If you’re a vegan, you’re going to love these recommendations, read on and enjoy! If you’re a meat eater that perceives veganism as just some kind of crazy religious cult, we suggest, just this once, that you check out just one of these places with an open mind. We guarantee you that you won’t even think about that whole loaded discussion of vegan vs meat eaters.
Here are 5 vegan restaurants that are serving up not only some of the best vegan-friendly food in the city, but also some of the best food in Vienna.
Deli Bluem – Vegan Restaurants
Where: Hamerlingplatz 2, 1080
SAT, SUN & public holidays: 8am–6pm
Deli Bluem has herbivores covered. Andrea Vaz-König – former finance expert, turned chef and owner of Deli Bluem – just wanted to do things right. And she did, which is clear upon the first look at the menu. “We work with what the soil gives us right now. Which is why our menu changes throughout the year,” she explains.
Everything you eat at Deli Bluem is organic, seasonal, fresh, natural and vegan. On top of this, all of the dishes look to benefit you, following the traditions of Chinese Medicine, e.g. the thermal qualities of the ingredients. “Orange cools you down, while fennel is a rather warm vegetable. By combining the two, we create a soothing and balancing dish.”
Everything served at Deli Bluem is well thought through, with your body first and foremost in mind. And there’s so much to choose from, even if you’re not hungry for a big meal. You can grab a chilled matcha shake with homemade cashew milk, or get yourself a few slices of Gragger’s wood oven baked bread (the white one harmonises beautifully with the various spreads, while the darker ones overpower them). We also tried the sweet Congee – a thick Asian rice porridge, with roasted hazelnuts and maple syrup.
If salad is your thing, the variations are almost endless. The grilled eggplant with saffron yoghurt, pomegranate and pine seeds, and the quinoa with red cabbage, dates and peppermint – this salad creations are colourful and flavoursome. And if you’re still hungry – or at least a bit frisky – buy a choco chip rosemary cookie on your way out. You won’t regret it.
Naturkost St. Josef – Vegan Restaurants
Where: Zollergasse 26, 1070
Being one of the oldest organic food restaurants in Vienna, Naturkost St. Josef certainly has kept the bar high for the healthy lifestyle restaurants for over 30 years. Its atmosphere, combining the appetising vibe of a diner with the freshness of a farmers market, eases you into the great veggie experience to be had here. Being proud of their 100% organic and regional products claim to fame, the restaurant changes its menu and salad bar daily and it all depends on what products arrive in the morning, so it’s even a surprise for the chef! However, if by chance you are not feeling all sweet potato about the menu, you can always choose something from their regular menu, which includes pizzas, quiches, vegetarian schnitzel, samosas, and burgers. Trust us, they are all worth trying! The portions are generous and eating it gives you that homemade, “just like mama made it” feeling. This is where you go to feel whole again, vegan or not.
Be sure to try… the mango and raspberry lassies!
Swing Kitchen – Vegan Restaurants
Where: Schottenfeldgasse 3, 1070
Swing Kitchen is boutique fast food for vegans. “If that’s what vegan food is like, I’ll start eating vegan every day now,” one of the guys on the table next to us mumbles with a satisfied smile on his face while gulping down his burger.
Well, to be fair, the food at Vienna’s Swing Kitchen is delicious. The soft bun, the tender soy burger patty that mingles with the creamy sauce and crunchy roasted onions – all of this delights the tastebuds. Sure, it has little to do with choosing a vegan lifestyle – but who cares as Swing Kitchen is fun. The black-and-white tiles and big lamps in that industrial chic look straight out of New York, the big band swing music playing in the background – it’s all very laissez-faire, yet also aims to draw on (in a modern way) the “innocence” and soul of the big band swingin’ era.
The huge chalkboards assure the guests that all the plastic you see at Swing Kitchen is bio-degradable, while the heavy cast iron trays add to the down-to-earth feel of the “simpler times” theme happening here. Why is the chain called “Swing Kitchen”? It isn’t because of the Swing music. Yet rather, its name reflects the movement it ambitiously aims to inspire in the non-vegan community. As Irene and Karl “Charly” Schillinger, the heads of the whole shebang, put it: “If vegan fast food can make at least some of the meat-eating folk swing to meatless days occasionally, that’s a big win already.”
The Schillingers are pros when it comes to transforming traditional meat dishes into vegan creations. They’ve been doing so in their popular restaurant in Großmugl, around 50 minutes outside Vienna, where they re-interpret the classics of Austrian cuisine. And since they opened their Swing Kitchen in January 2015, a vegan burger mania has spread in Vienna, resulting in a second Swing Kitchen location opening up in Vienna’s 4th district. And there are big plans to add to the chain soon.
Make sure to check out our full review of Swing Kitchen, here!
Harvest Bistrot – Vegan Restaurants
Where: Karmeliterplatz 1, 1020
The interior of Harvest Bistro invites you with its rustic and calming look. Not one single table is like the other, just like the guests we guess. The brunch of this vegan place is something that will hunt meat eaters and vegans alike with their exceptional flavours! It’s already a big hit amongst those in the know. True to the meaning of the word ‘bistro,’ food is cooked slow but served fast here, without any quality or taste being compromised. For many, the items on the menu that steal the show are the curry and burritos. Every day through the week, a midday buffet is laid out in which vegan and vegetarian dishes are mixed and matched, while on the weekend the vegan brunch keeps the place full into the late afternoon. The kitchen is only open until 4pm, while vegan tapas and snacks are served after 6pm.
Be sure to try… the delicious Apfelstrudel
Dancing Shiva – Vegan Restaurants
Where: Neubaugasse 58, 1070
Serves breakfast: 9am–3pm
While Dancing Shiva looks like a Goa party in India, filled with its colourful decor collected from Indian villages, and Buddha featured everywhere throughout the charming restaurant, this superfood restaurant serves international vegan cuisine, and holds tight to the owner’s heritage by serving vegan-friendly variations of Austrian dishes. Riki Hinteregger, founder of Dancing Shiva, created the restaurant, which began as a vegetarian restaurant in 1996, and switched to a strictly clean, raw and super food menu in 2012. For those of you not in the know with the term ‘raw food,’ it means that everything on the menu is cooked below 42° so that the nutrients and vitamins in the produce are kept. The restaurant grows its own micro greens and herbs, and gets most of its products from organic growers and small coops. While in the winter, guests can sit amongst the warm vibes of the inside, the large restaurant also has an indoor and outdoor garden, so you can sit out in the green while eating your greens.
The dishes are delicious at Dancing Shiva and dedicated to feeding those seeking to live the healthy life. From the tea we drank, in which there were goji berries swimming around, to the green power wrap (this is the biggest hit in the restaurant). Like everything on the inventive menu here, the wrap packs a punch in the flavour department. Combined in the wrap are zucchini and flaxseeds, and it’s filled with avocado, pepper paste, red veggies and beets. Then there was our dessert of sweet Topfenknödel, complete with a nut and coconut substitute for curd. The food is as colourful as the place, and the dishes here are different and more exciting than you’d find in other more “mainstream” places.
Tip: don’t forget your homemade brownie when you’re leaving (and no, there’s no funny stuff in it)