Last Updated on October 30, 2022 by gregor
Delicious Christmas Market Foods You Need to Try when visiting Vienna at Christmas
It feels as though it was only yesterday that the Viennese Christmas markets (Christkindlmärkte) open their gates, turned on their cheerful lights, and welcomed the crowds to join in the merriment. With that uncanny aroma of mulled wine wafting through the air, you knew it was officially the start of the holiday season.
We would like to suggest a list of edible delights, that you can taste at the Christmas markets in Vienna this year. If the mulled wine was not enough of an incentive to visit at least one, then we hope these goodies are.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK AT THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN VIENNA
Soup in bread
On a cold winter evening, what could be more satisfying than the heat of a thick soup surrounded by the fluffiness of freshly baked bread, which soaks it up, so you can enjoy breaking up the crust after you’re done with your soup serving?
Whether it is creamy garlic soup or goulash soup, it will warm you up and keep you full. Expect the bill for this one to be between 5.5 and 6,8 euros.
We do not refer to those perfect-looking potato skewers which are usually baked. There are spiralized potatoes where the skin is removed, they are cut using a spiralizer, and then deep fried. Served with salt in a paper cone, it is a simple, yet delicious crispy treat.
The good part is it will not see you back more than 5 Euro and considering the serving size, they are ideal to share with your friends.
There is something odd about the markets that lack a stand where you can buy a hot potato, fresh out of the oven. It is simple, filling, and takes us back to easy childhood dinners.
Baked Potatoe Toppings
Almost in all markets, you have the choice of several toppings:
- classic sour cream with chives
- some cheese
- smoked salmon
Depending on the size of the potatoes used and your choice of topping, expect to budget in anything between 6 to 10 euros.
Pulled pork – Spittelberg Market
More of a grilling staple than associated with Christmas, it is a welcome addition that stands out. Not your every stand at the markets, a delicious portion of pulled pork sandwiched between warm crispy buns and drenched in a delicious sauce is what you can get at the Spittelberg market.
The stand is nestled somewhere close to the ATM, it’s rather small, so careful not to miss it. If you wish to enjoy the pulled pork sandwich as a stand-alone meal, be prepared to spend above 10 Euro and wait a few minutes until your sandwich is put together.
This tasty Sicilian specialty is not to be found in all the markets, nor is it usually associated with Christmas.
However, on Christmas Market at the Maria-Theresien-Platz, close to the entrance to the Natural History Museum, this one booth offering them stood out so we decided to have a go. The arancini is a stuffed rice ball (or cone), coated lightly in bread crumbs and deep-fried.
The available fillings consist of:
- beef Bolognese
- or mushrooms
They are served warm and will quickly fill you up. Best of all, they are reasonably priced, at exactly 3,8 Euro per piece, regardless of filling.
Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancake)
A definite winter staple in Vienna when it comes to street food, you are likely to find this delightful potato patty served at the same stands as chestnuts or baked potatoes, over a coal stove. These stands are scattered throughout Vienna, so you will be able to enjoy the Puffer even after the holiday season. If that is the case, why is this listed here? Because normally it is baked in coal stoves.
At the Stephansplatz Christmas Market, not only you will find a super crispy Puffer once it comes out of the fryer, but you also have a hearty selection of toppings.
You can choose the classic, consisting of garlic sauce and salt, you can have the Wildsau (the wild sow), which is a strange name to give to a Puffer topped with sour cream and smoked ham, or the Greek one, which comes with a topping of spinach and shepherd’s cheese. More so, you can taste tangy and sweet if you go for the topping with apple purée (Apfelmus). Because it depends on the location and on the way it is prepared, the price will range from 1,8 euros for the baked one to about 4,8 euros for the deep-fried crispy patty.
Bonus tip: All the Christmas markets host at least one stand where you can enjoy freshly made sausages, either with a slice of bread and some sauce, potatoes, pickled veggies, and so on. There are many types of sausages you can sample, combined with different side dishes, so the price range will differ greatly. For example, at the Belvedere Christmas market, a Käsekrainer with sauce and a slice of bread will cost 5 euros.
This is a tangy Swiss cheese that is usually melted with a heated stone (back in the day, it used to be with an open flame). In the Viennese Christmas markets, expect to wait in line for it, because it is an extremely popular treat.
The Raclette is used to smother and give a flavorful punch to an open sandwich that usually is topped with cheese, to which one can add ham, onions, ham, bacon, and other ingredients depending on the stand. Once the cheese is melted over it, you can choose from additional toppings, like onions, peppers, or paprika.
Enjoy it straight away, before the cheese goes cold and becomes a bit chewy. Anything upwards of 4 Euro and under 6,5, is a reasonable amount you can expect to pay for this cheesy delight.
We did not forget about the sweets and baked goods, of which there is no shortage at the Christmas markets. So here goes:
Here is another one of the busy stands, because the sweet smell of candied nuts is so inviting, it’s hard to say ‘no, thank you. This is an easy treat, in which almonds are roasted with sugar and cinnamon. Snacking and ambling about the market is sure to be made easy with this yummy treat, which will usually cost an average of 4 Euros per serving.
I like the pretzel stands at the Christmas markets, they keep things simple. Almost inevitably, here you will find both a savory and sweet option of the same product.
However, since one would be hard-pressed to find the sweet one anywhere else outside the festive season, they are deserving of inclusion. There are three types of sweet pretzels to sample, namely apple and cinnamon, chocolate, and marzipan. The dough of the apple pretzel is twisted with the cinnamon and the apple puree so that the sweet-sour flavor is consistent all over. The chocolate and the marzipan pretzels are lightly glazed.
They will usually charge you around 3,5 Euro for a sweet pretzel. We particularly enjoyed the ones at the Belvedere Christmas market.
Bauernkrapfen (Farmer’s Doughnuts)
Not to worry, Krapfen (Austrian doughnuts) will still be around in supermarkets and bakeries.
The Farmer’s Doughnut is a slightly oversized variant of the same deep-fried dough, sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, but it is topped in the middle with raspberry jam and has no filling fluffy as you bite down to the middle.
One piece will usually be around 3,5 to 4 Euro, depending on where you get it from. It is available at most stands offering sweet baked goods, however for the authentic Bauernkrapfen, head down to the stand either at Karlsplatz or Spittelberg Christmas Market, which offers them freshly made.
A definite eye-catcher, this is an interesting cupcake.
A rich speculoos (Spekulatius) cream swirls atop the base of gingerbread and is sprinkled with coarsely chopped nuts. It feels somewhat decadent, but the price is fair at 3,9 euros.
The one we tasted was at a stand close to the NHM, at the Maria-Theresien-Platz Christmas market, where you can also enjoy a small assortment of hot chocolate and eggnog.
Baumkuchen (Chimney cake)
Also known as Kürtőskalács is a spit cake that originated from the Hungarian community in Transylvania. The dough is wrapped around a wooden spit and heated in an electric oven or over a grill. It is coated with a powdery mix of cinnamon, sugar, and walnuts, creating a crispy topping, with a soft thin layer on the hollow inside.
A medium piece will cost you around 5 Euro and it’s great for sharing with friends, as the dough is easy to pick and pull.
Bonus tip – Organic Christmas Food
If you favor organic ingredients, your best bet is the Christmas Market at Karlsplatz. It is also ideal if you wish to bring your children along, as there are some activities and plenty of treats for the little ones too.
Your Vienna Christmas Market Drink Bucket List
Mulled wine – Glühwein
By far the most popular drink at the Christmas market is mulled wine. Everyone knows that this is warm red wine. But do you also know the exact formula for the success of the classic? It reads red wine plus cinnamon, cloves, star anise, lemon zest, and sugar. Mulled wine must not be heated to more than 78 degrees, otherwise, the alcohol will evaporate and the taste will deteriorate. In addition, it must contain at least seven percent alcohol to even be called mulled wine.
Feuerzangenbowle – Punch
Not only the taste of the Feuerzangenbowle is special, but also the production: a pot filled with warm red wine, cinnamon sticks, cloves as well as orange and lemon peel is placed on a so-called Feuerzangenbowle. You place a sugar loaf on it, pour 54 percent rum over it, and then set it on fire. The sugar will melt and drip into the red wine. The fire tong punch is ready. Even if the name suggests otherwise: Actually, the Feuerzangenbowle is a punch. Because a punch consists mainly of white wine and is drunk cold. A mix of red wine and brandy, on the other hand, is a punch.
Jagertee comes from Austria. The name of this drink really says it all: Jagertee consists of black tea. Inländer rum is also added. Since the Austrians are very proud of the drink, they have had the European Union ensure in a labeling guideline that Jagertee may only be produced in Austria. German manufacturers have to call their drink “Hüttentee” despite the identical ingredients.
Chocolate lovers order this mixture of cocoa, cream, and rum.
Mix rum and sugar, fill up with hot water and it’s ready.
Its ingredients are whipped egg whites, egg yolks, rum, white wine, vanilla, sugar, and whipped cream on top.
The spices are the same, but the wine is different: instead of red wine, as with classic mulled wine, white wine is used for white mulled wine. As a result, it tastes fresher and lighter than its heavier relative. In Italy, the white version is even more common than the classic mulled wine.
We hope you enjoyed this selection of foods and drinks you get at Christmas in Vienna, but if you feel we missed something, let us know in your comments.
And we sincerely apologize in advance if following up on these suggestions is in any way shape or form tampering with your fitness resolutions.
We trust our readers will exercise moderation when tasting the goodies at the Christmas markets in Vienna.