An Austrian city nestled amidst the mountains is an unlikely candidate for foodies looking to get their next hit. But, let me let you in on a secret: Innsbruck is a spot that food enthusiasts should start to take notice of. I was there less than 24 hours but still got a good taste of the dining options that Innsbruck has to offer – and I was more than pleasantly surprised. Check out my Top 3 spots to eat in the city:
1. BREAKFAST CLUB
Highlight: cheap, tasty, plentiful breakfasts
As you have perhaps already picked up by now, I'm partial to a good breakfast / brunch. Luckily Innsbruck's Breakfast Club was willing and ready to provide. Breakfast Club adheres to the old adage of "good things come in small packages" – a tiny space, but a pleasant place to start your morning over one of their delicious breakfast options. I went for sweet and salty and wasn't disappointed: a fried free-range egg, ham and cheese, bread basket, cinnamon and sugar waffle with cranberries and apricot cream and a refreshing glass of Grandma's elderflower juice. All of this for just under 7 euros too – making it all that bit sweeter. A great way to set you up for a day's exploring, but just make sure to book because it will fill up fast and people will by vying for tables before you know it.
Highlight: organic, regional burgers
Where the hip crowd comes to hang out – it seems like Ludwig is the place to be. When Innsbruck's streets become deserted, young Austrian hipsters can be found harboured inside this strikingly cool burger restaurant, chatting with friends and biting into various delicious-looking creations. I know what you're thinking, "not another burger place", but Ludwig really is worth more than just a look. All burgers are handmade from 100% organic beef, turkey or mushrooms – and for daring veggies there is even a quinoa-based patty to pick. Ludwig also strives to incorporate local ingredients where possible too, such as its Tirolean mushrooms. The best thing about all this attention to detail though, is that it shows in the end result. I'm always reticent to declare something 'one of the best I've ever had', but in this case I'll make an exception: my bacon and onion burger with sweet potato fries and homemade sauce was one of the best I've ever had...anywhere (and yes I've been to In-N-Out Burger in the USA). The craft beers and ciders, as well as the homemade lemonades, are the perfect accompaniments to wash it all down with, too.
3. IL GUSTO DELICATESSEN
Highlight: Italian snacks for the road
Chains like Vapiano may be the safe bet when wanting something relatively simple like a pizza, but it's a lot more fun to discover somewhere new, so let me introduce you to 'Il Gusto'. I stepped inside this delicatessen on my way to the bus, hoping to pick up something tasty to pop in my backpack for the journey home, and was met with a mouthwatering array of Italian delicacies. The restaurant part of Il Gusto may have a bad rap on Tripadvisor, but that certainly doesn't marry up with my experience of the delicatessen which I had: despite only purchasing a couple of piece of pizza, the friendly owner chatted with me enthusiastically about everything from Innsbruck's Italian community, to how to make the perfect tomato sauce base for pizza (and all over some free wine, too!)