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Vienna Woods, Lake Neusiedler, and the Danube River Restaurants

With few exceptions, food in this region is on the simple side. The basics are available in abundance: roast meats, customary schnitzel variations, game (in season), fresh vegetables, and standard desserts such as Palatschinken (crepes filled with jam or nuts, topped with chocolate sauce) and Apfelstrüdel. However, imaginative cooking is beginning to spread, and most places have fresh fish and ot

fish and other lighter fare. Look for at least one vegetarian course on the menu.

Around Neusiedl Lake the local Pannonian cooking, strongly influenced by neighboring Hungary, showcases such spicy dishes as gulyas (goulash) flavored with paprika. You'll also find fresh fish, goose, game, and an abundance of fresh local vegetables. Along the Danube, restaurants make the most of the river view. Simple Gasthäuser are everywhere, but better dining is more often found in country inns. Restaurants, whether sophisticated and stylish or plain and homey, are often rated as much by their wine as by their chefs' creations.

Dining in the countryside is a casual affair. Meal times are usually from noon to 2 for lunch and from 6 to 10 for dinner. It's rare to find a restaurant that serves all afternoon, so plan ahead. It's a good idea to reserve a table, especially for Sunday lunch, which is a popular time for families to get together. As in Vienna, tipping is usually rounded up to the nearest euro. When in doubt, tip 5%.

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