Do you fancy a culinary expedition through Klagenfurt? We have sampled the local delights and can share a few of our most delicious tips with you. Read on to find out where to shop and where to dine out.
Klagenfurt’s finest and largest “grocery shop” is the Benedictine Market. Dozens of stalls offer the very best produce from Carinthia’s farms and market gardens in its fresh natural state – and much of it in organic quality. The culinary outlets on and around the square transform the fresh produce into hearty or light dishes and create wonderful delicacies to suit all tastes: from regional traditional fare to gourmet cuisine. A special spirit infuses the market on the principal market days: Thursdays and Saturdays. On these days, it is not only the Carinthian farmers who sell vegetables, fruit and meat products, but numerous vendors from Slovenia, Croatia and Italy and even as far as Sicily offer everything from Pršut to gilthead sea bream, from sauerkraut to artichokes. The aroma, the visual feast, the murmur and bustle create an atmosphere for visitors to the market that far exceeds merely doing one’s grocery shopping. Why not stop off for lunch at Rudi’s, where you can find the famous Kärntner Kasnudeln that are suitable for vegetarians and also come in variations featuring spinach or meat. Immediately opposite in the market hall, the Kochwerkstatt offers the Italian version, tortellini, and much more in the way of the finest gourmet dishes.
Located near the centre of Klagenfurt, in the Feschnig district, shoppers will find a family-run organic farm shop offering a variety of delicacies produced by Carinthian farmers. More than 30 Carinthian farmers deliver their organic products to the delightful Hofladen Feschnig farm shop, which has been designed with lots of charm. You can buy fresh eggs from “Thalhof ”, a range of bacon and sausages from “Waldhauser”, farmhouse bread, delicious products made from sheep’s or goat’s milk by “Höfer”, farmhouse ice cream from Krappfeld, the excellent local Glundner cheese and much more besides. The shop is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm and closes at 1 pm on Saturdays. The farm shop also features a 24h self-service point.
WHERE TO EAT
magdas: The restaurant with a worldly flavour
magdas LOKAL arguably offers the most internationality: The people who work here come from 10 nations and speak up to 7 languages. The menu in the arts, literature and feel-good restaurant initiated by Caritas is equally colourful. Oriental mezze mingle with tasty burgers, Indian curries and Mediterranean fish and pasta dishes. In the morning, you can choose from a range of international breakfast dishes, and at lunchtime you can select from two set menus. magdas is open Mondays from 9 am to 2:30 pm, Tuesdays to Fridays from 9 am to 11 pm.
Austrian cuisine at its finest at “Augustin”
At the centre of the old town, right on Pfarrplatz, the Bierhaus zum Augustin , with its hearty Austrian dishes and speciality beers, is a first-class beer pub. The outdoor dining area in the courtyard is just one of many cosy and hidden courtyards that can be discovered scattered across Klagenfurt’s old town. Anyone looking for regional and tasty Austrian cuisine will certainly find what they are looking for here. Augustin is open from Monday to Saturday from 11 am to midnight.
Bar snacks at “Tapeo”
The Spanish tapas bar “Tapeo” is located in the Koschatstraße between the city centre and the university, adjacent to the Bellisimo video store. They serve tapas ranging from ham and cheese to prawns and the spicy meatballs albondigas (which you’ll be thinking of fondly for days afterwards). The cuisine is one hundred percent authentic. The prices are in keeping with the excellent food. You can taste these exciting flavours in the newly renovated, informal and cosy setting on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations – especially for the evenings – are recommended.
A hearty curry in “Nana’s Kitchen”
Some food makes your palate itch for hours afterwards and you feel full, but not particularly comfortable. The simple Thai snack bar Nana’s Kitchen on 8. Mai Strasse, which focuses on fast food, does not fall into this category. The menu features noodle and rice dishes, usually with tasty curry sauces, which come in a variety of flavours. The atmosphere is closer to a kebab stand, but the palate is treated to unexpected delights. For those who prefer to feast at home: The dishes are available to take away. The Thai snack bar is open daily from 11 am to 8:30 pm. It closes at 2:30 pm on Saturdays and remains closed on Sundays.
A trip to the Atlantic: “Ricardo” cooks Portuguese food
The jalapeños with sea salt and a subtle garlic marinade are just one of many dishes that will linger in your memory: In the Tabakgasse, Ricardo Bistro offers Portuguese and international fusion cuisine. The interior of the restaurant is perfect for people who love attention to detail and like to feel cosy (others might also say there are a few too many decorative objects scattered around). In the summer, an outdoor seating area beckons, offering a little more space and fresh air. For those who like to sample as much as they can, we recommend the Fusion Plate for Two. Ricardo Bistro is open from Monday to Saturday, 5 pm to 10 pm, and additionally from Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30 am to 2 pm. You will need a reservation for the evenings.
Food from all over the world at “Domino”
The concept of the “Domino“, located in Lidmanskygasse, is rather unusual in many ways. To create this restaurant, a traditional Klagenfurt inn (which was clearly getting on in years) was “gently” upgraded; when perusing the menu one might ask whether what is being offered is still old-fashioned or already super-hip. Culinary delights from all over the world are on offer. A particularly delicious dish is the glass noodle or rice bowl, including different components that taste amazing when combined in a single bowl. Domino also serves local dishes such as Kaiserschmarrn, which is extremely popular. The restaurant is open Mondays to Fridays from 10:30 am to 10 pm, the prices are moderate, and the prosecco is to die for.
Off to McMullens for a Guinness
As soon as you enter “McMullens“, the traditional Irish pub flair envelops you and you feel right at home in the cosy atmosphere. Connoisseurs of Guinness, Kilkenny and whiskey will find everything they need for a perfect pub evening here. In addition to classics like Guinness and Kilkenny, Irish whiskey and cider, the pub also serves traditional food including burgers, wings, fish and chips, and a good selection of wraps. The pub gets particularly crowded on quiz nights or when there’s live music – reservations are recommended. McMullens’ doors are open Wednesday to Sunday from 5 pm to 1 am.
You will find them on virtually every menu, and they are as integral to the southernmost province as Lake Wörthersee is to Klagenfurt: Kärntner Kasnudeln. One might compare these dumplings filled with potatoes, curd cheese and Carinthian mint with the Italian pasta ravioli. They are a must for anyone visiting Carinthia!
IN THE WIDER KLAGENFURT AREA
Buschenschenke wine taverns – enjoyment the Carinthian way
If you prefer something more rustic, you should visit one of the many Carinthian wine taverns on warm summer evenings. These so-called Buschenschenken are small taverns, mostly run by farmers, serving only home-produced products – beverages and cold dishes. The “Brettljause” caters to all savoury desires, as it covers the entire range of home-produced delicacies: cured bacon, ham, spiced sausage, sausage spread, curd cheese, cheese, butter and bread. To finish off on a sweet note, there are pastries such as Carinthian Reindling, doughnuts or Buchteln. Food and drinks are mainly served outdoors, so don’t forget to bring a jacket or jumper, even in summer! You can tell if a Buschenschenke is open by the “Buschen” (traditionally tied juniper branches), which is usually displayed over the entrance or gateway.
Outdoor dining at “Forellenhof Jorde”
Just a 10-minute drive from the University of Klagenfurt, a special highlight awaits all fish lovers. At Forellenhof Jorde , dining turns into a real experience: Fish roasted on spits over an open fire, a picnic by the adjacent pond Polsterteich or a glamping night complete with campfire ensure hours of fun and variety. With every bite you can taste the quality of the fish produced with sustainable and organic methods, and the shop sells a wide range of products that you can take home with you. The Forellenhof has something for every budget and is open from Friday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.
Four culinary questions for Catrin Ferrari-Brunnenfeld
Dear Catrin, your blog features recipes from all over the world, but also includes many Carinthian dishes. What defines Carinthian cuisine in your view?
A certain lightness – keyword sunny south as well as fresh fish from the many Carinthian lakes – is a must. The closeness to Italy and Slovenia characterises the Carinthian cuisine. I also find that there are many traditional classics, such as frigga, the typical Kasnudeln and, of course, the sweet treats.
What are the latest trends in Carinthian cuisine?
There is a lot going on here – personally, I like putting a new twist on different classics. For me, this involves light and leisurely cooking, low-sugar baking and crossovers combining local ingredients and international dishes. In other words: mix & match!
Which dish is an absolute must when visiting Klagenfurt or Carinthia?
Carinthian Kasnudeln, of course. I also think you absolutely have to visit Klagenfurt’s Benedictine Market and sample the regional delicacies on offer there.
And which recipe can you come up with for a quick, affordable student meal?
I recommend Carinthian Kasnudeln for the lazy: This consists of tagliatelle with crumbled curd cheese, finely chopped mint, a little lemon juice and melted butter. Voilà!