We’re finally back in the U.S.! Travis and I arrived home to our apartment in Los Angeles exactly a week ago, and I’d say it’s taken us this full week to really adjust. I don’t know about you, but jet lag really affects me. Even at the beginning of our time in Europe, I was constantly tired and it took forever for my body to adjust to the nine-hour time difference. The same thing happened when we got back to LA, and the first few nights we were crawling into bed at 8PM exhausted.
Now that we’re finally back to a routine, I am excited to talk about the next city on our trip: Vienna!
Travis and I really didn’t know what to expect from Vienna, but we did have a feeling that the food was going to be much heavier than what we had in Amsterdam. Austria is known for their wiener schnitzel (fried, breaded veal) and pastries, specifically apfelstrudel (apple strudel)…so not exactly green, healthy salads that us spoiled Californians are used to ;-).
I won’t lie to you. If you’re a relatively healthy eater, eating at restaurants in Vienna isn’t that easy. It’s even harder if you’re vegetarian or vegan (beef, pork, and poultry dominate restaurant menus). The upside is that most restaurants offer an English version of their menu, so you don’t have to guess or rely on a translation app.
We did our best to scope out some of the “healthier” restaurants in the city, and I think we hit the jackpot. So without further ado, here’s my list of where to eat healthy in Vienna:
Naschmarket is the largest and most popular market in Vienna. Here you’ll find a variety of vendors selling everything from fruits, vegetables, nuts, prepared foods, pastries, olive oil, and handmade soaps. If you’re renting an apartment with a kitchen, this is a great place to pick up some healthy produce for your stay.
There are also many restaurants within Naschmarket. We loved the Naschmarket Deli for brunch on a Saturday morning. The atmosphere was very lively and fun, and there was a DJ playing music in the corner. The menu is expansive and I enjoyed a delicious falafel salad, while Travis loved his turkey kebabs. They have plenty of healthy options, including vegetarian and gluten-free choices.
Hungry Guy is on many of the top lists of Vienna restaurants…and deservingly so. It’s located right in the center of the city, and it’s constantly packed with locals. We went during the lunch rush and had to wait a bit for a seat, but it was definitely worth it.
The owner, Eyal Guy, moved to Vienna from Israel and brought with him some of the best-tasting Mediterranean food we’ve ever had. Travis and I tried the Fensenjen (Persian chicken stew) and the Chicken Schwarma Pita. Both knocked our socks off.
Holy moly, their pita is amaaaaazing! It’s thick, soft, and doughy…and we talked about it throughout the rest of our trip. They bake it in-house constantly throughout the day, so you know you’re always getting a fresh one. It was the perfect vehicle to hold the chicken schwarma, and we also used it to soak up all of the delicious sauce in the chicken stew. The pita sandwiches are hefty (I honestly would be fine splitting one), and we had some of the chicken stew leftover to take with us. You really get a great value here.
If we had more time, we would have gone back to Hungry Guy again to explore more of the menu. It was that good. Seriously, don’t skip this place.
Vietnamese food can be a great option when you’re looking for a healthy meal. Traditional dishes usually contain lots of veggies and you can most often substitute tofu for chicken or beef in any dish. We loved the mango salad and pho at Nguyen’s. The salad was light and refreshing and the pho was perfect on a very chilly night. There are plenty of other healthy dishes on the menu for you to choose from.
Also, if you’re looking for a splurge, the house white wine was delicious and less than $3 USD a glass!
Swing Kitchen is 100% vegan fast food and the menu contains a variety of plant-based salads, wraps and burgers. There are three locations, we visited the one on Operngasse.
The restaurant is super popular with locals, who all came pouring in during their lunch break. The two ladies at the counter spoke great English and were extremely helpful in explaining the menu. I highly recommend the Swing Burger, which comes with a house-made BBQ sauce. Tip: if you want to skip the bread, you can ask for the patty on a salad instead.
Swing Kitchen also really cares about where they source their ingredients and their impact on the environment. They use renewable, raw materials instead of plastic packaging, and make an effort to use regional, fair-trade ingredients in their food.
Disclosure: In some cases, I received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. All content and opinions are my own. I would never include any restaurant that I didn’t genuinely love. As always, thank you for your support!