Deciding where to eat in Gratz can be a challenge. We spent a week eating our way through Austria’s ‘City of Culinary Delights’ and share the Graz restaurants, cheap eats, dessert spots, markets and bars that you don’t want to miss during your visit.
Graz has an embarrassment of historic and cultural riches. The same could be said about its food.
Located at the foot of the Austrian Alps, Graz is surrounded by lush countryside where farmers have been growing vegetables, curing meat and producing cheese for centuries. In a nutshell, or perhaps we should we say pumpkin seed shell, the culinary options in the Austrian city are astounding.
While Graz may have lost the letter “t” that was once in its name, the city has won the slow food lottery.
We encountered the city’s passion for local ingredients at restaurants and markets as well as while chatting with locals all over town. We also tasted the passion at the best restaurants in Gratz from cheap eats to fine dining and everything in between.
Table of Contents
- Our Favorite Graz Restaurants
- Our Favorite Graz Cheap Eats
- Our Favorite Graz Dessert Spots
- Our Favorite Graz Markets and Food Shops
- Our Favorite Graz Bars
- Start Planning Your Graz Trip
Our Favorite Graz Restaurants
Graz has a wide variety of restaurants that celebrate the Styrian region’s food bounty.
These are our favorite restaurants in Graz and the ones you don’t want to miss:
Perhaps we should have saved Der Steirer, our pick for the best restaurant in Graz, for a triumphant eating finale to end our visit. Instead, this restaurant launched our week-long Graz food crawl with small plates and chilled wine along with larger plates topped with Backhendl and Goulash. The restaurant’s fun mix of modern riffs on classic fare proved impossible to top.
Far from a hidden gem or old fashioned beer hall, Der Steirer has a vibe and a menu that pairs Styrian tapas with traditional Austrian dishes. The popular joint was buzzing with locals who filled every table during our dinner service.
Since not one empty table was to be found during our meal at Der Steirer, we strongly urge you to reserve a table at this restaurant well in advance.
More important, Der Steirer’s food tastes great with one exception – its Backhendl is simply out of this world. The restaurant’s version, a heaping basket of juicy bone-in chicken with a lightly crisp, well-seasoned, herb-tinged crust, is textbook. Thanks to Der Steirer, this Austrian-style fried chicken dish now ranks among our favorites along with spots like Memphis, New Orleans and Nashville.
We also enjoyed a shareable slice of Apfelstrudel served with vanilla ice cream. In other words, try to save room for dessert.
Multi-task during your meal by buying a bottle of either wine or pumpkin seed oil at Der Steirer’s food shop.
Der Steirer is located at Belgiergasse 1, 8020 Graz, Austria.
Genießerei am Markt
Eating local is easy to do in Graz but perhaps nowhere more so than at Genießerei am Markt which is conveniently located in a stall at the Kaiser-Josef-Platz market. This prime spot gives Chef Christopher Leitinger proximity to the market’s best ingredients and allows him to fully focus on cooking regional, seasonal cuisine.
Genießerei am Markt isn’t fancy and its menu isn’t extensive. However, the lack of bells and whistles doesn’t take away from the dining experience both inside and outside the stall. Instead, diners can focus on what matters most – the food.
The hand written menu just had six options including dessert the day of our lunch. We ordered three of them – burrata with pesto, veal with polenta and asparagus gnocchi. Any other time, burrata served with pesto, arugula, radish, pine nuts, sun-dried tomato bits and tomato purée would be the star of the meal. But not this time.
Instead, pillowy gnocchi shined brightest with ingredients like fresh asparagus and local pumpkin seed oil. Daryl couldn’t stop talking about the creative use of green, sharp leaved carrot tops that garnished the dish. In fact, he’s still talking about those greens. Please make him stop!
Sit outside if the weather permits. Genießerei am Markt’s market location is excellent for people watching.
Genießerei am Markt is located at Kaiser-Josef-Platz 27/29, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Dreizehn by Gauster
Dreizehn by Gauster offers a three-course lunch for 15€ during the week. While the price was previously 13€ and could increase again, we have no complaints about its value.
True confession – We didn’t discover this local favorite during our extensive research. Instead, our spirited server at Der Steirer passed the tip to us and we ran with it.
Our leisurely lunch at Dreizehn by Gauster included lamb’s lettuce salads, duck breasts and miniature rhubarb cakes. Local ingredients like pumpkin seeds, radishes, carrots and zucchini kept the meal in theme with Gratz’s sustainability focus.
In full disclosure, our desserts were quite small but that was okay with us. During this lunch, we were perfectly happy to drink our calories in glasses filled with local beer and wine.
Order a charcuterie plate if you’re really hungry or simply curious to sample Styrian cured meat.
Dreizehn by Gauster is located at Franziskanerpl. 13, 8010 Graz, Austria.
“Don’t miss eating at Landhauskeller.”
With that advice from Sarah and Terry from LiveShareTravel, we squeezed in a last-minute lunch at Landhauskeller, a historic restaurant owned by the same group that operates Aiola Upstairs, Katze Katze, Oh My Dog and Pink Elephant (see all below).
It was a solid recommendation. Not only did we eat traditional Austrian food, but we did so while sitting in a lovely courtyard located next to a historic landmark, the 16th century Landhaus.
Landhauskeller’s food is as traditional as the courtyard the restaurant sits in. We ate Tafelspitz, Austria’s preparation of prime boiled beef served with roasted potatoes and apple-horseradish. Bowing toward deeper traditions, we also enjoyed a tender pan-fried Wiener Schnitzel served with baby potatoes and cranberry sauce.
We supplemented these dishes with a bottle of sparkling water. Other menu options included fried carp and garlic risotto, starters like lamb’s lettuce and potato salad, a variety of seasonal soups like asparagus tomato and a few tempting desserts like apple pie and a ‘sorbet of the day’.
Sit outside if you’re seeking a chill experience. Sit inside if you’re seeking something more traditional and clubby.
Landhauskeller is located at Schmiedgasse 9, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Since ascending Graz’s Schloßberg is a must, it’s practically a no-brainer to eat a meal with a view at Aiola Upstairs while you’re there. This open-air restaurant next to Graz’s iconic clock tower is located at the top (i.e. upstairs) of the ‘castle mountain’.
Part of the fun of dining at Aiola Upstairs is the journey. Options include a three-minute funicular excursion, a 30-second glass elevator ride and a steep hike up the hill. We took the elevator since that’s how we roll these days. Plus, we were in a rush to make our reservation.
While it’s difficult to miss the view while dining at Aiola Upstairs, we had a particularly good view from our terrace table. After toasting our front-row view with local wine, we ordered four dishes that ranged from fair to great.
Tartare-obsessed Mindi wasn’t keen about her beef tartare due to its slimy texture; however, she was more than happy with her lamb’s lettuce salad that was both generously sized and loaded with chunks of bacon. Meanwhile, Daryl had no issue with either his pancake-topped beef soup or his creamy, al dente asparagus risotto served with a generous amount of seasonal white and green asparagus and flavored with chervil and parmesan.
Arrive early if you don’t have a reservation. Better yet, make one.
Aiola Upstairs is located at Schloßberg 2, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Driving from Graz to Naples would take eleven hours without any stops. That’s a long distance to travel but it’s close enough to attract great pizzaiolos who leap the alps and apply their expert Neapolitan pizza skills at Graz’s Pizzaiola.
These pizza experts ‘walk the walk’ by fermenting dough for 48 hours. They then bake remarkable pies with golden brown edges in a wood-fired Italian pizza oven located in the restaurant’s basement.
Of course, we didn’t stop with pizza
After scarfing down two pies – friarielli with sausage and a “Napoli” pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms – we somehow found space to share an order of Tiramisu. Served in a bowl, the satisfying traditional Italian dessert featured a bottom layer of light sponge cake, a thick topping of cream and dark, powdery espresso on the surface.
Order Italian wine to go with your Italian pizza. We ordered Chianti Classico but other options include Barbera d’Alba, Valpollicella and Ribolla Gialla. You can also order an Aperol Spritz or Hugo if you’re more in the mood for a sparkling Italian cocktail.
Pizzaiola is located at Dietrichsteinpl. 7, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Open since 2017, Gerüchteküche is a fully vegetarian restaurant that celebrates Graz’s culinary bounty. It’s also an intimate restaurant that embraces gastronomic trends like foraging and fermentation.
Dining without a formal menu, we began our meat-free meal at Gerüchteküche with a melange of carrot textures topped with spherified seaweed meant to imitate caviar. Fermented koji finished the dish. Other dishes contained intriguing elements like chicory kimchee, asparagus ash and celery cream.
Gerüchteküche is a passion project for a chef who pushes the culinary boundaries of Styrian food. Various pickle jars greeted us as we walked through the space’s back hallways before we glimpsed inside Chef Michael Wankerl’s reach-in fridge filled with what seemed a hundred jars of colorful ingredients that the chef was playing with that week.
Wankerl spends much of his free time in the forest and gets his inspiration from nature. Instead of cooking a set menu, he creates each dish in his mind and then cooks it with locally sourced seasonal ingredients. The results are magical.
Expect the unexpected when you dine at Gerüchteküche. The restaurant’s menu changes on a daily basis.
Gerüchteküche is located at Gartengasse 28, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Vegetarians looking for a casual dining experience will be happy to discover Hummel, a relatively recent addition to the Graz dining scene that offers a range of Levantine dishes prepared both with and without meat.
Some diners seek out Hummel in appreciation for its commitment to sustainability. Others choose to dine here because they want to eat tasty mezze in a communal environment. We fit into both categories.
From seasonal ruby red beets to creamy dips more typically eaten in the Middle East, our meal featured locally sourced food cooked with a variety of spices. And, most important, the food tasted great.
Order Hummel’s Mezze Table if you’re dining with friends and want to share a bunch of small dishes.
Hummel is located at Mariahilfer Str. 12, 8020 Graz, Austria.
Our Favorite Graz Cheap Eats
While Graz is notable for its commitment to sustainability and local cuisine, these trends equally apply to food eaten without silverware or big price tags. In other words, Graz is an equal opportunity food city.
These are our favorite affordable eateries in Graz:
Open since 1932, Frankowitsch is a popular spot for Graz locals seeking a variety of tasty treats.
The cafe is famous for its open-faced sandwiches called Belegte Brote which come topped with a range of proteins like roast beef, salmon and even caviar. Beyond sandwiches, the eatery also serves cakes, pastries and cookies as well as wine, beer and spritzes.
Discover more great global sandwiches.
We loved the tasty trio of Belegte Brote that we ate at Frankowitsch. The miniature sandwiches didn’t just exceed our expectations. They also satisfied our mid-afternoon appetites.
Our show-stopping caviar sandwich had enough of the salty eggs to make us say “wow!” with every popping bite. As a bonus, despite its generous caviar schmear, it didn’t pop our bank account. Winning!
Order small beers called pfiffs if you want to turn your sandwich snack into an aperitivo experience.
Frankowitsch is located at Stempfergasse 2, 8010 Graz, Austria.
All Graz roads figuratively lead to the Hauptplatz, Graz’s main square. Some people follow those roads to see the square’s Rathaus and its Archduke Johann fountain. While those sites are surely worth a look, food travelers go to the square for an entirely different reason.
That reason is to eat a Styrian Hot Dog at Standl 5, a simple food stand located on the city’s central square.
Standl 5’s Styrian Hot Dogs come wrapped in bacon and garnished with salad, onions, horseradish and pumpkin seed oil mayonnaise. Customers can optionally add mustard for a finishing touch.
Ordering a Styrian Hot Dog is a must at Standl 5. Sure, the popular food stand also sells simple frankfurters and bratwurst, but you can eat those pork products anywhere and everywhere in Austria. The Styrian Hot Dog is special to Graz and this stand does it best.
While ordering a Styrian Hot Dog is a must, feel free to order a drink of your choice.
Standl 5 is located at Hauptpl. Stand 5, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Oh My Dog
Graz may not be the biggest city in Austria. That honor goes to Vienna. However, it’s a city big enough to host multiple gourmet hot dog stands. If you don’t make it to Standl 5, Oh My Dog is the next one to try. We say try them both!
Owned by the same restaurant group that operates Aiola Upstairs and Landhauskeller (see both above) as well as Katze Katze and Pink Elephant (see both below), Oh My Dog serves hot dogs as well as Langos, the popular Budapest fry bread.
We ordered Oh My Dog’s signature Holy Dog topped with homemade ketchup, mustard, pickles, lettuce, sour cream and crispy onions. While it was big enough to share, next time we’re each ordering our own.
Don’t skip Oh My Dog if you follow a vegan diet. The elevated hot dog stand has multiple meat-free dishes including the Noah’s Arch made with herb chickpea sausage.
Oh My Dog is located at Am Eisernen Tor, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Würstelstands are the answer to the question of where to grab a late night snack in Graz.
Unlike gourmet street food stands like Standl 5 and Oh My Dog, these generic sausage stands sell bratwurst and currywurst to crowds of hungry locals looking to temper their alcohol filled nights with meaty, bread bound snacks.
Some customers skip the late night snacks and continue to drink beer instead. We recommend ordering both since you’ll need something to wash the food down and it might as well be beer.
Plan to stand while you eat your Würstelstand purchase unless you spot a nearby bench.
Würstelstands are located throughout Graz.
Our Favorite Graz Dessert Spots
Eating dessert in Austria is one of our favorite things to do whether we’re in Vienna or Graz. Not only do Austrian bakers excel at transforming sugar and flour into culinary treats, but Austrian farmers produce milk that makes eating ice cream a not-to-miss pleasure.
These are our favorite dessert spots in Graz:
Fine baking in Austria runs deep. How deep? Let’s just say at 500 years deep. The French specifically refer to layered pastries as Viennoiseries for a reason. And Graz, which is only a couple hours down the OBB rail lines from Vienna, can proudly claim a stake to that baking tradition.
Graz’s oldest bakery, Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax, traces its history back to 1569 and may have existed even longer than that. It was bought in 1787 by Mathias Tax and moved to its current location in 1880 by Franz Tax III.
Located at the foot of Graz’s Schloßberg hill, this world famous bakery is not to be missed. The Japanese love Edegger-Tax’s pastries so much that the Graz bakery opened a second location in Kyoto.
All you have to do is look at the ornately carved storefront to realize that Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax breathes history. You’ll find classics like Croissants and layered Turnovers on the bakery shelves as well as Linzer Bars and little Sissi-Busserl treats named after Empress Elizabeth who was also known as Sissi.
But, like us, you’ll want to order fun new spins on confections like large chocolate Mozart kugeln filled with marzipan and equally large Schloßberg kugeln, also filled with marzipan and surrounded by a crunchy layer of dark chocolate. You’ll understand once you see these sweet beauties in person.
Bring your camera or smartphone so you can photograph the bakery’s ornate, hand carved wooden facade. There are very few buildings like it in the world.
Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax is located at Hofgasse 6, 8010 Graz, Austria.
We didn’t find Harry’s ICECream in a Graz guide. Instead, we bumped into the shop after drinking excellent coffee at The Beanery. Once we saw the handwritten white board filled with fresh, seasonal flavors and tasted the creamy, dreamy ice cream, this Lend shop soared to the top of our Graz ice cream list.
Being sufficiently amped up on great coffee, we sated our craving for sweets with a cone topped with scoops of dark chocolate and salted butter caramel. Not only did the spontaneous ice cream cone taste great, but it also provided adequate fuel for a day of intense Graz exploration.
Splurge and add fresh fruit to your cone unless you’d rather add a chocolate topping.
Harry’s ICECream is located at Zinzendorfgasse 30, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Located around the corner from Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax (see above), Sax Eis is a great spot to take an ice cream break while touring Graz. The shop’s location places it within walking distance of many of the city’s best sites. But geography is only one reason to visit Sax Eis. The main reason is the ice cream itself.
Ice Cream flavors include dairy-free options suitable for vegans plus organic flavors made with milk sourced from the nearby Tax Dairy Farm. We chose one scoop of each – vegan Nero and milky Mozart. And here’s the scoop on the scoops – both tasted great.
Plan ahead if you want to order an ice cream cake. These frozen treats require 48-hour advance notice.
Sax Eis is located at Sporgasse 13, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Der Eissalon’s simple name literally translates to the ice cream parlor. While many people (including us) eat ice cream cones at Der Eissalon, the parlor’s sustainable menu also includes bubble waffles, pancakes, waffles, milkshakes and smoothie bowls.
Its extensive menu also features a variety of ice cream flavors. Some are vegan and gluten-free while others like Salty Butter Caramel and Marzipan are more decadent.
Don’t be disappointed if your favorite flavor isn’t available. Der Eissalon rotates its 100 flavors. Plus, certain flavors are seasonal.
Das Eissalon has multiple Graz locations. We visited the shop located at Stubenberggasse 5, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Xocolat may be based in Vienna but don’t count out a visit to its Graz location if you’re a chocolate fan. Instead, focus on what you want to taste during your visit.
An obvious choice would be to buy a milk or dark chocolate bar but that would be boring. A better option would be to choose a Schlossbergkugel since that particular truffle is local to Graz. However, we won’t blame you if you’re dazzled by the shop’s vibrantly red Moosbeere (i.e. cranberry) bonbons since that candy spoke to us too.
Consider buying a few extra chocolate bars for edible souvenirs or gifts.
Xocolat is located at Herrengasse 11, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Our Favorite Graz Markets and Food Shops
Food shopping in Graz is a feast for the senses. Local products abound at outdoor markets, local shops and bigger stores. The only challenge is that you’ll want to buy it all.
These are our favorite markets and food shops in Graz:
Bauernmarkt Kaiser-Josef Platz
Shopping at Bauernmarkt Kaiser-Josef Platz is a must even if you don’t have access to a kitchen.
Graz’s main market is a tourist destination due to its vast selection of locally grown products displayed on rows of stalls. But make no mistake – Kaiser-Josef is a thriving market where Graz citizens and restaurants shop for fruits, vegetables, meats and cheese every day of the week except Sunday.
Don’t dilly dally when you shop at Bauernmarkt Kaiser-Josef Platz. The bustling market closes at 1pm sharp.
Bauernmarkt Kaiser-Josef Platz is located at Kaiser-Josef-Platz 8010, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Located on the ‘other’ side of the Mur River, Bauernmarkt Lendplatz is a great market option in Graz’s Lend neighborhood. Though smaller and newer than Bauernmarkt Kaiser-Josef Platz, this urban market has everything necessary to create a wonderful meal or picnic.
Expect to shop for fruits and vegetables as well as cured meats and pumpkin oil at Bauernmarkt Lendplatz. Also plan to nibble at one of the many cafes surrounding the market.
Similar to Bauernmarkt Kaiser-Josef Platz, don’t dilly dally when you shop at Bauernmarkt Lendplatz since its hours are also limited.
Bauernmarkt Lendplatz is located at Lendpl. Stand, 8020It Graz, Austria.
Situated in a hidden courtyard, Graz’s original s’Fachl sells an array of local products displayed in crates throughout the shop. Local producers rent these crates to sell items that run the gamut from jams and honeys to liqueurs and wines. However, no products intrigued us more than those made with pumpkin seeds.
It’s fair to say that s’Fachl was our personal ground zero for tasting pumpkin seed oil but we didn’t stop there. During our visit, we also tasted pumpkin seed chips, pumpkin seed pesto, pumpkin seed candy and pumpkin seed eggnog. We later returned to buy a bottle of pumpkin seed oil that we took home as an edible souvenir.
Situated in a building constructed during the 17th century, Gut Schlossberg counts its age in months instead of years. However, this Graz food market makes up for lost time with its curated selection of Austrian specialties. It’s also more than just a market.
Savvy shoppers who head upstairs at Gut Schlossberg find a simple sit down space where many of the market’s products can be tasted. During our visit, we sampled a selection of Austrian cheeses and pastries. We also sipped apple wine as one does in Austria.
Opt for an outdoor table with a view if the weather is favorable.
Gut Schlossberg is located at Am Fuße des Schlossberges 3, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Das Gramm offers a guilt-free shopping experience. Not only do shoppers find regional, sustainable products at this zero-waste market, but they also buy the exact quantity (i.e. grams) that they desire.
Beyond items like grains and beans sold by the gram, Das Gramm also sells organic farm products and pastries as well as fruits, vegetables and candy. In other words, plan to leave with kilos of food in your canvas tote bag.
Thinking pink is the way to go for shoppers who visit Graz’s Manner Shop on Hauptplatz.
Many visit the shop specifically to purchase Manner Wafers originally called Neapolitaners. However, the store sells more products including liqueurs, chocolate-coated bananas and hot chocolate mix. Most but not all are sold in pink packages
Purchase a sampler box if you’re overwhelmed by the plethora of pink packages during your shopping expedition.
Graz’s Manner Shop is located at Hauptplatz 3, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Our Favorite Graz Bars
Drinks are accessible to all in Graz who have thirsts that require quenching. While we were in Graz, we whetted our whistles at both restaurants and bars.
These are our favorite Graz bars:
Forget thinking pink on Eisernen Tor. Instead, since Pink Elephant opened in 2020, drinking pink has been the way to go at the popular Graz bar.
Operated by the Aiola group, the Pink Elephant is a colorful urban oasis with a menu that focuses on Mexican food and creative cocktails. Keeping to the color theme, we ordered two pink cocktails during our visit – a Pink Mary and a Mojito Pink Elephant. Ironically, only one of our drinks was actually pink.
Don’t be confused when you encounter a pink giraffe at Pink Elephant. You’re at the right place.
Pink Elephant is located at Am Eisernen Tor 1, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Open since 1902, Gösser Bräu is far from fancy or gastronomic and that’s okay. Sometimes we just want to drink beer in a friendly setting. And that’s exactly what we did after we found a spot in the tavern’s bucolic beer garden.
To be clear, we didn’t stop with beer. We also ate traditional Austrian dishes like Rindsuppe, Käsepätzle and Wiener Schnitzel. Open on Sunday when many Graz restaurants are closed, Gösser Bräu’s casual setting and simple food fit the bill for our mood and may do the same for you.
Bring your friends. Gösser Bräu is huge.
Gösser Bräu is located at Neutorgasse 48, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Although Katze Katze is named after cats and specializes in cocktails, we didn’t encounter either during our visit. While we were happy to avoid felines since Daryl is allergic to cats, we wish that the bartender would have let us order a cocktail or two during our afternoon visit. He wouldn’t budge so we ordered wine instead.
Drinking Styrian wine wasn’t a hardship nor was chilling in the bar’s cool space. Yet another Aiola operation, Katze Katze has a striking decor and an enticing cocktail menu. Hopefully we’ll be able to sample its cocktails when we return to Graz.
Leave your cats at home. Despite its name, Katze Katze is for humans only.
Katze Katze is located at Schmiedgasse 9, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Start Planning Your Graz Trip
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: September 10, 2022