Salzburg: a true Foodie Hotspot
From Michelin-starred finger food to sublime strudel - eating and drinking your way around Salzburgerland couldn't be more tempting. Here's a pro tip for Salzburg to start you off: arrive hungry. The city is a prime destination for foodies, whether you're looking for fine dining or casual - but - delectable options.
If it's high-end eating you're after, prepare yourself for a busy tip. There's a total of four Michelin-starred venues in the city and many more that have been awarded 'toques' in the prestigious Gault-Millau rating system. Try contemporary, innovative dishes at uber-sleek Magazin, or discover the wonders being crafted at Ikarus, set in a modern aircraft hangar, which brings in a different top chef from around the world each month.
If you are planning to indulge in Michelin-star treatment, don't miss celebrated restaurant Carpe Diem Finest Finger food in the Old Town, one of the few Michelin-approved venues where eating with your hands won't get you disapproving looks, as the speciality here is its 'fine finger food', which is served in tiny - and rather cute - cones, filled with everything from beef tartar with mashed potato, to hazelnut and cranberry.
If you're looking for a more casual dining experience, you won't have to look far. Keep it traditional at cosy, inn-style venues such as Zum Zirkelwirt and Barenwirt, where you can get stuck in to authentic, hearty dishes like Wiener schnitzel, roast pork and all manner of indulgent knodel (dumplings). As meaty as Austrian cuisine might at first seem, there's also plenty for vegetarians and vegans, or just those looking for healthier options. Two favourites in this area are The Heart of Joy Cafe, which serves breakfasts, juices, salads and cakes (and boasts a view of the beautiful Mirabell Palace and Gardens), and The Green Garden, which is Salzburg's first vegetarian and vegan restaurant.
Pro tip two: wherever you go to eat, do not skip dessert. Those who do are missing out on a whole universe of irresistible specialities that showcase another side entirely to Salzburg's foodie scene. You're probably thinking of strudel, right? Sure, you've tried it before, but what you'll get in Salzburg will put those other strudels well and truly to shame.
And don't just stick to regular apple strudel, either; this is where Salzburg's immense cafe and konditorei (cake shop) scene really kicks in, with venues across the city offering all kinds of sweet and savoury strudel filings, from pumpkin to plum, and from cream cheese to chocolate.
Feel free to load-up on strudel, but do leave room for the other incredible desserts and cakes on offer, particularly Salzburger Nockerl: this regional speciality is a dessert soufflé of meringue and raspberries, shaped into mountain-like peaks that are just begging to be Instagrammed before you devour them. Remember, once you're in a cosy konditorei, take your time over your coffee and sweet treat. Sit, relax and linger - just as the locals do.
As delicious as theses traditional dishes are, Salzburg also offers a wealth of international cuisine for those wanting to branch out further; Vietnamese, Indian, French, Thai and Italian foods are all easily available, plus enough burgers to keep patty-fields thoroughly satisfied. The chances are that if you're visiting Salzburg, you'll also be heading out of the city centre into the wider Salzburgerland region - and why wouldn't you? The surrounding areas are utterly beautiful and perfect for hiking, mountain biking, hill walking and - of curse - snow sports. After all those exhausting activities, you'll be more than in the mood for a good meal; luckily, Salzburgerland's culinary scene is just as rich as its range of outdoor pursuits.
So, where and how do you start sampling the huge range of food and drink on offer? Culinaria; a comprehensive guide to the region's gastronomic highlights, themed around nine 'culinary pathways' that map out journeys around Salzburgerland to specific destinations. These could be anywhere from a cheese dairy, a brewery, to a local farm on a specialist restaurant, all showcasing carefully selected examples of a certain ingredient.
Offering something for every foodie, there are pathways for 'organic connoisseurs', 'fish fans', 'herb lovers' (for snow sports fans travelling between ski huts), and not forgetting 'cheese freaks'. It's quite the foodie adventure. But why stop there? Those wanting to carve out their own culinary journey also have the option to head to one of Salzburg's cooking schools. Here, you can prepare your own Austrian classics - including strudel, of course.
So, remember: arrive hungry, leave full, satisfied and smiling. And make sure that when you do arrive in Austria, it's courtesy of British Airways, who are offering low-cost fares to Salzburg, leaving you more cash to splash on dumplings and fine-dining.