I recently discovered a restaurant specialised in Knödel, a very important part of traditional Austrian cuisine. Even though it’s already open for two years now I only found it recently and I’m thrilled.
The English translation for Knödel is dumpling, but that is confusing for me because it makes me think of Asian cuisine and Austrian dumplings are nothing like Chinese ones. Knödel are balls typically made of potatoes, flour, bread or semolina, which are often filled (the filling can be a lot of stuff from smoked meat to fruit). There is a wide variety and they are served mainly as side dishes to different roasts, but also can be the main dish itself and sweet ones are eaten for dessert.
The Knödel Manufaktur is centered around this very versatile dish. The concept is quite simple: it’s a small self-service restaurant where you can order the dumplings in any combination and number you like, and they heat them up for you and bring them to your table. The dumplings are handmade and the selection of flavours changes with the seasons (and the availability of ingredients). The whole restaurant is a mix of traditional and modern, the concept and the interior as well as the dumplings themselfes. At the Knödel Manufaktur they are very inventive and like to try out new flavours (like Bolognese dumplings for example) but at the same time you see the love of traditional Austrian cuisine.
That’s also how the idea for the restaurant came up in the first place. The owners noticed that Knödel were vanishing from the menus of traditional Austrian restaurants or the doughs weren’t made fresh in those who still had them. So, they decided to take it upon themselves to change that and in 2017 they opened the Knödel Manufaktur.
Knödel are one of the things I like best about Austrian Cuisine, so when I heard about this place I had high expectations, and I have to say they were more than fulfilled. I ordered a variety of dumplings and I would have liked to try out every single flavour, but they are quite filling, so I couldn’t eat that many. I first tried one with spinach and cheese and since I liked it a lot I got a second together with one filled with ham, cheese and arugula (which I liked even more). Unfortunately, I was full at this point, so I decided to get two sweet dumplings to go and try them later at home. It was very hard to decide between all the very tasty sounding options but at the end I got one with poppy seeds and one with strawberries and vanilla cream filling. I actually ate them the next day for breakfast and they were still very tasty.
So, even though it’s very small with only a few tables and therefore not a place to spend a lot of time, it’s definitely worth trying out because the dumplings are just great. I can’t wait to go back to try more of their flavours but next time I will just order them to go and have a picnic in one of Vienna’s many parks (probably Volksgarten, because it’s not that far away).
Additional information: The Knödel Manufaktur is located at Josephstädterstraße 89, easily reachable by tram (numbers 2, 5 and 33) and underground (U6). They are open from 11am to 8pm from Monday to Friday and from 12 to 6pm on Saturdays.