Are you hungry for some traditional Austrian food in Vienna? Oh, wait, you’re a vegetarian or a vegan? Now, most would respond with silence if you have such dietary requirements and were looking for some traditional Austrian food in Vienna, but not me! This is because my travel companion and I have found a place like no other and I am compelled to share with all you vegetarians and vegans out there that Vienna welcomes you with open arms.
Vegan owner and chef Martin Kränk saw that there was scope to allow everyone to really enjoy traditional Austrian food at his homely restaurant, Landia, which is located in the 7th district of Vienna. As all good places are kept a little bit of a secret, it can be a bit challenging to find this surprising Viennese spot but fear not as I am going to tell you exactly where you can find this and how Kränk has used his creative culinary flair to create tasty, homely and Viennese dishes for you.
Feel like a local in this quaint and charming eatery
Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Mariahilferstraße on Ahornergasse is the wonderful Landia. In order to find it, you need to walk down Mariahilferstraße and turn on the Neubaugasse and walk for approximately 4 minutes on the left hand side until you reach the Reformhaus Buchmüller store. Between the Reformhaus Buchmüller and a set of dry cleaners, there is a passageway/footpath which will take you past an apartment block with a communal garden. You need to walk through this area and you will then find Ahornergasse and at what would be its front door is Landia. It is located in a very quiet and idyllic residential street and allows you to feel like a real local.
If you want to have a cosy and relaxing time with your dining companion where you can enjoy a conversation without having to shout (as the tables are spaced well apart), then this is the place for you. The restaurant is quaint and charming; it has indoor and outdoor seating. As the windows of the indoor seating area are opened up, it also makes the restaurant feel a bit bigger and creates a more spacious environment. The interior and its furnishing (both indoor and outdoors) are colorful and fun. Inside the restaurant, it has a travel corner which has a number of travel books and guides on a shelf. This allows you to deepen yourself whilst your wait for your meal, or during it, and allows you to mentally take a small holiday, if you’re a local.
Vegetarian and vegan versions of Austrian dishes
Austria has a number of popular authentic dishes such as the schnitzel, cordon bleu, goulash, tapelfitz, kärntner kasnudeln, Tyrolean dumplings and so on. One of the most famous Austrian dishes is the schnitzel, which is a meat dish and is a very thin cutlet of either veal, pork, beef or chicken that is breaded and deep fried. The most popular version of the schnitzel is the wienerschnitzel, which is veal, breaded with crumbs and usually served with parsley potatoes. Cordon bleu is slightly similar to schnitzel albeit it is two slices of meat, filled with cheese and a slice of ham, covered with breadcrumbs and then deep fried. In contrast, goulash is a hearty and versatile stew that is made with beef, sausages, potatoes and spices and is usually served with bread. It would be shocking and most seldom if you could not find some (or all) these dishes on the menu of a good Austrian restaurant.
Now, as Landia is not just a good Austrian restaurant but a great one, it has ensured that vegetarian (and in some cases vegan), equivalents are available. For example, Kränk’s menu certainly includes the schnitzel. His alternative is made from soybean-based foods, such as tofu, which acts as the perfect meat substitute. Wheat gluten products can also be used as an alternative. The schnitzel is accompanied with parsley potatoes and costs approximately 10 EUR (12 USD) and tastes delicious. There are different textures and flavours to the dish and the accompanying dip adds a hint of creaminess to it.
Try the kärntner kasnudeln; you won't be disappointed!
Landia’s menu also certainly includes kärntner kasnudeln. This is a classic dish which is made with noodles that are filled with meat and fresh herbs, including mint, and comes with fountains of melted, browned butter that you can indulge in. Kärntner kasnudeln is Austria’s version of Italian ravioli and Polish pierogi, and the Viennese like to enjoy this dish on a Friday evening ahead of their relaxing weekend. Kränk’s creation of kärntner kasnudeln is hearty, warm and will definitely put a smile on your face. It includes all the necessary items and swaps meat for potatoes. He tops the noodle with caramelised onion and accompanies it with a cabbage salad. This adds more depth and dimension to the dish due to the texture and contrasting but completing flavours. The buttery noodle is packed with a generous potato filling with a hint of fresh mint coming through successfully. The cost of the dish is approximately 10 EUR (12 USD).
Austrian food at Landia is absolutely delicious and as every good restaurant, its menu is often updated and changes (albeit the most popular dishes have to remain). Kränk updates his menu by now venturing out a bit more internationally and adding a few non-traditional Austrian dishes but also some Asian and Middle Eastern inspired dishes, just to make sure that he can appeal to everyone. Some local vegetarians and vegans are not so inclined to always embrace their Austrian culture and fancy sitting in the travel corner, reading about India whilst enjoying a samosa, so Kränk has made this a possibility. His love for cooking and sharing vegan and vegetarian food for others is evident through the items that he lists on his menu and the thought that goes into what to offer who and why!
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Drinks, appetizers, main courses and desserts are top notch
If you want to eat vegetarian or vegan in Vienna, Landia is exactly the right address to go to and you have no excuses not to as I have even provided directions to make it as easy as possible for you to get there! It offers organic, regional, seasonal vegetarian and vegan dishes with generous portions, so do come hungry. The staff are very friendly and personable and the dishes that come out of the kitchen make you think, “Wow, I couldn’t have made that myself!”. All drinks, appetizers, main courses and desserts are top notch. The only thing that you must note is that you can only pay by cash as they do not have the facilities to take payment by card, so make sure you have cash or visit the ATM at Neubaugasse. I am really glad that as a vegetarian, I was able to have a taste of the Austrian culture and I would certainly recommend that you head on over to this delightful sight in its charming urban and residential area.
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