Good morning, and happy Saturday!
Am currently in bed dosed up on pain killers for a lock jaw situation which we won’t delve too deeply into right now. But for the last while I’ve wanted to do this foodie post on the best eateries/snackeries in the city here, for any budding Vienna-comers or food-fanatics alike. Since I’m a vegetarian (have been for almost 3 years now) I’ve concentrated on the places that do the best veggie and/or vegan stuff, which is also nice because the Germanic countries aren’t usually best-known for their vegetarian cuisine. Vienna is like Sausage City (oo-er). No seriously, there are Currywurst stands around every corner. Rest assured, any meat-lovers among you, that you will not be disappointed with what’s on offer in the Austrian Capital. But for now, this is veggie-haven.
Let’s get cracking, shall we?
Cafe Francais (€)
Nothing says ‘bonjour’ like a fresh, hot croissant drizzled with summer berries and a strong espresso – which is why Café Francais is my absolute favourite spot for brunch or an early lunch. I’ve been a couple of times, and can highly recommend the ‘Mont Blanc’ breakfast, consisting of Greek yoghurt, loads of fresh summer fruits, muesli and a large wine glass of freshly pressed orange juice on the side. Literally couldn’t finish it, it was so much, and that’s saying quite a lot because I am Fruit Queen of the Western World. If you’re into something a little more substantial than fresh berries and yogurt, the ‘Omar’ omelette is also delicious – a slightly spicy, veggie-packed omelette with pitta breads and hummus on the side. There’s also the option of a ‘Tres Tschick!’ – An espresso with a cigarette on the side, if you’re more that way inclined.
I really love the décor of this place too – I usually sit outside on the street (on a chair, obviously, not bundled into a heap outside the front door) if it’s a sunny day, but indoors is a mish-mash of quite hipster furniture that gives the impression the owners have collected it over years of searching vintage fleamarkets and grottos. It’s very me. Overall the staff are quite friendly (we are in Vienna, bear in mind. You have to call the waiters here ‘Herr Ober’, which means ‘Sir Waiter’. That’ll give you an indication of the attitude of most of the serving staff), and one of the nicest things is the specific rosé-orientated menu, with an extensive choice of house rosés and other sparkling wines.
Währinger Straße 6-8, 1090 Wien
Monday – Saturday, 9am – 12am
Deewan (€? €€? €€€?)
This is a Pakistani buffet-style kitchen, nestled in on little lane in the centre of Vienna. It’s not exactly the most elegant of places to look at, but it’s very cool and very tasty. As you go in you’ll find an all-you-can-eat buffet laden with curries of all kinds and fresh flatbreads on your left, before descending into the seating area downstairs with conventional table-and-chairs but also beanbags and colourful floor-mats. The staff are super friendly – there’s very much a family-vibe about the place – and the best part, perhaps, is that you pay what you like. If you find yourself starving, mid-city-exploration, and realise you only have €4 to your name (it can happen – student life and blah, blah, blah) – Deewan’s got your back. Grab yourself a warm flatbread and red bean dhal, and you’re sorted for the next few hours.
Liechtensteinstraße 10, 1090 Wien
Monday – Saturday, 11am – 11pm
Max and Benito’s Californian Burrito Bar (€€)
Now, we’ve been over the fact that I’m obsessed with burritos. But they’re like a vegetarians dream (as well as meat-lovers – fine, but for the sake of this post). I found this place once on my way trudging lazily back to the library from Stephansplatz and made a mental note to go back to get lunch. Have been there a couple of times since – as is customary, the burritos are as heavy as a baby, packed with refried beans and Mediterranean roasted veg and guacamole and just about everything you could ever want in a burrito. It’s the perfect kind of place to grab lunch on the go, though I would highly advise you to take a hefty amount of napkins if you’re going to brave walking around with your burrito. Otherwise, like me on J’s last visit, you might find yourself with sour cream and jalapeno sauce dripping all over your arms and the front of your dress and in your hair and so on and so forth. Not chic.
Max and Benito
Wipplingerstrasse 23, 1010 Wien
Monday – Friday: 11.30am – 7pm
I think this is one of my favourite places to have eaten on my travels. It’s very cool. I felt cool just for going in there. First of all, the staff couldn’t be friendlier, as I’ve mentioned is a rarity in the Austrian capital, and immediately make you feel as if you’ve popped over for dinner with some long-lost friends. The décor is also insane, with this big pink neon sign shining at the head of the restaurant and the massive pizza oven in full view right beside it.
The pizzas were great too – which I suppose is the most important thing when considering going for dinner somewhere – and were too big to finish (no matter – it made for a delicious lunch the next day). There’s fresh-pressed peach or passion fruit and lime juice to quench the thirst, and insanely zingy limoncello to top off the evening with a zesty-lemon glow. Highly recommended. Go there immediately.
Kitch – Biberstrasse 8, 1010 Wien
Monday to Friday: 11.30 – 14.30 und 17.30 – 23.00
Saturday and Sunday: 11.30 – 23.00
EIS Ice Cream Parlour (€)
I’m also being told that all I do in Vienna is eat ice cream. This is not wrong. I eat a lot of the stuff (actually frozen yogurt, but no point in nit-picking), but it’s impossible not to when the entire city is jam-packed with ice cream parlours and they’re so cheap here (there’s no paying €3 for one scoop of Nutella ice cream here, thank you Dublin and London). But this place is absolutely, definitely my favourite and I’m sure that the staff know my face at this stage and have the scoop ready, poised above the Forest Fruit Froyo as they see me approaching.
If you’re wondering why I’ve included ice cream in this Veggie post (“Er, ice cream is always vegetarian?” – true, unless you find yourself in Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant being faced with a bacon sundae) I’ve included it because a) it’s too divine not to mention and b) there’s an entire vegan menu to enjoy as well, including vegan bitter chocolate and blueberry sorbet and all sorts of other animal-free treats. It’s on Mariahilferstrasse, Vienna’s famed shopping street; do yourself a favour and take a time out from lugging bags about to have a scoop or two of Vienna’s best ice cream.
Mariahilferstrasse 33, 1060 Vienna
Daily: 11am – 11pm
So they’re my tip-top favourite places for foodie-bits. Rest assured that there are hundreds of other amazing places to eat, for veggies and meat-lovers alike, but I just haven’t got time to write them all up. Here’s a compacted list and links of other amazing places to try, should you be in Vienna and hungry and confused about what to do:
Fratelli’s Pizzeria: Just in front of Stephansdom in the very heart of the city. Amazing staff, delicious Amaretto, delicious pizza and gorgeous décor.
The 25 Hour Hotel: Hands down my favourite drinks venue in Vienna, this place also serves awesome food. Book in advance and save yourself two hours of cocktail drinking as you wait for a table…actually don’t. Have the cocktails. I’ll post more on this place soon.
Jonas Reindl: Right next to the university – best soya cappuccinos in the city and most charming hipster vibe.
Primi: At Neuer Markt, in the city centre on one of the prettiest streets, directly beside the Hofburg Palace. Romantic evening meandering through Viennese streets: definitely topped off with some tapas from this place.
And that’s about it. Do let me know if you try out any of these spots, of if you have any suggestions yourselves for nice foodie spots in Vienna.
As always, thanks for reading, chums. I’m off back to my dozing and possibly watching of New Girl again now with a massive cup of Green Tea.
Love, love, love,