A sampling of the vegan food you'll find in Vienna

Vegan in Vienna

In the land of schnitzel and sausage, finding vegan food is surprisingly easy and quite delicious: from big buttery olives stuffed with chili peppers to smooth and creamy vegan ice cream, Vienna, Austria harbors a huge number of vegan delights for the vegan traveler.

A sampling of the vegan food you'll find in Vienna

A sampling of the vegan food you’ll find in Vienna

 

   Whenever people ask me some variant of, “Isn’t it hard to travel as a vegan?” my answer is typically, “No. Not at all. Vegan food is just fruit and vegetables and plants and grains–those are everywhere. And getting away from processed vegan foods is both enjoyable and good for me, so I relish the opportunity of eating just fresh fruit for breakfast or rice and veggies for lunch.”

   That’s true, to some degree, but when I answer that, I forget that I like food. I really like food. I like eating it, and looking for it, and thinking about it, and talking about it, and writing about it and photographing it, and sharing those photographs with anyone who has two eyes and an Instagram account. And my natural predilection when I’m traveling is to seek out the local delicacies, done vegan-style. And sometimes, when I’m wandering around a city where I don’t speak the language, and can’t read the signs or menus, and my stomach starts growling, I really wish I could just dive into a cheap and easy cheese pizza or not walk past mile after mile of affordable local-flavor cafes. I dream of vegan options around the world being more ubiquitous.

I'm dreaming of vegan options all the way 'round the world.

I’m dreaming of vegan options all the way ’round the world.

   

   So to be in Vienna, the land of wienerschnitzel and sausage, and find a good dozen vegan-friendly places, well, there goes my backpacking budget. (To be fair, my backpacking budget goes at the window at fairly everything. A glass of wine? Don’t mind if I do! Another glass? Well, OK, ‘cause YOLO. Oooh, a vegan bag of candy? OK! I’m basically a terrible backpacker.)

   Turns out, Vienna (or Wien, as it’s called locally. Pronounced Veen. See, now you’re a linguist like me) happens to be a vegan haven for its health-conscious and animal-lovin’ citizens. The specialties seem to include fake meats (which I’ve had in abundance), Asian-style food with fake meat (which I’ve also had in abundance) and healthy micro raw food (which I’ve had zero). And ice cream. Not the watery ice-y sorbet we vegans get as a token at most places (though I appreciate the token, I do, token-givers!); real, honest-to-goodness, creamy, cold and sweet vegan ice cream.

   So where did I find myself and what did I squeeze into three days?

Rauch Juice Bar Neubaugasse 13, 1070

   A large fresh-pressed juice or blended smoothie is under 5 euro, so when you need a blast of fruit and veg to get you through the fried-food bonanza that is Vienna, this is the place to go. Favorite juice: the Chill Out (apple, celery and carrot).

Fresh Juice in Vienna

Fresh Juice in Vienna

 

Rupp’s Vegetarian Pub  Arbeitergasse 46, 1050

   Purveyors of vegan schnitzel. Traditionally, schnitzel is pounded pork or veal, breaded and deep-fried. I’m all about breaded and deep-fried, but make mine cruelty-free, please! Rupp’s is located centrally, an easy walk or hop on the Underground (public transportation in Vienna is a dream to navigate, by the way). From what I can tell, the vegan options are available for dinner only.

   This is a vegetarian pub with all the vegan items clearly labeled. Big portions will fill you up easily, but make sure to save room for dessert–they offer an apple strudel that’s out of this world.

Formosa GmbH Barnabitengasse 6, 1060

   This vegan food store is also a restaurant that serves Asian-style mock meats and vegan fast food. With offerings as diverse as chicken burgers (skip that one, the ‘burger’ is half the size of the tiny bun) and hot dogs to Japanese duck curry and vegan Cordon Bleu, all items are under 10 euros and there’s something for everyone (provided everyone likes fake meat). The fried chicken was enjoyable–definitely needed that lemon wedge–though I found the potato salad to be too sweet. I came here twice–it’s affordable, located next to the Naschmarkt, and one of the only vegan cafes open for dinner.

   Bonus: vegan gummy sharks and cola bottles for sale by the register.

Chicken Fried Steak at Formosa

Chicken Fried Steak at Formosa

 

Xu’s Cooking Kaiserstraße 45, 1070

   Come here for the lunch buffet. At under 8 euros, it’s all-you-can-eat and mostly vegan. Soups, salads, spring rolls, fried rice (with egg), curry and multitudes of fakes meats will fill you up. Make sure to get a piece of the seasonal watermelon with your dessert at the end of your meal. It gets busy during the lunch hour, but the staff makes sure to keep the buffet stocked and loaded. One of my favorite places to eat due to the variety.

Vegan lunch buffet at Xu's Cooking

Vegan lunch buffet at Xu’s Cooking. Yes, that was too much wasabi.

 

Eis Greissler Rotenturmstraße 14, 1010

   One of the most popular and more affordable ice cream shops in Vienna, there’s almost always a line snaking out the front door. It’s worth the wait. Just under half their options are vegan, and there’s really no reason not to get a double scoop. In a vegan waffle cone, naturally. I regret not getting the apricot flavor, but both the elderberry sorbet and the chocolate ice cream were worth it. I would have gone back the following day if not for…

 

Veganista Neustiftgasse 23, 1070

   A recently opened all-vegan ice cream parlour centrally located. The staff is friendly and happy to answer questions, and while the scoops here are slightly more expensive than Eis Greissler, the array of options makes up for it. If the basilikum (basil) and orange saffron olive oil flavors are available when you stop by, make sure you try both. There’s always tomorrow to sample the others. My tomorrow involved the white chocolate and the Oreo cookie; the white chocolate was a tiny bit underwhelming, but the Oreo was delightfully chock full of cookies.

The vegan ice cream selection at both places was overwhelming, in the best possibly way.

The vegan ice cream selection at both places was overwhelming, in the best possibly way.

   

   This is only a portion of the vegan restaurants in Vienna; as you can see, eating vegan in Vienna is enjoyable and very easy. And if your sense of direction is better than mine, you may not need to cross-reference your Google Maps to get around; turns out every restaurant and cafe I went to was within in a 20-minute walking radius, making your vegan adventure accessibly and enjoyable.

 

For more reviews and listings for vegan food in Vienna, visit Happy Cow

 

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  • Ahimsa

    Wien looks cool. I knew the Germans were big into “wegetarianism”, but I’m glad to see that their little brothers have lots of choices too.

    • http://epicuriousvegan.com/ Epicurious Vegan

      According to Happy Cow, I just saw that there’s 74 Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants in Vienna. Crazy.

  • andrea

    Glad that you enjoyed Wien, a fabulous city. But please omg don’t say vee-yen. It’s veen. My friends there tell me they have just opened TWO vegan groceries there. Rupp’s is an absolute must, it’s amazing. One of the best veg burgers in the world. I don’t think you meant to say apple streusel, though. They are pretty famous for their strudel, which is great.

    • http://epicuriousvegan.com/ Epicurious Vegan

      Andrea!

      haha! That’s what I get for being there for only three days. Veen and apple strudel are fixed now.

  • jess sconé

    I am in awe!
    And hey, juice counts as raw food, right? You’re golden on all sides!

    When I was moooostly vegan and studying abroad, I spent a day in Vienna and all I remember is eating bread and buying a shit ton of touristy chocolate and white chocolate liquors to take home with me. Your trip continues to look divine and I am loving the updates! (even if they’re here!) <3

    • http://epicuriousvegan.com/ Epicurious Vegan

      Yeah, you’re right, there was one raw meal in Vienna. Phew!

      bread and chocolate; I don’t know, that still sounds pretty good.

  • veganinbrighton

    Reading this made me wanna travel with you AND go back to Vienna! I was there last when Eis Greissler opened but I haven’t been to Veganista yet, it looks epic!

    • http://epicuriousvegan.com/ Epicurious Vegan

      Let’s travel together!! (Seriously) And I’m considering a trip back to Vienna just for Veganista (though that’s hard for me to type as I sit here, full as all hell from an enormous vegan dinner in Budapest).

  • Rachel

    I would never have imagined Vienna was so veg-friendly! I haven’t spent much time in Europe, but hope to in the future, so I’m digging your blog. (I’m D’s friend who bought the army duffel at your yard sale, by the way.)

    • http://epicuriousvegan.com/ Epicurious Vegan

      Rachel! Hope you’re getting use out of that bag. :) I already miss how vegan friendly Vienna is. I found a lot of Eastern Europe countries are actually quite vegan friendly (unlike the Balkans, where I am now, but hey, it’s good to get back to basics). I’m working on writing recaps of Brno and Novi Sad, too.

      • Rachel

        I just saw a post on Facebook stating that 9% of Austrians identify as vegetarin or vegan, so there you go!