Like many cuisines, that of Austria has been shaped by the peoples and cultures that have passed through and settled here over the centuries - meaning German, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Turkish, and other influences. The most popular food items of course are the buns and coffee, but there's much more to it than that. The overriding flavour, as it were, is of course German, and that has influenced the preparation of meat in particular. Distinctive dishes include Wiener Schnitzel (breaded, deep-fried veal, usually served with potato salad), Tafelspitz (boiled beef in broth served with horseradish, considered the national dish), and Selchfleisch (a popular type of local smoked meat). To sample these very typical dishes, seek out the traditional inns called beisl, especially in the area around St. Stephen's Cathedral.
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