Vienna is fast becoming the vegan capital of the Western world!
Last Sunday I went to the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, which is located in Vienna. I was very pleasantly surprised when I noticed that the museum’s café is operated by Deli Bluem, a vegan restaurant in Vienna. Many people, who visit the museum, will spend some time at this café, called Bluem im Museum. If they’re hungry, they’ll have to eat vegan food. For many people, this will be the first time eating at a vegan restaurant. The food’s delicious, and the word “vegan” will seem a little less exotic and strange to them after eating at this café. How wonderful!
Yesterday, I spent some time entering new information into the section on this website where I post updates to The Vegan Tourist: Vienna. I published the first English-language edition of this restaurant guide back in November 2014, and in the book I promised to provide updates on my website. I made the last updates back in January, and I was quite stunned when I realized how much had changed within the course of just a few months.
Ten new vegetarian restaurants opened their doors in Vienna in the last 11 months, and I found an additional five small cafes and cake shops, which I wasn’t aware of when I first published my book. I now count 69 vegetarian restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and supermarkets in Vienna, some of which are 100% vegan. In addition, there are three health food stores with in-house vegetarian bistros, which sell a small selection of meat and fish in their stores. Two more vegetarian restaurants are already scheduled to open in the coming months. That’s amazing, considering that only 1.8 million people live in Vienna. The city is fast becoming the vegan capital of the Western world!
Sadly, since I published the book, three restaurants have closed. They were all located in streets with little foot traffic, and two of those businesses were small cafes with a very limited selection of food. I can’t say I was surprised when these businesses closed. Only one of them was a proper vegan restaurant with a large menu, and I was surprised to learn of its demise. But the location for the restaurant wasn’t ideal either, so there’s a lesson to be learned here. A fourth business (a vegetarian take-away) was closed, but only because the owner sold his shop so he could re-open it at a different, much better location. Also, a small vegan shoe-shop, which opened in December 2014 shortly after I published my book, closed after a only few months. This store was also in a location with very little foot traffic, in a residential area, located in an apartment rather than in a proper store, and the opening hours were very limited. Also, the store had only a small selection of shoes. All in all, I was not surprised when this store closed after a few months, but I was nonetheless saddened by its demise.
If you think of opening a (vegetarian or vegan) store or restaurant yourself, you should consider all these issues carefully. Choose the right location (with a lot of foot traffic), make sure that you have convenient opening hours, and you definitely must offer a wide variety of food & drinks, if you open a restaurant, or vegan wares, if you open a shop.
As there are so many changes and updates to my book, I have now decided to publish a second, updated edition of the English-language version of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna when I publish the first German-language edition. I have pushed back the publishing date of this German-language edition several times, but am now back at my desk, hard at work, so it shouldn’t be too long now. It only makes sense to publish an updated English edition at the same time. I’m thinking November would be a good date to publish them both, but let’s wait and see…