- Katerina Kombercova
Graz is not only a city full of delights for travelers, it is also a culinary paradise. Taking the outstanding regional produce as a basis, Graz’s chefs transform deceptively simple ingredients into traditional, imaginative dishes with international accents. Here is our guide to ten of the Austrian city’s unmissable eateries.
Restaurant Florian is perfect for a romantic rendezvous. Situated at the Parkhotel Graz, 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 ambiance for a romantic dinner. Florian is also a perfect setting for business meals, gala dinners, events and festivities of all kinds.
Leonhardstraße 8, 8010 Graz, Austria, +433163600
Aiola is a sophisticated restaurant and a wonderful backdrop for events of all kinds. Known for his international cuisine boasting a local Styrian touch, Chef Paul Ivic, who has received a Michelin star, has created an exquisite menu for the restaurant’s guests. The beautiful interior of the mansion and its fantastic gardens make any event hosted here a very special experience, and the restaurant is especially popular as a wedding venue.
Schloßberg 2, 8010 Graz, Austria, +43 316 818797
Backerei Sorger ‘Zum Weinrebenbäcker’
The earliest record of Sorger dates back to 1688, making it one of the oldest, as well as largest bakeries in the Styria region. Indulge in this haunt’s coffees, confectionery, organic products and lunches. Albin Sorger offers traditional and international cuisine, homemade pastries and a wide variety of ice cream options.
Backerei Sorger, Eggenberger Allee 36 8020 Graz, Austria +43316/58 61 25-11
Located inside the Palais Herberstein, Prato combines a contemporary atmosphere with elegant dining. The front section is smoker-friendly and has a chilled-out bar area, while the restaurant in the back 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. Prato’s chef uses the original recipes, which he recreates and reinterprets into unique culinary explorations.
Set inside the evocative Renaissance Landhaus building, El Gaucho would seem 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 flavor 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 card alongside a list of great beers.
What started as a spit-and-sawdust pub in the 16th century has evolved into an distinctive, high-quality restaurant serving specialties such as its four different sorts of tafelspitz (prime broiled beef). Located in the building next to the Armoury Museum in the heart of the historic old town, this traditional restaurant is very much renowned for its stunning Landhaus courtyard. Landhauskeller boasts the largest wine cellar in town, housing more than 20.000 bottles.
Landhauskeller, Schmiedgasse 9, Graz, Austria, +43316830276
This traditional tavern, or neo-Beisl located in the university quarter serves a lunch special on weekdays, as well as dinner options ranging from traditional Styrian cuisine to steaks and vegetarian mains. Dating back to 1543, Thomawirt is a place that offers more than just good Styrian fare; its guests can chill out at the lounge or listen to live blues & jazz gigs that take place on the weekends.
Der Steirer serves tapas but with an Austrian twist; traditional Styrian flavors are reinvented into delicate dishes for sharing and tasting. Dishes such as pork strudel, Austrian noodle soup and steamed river trout are favorites on the menu. The quirky interior design features a small delivery van parked up in the middle of the dining room, filled with crates of wine which overflow onto every available surface and wall-space. You can also buy the wine to take home for later, just in case you were too distracted with the food to drink your fill during dinner.
Der Steirer, Belgiergasse 1, Graz, Austria, +43316703654
Frankowitsch is best known for its legendary sandwiches, but there are cakes and homemade chocolates here that are worth a try, too. The Brötchenbar (sandwich bar) offers a plethora of delicacies, including Parma ham, prosciutto San Daniele, French goose liver, cheeses from Austria, Italy and France, home-made antipasti of all kinds and of course a great selection of wine and beer.
Frankowitsch, Stempfergasse 2-4, Graz, Austria, +43316822212
Long Table Graz
Do you enjoy al fresco dinning? How about tasting menus? What if you could combine the two? That is exactly what you can find in Graz every August during 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 matched wine. This unique experience is capped off with amazing local musical talent – it really shouldn’t be missed.