We all know the problem: we’re trying to be sustainable and eco-friendly, but shopping normally means buying everything in bags within bags and hundreds of plastic containers sealed fresh with plastic wrap. It creates so much trash!
However, there are more and more stores offering another option, and alongwith that, another world in which individuals can live cleanly, and help the environment. These stores are popping up around the city in the form of Greißlers (Austrian-style small delis) and they’re selling all of their organic produce loose, so you can just take what you need and reuseable packaging, rather than how much the supermarkets decide you need.
Here are 5 zero-packaging, waste-free stores in Vienna:
Der Greißler – Packaging-free stores in Vienna
Where: Albertgasse 19, 1080
Ehrlich (translation: honest) is the credo Der Greißler lives by. What you get is what is growing during that season – that’s it. Seasonal and regional are two words that can be taken very seriously here. Of course, there are the staple grains, oils and booze on the shelf all year round, but all of the fresh produce is fresh out of the fields. If you can’t find what you are looking for – just ask. Alex, the 27-year-old owner behind the place, and he will do his best to source it for you.
He is the soul (and the muscle) behind this packaging-free store. If you know what a Greißler (a small deli) is, you’ll understand what we mean when we say this Greißler is the real deal – it’s familiar, friendly and has a back-to-basics kind of approach. You actually feel valued as a costumer here!
Alex picks his products carefully and with a human factor involved. It’s not just about who has the best quality or the best price, but it’s also about who he connects with on a human level. He loves sourcing his goods from the small farmers. Everything in store is fair-trade and organic, and all the other things you’d expect in an ethically clean shopping trip. All things are loose here, so you can either bring your own mason jars, glasses and jute bags, or you can get jars, or paper bags for free in store – no strings attached.
The other cool thing about Der Greißler is their WhatsApp service on which you’ll be updated on when the super fresh stuff arrives in store. Like the extra fresh punnet of strawberries you want for that pie you’re planning to bake us (wink, wink)
One very cool feature of this store… When there’s food in store that is in danger of going off, its put in the food sharing fridge before its too late where everything is up for grabs, for free. This makes so much more sense than something going off, we’d say.
You can also sit down in store for a coffee or a glass of wine – and a chat with the owner, of course!
We recommend… try the dried strawberries covered in dark chocolate!
Daria’s Nüsse & Co – Packaging-free stores in Vienna
Where: Landstraßer Hauptstraße 81, 1030
This one is not strictly packaging-free as they do supply paper bags to those that come unprepared, but they do encourage you to come with your own glass jars, or bags to take their fresh nuts and dried fruit home in. That’s right, this new little store located on the 3rd district’s Landstraßer Haupstraße is the place to go if you’re trying to hunt down loose nuts, dehydrated and dried fruit (including a bunch of superfood berries) or healthy snacks that are made for those living the raw lifestyle. They also have delicious chocolate and yoghurt covered treats for those living the treat-yo-self lifestyle.
You’ll probably smell the place before you find it – just follow the glorious smell of freshly roasting nuts and it will lead you to the lovely and friendly (and forever smiling) couple that run this artisan nut roastery. And as soon as you walk in, before you even get a chance to browse through their huge range of nuts and dried fruits, they’ll be welcoming you warmly, and probably with some free samples for you to try.
Good to know… you can also order all of your healthy snack, nut and dried fruit needs in their online store!
Lieber Ohne – Packaging-free stores in Vienna
After traveling through South East Asia, the owner of Lieber Ohne was struck by the pollution of the ocean and decided that he had to be part of the solution to this problem. And this is how the idea of Lieber Ohne was born.
They aim to make shopping pleasurable and an exploratory experience for their customers at Lieber Ohne, and meanwhile, in the background, they’re religiously avoiding wastage of any kind. The concept of the place includes a kitchen, where everything in store that is in danger of expiring is used to cook up delicious dishes. The menu is vegan and vegetarian (but they’ll throw in a portion of meat if you so desire) and changes daily.
The foods on offer range from fruits and veg to beer and oil, rice and pasta to flour and sugar. It’s all organic and mostly regional, of course – except for those exotic characters, like bananas and lemons. You can check out their selection on their website, where you will also find their daily menu.
In addition, they also have big dispensers containing soaps and washing liquids for you to squirt out and take home with you in your own containers. You can either bring your own glasses, boxes or bags, or you can buy a glass with a deposit of 1€ on it. Or you can just use a paper bag, which most people shopping here reuse until it falls apart.
Warenhandlung – Packaging-free stores in Vienna
Where: Marxergasse 13, 1030
The slick looking store, Warenhandlung Wenighofer & Wanits, on Marxergasse has shelves full of organic, seasonal and regional products, directly sourced from the farmers that produce the goods. Their selection ranges from vegetables and fruit, grains, oils and spices to dairy products and baked goods. Each item can be bought in the exact desired amount, and completely packaging-free! So be sure to bring your own jars, bottles and bags, but if you’re new at this, don’t worry! – you can borrow all kinds of sustainable packaging solutions here. Places like this are a key player in saving the environment from all that unnecessary trash we’re throwing out.
Also good to know… they also serve up a small selection of breakfasts, coffee and tea, as well as wine, and it’s a very comfy place to enjoy all of these things.
Lunzers Maß-Greißlerei – Packaging-free stores in Vienna
Where: Heinestraße 35, 1020
The food is bare-naked and the produce is measured in ye’ ol’ fashioned way – by how much you need, not by how much the supermarkets think you need. Welcome to one of Vienna’s few zero-packaging grocery stores.
We all know the problem: we’re trying to be sustainable and eco-friendly, but shopping normally means buying everything in bags within bags, plastic containers that are sealed fresh with plastic wrap. However, Andrea Lunzeris offering another option at her zero-packaging grocery store, Lunzers Maß-Greißlerei.
Lunzers Maß-Greißlerei takes an original approach to the old-school Greißler culture – the place is rather bright, with a high ceiling and a trendy minimalist interior with a cool colour concept.
Maß-Greißlerei takes the business of no-waste, clean, organic living seriously. Lunzers offers up almost everything from spices, flour, breads, various teas, nuts, oils and dairy products, right down to biological cleaning agents, and of course, fresh produce from the surrounding regions. All of it is unpackaged and openly accessible to the customer to buy at the amount they need.
So bring along your own screw top jars, unused urns or lampshades, let them weigh it and start stuffing your containers with the many fabulous goodies lining the shelves. Afterwards, the jar is weighed again and you pay; Simple as peeling a banana with your teeth. If you can’t find any suitable container at home, you can of course buy reusable glass jars and containers in store.
Prices: You’d think that without the packaging, the prices would be a bit lower. But still, all of the products are of organic quality, and regionally sourced. So treat yourself to something that is above average, and helps the environment.