror the wealth of the Salzburg Festival visitors and meet every need a consumer could possibly have.
Good value for money, however, is a different matter and many tourists who come to the city of Mozart for a day-trip and are used to "regular" fares of Austria are often shocked by how expensive eating out can be in Salzburg. But this doesn′t have to be the case. You just need to know what you want - and look up where to get it.
Salzburg is said to have the world's highest number of Michelin torque cooks per capita - this might be just an urban legend, but it is true that there are plenty of high-end restaurants in the historic city centre. To find reasonably priced, traditional-style food, you will have to look for pubs called "Gasthaus" rather than the more exclusive restaurants.
We put together a collection of Gasthäuser and restaurants from a variety of prices. Reading the following list, please keep in mind that we do not receive any monetary rewards from the featuring companies; we like our independence. However, it is also far from being complete and we are always willing to follow recommendations of our readers on which restaurant to add.
Choosing restaurants: General recommendations
In Austria, all restaurants are obliged to have a menu on display OUTSIDE of the premises or just by the entrance. This will also give all prices. It might be in German, but essentially all restaurants in Salzburg have English menus as well - many have copies in Italian, French and Spanish. Just ask.
Keep in mind that it is considered to be rude to order tap water in Austria (see also the "Things NOT to do in Salzburg"). Some waiters will serve carbonised mineral water if you ask for "just water", some restaurants charge fees for serving tap water or refuse to do it at all. Just order "still mineral water" ("Mineralwasser ohne Kohlensäre").
Especially in the summer, you will have the choice between superbusy places and super-super-superbusy places. Stick with the former, where chances are lower to find a waiter too stressed for acceptable service as it sometimes happens in the touristy locations.
A guide to Gasthäuser in Salzburg