Salzburg - Mozart and beyond...
May 8th, 2006

Set against an impressive mountain backdrop Salzburg is a beautiful spot and luckily only about an hour drive away from Munich. The birthplace of Mozart (it’ll be his 250th birthday this year) offers a wonderfully preserved old town which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and with a population of just 150,000 it retains a homely small-city atmosphere.

Mozartkugeln

Acclaimed by many guides as one of the prettiest cities in Europe, its location on the banks of the Salzach river and beneath the cliffs of the rocky hills, Mönchsberg and Kapuzinerberg is enviable. But there is another reason for becoming an increasingly popular destination for visitors. Over 30 Hauben. Hauben or toques are part of the Gault Millau ranking system (more on Michelin vs. Gault Millau). Bottom line, enough culinary power to keep one food happy for a long, long time and a very valid reason to temporarily suspend any New Year’s resolutions related to cutting short on calories.

Salzburg - Getreidegasse

Rain we had plenty of, time not necessarily. So “all” we’re able to squeeze in were 8 food destinations, besides some other must-do’s, such as Mozartkugel sampling – which we couldn’t help but to also compare them to our version.

Salzburg

Speaking of rain, because of its location on the northern side of the Alps it is provided with a moderate rainy climate. The notorious Salzburger Schnürlregen, or “string rain,” is said to be a result of North accumulation, and Föhn. The rain pours from the sky in askew lines is usually over quick and seems to be as much part of the city as is Mozart, the Festival, or Salzburger Nockerl (traditional food).

We couldn’t have possibly been to all the great places and shops in Salzburg, hence our list is not even close to being comprehensive, but should provide a good starting point and a taste of what we find well worth visiting and experiencing:

Hotels:

Blaue Gans arthotel and Auersperg have been the finalists in our selection process. Can’t go wrong with either one, however, we finally decided in favor of Blaue Gans, simply because of its unbeatable location right in the center of the city. Auersberg has also been recommended by friends of ours and we’ll for sure check it out next time.

Blaue Gans arthotel

Blaue Gans arthotel is the oldest inn of the world-famous Getreidegasse with literally centuries of hospitality experience, a felicitous mix of tradition (historic heritage) and innovation (art, lounge, bar).

Blaue Gans arthotel

Residing in the heart of the old town, everything is in walking distance and not in the sense of “suuure, it’s walking distance“, but merely minutes away.

Blaue Gans arthotel
Getreidegasse 41-43
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-84 24 91-0


For quick breaks or longer brunches:

Café Bazar
Tall ceilings, no, gigantic ceilings with crystal chandeliers that immerse the room in wonderful warm light. Wooden paneling, comfortable chairs and seats in a typical Kaffeehaus flair make it very hard to ever get up. Beautiful patio for non-rainy days, located right next to the river Salzach.

Cafe Bazar

A must try are their homemade Strudels! Since we couldn’t decide on whether we wanted Apfel Strudel (with apples) or Topfen Strudel (with curd) we simply got them both – with lots of vanilla sauce and whipped cream – and none of them fell short of our expectations. Elegant, classically dressed and very attentive service.

Café Bazar
Schwarzstrasse 3
A-5020 Salzburg
phone: +43-662-87 42 78

Café Tomaselli
Austria’s oldest coffeehouse (established in 1705). A tad smaller, more packed, perhaps a bit smoky BUT with a great selection of desserts. Funny side story: We were just about to ask a waitress to take our order, when she basically walked away from us pointing to her colleague (elegantly dressed with a bow-tie) who would take our (drink) order. Oookay. When we got our coffee O. and I couldn’t resist and asked our man for one of the desserts we noticed earlier, and already facing the opposite direction he replied, that’ll be my colleague…OK I get it, a virtual desserts/pastry department and one for drinks – no surprise, we also got two receipts.

Café Tomaselli

Café Tomaselli
Alter Markt 9
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-84 44 88-0

steinterrasse (hotelstein)
Given
the weather permits, there is no other option than to sit outside on the top level of the hotel and enjoy a wonderful panoramic view on the old town while relishing breakfast. This spectacular terrace also looks good when drenched in rain -just kidding- but even in not so good weather, certainly worth a visit and if only because of their wonderful cake and pastry offering you can of course also enjoy in their lounge area inside. The place to be – we even spotted some local VIPs ;)

hotelstein
Giselakai 3-5
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-87 434 60

Café Republic

The go-to address for regular music and cultural events, regularly providing the stage for the alternative and avant-garde scene. A remarkable American Bar designed in 1950’s style turned this former cinema into a great spot for nighthawks.

republic-cafe
Anton-Neumayr-Platz 2
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-84 16 13


Food-shop
ping:

Green Market
Greengrocer’s market, open from Mondays to Saturdays offering local produce and exotic delicacies, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood or bread, pastries and cheeses. A miniature version of our so beloved Viktualienmarkt, offering a great variety by friendly vendors. On your way out, don’t forget to stop by the Würstl Stand (stall specialized on sausages) next to the bookshop Höllriegel. Simplistic, yet effective!
Before we headed back to Munich we couldn’t resist and stocked up on local specialties such as special cheeses (hay milk cheese – produced from hay milk according to age-old traditions, ripened for at least six months), Pinzgauer bacon, smoked venison sausages and pastries.

Green Market
University Square and the adjacent Wiener Philharmoniker Gasse
A-5020 Salzburg
Mondays through Fridays from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm,
Saturdays from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

Confiserie Josef Holzermayr
All our intentions to not go overboard with shopping for chocolate went downhill in this charming shop owned by family Holzermayr for over 140 years now. I was happy to get personal recommendations from competent experts on the Zotter or Berger variety, naturally we left the shop with bags of chocolate to indulge in for the next months…what were our intentions again?

Confiserie Josef Holzermayr
Alter Markt 7
A-5020 salzburg
Phone: +43-662-842365

The final chocolate selection...

R.F. Azwanger

Another well established (since 1656) gourmet shop is R.F. Azwanger. Beautiful old wooden chests of drawers displaying countless delicacies, making every foodie’s heart jump for joy. Locally produced wines (among others), spirits, vinegars, jams and – as if we needed any more – chocolate! Stumbling across some beautiful packaged sorts, we couldn’t stop ourselves and got some Tiroler Edle* and black currant vanilla jam produced by Trausner’s Genußwerkstatt.

R.F. Azwanger
Getreidegasse 13-15
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-84 33 94

Fürst Café Konditorei

One way or another, we just had to end up at Fürst. Mozartkugeln were originally invented in 1890 by Konditorei Fürst and back then trademark registration was not as advanced as today – even nowadays, the recipes cannot be copyrighted. As a result, you can find Mozartkugeln in all colors and shapes, basically all deviants of the original thing made by several manufacturers in the German-speaking world.

Conditorei Fürst

Café und Konditorei Fürst
Mirabellplatz 5 (among other locations)
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-88 10 77


Mozartkugel Tasting

Mozartkugeln are marvelous nougat balls, surrounded by (pistachio) marzipan, coated with a layer of dark chocolate and then wrapped into aluminum foil with – who would have thought – Mozart’s face grinning at you. After Mozart himself, it is probably the most famous export from Salzburg.

Mozartkugeln and more...

In case you doubt the objectivity of the jury you may be right, O. and I certainly have our own preferences but came astoundingly quickly to a joint conclusion on the four different Mozartkugeln (and the Mozartkugel-related chocolates) we’ve sampled.

Mozartkugeln and more...

Not that it mattered much in terms of our decision, but Fürst is one of only two manufacturers who still produce the balls mostly by hand. They also have a slightly darker chocolate outside, which is harder than that of the competition to give a better balance between the harder shell and the delicious softer filling. On top, they are also a bit larger in size than the competition – at a slightly higher price, but well worth it!

The real Mozartkugeln produced by Mirabell, Fürst, Hofbauer, Holzermayr (from left to right):

Real Mozartkugeln

Mozart Kugel-related treats produced by Mirabell, Niemetz, Manner, Hofbauer (from left to right):

Mozart-related treats

But as good as all the different pieces tasted, we still prefer our version, merely because of the little pistachio pieces and the kirsch shot… ;)

Food-related items:

Roittner im Ofenloch

Talking about the Salzburg housewares retail scene, this store truly stands out. Creating a great first impression through excellent presentation, the quality of the merchandise easily lives up to it. Located in a large 17th century house with gothic arches and open rocky walls, they offer high-end branded glass, porcelain and ceramic housewares products while maintaining the character of an intimate boutique in especially warm atmosphere.

Roittner im Ofenloch
Rainbergstrasse 5
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-84 25 66

Interio

Perhaps not as personal as Roittner, but if you ever run out of ideas for the home AND don’t want to spend a fortune, this is the place to go. Broad variety of dishes, tableware and table decorations. It was time for our old mouse mats to go and we found their perfect successors, where? There.

interio
AVA-Hof
Ferdinand Hanusch Platz 1
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-84 05 82


Restaurants

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

For the unaware it might appear as if guests are trying to overdose on ice cream. Far from it: Fine cuisine, packed in (waffle) cones. A new restaurant concept from Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz and star chef Jörg Wörther: very spacious, exclusively styled pub on two floors, lounges, café area, bar with very pleasant atmosphere and great music selection (bossa nova/latin/oriental style).

Carpe Diem

Accompanied by non-alcoholic cocktails like “Hemp me” (peach, cranberry, lime, hemp) our selection included yellowfin tuna on warm wasabi-potato salad, beef hamburger with fries and guinea fowl with foie gras mushrooms. Yum! Even the desserts came in cones or tiny glasses: Curd dumplings on sweet wine sabayon and poppy seed noodles on plum and lime sabayon. The right spot for people who love to try out a broad selection of remarkably styled dishes without getting stuffed too fast. Don’t miss out!

Carpe Diem - Finger Food

carpe diem finest fingerfood
Getreidegasse 50
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-84 88 00

mönchsberg32

To get there we could have walked up the Mönchsberg but the elevator embedded into the hill was an offer we simply couldn’t decline. There is a small fee to pay and it’ll take one to the top within the blink of an eye. Besides the restaurant, the Museum der Moderne is also located on top of the hill.

Mönchsberg32

Leaving behind another impressive look-out and a few more staircases later, we finally reach the restaurant and taking a first glimpse we see: Antlers. The central design feature (Matteo Thun) is a work of art – a 500-antler lighting installation as a true eye catcher. Directly above the old town, the museum’s modern and stylish restaurant & bar (the bar just opened a few weeks ago) with panoramic glass and a magnificent terrace offers a stellar view of the baroque Altstadt.

Mönchsberg32

Sophisticated Salzburg cuisine paired with elegant table culture and a well managed bar are the ingredients for a fabulous dinner night. Both our dishes were flawless and wonderful in taste. We opted for risotti: the calamari on limes – chili risotto and the guinea fowl on ramson-risotto and green asparagus.

Mönchsberg32 - Risotto

Make sure to leave room for dessert, the Pralinentascherl mit Vanilleschaum (absurdly delicious praline/pastry/dumpling pockets with vanilla sabayon) were to die for!

mönchsberg32
Mönchsberg 32
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43-662-84 10 00


…and last but not least a fantastic dining experience concluded our Salzburg trip, one that no doubt will linger in our heads for a longer time…coming up soon :)

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