With all the rules it may seem like dining isn't any fun, but the food is always
worth the effort. The Austrians take great pride in their
food and how it's prepared, particularly their meats, which are typically cooked
until extremely tender. If you can cut the meats with just your fork, it's a
great compliment to the host and the chef.
Despite the good food, the table manners must continue. You must finish everything
on your plate, set your knife and fork together when finished, and avoid any potentially
offensive topics like politics or business. Once finished follow your host's
lead as you may be asked or encouraged to give a toast; during toasts always compliment
the host and make eye contact on both the giving and receiving end.
If at a restaurant, the host is expected to pay so if you initiated the invitation,
be prepared to pay for everyone; if you are the guest, offer to pay, but when turned
down graciously thank the host and invite them to dinner at a later date.
When eating at a sit down restaurant with a server, you should tip about 10% of
the bill. It's best to give the waiter or waitress the money and tell them what
you want to pay instead of leaving the tip on the table. In bars a tip of €1 per
order is standard.
Austria is well known for their alcoholic beverages, but
they also enjoy their coffees, both traditional coffee as well as
Italian-influenced coffee like espresso and cappuccino. Hot chocolate, particularly
during the colder winter months is also popular. Other popular international drinks
are also accessible, including tea, juices, soft drinks, and milk.
Austria's most popular alcohol is beer and they make
their share of world renowned beers. There are numerous local breweries as well
as some larger domestic breweries. Wine and schnapps are also popular as both are
locally produced. Imported beers, wines, and hard liquors are also available, but
local beers dominate the market and for good reason.
Generally speaking, the tap water is safe to drink in Austria,
but check with locals for any particular regional differences. Also, many people
may have troubles adjusting to the local tap water, as it will most certainly be
different from what your system is used to.