Culinary Delights on the Danube

From centuries-old breweries and wineries to spicy regional fare to confections worthy of display in a museum, you’ll find a surplus of food and beverage choices to relish along the Danube River. First stop: Germany, followed by Austria and Hungary.



A well-preserved medieval city in southeast Germany, Regensburg sits at the northernmost part of the Danube and is a beer lovers delight. A Dunkel or bock beer paired with freshly prepared sausages, sauerkraut and sweet mustard in a beer garden or brewpub is an excellent way to soak in the Bavarian ambience.

Your first stop should be the Historic Sausage Kitchen, or Wurstkuchl, on the banks of the Danube. Known as one of the oldest continuously open public restaurants in the world, this small building was originally the construction office for the Regensburg Stone Bridge built in the early 12th century. Sausages are handmade daily, and there’s plenty of outdoor seating.

For a more sophisticated palate, Weltenburger am Dom is known for its schnitzel and hearty regional cuisine with a modern twist. The original Weltenburger Bockbierschnitzel is a pork schnitzel with a pretzel breading mixed with sweet mustard, then topped with fried onions and dark beer sauce. Enjoy it with a Weltenburger Klosterbier or Weltenburg Asam Bockbier from the world’s oldest monastery brewery in Bavaria.

If beer, sausages and schnitzel aren’t your cup of tea, then head over to Germany’s oldest coffee house, Café Prinzess, across the square from Old Town Hall. From handmade cakes, pastries, chocolates and pralines, you’re bound to find the perfect sweet refreshment. The café’s chocolate pralines have been served to international ambassadors since the 1600s.

Bratwurst and a beer

Wachau Valley

The storied views alone in Austria’s Wachau Valley make it a destination to behold. When you add the charming Bavarian villages that dot the Danube shorelines with the beautiful, terraced hillsides of vines that cling to each slope and a culinary treat most don’t think about – apricots – you have a little piece of heaven. In fact, UNESCO declared Wachau Valley a World Heritage site.

Among the many castle ruins that perch on the hilltops and colorful church towers and abbeys that beckon from the riverbank, you’ll find apricot orchards, along with vineyards that produce some of the best Rieslings and Grüner Veltliner, an Austrian varietal. One of the most famous and distinct wine regions in the world due to its unique micro-climate, grapes have been grown in Wachau Valley for 2,000 years.

Spitz is a wonderful fairytale village to take a stroll and enjoy these gastronomic delights. Sip on local wines at any of the wine estates on the slopes above town or try an apricot delicacy in the form of strudel, dumplings, sorbet, jam or even schnapps. The Wachau apricot, known as the Wachauer marille, is only grown in this region and is one of the few Austrian products protected as its own brand within the EU.

Apple Strudel


Just about an hour to the east and a world away from the tranquil Wachau Valley is the bustling city of Vienna. With so many sweet food delights extending from its inviting cafes, it will be hard to choose what to try first.

A grand place to start would be the heart of the city. Overlooking the legendary opera house (worthy of a tour!), is the luxurious Hotel Sacher and Café’ Sacher Wien, home to the original Sacher-Torte. Sacher-Torte is a smooth, darkly rich chocolate cake with a small layer of apricot jam; the full recipe, which has been served to royalty since 1832, is still a secret.

In addition to the coveted Viennese patisseries, which have been crafting gorgeous and delicious desserts for centuries, Vienna is known for its apple strudel, or apfelstrudel. You can find this traditional, layered dessert just about anywhere, but for a truly special experience, visit Café Residenz at Schönbrunn Palace. Here you’ll witness how it’s made from energetic bakers before tasting this sweet treat.



Just 20 minutes from the banks of the Danube, you can find yourself immersed in a sensory overload at Budapest’s massive Great Market Hall. While apple strudel is famed in Vienna, here it’s all about the warm poppy-seed strudel. Hungarian cuisine is known for its zesty dishes, and here you’ll find packed stalls with authentic Hungarian cheeses, sausages, cured meats, seafood, produce and spices to savor.

The “red gold” of the region is smoky yet sweet paprika, which can be tasted in paprikaš (paprika and meat stew), among other dishes. To bring down the heat, finish off your meal with a dobos torte, chocolate truffle, marzipan or chimney cake (Kürtőskalács) – all favorite confections in Budapest. Szamos Gourmet Palace has quite the irresistible collection.

For fine dining, you won’t have to go far. The Castle District sits along the Danube in Budapest’s oldest part of town. Here you’ll find everything from outstanding caviar to exclusive Hungarian restaurants serving tafelspitz (braised beef) and backfleisch (steak Wiener schnitzel).

Don’t leave without snacking on lángos – deep-fried flatbread or dough topped with cheese, sour cream and often crispy onions.

Eager to sail along the Danube and sample the savory fares of each city?

Our agency can help.