People living near the Danube arefamous for their delicious dishes, traditional cuisine, great wines and tasty local drinks. Like some other aspects of the Danube life, gastronomy is also a good example of different cultures being mixed and shared: a lot of dishes are specialities in more than one country, while common approach to gastronomy is a characteristic for neighbouring regions.
German banks of the Danube are home to many award-winning chefs and a large number of restaurants. Famous for its beers, bread and meat products, this country offers a wide range of very specific dishes, but also gives the visitor an opportunity to experience traditional life-styles. One of the most famous places for doing that, is Regensburg's historical Bratwurstkuchi tavern, which has been open since the 16th century. Much remained unchanged for five centuries: charcoal grill, freshly prepared sausages, sauerkraut and mustard made according to a historical recipe.
Austria is a place of origin of Vienner Schnitzel, a traditional dish made of boneless meat thinned with a mallet, coated in breadcrumbs and eggs, and fried. It is one of the favourite dishes all over the region. Beside that, in Vienna you can drink exquisite coffee and taste some of the best cakes in the world - with recepies dating back from the cuisines of Austrian Empire.
Bryndzové halušky is a typical Slovak dish, a kind of cheesy gnocci, which can be tasted in a number of traditional restaurants - together with roast goose or duck with potato crepes and chopped cabbage. Poppy seed strudel is also one of Slovakian specialities, and at the same time speciality of all Lower Danube countries.
Hungarian cuisine is world famous, for the fullness of spicy and tasteful dishes. In that country, a visitor can taste a variety of soups, paprikaš (which is a paprika and meat stew), or doboš cake. As for the typical Danube dish, it is called Fishermen's Soup, cooked differently on the banks of the Danube and other rivers.
In Croatia, there is a variety of different cuisines, depending on the proximity of the sea. In part of the country where the Danube flows - Slavonia, the cuisine is more or less under Hungarian influence. Therefore, the same or similar dishes would be served both in Croatia and Hungary.
The same goes for the upper part of the Danube in Serbia - spicy dishes with Hungarian origin are served in chardas - restaurants built in a traditional style, by the river, which can be found from Hungary, down the Danube. After the Danube passes the capital, Belgrade, the cuisine is becoming more and more Turkish influenced, so a variety of ground meet dishes is served - like pljeskavica or ćevapčići. The national drink is plum brandy, called "šljivovica".
Culinary traditions are an integral part of the identity of all the Danube ethnicities. That applies for the Bulgarians as well. Famous dishes in Bulgaria are Bulgarian yoghurt, Banitsa cheese pie and a variety of inventive salads.
Romanian cuisine is based, among other ingredients, on the Danube fish. A visitor has to choose from icre (fish egg) salad, fish cake, fish stew, carp fillet, ragout of river fish, and many others. Thanks to different influences of the neighbouring countries, Romanians also serve different soups, and meat stews. Plum brandy - tuica - is also a national drink.
In Ukraine, one may taste dumplings stuffed with different fillings, cottage cheese fritters, potato filled buns baked in rich cream, a lot of cabbage dishes.
Molodovan cuisine is similar to Romanian and Ukrainian, with a lot of meat, cabbage and pastries.
Gastronomy of the Danube region is, above all, defined by the wines made and served here. Every country, almost every local comunity has its own brand - "invented" centuries ago, by using different herbs or secret recepies. Beside rich red or white European wines, those local brands will make your visit to the Danube even more exciting and fulfilling.