Travel

Eating Vegan in Vienna

Food in Austria is very meat heavy so I was definitely skeptical about visiting this country again as last time the language barrier coupled with a hangover meant I ate cheese for the first time in a year. Please note that if you’ve cut dairy out of your diet and decide to have it again and indulge in ‘freeganism’ then your body is going to react. Very violently.

As I’m waiting to board the plane home, I want to share the best places in Vienna to eat as a Vegan and some to avoid.

The Intercontinental Hotel

I was lucky enough to stay here and upon arrival with four hours sleep and a wrap from Pret to sustain me for six hours, it was safe to say I could have eaten the menu at reception. I ordered a club sandwich to the room which was a triple tower of bread with roast vegetables, tofu and chips. It was absolute carbocide heaven but set me back about €18.

After an afternoon of meetings and a 7pm finish, dinner consisted of cashews from the mini bar. Safe to say there are no photos, my bank account is dry and I will not be recommending them as a dinner option.

Cafe Harvest

There are pros and cons of travelling as a vegan. Cons are that you need to research where you’re going to eat which takes time and effort and not great if you suffer from hanger to the same extent as me. The pros being you usually skip all the touristy bullshit cafes and find a real hidden gem with authentic food. This was definitely the case here as the interior was super cosy and ran by two vegetarian chefs. I joked on my insta story that my eyes were bigger than my belly when I ordered two plates and I have no regrets in admitting I devoured them both. I was so hungry from the calorie deficit of the previous day I barely had time to taste what was on my plate but I can safely say the scrambled tofu and oat bread was out of this world. As someone who has been trying to perfect their tofu, I was told their secret is black salt which gives it that ‘eggy’ or sulphurous flavour.

I also ordered their vegan caviar which were these gorgeous pearls of seaweed and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. This also came with a homemade tartare sauce/ tzatziki and again, incredible.

I was also recommend the ‘mountain tea’ which would ‘make me feel good’ followed by a impression of him stumbling around the cafe. I of course ordered it and had to have a power nap shortly afterwards which could be tea driven or the fact I ate two meals.

This was more reasonable in price and came in around €20 (bearing in mind I ate for two, sans baby)

Dog friendly places also get my vote. Me and this guy are definitely gonna keep in touch.

Pho Saigon

I cheated a bit here as this place wasn’t strictly Austrian and or vegan but I was recommended here after another meeting laden day in a windowless room. For some reason I seem to crave broccoli when I haven’t had it for a few days so a wonderful, healthy broth with loads of fresh vegetables was definitely what I was after. Their chamomile tea is also worth mentioning as it had actual chamomile flowers in it.

This liquid filled dinner cost €15 and I quickly made peace that no meal is likely to cost any less than this in Vienna.

Simply Raw Bakery

I was a bit dubious about going here as a few reviews said it was overpriced and the portions were really small. I chose to ignore this advice and visit here in the rain and after working out for an hour. I think it’s safe to say my appetite was off the chart in Vienna and my jaw actually dropped for all the wrong reasons when my food arrived. I ordered a ‘brunch platter’ which had of a mixture of sweet and savoury bits and pieces.

Now I’m all for small portions or even food on the pricier side providing: a – it tastes great and b – it is hearty and dense and leaves me saying ‘wow, I can’t believe that filled me up!’

The food here did neither of those things. And I was left searching for my ‘avocado on toast’ underneath the large lettuce leaf which consisted of most of the meal.

The venue itself however was the perfect mix of cosy and for want of a better word… chic. It felt very Parisian (or maybe that’s Viennese design?) with chairs you could really sink in to. Safe to say the decor was more comforting than the food and I left €18 lighter again and in search of something more substantial.

Yamm!

Yamm was the last place I visited after the deeply disappointing Raw Bakery. I have a theory that when you go on holiday, the last place you eat at is always the best. It happens to me every.single.time I go away. Yamm was an incredible vegetarian buffet where most dishes were vegan friendly. I had a wonderful dish of quinoa salad with broccoli and peas, an orzo salad, more salad, roast sweet potato, baba ganoush, pickled Chinese mushrooms and roast vegetables.

Lo and behold this was also one of the cheaper meals; €15 including a green tea. Bear in mind that the cost of your meal is based on ‘weight’ so you could end up paying significantly more if this wasn’t your second lunch of the day…

Think Foodilic meets deliciously Ella and you get a good sense of what this place is about. My gurgling belly on the plane right now wishes I would have made the most of this buffet of dreams. Much like my dog rule with eateries, puns also win me over and ‘It’s Yammy’ written on their napkins sealed the deal for me.

Next stop… Newcastle!

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