I love Vienna, Austria and have been there quite a few times, out of choice, coincidence, and out of it’s convenience to the rest of Europe. In this post, I will discuss some Viennese veggie food options, and plan on writing a separate post detailing the major worthwhile sites in Vienna, since this post is so long as is!
Sadly this time around, my trip to Vienna, May 2014, was a little tainted by some unforeseen events. First, I fell off a galloping horse in Iceland, and hurt my back enough that walking hurt, seriously? Then, my trip to Scotland was cut short due to an Icelandair strike seriously? And to put the icing on the cake, I got sick, probably from the lack of veggies, for the first time in about a year and a half, seriously?
What was even more unfortunate was that this leg of the trip was a huge reunion for me. My sister had been interning outside of Vienna, which was the reason for the trip, so I was to meet her, and my parents when they got in. One of my good friends from University lives in Vienna, so I was staying with her. My cousin lives in the Czech Republic, and she and her boyfriend were coming down to meet us, and one of my fellow backpacking friends coincidentally rerouted his Morocco trip through Vienna. Usually, I travel solo, and don’t have to meet any responsibilities, except to myself, but even sick, and with a “broken” back, there were places I had to be, and people I had to see.
Also, at this point, sick and in pain, I was quite desperate for some fruit and veggie comfort. When I feel the inkling of a cold coming on, I generally run to the store, and make a soup packed with as many vegetables as I can find, and make smoothies out of as many fruits as I can find, and even splurge on fresh cold-pressed juices. But this time, unable to do that, and already sick from traveling, I was thankful to have arrived at my good friend’s house. I was able to use her kitchen, take some natural Viennese medication, visit the juice bar behind her house regularly. I also took advantage of the cooking skills of my ex-vegan chef friend, to nurse myself back to health. And I was feeling much better after my week in Vienna.
Luckily, I had already seen many of the major sights in Vienna, so this visit was more for eating, and seeing friends. This was my first time in Vienna as a vegetarian though, so I got a chance to sample some delicious Viennese veggie cuisine. Though there is almost always a vegetarian option or two on the menu in most Viennese restaurants, most of these options were heavy on the dairy, and pasta, which gave me a stomach ache. But, some restaurants did have vegan offerings, and after seeing vegan campaign ads, and vegan graffiti, I know there is a solid vegan population in this city, so if you look a little deeper, or go ethnic which I did a few times, you can find vegan food as well, and totally avoid cheese and dairy!
Something along the lines of “A life before a schnitzel”
“Monsanto leave the field”
Here’s what I ate in Vienna:
At the Schönbrunn Zoo Café, in the center of the zoo, I had some Gnocchi with a cheese sauce and a large, deliciously fresh side salad. I ate the salad, and shared the gnocchi, it was so heavy.
And my Dad had an “Eiskaffee.” In German Eis (sounds like Ice) means ice cream, so it is not just an “iced coffee” but a cold coffee with ice cream. This was one of my very favorite treats to have on a hot summer day while living in Munich back in 2010.
Of course I found some Indian food at Nirvana, in the center of town by Stephansplatz, near Zanoni and Zanoni, the famous gelateria. I tried the vegetarian sample platter, which was a feast in itself, and here there were some great vegan choices as well.
My sister had the mango-mozzarella appetizer.
Next up is a HUGE VEGAN falafel and hummus platter from Maschu Maschu. They had a few different dipping sauces as well, and my friend and I were so happy to find something actually spicy to eat! (Spicy is hard to come by in German speaking countries). When arriving back at my Viennese friend’s apartment, she informed me that this was one of their go-to spots. It is cheap, easy, and tasty. This was a small shop located very close to Nirvana, and the center of town by Stephansplatz.
Next up was a big surprise. We all went out to a pub called Bettlestudent, one night, and they had some nice veggie options. This pub is walking distance from the Opera. I opted for a veggie burger, which turned out to be a Laibchen, which is a fried veggie patty, (that’s what I get for using the English menu). (More Laibchen’s in Salzburg). It was served with rice in a cream sauce, and it was actually better than a veggie burger would have been.
When my cousin arrived, she took us across the river, still in walking distance from Stephansplatz, to Cafe Ansari. This restaurant was clean, and the menu was innovative. They had many vegetarian and vegan dishes, which looked fancy, but were reasonably priced.
Those are carrots stuffed with walnuts and pomegranate, amazing! This is a fresh watermelon salad.
Plus, look how cute this place is:
Are you in the mood for dessert yet? Zanoni and Zanoni, in the center of town, again by Stephansplatz, and about a block away from Nirvana Indian Restaurant is a great place to stop for some gelato. Not only does this place serve world famous gelato, they now offer Vegan ice cream, made with rice milk! The picture is a little blurry, sorry, but they offer quite a few vegan flavors including the one I tried, Vanille-Waldbeere, which was very tasty.
And last but not least, a big thank you to my friend, who happens to be the first vegan I had ever met, for making me this delicious soup, which I will have to get the recipe for one of these days…
Where did you eat in Vienna?