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A Late-Night Institution: The Würstelstand

After a long night of revelry, there is nothing like a hearty snack to avoid a rude awakening the next day. In Austria there's the Würstelstand, which serves a wide range of sausages and stays open until dawn.

Opera Ball Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Zajc
The inner city streets are peppered with so-called Würstelstände in Austria, the equivalent of the kebab house. These food stalls specialise in serving a wide range of sausages and staying open until dawn. A typical hangover buster would be a pair of grilled or cooked sausages, served with freshly grated horseradish, mustard, ketchup, gherkins, a piece of dark bread and a can of local beer.

The Würstelstand owner is a robust, humourous character who has nerves of steel and enjoys dishing out sideorders of worldy wisdom on the house. The later the hour, the more eccentric the stall's clientele - often a mix of taxi drivers, clubbers and insomniacs. A stop at a Würstelstand on the way home means getting involved in a truly Austrian ritual - and you might even get to know some of the more unusual locals.