Often referred to as ‘Vienna’s cooler little sister’, Graz is a great destination for foodies. Locally sourced produce is at the heart and Graz’s chefs transform deceptively simple ingredients into traditional, imaginative dishes with international accents. Here is our guide to the Austrian city’s unmissable eateries, from five-star restaurants to local bakeries.
Hotel Restaurant, Austrian, Contemporary, $$$
Restaurant Florian, situated inside the five-star Parkhotel Graz
, is a perfect setting for a romantic rendez-vous
. The restaurant contains an idyllic rose garden, an appealing traditional-style dining room and a winter garden conservatory, all of which makes for a fantastic ambience for a romantic dinner. Florian is also a perfect setting for business meals, gala dinners, events and festivities of all kinds. On the menu, you’ll find a wide range of fine wines to go with the gourmet Austrian cuisine.
Backerei Sorger ‘Zum Weinrebenbäcker’
Cafe, Restaurant, Austrian, $$$
The earliest record of historic Sorger dates back to 1688, making it one of the oldest, as well as largest bakeries in the Styria region. Indulge in this special haunt’s coffees, confectioneries, organic products and lunches. Albin Sorger offers traditional and international cuisine, homemade pastries and a wide variety of ice cream options.
Schmidhofer im Palais
Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
Located inside the magnificent Palais Herberstein, this gourmet restaurant combines a contemporary atmosphere with elegant dining. The front section is smoker-friendly and has a relaxed bar area, while the restaurant in the rear serves some of Graz’s finest food, either indoors or in a lovely garden setting. Prato’s dishes are inspired by 19th-century chef Katharina Prato, whose book Die Süddeutsche Küche (The Southern German Kitchen) is an early gourmet classic. The chef here uses the original recipes, which he recreates and reinterprets into unique culinary explorations.
Cafe Aiola Upstairs
Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
One of the finest places to catch impressive views of the city’s skyline, this sleek and expertly designed dining space, designed by Siegfried Frank and Michael Rieper, is considered one of Graz’s hotspots. Comprised almost entirely of glass and steel, the building blends elegantly into its surroundings, with a beautiful open terrace for enjoying lazy summer lunches. On the menu, you’ll find something for everyone, with dishes such as tuna or beef tartare and vegetable risotto.
Restaurant, Argentina, $$$
Located inside the evocative Renaissance Landhaus building, El Gaucho seems an unlikely place to feast on Argentine cuisine and local steaks. The beef served here is a combination of El Gaucho beef from Argentinean cattle and dry aged beef from Austria, which needs 32 days to age in order to gain the precise flavour the restaurant is known for. If you don’t fancy steak, delicacies such as goose liver or soft-shell crab can also be found on the menu, alongside a list of great beers.
Long Table of Graz
Restaurant, Austrian, Contemporary, Tapas, $$$
If you are a fan of al fresco dining and the variety of a tasting menu, then head to Graz in August, when you can experience the Long Table of Graz culinary event. In the heart of the beautiful and atmospheric old town, 700 dinners share an unforgettable experience, sat at the eponymous long table, where the area’s best chefs prepare a five-course tasting menu, each one with a paired wine. This unique experience is capped off with amazing local musical talent, making it an event that is not to be missed.