The Best Restaurants in Salzburg
Salzburg has no shortage of atmospheric restaurants and shady beer gardens serving hearty sausages, schnitzels, dumplings, and potato dishes. Don’t skip these classics, but do save room for new arrivals that offer more creative and modern cuisine.
Sankt-Peter-Bezirk 1/4, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Dating back to 803 C.E., the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium is said to be the oldest restaurant in Europe. While there’s a fine contemporary Austrian menu, the history and atmosphere of the various salons and dining rooms are an even bigger draw. The arcaded courtyard in particular is charming and turns into a winter wonderland during the Christmas-market season. The highlight for most travelers will be the Mozart Dinner. Taking place in the stunning ambience of the Baroque Hall, the meal is served with a performance by an ensemble of Mozarteum University Salzburg graduates wearing period costumes—wonderful musicians who also work with renowned orchestras.
Müllner Hauptstraße 33, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
While the name translates to the rather simple “dining room”, the experience at Esszimmer is anything but. Since 2004 it has grown to become synonymous with fine cuisine in Salzburg and has been awarded three toques by Gault & Millau as well as one Michelin star. The interior design is modern yet cozy, with a fireplace, warm lighting, and a glass floor providing a glimpse into a water channel from the Middle Ages. Chef Andreas Kaiblinger’s creative plates are visually delightful and scrumptious with bold yet recognizable flavors. Several tasting menus are offered with primarily Austrian and French influences (including excellent vegetarian options), though individual items can be ordered as well.
Linzer G. 9, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Across the river from the heart of the old town, the historic Gablerbräu dates back to 1429 and offers the usual mix of Austrian favorites, including schnitzel, Tafelspitz, and goulash, plus seasonal apricot dumplings and the local Salzburger Nockerl pastry. The local draft beer, Gabler Zwickl, is a good choice, but it’s the atmosphere that really makes this place worth a visit. While the chance to dine outdoors on a cool summer evening in Salzburg is hard to pass up, the classic decor inside should not be missed. Ask for a spot in the Richard-Mayr-Stube, a cozy dining area with murals, vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows, and a charming old tile stove.
Lindhofstraße 7, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
As Austria’s beer capital, Salzburg offers a half-dozen solid breweries. For those who prefer their suds served straight from the barrel in massive steins, however, there’s only the Augustiner Bräu at Mülin Monastery, which has been brewing beer since 1621 using a carefully guarded recipe. Since the Augustiner isn’t near a major tourist attraction, it’s relatively calm, allowing locals and travelers to mingle peacefully. Enjoy a drink in the cozy Bräustübl (the monastery’s pub) or the quaint beer garden. The beer selection is limited but you can be sure whatever you order will be super fresh. If you want something to soak up your suds, food is available at the Schmankerlgang, an arcade of stalls selling just-baked breads, pretzels, radishes, fish, and, of course, sausages.
Alter Markt 9, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Café culture is an essential part of the Austrian experience, and there’s no better place to find it in Salzburg than at the historic Café Tomaselli. Dating back to 1700 and owned by the Tomaselli family since 1852, the great coffees, delicious pastries, and warm ambience mean the marble-topped tables don’t stay empty for long. It’s a place to see and be seen, a traditional institution popular with visitors, intellectuals, and celebrities. Even Mozart was a regular here. His widow, Constanze, later returned to the city with their children and lived upstairs with her second husband, Georg Nikolaus von Nissen, from 1820 to 1826. A Mélange (similar to cappuccino) or Einspänner (mocha with thick whipped cream) are two top picks from the extensive coffee menu. Order pastries separately—from the large selection brought tableside by one of the so-called “cake maids.”
Schwarzstraße 5-7, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Zirbelzimmer, winner of a Gault & Millau toque award, is one of several dining options in the luxurious Hotel Sacher. The traditional wood-paneled walls and ceiling set the stage for Old World elegance in one of the most famous addresses in town. The menu is split between classic items such as Wiener schnitzel and more-contemporary offerings, and there is an extensive and excellent wine selection. Some vegetarian options are available, and service is top-notch. The real question is where to enjoy an original Sacher torte and coffee: here in the Zirbelzimmer or over in the hotel’s iconic Café Sacher?
Brodgasse 13, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
While many know the famous Reber brand Mozart Kugeln outside of Austria, those delicious marzipan and pistachio filled chocolate balls, they are by no means the original. They were created in 1890 by a Salzburg confectioner named Paul Fürst, who received a gold medal for these treats at the Paris Exhibition of 1905. The “Original Salzburger Mozartkugeln” are still created using the same family recipe by his great grandson, Norbert. They can only be purchased, along with truffles and other specialties, at one of his four namesake Cafe-Konditorei Fürst locations in the city.