I have a confession: I ate way TOO many potatoes on the Austrian countryside. Potatoes in all forms – fried, roasted, pan fried into a patty, cut into wedges, barbecued. Even a whole boiled unpeeled potato showed up on my “special” vegan platter at some point.
As much I as I loved hiking, mountain biking and canyoning in the Tirolean mountains (Austrian Alps), it was only when I reached the pretty mountain city of Salzburg that my vegan taste buds fell in love with Austria!
Behold, my favorite restaurants and cafes to eat vegan or vegetarian food in Salzburg, including traditional Austrian food. And some vegan survival tips for the Austrian countryside:
Where to eat in Salzburg: Best vegan and vegetarian restaurants
GustaV: Salzburg’s first and only entirely vegan restaurant, which came into existence after a successful crowdfunding campaign! It’s easy to feel the love with which the owner Denise and her staff run the cafe and prepare the food – sustainable, organic and delicious.
I was tempted to try everything on the menu – vegan breakfast options like french toast and tofu scramble, daily specials featuring regional Austrian dishes, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, herbal teas and a changing selection of desserts. My favorites were the vegan version of the traditional Tyrolian dumplings – savory, wheat-based, paired with sautéed red cabbage; the chimi churi sandwich – soft, fluffy vegan bread stuffed with hummus, eggplant and other veggies; hot chocolate made with almond milk; and the mango coconut smoothie.
The cozy, artsy, cafe-like ambiance and the outdoor sun-kissed patio are both great to spend a day over good food, a good book and people watching. I visited GustaV twice, and was amazed to see it packed on both occasions. Make a reservation if you’re in a group.
Address: Wolf-Dietrich-Strasse 33, Salzburg, Austria
Timings: Tue-Fri: 10am-7pm; Sat: 9am-6pm; Sun-Mon: Closed
Green Garden: I was sold at the idea of over 25 flavors of vegan ice creams in the summer at the cozy Green Garden coffee shop; I loved the only one I tried on that warm autumn night – chocolate ice cream, sweetened with a natural plant-based sugar.
Unfortunately I only had space for dessert that night, but I can’t wait to go back to the Green Garden restaurant next door and try the vegan burger, the crispy eggplant sticks with smoked tahini and the interesting selection of vegan wines! The menu is entirely vegetarian, and features a fair few distinctly-marked vegan dishes. I heard from the lovely owner Julia, that many Austrians are choosing to reduce their meat consumption, and the crowded restaurant was proof – make a reservation, especially for a weekend dinner.
Address: Nonntaler Haupstr 16, Salzburg, Austria
Timings: Tue-Fri: 12-2 pm, 5:30-9:00 pm; Sun-Mon: Closed
The Heart of Joy: I was glad to find this all-vegetarian restaurant – that focusses on organic, local products – for a heart Sunday brunch before I left the city. In the sunny outdoor area, I feasted on a tofu-seitan-veggies-mustard sandwich and a coconut chia drink, resisting the temptation to try the vegan chocolate muffin. Vegan dishes are clearly marked on the menu, and include vegan butter, vegan ham, vegan desserts and plant-based milk.
Address: Franz-Josef-Strasse 3, Salzburg, Austria
Timings: Mon-Thur: 8am-7pm; Fri-Sun: 8am-8:30pm; Open on holidays
Other vegan-friendly restaurants / cafes in Salzburg I’d like to try:
- Vitalbistro Leichtsinn: A small bistro with a daily changing menu featuring vegan and vegetarian dishes. See their website for the menu on your day of visit.
Organic vegan-friendly supermarkets in Salzburg
Denn’s Biomarkt: I loved browsing through the aisles at Denn’s Biomarkt in Salzburg, which feature all kinds of breads, desserts, tofu, cereals, plant-based milks, cheeses, dips, chocolates, energy bars and even toiletries and cosmetics – the vegan ones clearly labelled with a V, so you don’t have to strain your eyes reading every label! The bakery section has a vegan sandwich and dessert options for a quick take away.
Address: Sterneckstraße 31, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Timings: Mon-Fri: 8:30 am – 7 pm; Sat: 8 am – 6 pm; Sun: closed
Mayreder’s Reformhaus: This organic, natural foods store seems to have branches across Germany and Austria, and is handy to buy health drinks, vegan, whole-grain and gluten-free products, herbal teas and natural cosmetics.
Address: Universitätsplatz 13, Salzburg, Austria
Timings: Mon-Fri: 9 am – 6 pm; Sat: 9 am – 3 pm; Sun: Closed
Spar Supermarket: Conveniently located at the Salzburg hauptbahnof (train station) and open till 11 pm everyday. Besides a selection of vegan groceries, they have a selection of fresh, healthy, vegan sandwiches and salads for a quick takeaway.
Address: Salzburg hauptbahnof, Austria
Timings: Mon-Sat: 6 am – 11 pm; Sun: 8 am – 11 pm
Traditional Austrian food that is (or can be made) vegan
- Krautsalat: A cold cabbage salad dressed with vinegar. Healthy and tasty as an appetiser. Mostly vegan.
- Sauerkraut: A fermented boiled cabbage salad, usually served warm. Mostly vegan.
- Tiroler Gröstl: A local favorite in the Austrian Alps, the gröstl is a dish of pan-fried potatoes and onions, typically served with bacon and egg. You can ask for a vegan version without the latter two, and with other seasonal veggies.
- Pizza: I had a yummy pizza without cheese; tastes great with fresh flavorful veggies.
- Almdudler: Bottled lemonade made with wild mountain herbs; the most popular local drink in Tyrol (after coke!)
- Almradler: Almdudler + beer; can’t go wrong with that.
Vegan survival tips: Austrian countryside
I’ll say it one more time: I ate far too many potatoes on the Austrian countryside. Here’s what I would do differently to be a happier vegan in Austria:
- Get an Airbnb with a kitchen: A good way to save money, eat healthy and cook what you want. As a vegan traveller, I always try to get myself a well-equipped kitchen. Sign up with my referral to get 18$ off your first stay.
- Find an organic grocery store near you: Farmers markets and supermarkets with organic sections are pretty common even on the countryside; ask locals for recommendations. Good ingredients = good food.
- Use HappyCow: The HappyCow app maps out places with vegan and vegetarian options near your location; my food bible!
- Call ahead if you can: It always helps to prepare the restaurant staff about your dietary needs beforehand, and assess if they are accommodating. You’ll definitely find a vegan salad, or ahem, potatoes, but depending on how much notice you give, you might just be in for a more indulgent treat.
- Carry energy / protein bars: For dire times, or while hiking, I swear by protein bars for some instant energy.
The Austrian countryside is not the easiest for a vegan traveller, but with some planning, you can have satisfying meals. And if the going gets tough, pop by to Salzburg or Vienna to indulge your vegan tastebuds!
Have you had any interesting vegan food experiences in Austria? How do you manage your vegan or vegetarian diet on the road?
Subscribe to my exclusive newsletter to receive travel inspiration in your inbox!