A Gluten-Free (and Vegan) Survival Guide to Vienna
“A gluten- and dairy-intolerant vegetarian and her vegan boyfriend go to Austria for a weekend” sounds like the run-up for a bad joke. In the land of meat, cheese, bread and potatoes, it’s hard to fathom what we would eat in Vienna. But, there’s actually a surprising amount of gluten-free and vegan options in the country’s capitol! I would dare say that Vienna has been one of the most gluten-free and vegan-friendly places I’ve visited so far!
During our four day trip, we were able to find delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options quite easily. At every restaurants we visited, there was a detailed allergy guide in the menu. This made it easier to narrow down food options based on the allergy guide alone, despite not knowing much German. There was a wide variety of foods available, everything from raw cupcakes to bagels to schnitzel. The gluten-free and vegan food in Vienna was also very innovative with their flavours and food pairings. And the best part is that it didn’t break the budget, even though the Canadian dollar wasn’t as strong as the Euro when we went.
If you are planning a trip to Vienna on a weekend, it’s best to reserve a table in advanced. Most places are booked up, and there’s little seating available. I was told that many Viennese families go to the cafe on the weekend and spend most of the day there. To avoid this, try calling ahead of time. Most people speak a little bit of English. You can ask if they do using the phrase Sprechen sie Englisch? (Sprek-ehn zee English.)
Without further adieu (to you and you and you), here is your gluten-free and vegan survival guide to Vienna!
5 Gluten-Free & Vegan Restaurants You Must Try Whilst in Vienna
Address: Drahtgasse 2, 1010 Vienna
Nearest U-Bahn stop: Herrengasse
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 am-6 pm; Closed Sunday.
We happened upon Simply Raw Bakery completely by accident in the Jewish quarter of Vienna. With a storefront that would make the Instagram gods beam down with joy, we were eager to check out their menu! Let me tell you- Simply Raw was some of the best raw vegan food I’ve ever had. I ordered their zoodles (zucchini noodles) with an herb pesto and tomatoes, which was fantastic. Their pesto reminded me of the savoury crepes from my favourite creperie in New York City. My boyfriend had their raw pizza, which was insanely flavourful. We had raw pizza before in Toronto, but this was on another level!
As it was our last night in Vienna, we also had a raw pistachio and chocolate square and an incredible raw cupcake. Vienna is known for its cakes, so it was nice to be able to enjoy some Austrian food! The server, who was very helpful and friendly, told us that they normally have a Viennese cake available. As it was Valentine’s Day when we went, the cake was sold out quite early in the day.
Menu here. English menu available in store.
Address: Drahtgasse 3, 1010 Vienna
Nearest U-Bahn stop: Herrengasse
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 12-4pm and 5:30-10pm; Saturday-Sunday 12-3:30pm and 5:30-10pm. Closed Monday.
If you were trying to find vegan Austrian food like wiener schnitzel and goulash, this is one of the few locations in town that offers it! Literally right across the street from Simply Raw Barkery is the vegan restaurant, Bio Bar. It was unfortunately closed when we went, which is why we ended up eating so much at Simply Raw. Unfortunately, both are made with seitan. But according to a Happy Cow review, there are gluten-free options available.
Menu here; English menu is listed immediately after each German page.
Besser Essen Besser Leben (BlueOrange Coffee & Bagel)
Address: Margaretenstrasse 9, 1040 Vienna
Nearest U-Bahn stop: Karlsplatz
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 am-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 9 am-9 pm.
I’ve had the worst time finding bagels since having to forgo gluten almost seven years ago. Since 2010, I have had two bagels. Once in Toronto, which didn’t quite hit the spot and once at Besser Essen Besser Leben. All bagels are made fresh in-house, including the delicious Rote Ruben Humus Rucola bagel pictured above. With beetroot hummus, arugula, onion, pickled gherkin (baby cucumber) and sweet mustard, it made for one tasty sandwich!
My boyfriend had the Vegan Power bagel, which came with hummus, beetroot humus, avocado, arugula, tomato, cucumber and fruit salad. You could easily order a second bagel to finish off the plate, but I found that my bagel was filling enough. There are also non gluten-free and non-vegan options available here, so if you’re traveling with friends, this is a great breakfast and lunch spot.
Menu here. English menus are available in store, upon request.
Address: Karmeliterplatz 1, 1020 Vienna
Nearest U-Bahn stop: Nestroyplatz
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 am-6 pm; Saturday-Sunday 10 am-6 pm
This was by far our favourite restaurant in Vienna- and it was walking distance from where we were staying! During the week, they have a cheap vegan buffet until 3 p.m. with a rotating menu. My boyfriend had this option, and it was some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had! They use innovative food combinations to make some incredible dishes, like their soup, which tasted like apple crumble. I had their grilled cheese and pesto sandwich, which uses gluten-free bread and vegan cheese similar to swiss. There was the option for veggie ham on the sandwich, but it is made from seitan, which is made from wheat gluten. I also had a fantastic tomato soup to dip my sandwich in!
On the weekend, they also offer a vegan brunch until 4 pm. We didn’t make reservations before we went, so we unfortunately didn’t get to try their breakfast foods. The owner speaks English, so I will be reserving a table on the weekend next time I’m in Vienna for sure!
Menu not available online. English menus available in store, upon request.
Address: Universitätsring 10, 1010 Vienna
Nearest U-Bahn stop: Schottentor
Hours: Mon-Wed 8am-11pm; Thurs-Fri 8am-11:30pm; Saturday 9am-11:30 pm; Sunday 9am-3pm
Conveniently located near the most interesting areas of the Ringstrasse– the opera, Museumsquartier and Rathaus- Yamm has all the gluten-free and vegan foods you can ask for. On my plate, pictured above, I had a red cabbage coleslaw, potato in red sauce, carrots, dairy-free baba ganoush, hummus, coconut rice, chow mein and a protein-packed quinoa salad. They also have a set menu, which had ended just before we arrived, and deserts, which we were too full to try.
The restaurant is a bit more upscale. It’s also the biggest vegetarian restaurant I’ve ever been in- it has two floors! Everyone we interacted with at the restaurant spoke English, so figuring out how to Yamm was quite simple. The host will give you a Yamm card, which you take up to the buffet with you. You can pick your size of plate or bowl (mine was the large plate) and pick your servings. Then, you weigh your plate at a self-serve kiosk and tap your Yamm card. I will warn you not to go when you’re starving like we did, as everything is delicious and it costs about €3 per 100g. This was definitely our most expensive meal, but we decided it was a combined Valentine’s Day/anniversary dinner to rationalize it.
Menu here. English menu available in store. The buffet menu is not in English, but it does show an allergy guide for each item.
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What are your favourite gluten-free & vegan restaurants in Vienna?
Share your Vienna favourites in the comments below and let me know where to find gluten-free, vegan wiener schnizel and apflestrudle (apple strudle)! Also, if you’d like to read more about gluten-free & vegan travel, let me know in the comments below! For more photos and stories from The Full-Time Tourist, please follow all my travel adventures, tips and recipes on social media- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!
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