I have been in Graz now for three months, and I have come to learn that it is the culinary capitol of Austria. Food is one of the best parts about being here in Graz, and also one of the worst because it takes my money. Restaurants line the streets of Graz everywhere you look. There are tons of places that are called Gasthaus’s which are like pub restaurants and serve some traditional foods, there are tons of take-away places, and restaurants that are unique to Graz.
Steiermark is known for their pumpkin seed oil which is used in a lot of traditional foods. For example, they use it to make their potato salad, and it is delicious by the way. Don’t let the green color throw you off if you ever try it. One of my favorite places I have been for traditional Austrian food is outside of the city center about 15 minutes or so and it is a Gasthaus. This is where I first tried the green potato salad, with schnitzel of course, and it was absolutely delicious.
There is a big food truck/food stand culture here in Graz also. In Jakominiplatz there are a line of food vendors in what look like tiny shacks, but this is where my favorite place is. It is called May Kay and it is an Asian take away place, and I go there probably once a week. It’s a real problem… But there are a lot more food trucks that you can get an array of things from at Hauptplatz like hot dogs, currywurst, kebabs, and the list can go on.
There are a chain of restaurants here in Graz that were developed specifically towards the college students of Graz. At these restaurants you get to pick and choose what your food is on a piece of paper by checking off the things you want. You pretty much just pick the colored piece of paper of what you want which can be a burger, pizza, pfandel (my personal favorite), pasta, salad, and so on. After you pick what you want you go through a list of toppings and sauces that you can choose from, what size you want, and the waiter/waitress takes it. It’s a pretty nice system unless they forget your food, which has happened to me. But for college students on a budget that want to “dine-in” it is a very nice way to go.
It has been so much fun getting to experience this cities culture through food, because it is such a large part of this city. Now that I am talking about food, I feel like all I do is eat, but it’s what everyone does here and I am okay with it by all means.
Until next time,