From casual neighborhood cafes, coffee shops and bakeries to elegant restaurants with tasting menus, you will find great food options when you are in Graz. Highlights of my stay in town included the following:
I enjoyed lunch at the Hotel Wiesler in its Speisesaal restaurant on the first floor. It is a bright restaurant with an eclectic design that mirrors the rooms and rest of the hotel. At lunch, they offer two specials with soup and salad. I enjoyed my first pasta of the trip. This is where the breakfast buffet is served also.
Café Sacher: This branch of the famous Hotel Sacher in Vienna has a wonderful old-world décor and feel. You have to stop in for a piece of their famous Sacher torte and tea or coffee after a day of walking and exploring the city. Herrengasse 6.
Kasner & Ohler Department Store: This upscale department store, from the late 1800’s, was renovated and reopened in 2010. After shopping, head to the 7th floor to its bright and contemporary, Freiblick Tagescafe. A popular spot with the locals, it has a full menu, but I found it perfect for a latte and a great piece of apple/plum torte or cake. It has indoor seating and a wonderful outdoor terrace for the warmer months with great views of the city.
Aiola Upstairs: Located in the Castle, this is a beautiful restaurant that serves delicious, gourmet dishes while you overlook the city below. I had one of the best meals on my trip and really excellent service. I ordered just an entrée but they served me a small bowl of tomato ginger soup with prawns and a small taste of a chocolate cake at the end which was just a perfect meal. I had a tuna steak on a bed of wasabi puree with a small round blini as the plate was accented with caviar and small dollops of sour cream. There was a small beet ravioli, a beet salad and roasted beets with a few raspberries topping it off. All in all, it was a creative and beautifully presented dish. I also enjoyed trying a local wine varietal called a zweigelt which was perfect with the tuna.
They do serve lunch and coffee and pastries in the afternoon. There is a terrace for the warmer months. The views of the city are excellent. I would suggest making a reservation online, which I did, and then take the elevator from the street rather than walk up the many flights of stairs. The cost is just over two euros and you can buy a ticket for the up and down trips.
Frankowitsch: At Stempfergasse 2-4, this is a popular delicatessen and patisserie and has been there for over 80 years. It is known for its open faced sandwiches, so I stopped in for lunch before my train to Vienna. I enjoyed one with carrot, one with beets, one with ham and horseradish and the last with smoked salmon. They also sell wines, meats and cheeses. If you can’t make it for lunch, at least stop in at the patisserie for a sugar fix.
Buna Café: Thanks to the NY Times, I found this contemporary coffee shop and roaster at Schmiedgasse 11. They have great coffee and an eclectic atmosphere. I had a great conversation with the baristas and one of the customers.
Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax: Located near the corner of Sporgasse and Hofgasse, is the oldest bakery in Graz. It has a wonderful wooden façade with a gilded double-headed eagle. They have wonderful breads, pastries and cookies. I bought an assorted package of cookies for the train to Vienna. Not a bad one in the bunch!!