Eat Like an Austrian This Christmas

If you are travelling in Europe this Christmas, Austria is a wonderful place to settle for a delicious Christmas dinner.

In Austria, Christmas Eve is a celebration of the end of the pre-Christmas fast. Christmas Eve is historically the day that the tree is decorated and lit with real candles, so that the Christkindl may visit.

Christmas Day is a national holiday and most Austrians spend the day feasting with their families, consuming fried carp, Sachertorte, and Christmas biscuits, as are many other chocolate delicacies including edible Christmas ornaments. Christmas dinner is usually served with a goose, ham with Gluhwein, Rumpunsch, and chocolate mousse.

In Austria, you can float along to Mozart melodies, marvel at the sparkling Alps and immerse yourself in the culture and food. So, let’s dive in – we’ve collected some of our favourite Austrian Christmas dishes you absolutely should taste this festive season.

Stuffed Christmas Goose with Red Cabbage

Goose for Christmas Day has long been a tradition in Austria (as has carp on Christmas Eve). It is usually served with red cabbage and potato dumplings. The goose dishes start appearing in homes and restaurants around the country as early as November that’s because of the fast. St Martin’s Day on November 11 th , also known as Martinstag or Martinmas, is a time for feasting in Austria. This celebration is marked by eating Martinigansl – roasted goose, served with aromatic chestnuts, red cabbage and fluffy bread dumplings. For many people the meal is just as important as Easter and Christmas dinner.

Pumpkin Soup

In Austria, pumpkin soup is often served with a generous dollop of fresh cream and often loaded with garlic, onion, cinnamon and white wine – it’s packed with flavor – and it’s the drizzle of rich brown pumpkin oil on top that makes Austrian pumpkin soup so special. Although pumpkin soup isn’t specifically a Christmas dish it’s so popular during the period that it’s become almost synonymous with the holiday.

Bread Dumplings

Austrian bread dumplings are an absolute treat. Knödel appear in many Austrian recipes, either as a stand-alone meal or a side dish, often complimenting a goose with red cabbage.

Most of the dumplings originate from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bohemia and Moravia (today’s Czech Republic), and from Germany. The original Knedlicki were introduced in Austria by the many Bohemian and Moravian cooks and nannies who used to work in bourgeois Viennese households.

Linzer Cookies

You can never have too many kinds of Christmas cookies, especially when they’re as good as these ones. Linzer Kekse are screaming HOLIDAYS!

Linzer cookies consist of 2 short crust pastry cookies glued together with either apricot or red currant jam – these varieties are the most authentic and traditional ones. Of course, you can use any jam you like, raspberries and almonds for example, if you are preparing your own Austrian treat.

These delicious cookies originate from Linz, which is located in north-central part of the country and Austria’s 3 rd largest city.


Glühwein is a spiced hot mulled wine, commonly prepared during winter in Austria and Germany. This hot alcoholic beverage is a must during Christmas especially at the markets as well as in après ski parties as it warms your cold body from within. Some of the Australian ski resorts, outdoor ice rings and Christmas in July markets also offer glühwein nowadays.

If you are traveling through Austria’s Christmas Markets in Vienna, Salzburg, and Villach, make sure you enjoy some delicious local spiced hot mulled wine.

If you’d like more information regarding Food Tours, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 1800 242 353.