Visiting St. Peter Stiftskulinarium is a spiritual and gastronomic pilgrimage. Located within the vast confines of St. Peter’s Abbey in Salzburg, a 7th-century Benedictine monastery, its existence was first recorded by Alcuin of York, a scholar and trusted adviser to Charlemagne.
Wandering through these hallowed halls, one can’t help but imagine Mephistopheles talking shop with Faust, or Christopher Columbus raising a glass of Salzburg Stiegl beer before his historic journey. If the legends persist, the seniority of the establishment is undeniable. St. Peter Stiftskulinarium, mentioned in documents dating back to 803, claims to be the oldest known working restaurant in Europe.
The grandeur of the restaurant spans 11 dining rooms, each with its own elaborate design and tapestry of captivating anecdotes. From the opulent baroque hall to the intimate ‘citizens’ room’ Prälatenstube, the establishment is sure to be a feast for the eyes. With a capacity of 850 people, it also offers plenty of opportunities for people watching.
The Stiftskulinarium kitchen prides itself on serving upscale regional specialties, including the Viennese classic tafelspitz (beef simmered in broth and vegetables) and Salzburger Nockerl a sweet soufflé dessert made with egg yolk, flour, sugar and vanilla. With the changing seasons, the menu embraces diverse local flavors, featuring fresh fish, game dishes and often imaginative influences from Mediterranean cuisine.
As night falls, the restaurant’s famous Mozart dinner concert takes place. Each evening, the high stucco ceilings of the baroque room are lit by candlelight on white gala tables. In collaboration with the Salzburg Concert Society, the dining experience offers a three-course menu featuring authentic recipes from the 17th and 18th centuries accompanied by live musical performances featuring the work of Salzburg’s most famous native, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart . Performers and stewards in fanciful period attire add to the flair of the times.