Updated: Feb 19, 2019
While learning about the culinary scene in our numerous visits to Austria, it is evident one should visit its epicentre of gastronomy. If you think it is Vienna, you are extremely wrong. No, it is Austria’s southern capital, Graz. UNESCO World Heritage Site and city of design: Austria's second largest city impresses with its incredible offering. Whether a culture lover, gourmet, shopping fanatic, athlete, art lover or nature lover, everyone will love it here.
It's also not too far from exciting excursion destinations and wine country. From the futuristic Murinsel to the striking Schlossberg, Graz offers many traditional restaurants and you cannot go astray if you look for the Kulinarium Steiermark brand of the restaurants. It guarantees you fresh products and unmistakeable tastes of the authentic Styrian cuisine. Kulinarium Styria calls for regional identity through the revitalisation and appreciation of local products and traditional recipes on the one hand, and on the other hand supports high-quality partnerships between Styrian restaurateurs and their surrounding farmers and producers. So, go ahead, and try some of the 165 awarded businesses (or all of them if you have a lifetime).
Here you can try delicious pumpkin soup or Wurzelfleisch (Styrian pork pot roast), and don’t forget to dive into the flavour of classic Christmas biscuits. Styrians are proud for the pumpkin seed oil. Styrian pumpkin seed oil, also known in Styria as “black gold”, is actually a natural dark green. It has an exquisitely fresh, nutty taste, and is extremely healthy. Pumpkin-seed oil makes a wonderful salad dressing, and is normally used in cold dishes. It is, however, also very good after gentle warming, or drizzled onto bowls of soup, and in order to give a sophisticated flavour to main courses and puddings. And it doesn’t just taste good—it’s cholesterol-free, rich in essential fatty acids and in vitamin E. Fantastically healthy and delicious! And don’t be surprised if this oil comes from a farm in Graz itself! Graz has 800 (!) city farmers, by far the most of any urban area in Austria. Since time immemorial, fruit has been planted and vegetables harvested here, wine pressed, schnapps distilled and pumpkin-seed oil milled.
Graz is a city with a great tradition of brewing beer. Styrian beer generally has a reputation as the best in Austria, and the beers from Graz are happy to contribute! By the mid-19th century, large breweries had established themselves in the city. Today, their names still stand not just for tradition but also the very finest in malted barley beers: Reininghaus beer and Puntigamer beer. Their popularity is thanks not just to the skilled craft of the brewers but also the excellence of their ingredients: the best barley and finest hops from the farmers at Leutschach. And also to the brewing water: cool, fresh and crystal clear, it bubbles up from the 230m-deep ‘Herrgottwiesquelle’ spring, and even meets the standards required of a mineral water.
Cosy and friendly, Graz is at the same time very traditional and very modern, which can be seen in its cuisine too. Numerous old-fashioned restaurants and inns in the very centre of the town are further challenged by the modern and haute cuisine. Everything is followed by excellent Styrian wine scene, which comes from the southern Styrian vineyards.
Check more about Graz here:
Gallery (photos by Graz Tourismusverband):