As you know, I was in Vienna this spring which means that I was also on the hunt for vegan food. In my post on how to spend four days in Vienna, I already mentioned two of my favorite spots for vegan food in Vienna.
In this post, I am going to give you more details on the options for vegan food in Vienna.
Arriving from Bratislava (which is amazing for vegan food), I expected quite a lot from Vienna. After all, Austria borders Germany which is one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world. Read on for my experience as a vegan in Vienna.
The Best Vegan Food in Vienna
One of my favorite things to do when traveling is finding local foods that have been veganized. That’s why my favorite places in Vienna were the ones that offered traditional food. The absolute highlight of the trip was Omas Backstube. This unassuming little bakery in Vienna’s Jewish neighborhood is full of vegan delights. What’s even better is that several of their treats are also gluten or sugar-free.
Case in point, the vegan sugar-free chocolate cake I had. This was definitely the best vegan cake I have ever had. The cake convinced me to also get a cinnamon and a vanilla bun for later, and I didn’t regret my decision. It was not a cheap visit, but you really have to consider the time and effort that goes into making all these delicacies.
Obere Augartenstraße 70. Open Monday to Friday 7 am to 7 pm, Saturday 9 am to 6 pm. https://www.facebook.com/lowveganextra/
The other place for vegan sweets in Vienna is Maran Vegan Bistro. This is actually a bakery counter in a vegan supermarket, but there is plenty of seating available. And who knows, after buying your vegan groceries you may need to sit down with some cake and a hot drink. There are various sweet and savory options here, and you will certainly find something to try.
Sadly, I was a bit unlucky. First of all, I really wanted to try a Sachertorte, the epitome of Viennese chocolate cakes. I had never had one in my life and simply had to try it. Turns out I was not a fan (I also found out that even locals believe there to be better cakes than Sachertorte). However, I have to say I am thankful to have been able to get a piece of this traditional cake even as a vegan.
They also had these Raffaello pralines which I had to get because Raffaello is one of the few things I still crave now and then. Unfortunately, these Raffaello pralines were simply very sweet coconut balls but didn’t have the cream filling and almond inside. So they were rather disappointing.
Something tells me, though, that I somehow picked the only two things I didn’t like. If I go back to Vienna one day I will undoubtedly give Maran Vegan Bistro another try.
Stumpergasse 57. Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 7:30 pm, Saturday 8 am to 6 pm. http://www.maranvegan.at/bistro/maran-vegan-bistro/
And now for the one thing every tourist in Vienna, vegan or not, will want to try: Wiener Schnitzel. Luckily, Loving Hut (the one at Neubaugürtel) has got you covered. They offer a Wiener Schnitzel with either fries or potato salad. I opted for the potato salad and really enjoyed both.
In general, Loving Hut is such a hit and miss chain. I’ve been to really disappointing ones, and then there is this little gem for vegan food in Vienna. The restaurant was quite busy when I was there so the waitress had a lot of work which slowed down the service. However, she totally made up for it with her friendly and professional attitude.
For dessert, I decided to get a chocolate cake which was very tasty as well.
And now, for my international travel ladies: The best part was that the crowd here was so diverse. We all know that vegan spots can sometimes be lacking in this aspect. Not so Loving Hut. It’s an Asian-owned business with Asian staff, but on top of that several of the guests were women from visible minorities. As a Muslim woman, I felt very comfortable here. It was the perfect spot for vegan women from marginalized communities!
Neubaugürtel 38/5. Open Monday to Sunday 4:30 pm to 9 pm. http://lovinghut.at/neubau/
Vienna is also perfect for vegan fast food. In fact, I thought there was too much of it. I may have been right because one vegan fast food place closed down shortly after my visit. The thing is that there is an entirely vegan fast-food chain. Yes, you read that right: There is now a major vegan fast-food chain. Swing Kitchen has nine locations in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland – five of them are in Vienna. Imagine walking around aimlessly exploring the city, and suddenly you’re really hungry. But you’re vegan, where are you going to find a place to eat now? Fret not, Swing Kitchen has got you covered.
I love burgers, but I also get bored when a city doesn’t have much else to offer. But this experience was something else. It’s been ages since I last went to a regular fast food place. Swing Kitchen looks more elegant than any of those places (but maybe that’s because it’s in Vienna?), but everything else is pretty much the same. A huge space, you order at the counter, wait for your meal, and sit down somewhere.
I came here twice: The first time I had the Vienna burger with sweet potato fries, and the second time I opted for the kitchen wrap with regular fries (tip: go for the sweet potato ones!!). Of course, they also have soft drinks.
I will say that they were quite pricey for a fast-food restaurant, especially given that the food isn’t exactly creative (soy meat replacements for the most part). What really makes them a great choice, however, are their opening hours. Restaurant opening hours in Vienna are a bit inconvenient. Finding a place on Sundays or later than 9 pm proves rather difficult, but Swing Kitchen has got you covered.
Schwedenplatz 3-4. Open Sunday to Thursday 11 am to 10:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to 12am. https://www.swingkitchen.com/
Possibly Worth a Visit
There were three places in Vienna that were decent but didn’t exactly blow me away. Depending on the length of your trip you may want to give these a try.
Veggiezz is a restaurant with two locations in Vienna. I went to the one on Am Salzgriess and thought it was trying a bit too hard to appear like a fancy wine bar which is also reflected in the prices. To me, the options were really only mediocre. I had a pumpkin quinotto (risotto but with quinoa instead of rice) and a homemade lemonade. The quinotto was extremely oily and lacked flavor. The lemonade, on the other hand, was very tasty and refreshing.
I could have been unlucky with the food which is why I would say you could still give it a try, but in my opinion, the quality of the food didn’t justify the high prices. The waiters could have also been friendlier.
Am Salzgriess 9. Open Sunday to Thursday 11 am to 10 pm, Friday 11 am to 11 pm, Saturday 12 pm to 11 pm. https://veggiezz.at/
The second mediocre place for vegan food in Vienna was Venuss. It operates like the big chain Vapiano’s where you get a card upon entering and then choose items from the different buffets. The prices get charged to your card, and you pay when you leave. I have never seen the point in this system as it doesn’t make anything easier at all. It seems to merely serve as a novelty factor, but even that is over now.
But I digress. The prices here are very high because Venuss is located in the center, but for a self-service restaurant, it’s definitely too expensive. However, I have to say that the coconut rice pudding with sour cherries that I had was absolutely delicious. The hot chocolate was decent but nothing to rave about.
The staff impressed me with their friendliness which seems to be a rare characteristic among Viennese waiting staff. Another pro is the fact that this is one of the few vegan places that serve breakfast. Overall, I think it’s a nice option if you’re okay with spending a little more money.
Herrengasse 6-8. Open Monday to Saturday 10 am to 9:30 pm. http://venuss.com/
Finally, there was a Taiwanese vegan restaurant that definitely had its pros and cons. Formosa Food had some of the nicest staff in all of Vienna. You can’t help but fall in love with these wonderfully warm-hearted and friendly people. This alone makes Formosa Food worth a visit.
The interior is very small and seemed to be undergoing renovations, but maybe by now it looks a bit nicer and has a cozier vibe.
The menu is huge so there’s definitely something there for everybody. I started off with a soup which was decent and then had the savory pancakes with a ham and vegetable filling. Certainly one of the more creative vegan dishes I’ve tried. Sadly, the filling was too salty even for me. There’s a German saying that if the food is too salty the cook must be in love so I hope that’s the explanation.
Yet, despite the atmosphere and the saltiness of the food, I think the kindness of the staff would make me give Formosa Food a second chance.
Barnabitengasse 6. Open Monday to Saturday 11 am to 9 pm. http://www.formosa.at/main/index.html
Where Not to Go
I came across three restaurants in Vienna that I wouldn’t recommend. This does not mean that these are generally bad restaurants, but I didn’t have a good experience there, and, as you know, I like to give honest reviews.
The first restaurant was actually the first one I went to after arriving in Vienna. Ulis Veganeria is a fairly cozy restaurant in a residential area. It seems like a family-run business, and I got the feeling that most of the guests were regulars as well.
They cook several options every day that you can choose from behind the counter. I opted for the pasta with garlic, zucchini, and cashew parmesan which came with a salad. Sadly, the pasta was horribly overcooked making the food almost inedible. The salad was simply one of those pre-packaged lettuce mixes covered in way too much dressing.
I have to admit that the price was very decent by Viennese standards, but sadly that doesn’t help much when the food tastes bad. Another thing I didn’t like was that the guy behind the counter didn’t really seem to want to be there. All in all, bad food and bad service at a decent price, but why would you have to pay for that at all?
Apostelgasse 29-31. Open Monday to Friday 11 am to 3 pm. http://ulisveganeria.at/
The second restaurant I cannot recommend is Grains in another residential neighborhood. This is a tiny space with two tables, but if it’s actually quite cozy. They have daily specials, and when I was there the option was a “Moroccan” quinoa chickpea stew with a turmeric and tahini dressing.
First of all, the portion was tiny for the price, but then it was also some of the blandest food I have ever tasted. When Westerners try to make non-Western foods it almost never goes right so I’m not exactly surprised. I still fail to see, however, why you would take another culture’s food and remove all the flavor from it when you can just make your own dishes.
Lastly, Grains markets itself as a vegan restaurant, but I overheard the owner offering a friend “normal” milk so there goes that as well. “Moroccan” food that doesn’t taste Moroccan at a “vegan” restaurant that is not vegan. Suit yourself.
Gumpendorferstraße 33. Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 3 pm. http://www.grains-wien.at/
Finally, Simply Raw is a bistro located in the Old Town and has a very nice and cozy interior, but it ends there. There’s a long wait for breakfast, and it seems that because they are so popular the staff are quite overwhelmed. In fact, a new waitress was being trained the day I was there, and I overheard a senior waitress tell her to be harsher with people and tell them to wait if they try to talk to her! So much for the place’s service mentality.
The bistro was generally very nicely decorated, but when I found a table there was absolutely no decoration on it. I wouldn’t normally mind, but if what you’re selling is cute and cozy you can’t simply serve a boring porridge on a completely empty table.
The porridge was okay, but nothing out of the ordinary, and it certainly didn’t justify the hefty price.
Vienna doesn’t have a lot of vegan breakfast places so Simply Raw benefits from being one of the few options, at an excellent location. But I really don’t see anything worth going here for aside from the very cozy setting.
Drahtgasse 2. Open Monday to Saturday 9 am to 6 pm. https://www.simplyrawbakery.at/
Vegan Shopping in Vienna
Apart from the restaurants there are two vegan places in Vienna you may want to shop at.
The first one is Maran, the vegan supermarket with a bakery counter I talked about before. It’s not that this was a huge vegan supermarket, but it was definitely bigger than any other vegan supermarket I have ever seen. Of course, we can always get our fruits and vegetables as well as staples like quinoa or beans at any regular supermarket. But if you are looking for specific vegan products like nutritional yeast, nut butters, or more exquisite plant milks, you may need to go to a specialized store. Maran has everything you could ask for as a vegan, and I’d love to live in a city that has such a big vegan supermarket.
Stumpergasse 57. Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 7:30 pm, Saturday 8 am to 6 pm. http://www.maranvegan.at/
Then there is the Zuckerlwerkstatt which I thought was perfect for souvenirs. They make vegan candies of different varieties. I got several bags of candy for family and coworkers, and everyone really liked them. The lady behind the counter could have been friendlier, but that was somehow a common theme in Vienna.
Herrengasse 6. Open Monday to Saturday 10 am to 6 pm. https://www.zuckerlwerkstatt.at/
Tips for Vegan Travelers in Vienna
Overall, I found Vienna rather disappointing arriving here from Bratislava. But there are things you can do to make your trip more successful.
As I had bought some bread at a lovely vegan, zero-waste bakery in Bratislava, I didn’t have to go for breakfast every day.
It’s also really easy to find vegan smoothies or other nutritious juices as well as any other vegan ingredient in Vienna’s supermarkets. If you have accommodation with a kitchen it’s a good idea to have breakfast at home so you save some money.
Nobody will starve in Vienna as a vegan. Veganism is very widespread, but I would probably suggest you cook at home once or twice because there are too many places that are not worth their money. Instead, I’d probably get cake once or twice more from Omas Backstube because that was the place that really stood out to me.
Have you ever been to Vienna as a vegan? Do you agree with my thoughts?