Authentic Austrian Sausages – What to Expect in Vienna

Austria is highly regarded for its arts and architecture, but another wildly popular product is its sausage. In Vienna, you’ll find plenty of Würstelstands, or “sausage booths”. These standalone snack bars serve a variety of Austrian sausages and drinks. Sausages in Vienna are truly special because they break down social barriers. Blue and white collar workers both frequent these Würstelstands to converse and enjoy a wiener or two.

Types of Sausages in Vienna

There are four major varieties of sausages you’ll find in Vienna, and several less common types that you may find on a menu. The four major Austrian sausages are the Frankfurter, the Bratwurst, the Käsekrainer, and the Debreziner.

Frankfurter

The Frankfurter is the hot dog of Austria. These are often cooked in water or broth, and are commonly simply dressed with ketchup and mayo. Frankfurters are usually served with a roll and though humble, make a delicious snack. They’re typically the cheapest sausage option in Vienna and they tend to be served in pairs. If you’re traveling to Austria on a budget, you may find yourself regularly ordering these for lunch. They’re delicious… we won’t judge.

The Sacherwürstel is a more refined relative of a Frankfurter. While they have similar ingredients, the Sacherwürstel tends to be higher quality. It’s also thinner, longer, more aromatic, and darker than the typical Frankfurter. The Berner Würstel is another variant of this humble wiener, but it’s really just another way to eat the Frankfurter. Slice it in half lengthwise, throw some cheese in the cut, wrap it in bacon and throw it in the fryer to get an indulgent version of the already indulgent snack.

Bratwurst

The classic German sausage. Austrian Bratwursts are lightly spiced and typically panfried. In Vienna, they are typically large and long. A variety is Grillwurst, which is more heavily spiced. Currywurst is a German import, but it’s not as common in Austria. They’re made with a curry spice mix and tend to be more aromatic than they’re more traditional counterparts.

Käsekrainer

Definitely don’t miss the Käsekrainer in your travels. While it won’t help you keep off the vacation weight, it will feed your soul. It’s a big one with pockets of cheese scattered within. They’re typically served with a slice of dark bread or a white roll, and common condiments are ketchup and mustard. Take care with your first bite, because the hot fat and cheese can scorch your mouth… nobody wants a shot palate in Vienna. If you’re not really into gourmet cheese dogs, Burenwurst or Klobasse are less common varieties, minus the cheese.

Debreziner

This lightly smoked sausage originated in Hungary, and the sweet paprika flavor reflects that heritage. The Debreziner is a relatively thin and more of a reddish color than other sausages in the area. It can be described as rich, hearty, and savory, and is a popular ingredient in goulash, a traditional Hungarian stew. While ketchup and mustard are the most common accompaniments to Austrian sausages, this is a good one to pair with other condiments. Try a few gherkins or Pfefferoni (a mild chili pepper) alongside it, or maybe opt for some horseradish.

When you travel to Austria, soak up the architectural majesty and dive into their longstanding appreciation of the arts, but don’t forget to indulge in a few Vienna sausages. Regardless of your form choice, pair it with a few high quality Austrian beers and maybe treat the kids to a cream soda… everyone will have a great time.

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