Thinking of visiting Vienna and wondering how you will find a way to navigate through all of the meat, game and pastry filled menus? It’s fair to say that most of Austria’s most famous dishes aren’t plant-based, but thankfully, the plant-based food scene is growing.
Except for the amazing Grüner Veltliner white wine it produces, Austrian cuisine has been completely unattractive to vegan and vegetarian diners. Let’s put it this way, Vienna’s most well known dish to those outside Austria is wienerschnitzel, a thin layer of veal covered in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and shallow-fried and served with potato salad, often cooked in chicken broth. Sigh…Dining out for us in Vienna has always meant a half hour chat with the waiter to work out what the kitchen could prepare that was a bit less meaty.
Luckily, Vienna’s vegan scene is growing. With a number of plant-based cafes and bakeries opening throughout the city, the vegan movement seems to be working its way into the mainstream, which is promising. Many chefs have begun to combine the traditional with new trends to create what is known as New Viennese cuisine, a more plant-friendly hybrid.
During our last visit, we had lunch at Buxbaum, a modern Austrian restaurant set in a beautiful courtyard surrounded by Vienna’s majestic scenery. The menu is dynamic and down-to-earth, resonates with enthusiasts of fine Viennese cuisine, just as it does with curious plant-based gourmands. Here, there’s something for everybody.
Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable about plant-based dietary requirements. Our waiter had a quick chat with the kitchen and we were served a vegan Buxbaum salad - a dish of shaved fennel, kohlrabi and oranges, as our starter. For the main, we had a perfectly cooked ravioli of wild greens. What we ate was good, as well as beautifully presented and the stunning surrounds certainly helped make it enjoyable. At Buxbaum, you get the quality and attention of fine-dining without the price tag.
We left Buxbaum feeling hopeful after a great lunch at the thought that there's more to Austrian food than wienerschnitzel and we’re pleased that we found a good place to discover it.