Schnitzel and wursts are what most people think of when they hear the words “Austrian Cuisine”, but this is a gross injustice to the wide variety of stunning traditional dishes that are available from region to region. Regional Austrian dishes typically feature what is available locally, making each town special in its own way. Gmund in Carinthia is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the fresh produce from the lakes and mountains surrounding it and has many wonderful restaurants. Whatever your mood, you will be spoiled for choice. To help narrow it down, here are 7 of the best establishments that specialize in the dishes local to the area.
1. Cafe Konditorei Rudiferia
Every town in Austria has a local bakery and cafe that is known as the ‘best in town’ and the Rudiferia is Gmund’s. Known locally for their schaumrollen - or cream rolls - which are a must try, this cafe sells a variety of delicious traditional pastries, including topfengolatschen, nussschnecken, apfelstrudel, and a very good version of the gloriously chocolatey Sacher torte.
This is a cozy and welcoming cafe, with wonderfully warm and friendly service. Whether you are wanting to sit and take your time over coffee and cake in a quiet corner, or you are grabbing a pastry to nibble on as you explore this wonderful old town, you can find all kinds of delights here to satisfy your sweet tooth. Like most bakeries in Austria, Rudiferia opens early and will provide a hearty traditional breakfast until noon if you are in the mood for something a little more substantial.
Cafe Konditorei Rudiferia
Address: Kirchgasse 49, 9853 Gmund, Austria
Website: Konditorei Rudiferia
2. Alte Burg Restaurant
Gmund has a fascinating medieval history and you can experience a little of it first hand in Alte Burg. With a traditional menu on offer, this restaurant is known locally for their hand made Spaetzle. No trip to Austria is complete without trying these delicious little noodles, which are sure to be a hit with even the fussiest of taste buds. Alte Burg offers all kinds of sauces and toppings for these little delights, from a very basic drizzle of butter and parsley to some more exotic choices of goat’s cheese, mushroom, and local speck.
If the weather is pleasant, ask for a table on the balcony, as it has some very pretty views over the town. This restaurant gets quite busy on the weekend, so reservations are a good idea. You should also be aware that there are quite a few stairs involved in getting to the entrance of this restaurant, and there is no elevator due to the age of the building.
Alte Burg Restaurant
Address: Burgwiese 1/A, Gmund 9853, Austria
Website: Alte Burg Restaurant
3. Gasthof Kohlmayr Restaurant
One of the many Gasthofs on the main town square of Gmund, the Kohlmayr has a reputation of being one of the best. With a great range of local beers on tap, the Kohlmayr is a very traditional Gasthof and the menu reflects that. Portion sizes are quite generous and the buttery pan-fried Bratkartoffeln are definitely worth a try. If you visit in the summer and aren’t rushed for time, spend a leisurely afternoon sitting outside in the sunshine with a large beer and watch the world go by on the Hauptplatz. The kitchen is open all day, so there is no need to feel hurried. In the cooler months, you can spend a delightful hour cozied up to the wooden bar enjoying a mug of Glu Wein.
Address: Hauptplatz 7, Gmund 9853, Austria
Website: Gasthof Kohlmayr
4. Alte Post Gasthof
This Gasthof is in a building over 400 years old and has been a Gasthaus since the 1800s, so if traditional is what you’re after, this place has it in spades. Alte Post has one of the nicer outdoor seating areas on the Hauptplazt, so if the weather permits, sit outside, enjoy the sunshine and indulge in an afternoon of people watching. The menu is strictly Austrian, and on the simple side, but the locally sourced ingredients are high quality and carefully prepared, resulting in delicious traditional meals.
Their schnitzels are some of the best in town. This restaurant welcomes pets and will happily provide a bowl of water for your dog. As with all Austrian service, the service here tends to be brisk and efficient, but this should not be confused with bad tempered, and tipping is optional. American tourists might find the service a little different to what they are used to.
Alte Post Gasthof
Address: Hauptplatz 17, Gmund 9853, Austria
5. Gasthof Prunner
In the main town square, you’ll find Gasthof Prunner. This restaurant is part of the medieval wall surrounding the older section of town, giving you an idea of just how old this building is! The décor is very simple, clean and traditionally Austrian, and an equally traditional menu is available. The huge grill teller is a great choice if you are feeling ravenous! Local produce is used to create seasonal menus and if you are lucky enough to be in Gmund during the high mushroom season of September and October, Gasthof Prunner has some fabulous dishes on the menu featuring the locally gathered Eierschwammel and Stein Piltzen.
Like all Austrian restaurants, there are smoking and non-smoking sections, but they aren’t very well signed here. If you are bothered by smoke, make sure you ask for the non-smoking section, or opt to sit outside if the weather permits.
Address: Hauptplatz 15, Gmund 9853, Austria
Website: Gasthof Prunner
While not actually in Gmund itself, if you don’t mind a short drive, and are feeling really hungry, then this is the place for you. Located in a cellar with vaulted ceilings, Ofenloch has a unique atmosphere. It specializes in the local Eachtling - a variety of potatoes, and nearly all the dishes on offer feature potatoes in some way. Choose from an oven baked jacket potato with sour cream and herbs, or traditional bratkartoffeln, kartoffel salad - the list is long.
You will also find some very good steak, pork chops or local lake trout to accompany your potato choice. Portion sizes are gigantic, so bring your appetite. The local beer that the landlord has on tap make a great addition to your meal or, if you aren’t a beer person, try one of the Austrian wines on the menu.
Address: Hauptstrasse 84, Seeboden 9871, Austria
This little Alm hut is known locally for the traditional dumplings or “Knodel” they serve. Treat yourself to these delectable steamed pastries and choose from a meat-filled variety served with Sauerkraut, or the little mountain-cheese ones served in a warming bowl of soup. Pritzhuette is a little further out of the town center than the other restaurants on this list, but if you don’t mind a short drive it is well worth a visit to experience the Austrian alpine ambiance. In the wintertime, you can take a horse-drawn sleigh up to this restaurant, which is a memorable 40-minute ride.
Address: Neuschitz 6, Trebesing 9852, Austria
Bring your appetite
Traditional Austrian food is far from boring, and if you are willing to explore a little bit and negotiate your way through the peculiar names of things, the culinary delights on offer in this little town will make your visit one to remember. Whether you pick up a “Bosna” from one of the many little wurst stands dotted around the town or visit one of the restaurants on this list, you will not be disappointed.
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