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A Meal Inside the Mountain


Salzburg, Austria is a city with lots to see and do, including a mountaintop fortress and the birthplace and childhood home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But one of the most interesting facets of our visit there today was dinner at St. Peter’s Restaurant, which is well over a thousand years old.

Founded in the year 803, St. Peter’s is the oldest restaurant in Austria, and many locals claim that it is the oldest in Europe or even in the world. The restaurant has hosted a wide range of history’s most important people from Charlemagne and Christopher Columbus to U.S. president Bill Clinton.

The restaurant is part of St. Peter’s Monastery, which was also founded around the same time, and which is still home to a number of active monks. The monastery owns and operates the restaurant, which was originally carved into the side of the mountain that the monastery sits on.

Today, there are many more rooms to the restaurant, and some of them are quite elegant. But guests can still eat in the large cavers which were hollowed out from the side of the rock if they wish.  It’s a dining experience that few other cities – in Austria or elsewhere – can offer.


Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.