If you’re a vegan, you probably know it’s really hard to find a decent vegan burger in Vienna. Most of them are painfully bland and uninspiring, more a loveless alternative to nurture the trend than an honest attempt on our favourite stacked food. But things got better in July 2014 when the Austrian franchise, (I love) Veggie Burger, opened up its first shop-in-shop in the 5th district.
Here, Buddy Holly is playing, the red upholstered chairs seem like an anecdote from the 1950’s, and you expect John Travolta’s stage persona from Grease to come ‘round the corner any second.
Why didn’t we tell you earlier about this, you ask? Well, I had been there a couple of times, the food was good, but the lack of service always baffled me. But a few months later, hungry as I was, I gave them one last chance.
And they delivered. Olivia, our waitress for the evening, was charming and thoughtful – especially when we asked her which dishes were soy-free. Not only did she know exactly what was in the various burgers, hot dogs and wraps, she also suggested replacing the soy hot dog with a sliced green spelt patty. That’s customer service that goes the extra mile. And the food was fresh, just as they claim on the roll-up.
My BBQ burger patty was crispy and perfectly seasoned, a great textural adventure while paired with the creamy, sweet BBQ sauce and the sautéd mushrooms. My female company loved her vegan hot dog and described it as “rich, tasty, with the perfect amount of bell pepper pieces”. And when we tasted the Chilli Sin Carne, we both agreed that this would also make a great hot dog filling. (Feel free to cash in on our ground-breaking idea, Veggie Burger.)
“One of the cool things about our place is that with our shop-in-shop concept, we cater to meat eaters and vegans alike,” lady boss Derya explains. Her husband Ulas, the mate who runs the place, nods and adds: “Plus we’re a real alternative in the 5th. Sure, there’s vegan ice cream, and a large vegan supermarket. But you just can’t get a burger as tasty as ours.” And he’s damn right.