Welcome to the ultimate guide to Viennese sausages in Vienna, Austria! If you’re a street food lover, then you’re in for a treat. Viennese sausages, also known as Würstel, have a rich history and are an essential part of the city’s culinary culture.
Vienna is famous for its delightful sausages that have been satisfying hunger pangs for centuries. These delicious sausages are widely available at Würstelstands, which are small street food kiosks that dot the city streets. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, indulging in a Viennese sausage is an experience not to be missed.
In this guide, we will explore the fascinating history of Viennese sausages, delve into the different types available, and discover the traditional accompaniments that perfectly complement these savory treats. We’ll also share with you the best Würstelstand locations in Vienna, where you can find the tastiest sausages that will leave you craving for more.
For those who are new to the Viennese street food scene, we’ve got you covered! We’ll provide you with essential tips on Würstelstand etiquette and ordering, ensuring that you navigate the world of Viennese sausages like a pro. And for the adventurous souls, we’ll take a journey beyond Vienna to explore the regional variations of sausages found in different parts of Austria.
So, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a mouthwatering adventure as we uncover the secrets of Viennese sausages. Whether you prefer your sausage with mustard, ketchup, or sauerkraut, this guide will leave you craving for a bite of this iconic street food, bringing to life the flavors and essence of Vienna’s culinary heritage.
History of Viennese Sausages
The history of Viennese sausages can be traced back to the 17th century when it became popular in Vienna, Austria. The city’s connection with sausages goes back even further, with records indicating that sausages were consumed by the Romans in what is now modern-day Austria.
Viennese sausages gained widespread popularity during the Habsburg Monarchy, the ruling dynasty of Austria from the 16th to the early 20th century. The sausages were enjoyed by both the aristocracy and the commoners, making them an integral part of Austrian cuisine.
The most famous type of Viennese sausage is the Wiener Würstel, from which the English word “wiener” is derived. This sausage is made from a blend of finely minced beef and pork, seasoned with a combination of spices, and encased in a thin natural casing. The sausage is then smoked and cooked, resulting in a juicy and flavorful delicacy.
Another popular variety is the Käsekrainer, an Austrian cheese-filled sausage. This innovation in the world of sausages is said to have been created in the 1980s in Vienna. It features a mixture of pork, beef, garlic, and chunks of cheese, which melt when the sausage is cooked, creating a gooey and indulgent experience.
Viennese sausages were traditionally made by butchers who took pride in their craft. These sausages were initially enjoyed in homes across Vienna before being brought to the streets by Würstelstands. These small street food kiosks became an integral part of Viennese culture, offering sausages and other quick bites to hungry locals and curious visitors.
Today, Viennese sausages continue to be celebrated as a cherished food tradition in Austria. They are enjoyed as a quick snack or a satisfying meal, often accompanied by a fresh pretzel, crispy fries, or sauerkraut.
With their delicious flavors and cultural significance, Viennese sausages showcase the culinary heritage of Vienna and have become a symbol of the city’s rich street food culture.
Types of Viennese Sausages
Viennese sausages come in various types, each offering a unique taste and texture. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Wiener Würstel: This is the classic Viennese sausage that has gained international fame. Made from a combination of finely minced beef and pork, it is seasoned with a blend of spices, including garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika. The Wiener Würstel is known for its smooth texture, savory flavor, and slightly smoky aroma.
- Käsekrainer: The Käsekrainer is a mouthwatering variation of the classic Wiener Würstel. It is made by blending pork, beef, and garlic, and filled with small chunks of cheese that melt when cooked. The result is a burst of cheesy goodness with every bite.
- Debreziner: Originating from Hungary, the Debreziner is a spicy and smoky sausage made from pork and flavored with paprika and other spices. It is slightly longer and thinner compared to the Wiener Würstel and is known for its vibrant red color.
- Bernese Sausage (Berner Würstel): As the name suggests, this sausage has its roots in Bern, Switzerland. It is a flavorful combination of pork and beef, often wrapped in bacon. The Bernese sausage is then grilled or roasted to perfection, resulting in a delectable and savory treat.
- Burenwurst: A hearty and meaty sausage, the Burenwurst is made from a blend of pork and beef. It has a coarser texture compared to other Viennese sausages and is seasoned with a variety of spices such as marjoram, garlic, and nutmeg.
- Bosna: Inspired by the flavors of the Balkans, the Bosna is a grilled sausage served in a long roll. It is made from a combination of beef and pork, flavored with garlic, paprika, and onions. The Bosna is often topped with a zesty onion and mustard sauce, adding a tangy and spicy kick.
These are just a few examples of the delicious Viennese sausages you can find in Austria. Whether you prefer a classic Wiener Würstel with mustard or a spicy Bosna with all the fixings, there is a sausage to suit every palate.
Traditional Accompaniments for Viennese Sausages
When it comes to enjoying Viennese sausages, the right accompaniments can elevate the flavors and create a truly satisfying meal. Here are some of the traditional accompaniments that perfectly complement Viennese sausages:
- Mustard: Mustard is a classic condiment that pairs exceptionally well with Viennese sausages. The tangy and slightly spicy flavor of mustard adds a delightful kick to the savory sausages. Traditional Viennese mustard varieties include sweet mustard, sharp mustard, and spicy mustard.
- Ketchup: Ketchup is another popular choice for dipping Viennese sausages. Its tangy and slightly sweet taste provides a contrast to the savory sausages, enhancing their flavors. It’s a favorite among children and those who prefer a milder flavor profile.
- Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage, is a traditional accompaniment to Viennese sausages. Its tangy and slightly sour taste complements the richness of the sausages, creating a balanced and flavorful combination. The sauerkraut adds a refreshing crunch and a touch of acidity to the dish.
- Bread or Rolls: Viennese sausages are often enjoyed in a fresh roll or bread. This provides a soft and chewy texture that contrasts with the juiciness of the sausages. The bread acts as a vessel to hold the sausage and toppings, making it easier to eat on the go.
- Potato Salad: A popular side dish to accompany Viennese sausages is potato salad. The creamy and tangy flavors of the potato salad create a perfect balance with the savory sausages. The cool and refreshing salad adds a deliciously satisfying element to the meal.
- Pretzels: Pretzels are a classic bakery item that pairs wonderfully with Viennese sausages. The salty and crispy exterior of the pretzel provides a delightful contrast to the juicy sausages. Breaking off a piece of pretzel and dipping it into mustard is a delicious way to savor the flavors.
These traditional accompaniments enhance the taste and experience of enjoying Viennese sausages. Whether you prefer the tanginess of sauerkraut or the spiciness of mustard, these flavorful pairings create a symphony of flavors that will satisfy your taste buds.
Popular Würstelstand Locations in Vienna
When it comes to finding the best Viennese sausages, look no further than the iconic Würstelstands scattered throughout the city. These small street food kiosks are a staple of Vienna’s culinary scene and offer a wide variety of sausages to satisfy your cravings. Here are some popular Würstelstand locations in Vienna:
- Bitzinger Würstelstand: Located in the heart of Vienna, near the famous Vienna State Opera, Bitzinger Würstelstand is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Their sausages are known for their unparalleled quality and taste. Enjoy your sausages with a fresh Kaiser roll and top it off with their homemade mustard.
- Zum scharfen René: This Würstelstand, situated in the bustling Naschmarkt, offers a variety of sausages with a twist. Alongside classic choices, you’ll find creative and spicy options that cater to adventurous taste buds. The lively atmosphere and friendly service make it a popular spot for locals and visitors.
- Frankowitsch: While technically located in Graz, Frankowitsch is worth a mention for its renowned sausages and delicious toppings. Known for its mouthwatering Bosna sausages, this Würstelstand boasts a wide array of condiments and sauces to create your perfect sausage creation.
- Kurt’s Kiosk: Tucked away in the popular MuseumsQuartier, Kurt’s Kiosk is a hidden gem loved by locals. Their menu features a selection of tasty sausages and toppings, all served with a side of friendly banter from the staff. Don’t forget to try their infamous Currywurst, a sausage topped with a flavorful curry sauce.
- Drei in Einem Würstelstand: This family-run Würstelstand has been serving Vienna since the 1950s, and their commitment to quality and tradition is evident in every bite. Located near Karlsplatz, this stand offers a variety of sausages cooked to perfection, as well as a selection of traditional Austrian dishes.
These are just a few of the many Würstelstand locations in Vienna where you can sample the finest Viennese sausages. Each stand has its own unique charm and specialties, ensuring that every visit is a delightful culinary adventure.
As you explore Vienna, keep an eye out for these bustling kiosks that serve up authentic and mouthwatering Viennese sausages. Indulge in this beloved street food tradition and savor the flavors that have made Vienna a haven for sausage enthusiasts.
Würstelstand Etiquette and Ordering Tips
When visiting a Würstelstand in Vienna, it’s useful to be aware of the etiquette and ordering tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind:
- Queue properly: Most Würstelstands have a line, so make sure to join the queue and wait for your turn. It’s important to respect the order and not jump ahead, as this is considered impolite.
- Know what you want: Before reaching the counter, decide on the type of sausage and any additional toppings or sides you desire. This will help speed up the ordering process and ensure that you get exactly what you want.
- Be prepared to pay in cash: While some Würstelstands may accept card payments, it’s best to have cash on hand as many smaller stands only accept cash. Make sure to have the correct amount ready to facilitate a smooth transaction.
- Be aware of peak times: Würstelstands can get busy, particularly during lunchtime and after late-night activities. If possible, try to avoid these peak times to minimize waiting and enjoy a more relaxed experience.
- Use condiments wisely: Take care when adding condiments to your sausage. Respect the tradition and apply condiments sparingly, allowing the flavors of the sausage to shine. Mustard, ketchup, and sauerkraut are popular choices, but feel free to customize your order to your personal taste.
- Be mindful of space: Once you receive your order, find an appropriate place to enjoy your meal. If the Würstelstand has a seating area, take a seat. If not, be considerate of others and find a nearby bench or area to enjoy your sausage.
- Dispose of trash properly: After finishing your meal, make sure to dispose of any trash in the designated bins. Keeping the area clean and tidy helps maintain the Würstelstand’s reputation and ensures a pleasant experience for future customers.
- Ask for recommendations: Don’t hesitate to ask the Würstelstand staff for their recommendations. They are typically knowledgeable about their sausages and can offer insights into the different flavors and specialties available.
- Enjoy the experience: The Würstelstand culture in Vienna is not just about the food; it’s about the lively atmosphere, the hustle, and bustle of the streets, and the friendly interactions. Embrace the experience, engage with the locals, and savor every bite of your delicious Viennese sausage.
By following these etiquettes and tips, you will navigate the world of Würstelstands with ease and fully enjoy the unique street food culture of Vienna.
Best Places to Try Viennese Sausages in Vienna
Vienna is home to numerous Würstelstands and eateries that serve exceptional Viennese sausages. If you’re looking for the best places to try these mouthwatering delicacies, here are some top recommendations:
- Bitzinger Würstelstand: Located near the Vienna State Opera, Bitzinger is a beloved institution known for its high-quality sausages. From the classic Wiener Würstel to the indulgent Käsekrainer, their sausages are grilled to perfection and served with a wide selection of condiments. Enjoy the sausages with a fresh Kaiser roll and relish in the flavors that have made Bitzinger a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
- Konstanze: This family-run restaurant in the heart of Vienna’s city center offers a diverse menu of traditional Austrian dishes, including delicious Viennese sausages. The sausages are prepared with utmost care and served with a variety of sides. Enjoy a hearty meal in a cozy atmosphere and savor the authentic taste of Viennese cuisine.
- Würstelstand Leo: Nestled in the vibrant Naschmarkt, Würstelstand Leo is a go-to spot for sausage lovers. Their menu features a variety of sausages, including the must-try Käsekrainer. With a reputation for generous portions and friendly service, Würstelstand Leo offers a satisfying experience that will leave you craving for more.
- Drechsler: Known for its Viennese coffeehouse ambiance, Drechsler is a popular spot for breakfast or brunch. While they serve a variety of dishes, their Viennese sausages are a highlight. Order a plate of sausages, accompanied by fluffy scrambled eggs, and relish in the delightful flavors that make Drechsler a favorite among locals and visitors.
- Zum scharfen René: Situated in the bustling Naschmarkt, Zum scharfen René offers a unique twist on Viennese sausages. Alongside classic choices, they provide delicious and spicy sausage options that cater to adventurous palates. The lively atmosphere and friendly service add to its charm, making it a must-visit destination for sausage enthusiasts.
These are just a few of the top places to try Viennese sausages in Vienna. Each establishment offers its own unique take, but they all share a commitment to quality ingredients and authentic flavors. Whether you’re strolling through the streets or visiting a renowned eatery, these recommended spots will ensure you have a memorable culinary experience full of delectable Viennese sausages.
Sausage Variations in Different Regions of Austria
While Viennese sausages hold a special place in Austrian cuisine, it’s worth exploring the diverse range of sausage variations found in different regions of the country. Each region offers its own unique flavors and specialties. Here are some notable sausage variations to discover:
- Bratwurst: Bratwurst is a popular sausage variety found throughout Austria. In the province of Styria, known for its culinary traditions, you’ll find the Styrian Bratwurst. Made from a mixture of pork and beef seasoned with garlic, nutmeg, and various herbs, this sausage has a distinct flavor that reflects the region’s gastronomic heritage.
- Pustertaler Almkäsewurst: Hailing from the Puster Valley region in the Austrian Alps, the Pustertaler Almkäsewurst is a unique sausage that incorporates alpine cheese. Made from a blend of pork, beef, and alpine cheese, this sausage offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures. It is often enjoyed grilled alongside traditional mountain fare.
- Mühlviertler Verhackert: In the Mühlviertel region of Upper Austria, you’ll find the Mühlviertler Verhackert. Unlike traditional sausages, this specialty is a spread made from minced bacon, onions, and spices. It is typically enjoyed on bread, offering a rich and savory culinary experience that showcases the region’s pork-centric cuisine.
- Kärntner Kasnudeln: Moving south to the Carinthia region, Kärntner Kasnudeln is a unique sausage-filled pasta dish. The pasta is made with a mixture of flour, eggs, and water and is filled with a cheese and sausage mixture. It is then cooked and served with various toppings, including butter, breadcrumbs, and herbs. This hearty dish is a testament to Carinthia’s rich culinary traditions.
- Schweinsbratwurst: In the Tyrol region, the Schweinsbratwurst is a popular sausage made primarily from pork. It is seasoned with a blend of spices and grilled to perfection. This sausage is often enjoyed during Tyrolean festivals and is a beloved part of the region’s culinary heritage.
- Bauernkrainer: In the mountainous region of Salzburg, the Bauernkrainer is a sausage variation that stands out. Made from a combination of pork and beef flavored with garlic, caraway seeds, and other spices, this sausage is known for its robust and smoky taste. It is typically served with sauerkraut and mustard, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.
These are just a few examples of the diverse sausage variations found in different regions of Austria. From the alpine regions to the cityscapes, each region offers its own distinct sausage specialties that reflect the local culinary traditions and flavors. Exploring these variations allows you to embark on a gastronomic journey through the rich tapestry of Austrian cuisine.
Viennese sausages, or Würstel, are an integral part of Austrian culinary culture, and exploring the world of Viennese sausages is like taking a flavorful journey through the historic streets of Vienna. From the classic Wiener Würstel to the indulgent Käsekrainer, these sausages offer a combination of savory flavors and unique textures that have delighted locals and visitors for centuries.
Whether enjoyed at a bustling Würstelstand or in a traditional Viennese eatery, Viennese sausages are best accompanied by traditional condiments like mustard, ketchup, and sauerkraut. These accompaniments enhance the taste and create a harmonious balance of flavors.
While Viennese sausages take the spotlight, it’s also worth exploring the diverse sausage variations found in different regions of Austria. From the Bratwurst of Styria to the Pustertaler Almkäsewurst of the Austrian Alps, each region offers its own unique sausage specialties that reflect their gastronomic traditions.
As you navigate the Würstelstands and eateries of Vienna and venture into the regions of Austria, remember to embrace the experience fully. Engage with the locals, ask for recommendations, and savor every bite of these delicious sausages that have become an integral part of Austrian culture.
Viennese sausages exemplify the rich culinary heritage of Vienna and Austria as a whole. From their humble origins to their prominence in street food culture, these sausages continue to be a favorite among locals and a culinary delight for visitors. So, whether you’re a sausage enthusiast or simply curious to experience one of Austria’s culinary treasures, indulge in Viennese sausages and let them transport you to the heart of Vienna’s vibrant street food scene.