Vienna is a meat lover’s paradise. After all, the city is known for the bratwurst (a giant sausage) and the Wiener schnitzel (a fried piece of hammered out veal). Now to me, they just don’t seem all that appetising. I honestly thought I would struggle uncovering where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian, but there are a surprising number of places that do cater; you just have to know where to look.
With Tim being an out-and-out carnivore, we couldn’t go to a vegetarian restaurant in Vienna. We needed to compromise.
Here’s our pick of places in Vienna to eat vegetarian food, whilst also keeping your meat eating travel buddy happy.
The Naschmarkt is one of my favourite places to eat in Vienna, as it had something for everyone. While Tim tucked into his bratwurst, I had my pick of food stalls serving some of the best vegetarian food in Vienna. I chose a spicy falafel wrap from one of the vendors on the main street, and we were both happy.
If Viennese street food doesn’t take your fancy, most of the restaurants are quite highly rated for a sit-down meal. You could try some of the best seafood in Vienna, Turkish or Asian cuisine, and some good old Viennese cuisine too.
I loved Pürstner! This primarily carnivorous tavern was an absolute gem. While there are limited vegetarian options (choose between a pasta, a salad or a cheese and vegetable gratin), the atmosphere of this place is so special. As soon as you walk in, you feel as though you’ve entered your Austrian grandma’s front room, even if you don’t have an Austrian grandma.
The walls are covered with plates and little Austrian momentos, there are loads of different rooms, each with their own quirky style, it’s warm, its friendly, and it’s incredibly popular. The waiters even wear chequered shirts and lederhosen – yes you may call it gimmicky, but I loved it. On our first night in Austria, it was exactly the welcome we needed. I would definitely go back here every time we are looking for good vegetarian food in Vienna.
7 Stern Brau
7 Stern Brau is better known for its home-brewed beer than its vegetarian food. I still recommend you try it. It’s a little out of the centre, but still only a ten minute walk from our hotel. The tavern is incredibly popular so you might need to take seats at the bar, like we did.
I ordered a spinach strudel, which was incredibly spinachy. I’d recommend you only order it if you really like spinach. There are lots of other vegetarian options on the menu, so you will find something you enjoy. If not, you will definitely like the beer. It’s very good.
Many little cafes
Cafe culture is absolutely everywhere in Vienna. The Viennese love their hot drinks and cake, which is great because I do too.
Apfelstrudel and Sachertorte could have a fist fight for the city’s best known dessert. And guess what, they’re both delicious, and veggie friendly! Most cafes in Vienna serve both, but our favourites included Cafe Residenz on the Schonnbrun complex, and Cafe Museum just a few steps from our hotel.
Despite being a meat eater himself, celebrity chef Rick Stein shared his own opinion on where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian in his latest TV show. He chose Trzesniewski – a fancy open sandwich shop that is full of locals and tourists throughout the day. I wish I had known about it before I went because I know I would have loved it.
You can try meat-free sandwiches with cheese and vegetables, sandwiches with fish and others with Vienna’s famous meat. Someone please go and tell me what it’s like!
Despite what you may think, it’s actually quite easy to find some where to eat in Vienna as a vegetarian. You have your pick of restaurants, street food and little cafes to feast at – you just need to know where to look.
Where do you like to eat in Vienna? Share your favourite places in the comments below!