Legumium (Wiener Neudorf, Austria)

Legumium is a small vegetarian – mostly vegan – bistro in Wiener Neustadt, in the state of Lower Austria. Wiener Neudorf is located about thirty minutes (by car or train) south of Vienna, Austria’s capital.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

The bistro only has two tables for customers inside the restaurant, but it has a lovely Schanigarten, an outdoor seating area, where you can enjoy your lunch in the summertime. Legumium has a small menu, it offers three or four different soups (4.80 Euros) and entrees (7.50 Euros)  as weekly specials. You can also order wraps, a gluten-free burger, sandwiches, a mixed salad, a couple of desserts, and a few other snacks. All the dishes are available for take-away, and Legumium offers a delivery and catering service.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

Many of the bistro’s dishes are prepared with homemade vegetable spreads – called Legummus – which you can purchase. The restaurant uses many organic and regional ingredients, take-away dishes are sold in reusable glass containers, and the electricity for the restaurant is produced through solar panels installed on the restaurant’s roof.

During my visit, I ordered a cold melon soup, which was very refreshing, and a sweet potato-coconut-risotto, which was also very good.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

Address: Bahnstraße 6A, 2351 Wiener Neudorf
Phone: +43-(0)-2236-22 23 22
Email: office@legumium.com
Opening Hours: Mondays – Fridays 12:00 noon – 5:00 PM, closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and on public holidays. Shorter opening hours apply during the summer months, and the bistro is closed for a few weeks during the wintertime.

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Kochkiste (Mödling, Austria)

Kochkiste is a small vegetarian bistro in the city of Mödling, which is located in the state of Lower Austria. It’s a five minute walk from the city’s train station to the bistro, and it takes about 20 minutes by train to get there from Vienna, Austria’s capital.

Kochkiste offers a so-called Mittagstisch: one kind of soup and one entrée are prepared each day (Monday – Friday) as daily specials. Most days, both the soup (3.60 Euros) and entrée (small: 6.50 Euros, large: 8.20 Euros)  are either vegan or can be veganized. You can also order small (5.10 Euros) or large (8.20 Euros) mixed salads from a salad buffet.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

The daily specials typically consist of grains (couscous, bulgur, polenta, etc.), rice or potatoes, and veggies. I ordered a slice of “Polenta Pizza,” which was one of the daily specials that day. Polenta was used instead of pizza dough, and a creamy soy-based sauce was used as a topping instead of cheese. The vegetables were either stewed or boiled and seasoned with oregano, which was a disappointment. I do like mildly seasoned food, but the Polenta Pizza was a bit too bland even for my taste. Roasted or grilled vegetables would have made a huge difference, and more herbs and spices would have improved the dish as well.

In addition to the daily specials, you can order three or four other dishes from a standard menu, which are always available. Kochkiste offers organic – but not necessarily vegan – beer and wine, you can also order unfiltered (and therefore vegan) organic fruit juices.

The food wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t impressed either. My friend, who ordered veggie patties from the standard menu, did enjoy her food. I have to go back some time, and give Kochkiste another try.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

Inside the bistro, there are only a couple of high tables and bar stools for seating. But Kochkiste has a Schanigarten, an outdoor seating area, during the summer, where you can sit and eat your food. Please note that there are no customer bathrooms, and you can only pay with cash.

Address Kochkiste: Hauptstraße 30, 2340 Mödling
Opening Hours: Mondays – Fridays 11:00 AM – 6:30 PM (closed Saturdays, Sundays, and on public holidays).
Phone: +43-(0)699-1842 1020
Email: office@kochkiste.at
Website: http://www.kochkiste.at/
Facebook: http://de-de.facebook.com/pages/Kochkiste/371021602577

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Veggie Bräu (Stockerau, Austria)

Now that I finally published The Vegan Tourist: Vienna and The Vegan Tourist: Wien, I thought I’d get back to reviewing restaurants outside of Vienna. After all, this site is called The Vegan Tourist.

Veggie Bräu is a vegetarian pub in Stockerau, a city in the state of Lower Austria, which is one of the nine states that make up the country of Austria. Stockerau is located north of Vienna, the country’s capital, you can reach it in about half an hour from Vienna by car (or train, or bus).

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

Thomas and Christa Böhm, who own Veggie Bräu, also own a small organic farm, and most of the grains and vegetables, which are used to prepare the dishes at the pub, come from this farm.

The pub is located next to a small city park. In the summer, you can sit in the wonderful, fairly large Schanigarten.

You can order many kinds of vegan, mostly organic drinks (non-alcoholic unfiltered juices, beer, wine, etc.). I ordered “Radler,” which is beer mixed with lemon juice.

The food menu is fairly large for a pub, and there are several vegan choices. We ordered “Knofibrot,” toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic (4.50 Euros). Unfortunately, it wasn’t very garlic-y, that bread could have used a lot more garlic.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

We also shared a Burger with vegan cheese (7.30 Euros) and a “Veggie Snack” (4.50 Euros). On the photo, you can see half a Burger and half a Veggie Snack. The Burger is served hot, with a carrot-lentil patty and sliced onions, the Veggie Snack is served with a cold slice of vegan lunch meat. They are both prepared with salad and a vegan French Dressing. Both the Burger and Veggie Snack could have used more veggies and more dressing – I mostly remember eating bread. The food wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a revelation, either.

The pub accepts only cash, no debit or credit cards.

Address Veggie Bräu: Schulgasse 8, 2000 Stockerau
Opening Hours: Mondays – Thursdays 6:00 PM – 12:00 midnight, Fridays – Saturdays 6:00 PM – 02:00 AM.
Phone: +43-(0)2266-72604
Email: veggie-braeu(at)aon.at
Website (watch the “ä”): http://www.veggie-bräu.at/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/114674648555316

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Updates to the Second Edition of “The Vegan Tourist: Vienna”

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

On May 2nd, 2016, I published the 2nd, updated edition of my book, The Vegan Tourist: Vienna. (The 1st German-language edition, The Vegan Tourist: Wien was published in April 2016.)

As the vegan restaurant scene in Vienna is thriving, changes to the information provided in these books are inevitable. For this express purpose, I have included “Updates”-links in the books. Readers, who purchased the books, will always be able to access up-to-date information about vegetarian restaurants in Vienna on my Website.

Here are the links for the updates of the 2nd, updated English edition and for the 1st German edition.

So what’s new?

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

At the end of April 2016, Veganista, a chain of all-vegan ice cream parlors, opened its 3rd shop in  Vienna’s 9th district. I already included basic information about this third location in the book (address, website, contact information, payment options), now I can provide you with additional information. Currently (June 2016), daily opening hours are 12:00 noon – 10:00 PM. These hours are likely to change in the summer time, and the parlor might even be closed altogether for a few weeks in the winter. I’ll provide more updates when they become available. There’s no indoor seating, and no Schanigarten (outdoor seating area). There are also no customer bathrooms. (Updated June 6, 2016).

Lafafi is a small bistro in Vienna’s 12th district, which should have been included in the book (it opened in 2015), but it isn’t because I wasn’t aware of its existence. Address: Wurmbgasse 37, 1120 Vienna. Opening Hours: Mondays – Fridays 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM (closed on public holidays). Phone: +43-(0)1-97 15 600. Email: office(at)lafafi.at. Facebook. Bathroom Facilities: Yes. Non-Smoking: Yes. Seating Available: Yes. Schanigarten (outdoor seating area): Yes.
Lafafi offers a so-called Mittagstisch: one kind of soup, and one entrée, one of which is always vegan. (Occasionally they are both vegan, you pay 9.90 Euros for both.) There’s also a “salad of the day” (small: 4.90 Euros; large: 6.90 Euros), and you can usually get one vegan dessert. All the food’s organic, and Lafafi uses primarily whole grains, rice, potatoes/yams, and pasta for its main dishes.
I still need to check a few more details, e.g. payment options, and will provide further updates. (Updated June 6, 2016).

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The Vegan Tourist: Vienna – 2nd, updated edition

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

The 2nd, updated edition of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna is now available. It was published on May 2, 2016.

The English-language version of of this book is available on Amazon (amazon.com, amazon.caamazon.co.uk, amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.es, amazon.it). Books ordered through the site in the UK will be printed in the UK. An updated Kindle version is also available.

The book is available worldwide through various resellers and bookstores.

(Books ordered through the German site will be printed in Germany – and mailed without additional costs for postage. I have also published a German-language edition, The Vegan Tourist: Wien. The German edition is only available as a printed book, not as an eBook.)

You can also order The Vegan Tourist: Vienna through my eStore. Books ordered through this eStore are printed in the US and shipped from the US.

Amazon has enabled the “Look Inside”-feature. This means that you are able to take a look inside the book, and see if you like it, before you decide to order it. 20% of the book’s pages will be made available, and chosen randomly by Amazon.

Product Details
Paperback: 134 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform;
2nd, updated edition edition (published May 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1530625106
ISBN-13: 978-1530625109
Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches

The Vegan Tourist: Vienna is a guide book for vegan and vegetarian tourists. It is also a valuable resource for vegans who live in Vienna, Austria’s capital. The book provides information about vegetarian restaurants, vegan festivals and other events, and tells tourists how to connect with local vegans in Vienna. The author also provides tips for tourists traveling with their dogs. Information about vegan drinks, sugar, bread, ice cream, mock meat, and other products will assist vegans with their restaurant choices and purchasing decisions. This book will help vegetarians and vegans from all over the world plan their visit to Vienna, and allow them to enjoy everything the city has to offer.

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The Vegan Tourist: Wien

Unglaublich, aber wahr! Ich habe es endlich geschafft, die deutsche Version meines Buches The Vegan Tourist: Vienna fertigzustellen und zu veröffentlichen.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

Hier sind alle wichtigen Infos dazu:

The Vegan Tourist: Wien.
Vegetarische Restaurants in Wien.
Taschenbuch: 136 Seiten
Verlag: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Auflage: 1 (17. April 2016)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 1505309700
ISBN-13: 978-1505309706
Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 0,8 x 19,8 cm

Die vegane Restaurantszene in Wien ist lebendig und wächst ständig. In diesem Buch werden die vegetarischen Restaurants, Supermärkte und Geschäfte in dieser Stadt beschrieben. Die Autorin hat bei ihren Recherchen großen Wert darauf gelegt, Informationen anzuführen, die für Touristen von besonderem Interesse sind, wie etwa Zahlungsmodalitäten oder Sitzgelegenheiten in den einzelnen Restaurants. Für Reisende, die ihre Hunde mit nach Wien bringen möchten, gibt es wertvolle Informationen in diesem Buch. In einem eigenen Kapitel erfahren Leser Wissenswertes über die Produktionsprozesse von Fleischersatzprodukten, Brot, Getränken und pflanzlichen Fetten. Ingrid Haunold ist freie Journalistin und Autorin, auf ihrer Webseite “The Vegan Tourist” blogt sie über vegan Themen.

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I finally published the German-language edition of my book The Vegan Tourist: Vienna. It took me considerably longer to finish writing The Vegan Tourist: Wien than I anticipated. The first English edition of this book was published in November 2014, and since then 22 new vegetarian restaurants have opened in Vienna. Not only did I have to translate the book from English to German, I had to write 22 new restaurant reviews and completely re-write the Good to Know chapter of this book to make room for all the new reviews. About one third of the book’s text has been re-written.

I will also publish an updated English-language edition of the book at the end of April or in early May 2016.

I’ll post a few German-language blog entries on this website to promote The Vegan Tourist: Wien, but I’ll continue to write most of the articles on this website in English.

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“Vegan Planet”-Fair 2015: Review

“Vegan Planet” is the “largest vegan fair in Austria,” according to its organizers, the Vegan Society Austria. In 2015, it took place from November 27-29 at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, and was organized in conjunction with the “Yoga Planet” fair, just like last year. In the past, I never managed to attend the “Vegan Planet” fair, so my expectations were high for this year’s event. Sadly, I was thoroughly disappointed.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

The food was great! There were numerous vegan vendors, many of which I was already familiar with.

I love Veggie Burgers sold its amazing French Fries, Makam Naturkost made delicious vegan Kebabs, and the Popsicles sold by Freiraum Coffeeshop Deli – which is not a vegetarian café, but offers many vegetarian and vegan dishes – were to-die-for.  Soooo good, best popsicles ever!

In addition to various food and drink vendors, there were many other market stalls at this fair. One could buy nutritional supplements, teas, vegan cosmetics,  T-shirts, yoga pants, yoga mats, stones with – allegedly – healing powers (sorry, I don’t believe in that crap), and various NGOs offered brochures and other information materials about their animal welfare work.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

During this three-day event, one could also attend various workshops and learn about the many advantages of a vegan lifestyle (and the practice of yoga). So far, so good.

So why was I disappointed?

I am in desperate need of a pair of winter boots, and a new winter coat. I bought my woolen coat approximately 30 years ago, long before I learned the true meaning of the word vegan. It’s coming apart at the seams, and the sleeves’ cuffs are already frayed. I look like a homeless person in this coat. My last – and currently only – pair of warm vegan winter shoes are a pair of old hiking boots, not really suited for rain and snow, which quickly turns to sludge in the city, and not suited at all for business meetings and other work-related events.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

I had hoped that there would be some vendors, who would offer vegan clothing appropriate for winter time. But no, nothing! I could’ve bought a thousand T-shirts, but no shoes, and no coat.

The only vegan boutique in Vienna, Muso Koroni, didn’t even exhibit at this fair. (It wouldn’t have mattered anyway; I went to the Muso Koroni store in early November, and they were all sold out of winter boots in my size; they didn’t plan on reordering any more winter shoes. In early November! How weird is that?).

So this is where we’re at right now in Vienna: lots of great vegan food, but little else in terms of vegan living. If you don’t want to walk around dressed in yoga pants and T-shirts in all weather, you’ll still have trouble finding proper vegan clothing in Vienna. I guess I’ll have to order shoes over the Internet, from Vegetarian Shoes in Brighton, United Kingdom, and I am seriously thinking of designing my own winter coat, buying the fabric, and then hiring a seamstress to sew it for me. How sad is that? I would’ve thought that we had made more progress by now.

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Ikea Goes Vegan: Grönsaksbullar

A few months ago, the Swedish furniture store chain Ikea introduced a new dish at its in-store restaurants in Austria: Grönsaksbullar. These are vegan “meatballs,” which are made with chick peas, green peas, corn, carrots, onions, red bell peppers, kale, and herbs. They are served with a side-dish of quinoa and mushrooms, and some tomato sauce.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

There’s a lot of online chatter amongst vegans about the fact that a huge company like Ikea decided to introduce a vegan version of its popular meatballs at its in-store restaurants, so I decided to try them myself. I spent an hour on buses and trams, travelling from the North of Vienna to the Shopping City Süd, one of Europe’s largest shopping malls, which is located right outside Vienna (in the south, hence the “Süd”). Yes, I know that there’s an Ikea branch not far from where I live, but I grew up in a fairly small community in the South of Vienna, close to this shopping mall. Once every couple of years or so, I enjoy wandering the halls of this huge mall, reminiscing, then return back home after several hours completely exhausted (and vow never to return again). Anyway…

I spent an hour or so ambling through Ikea, and then checked out the store’s self-service restaurant. I ordered the Grönsaksbullar, and also chose some potato salad from the salad buffet. I loved the potato salad, I liked the Grönsaksbullar, but I hated the quionoa-mushrooms with the tomato sauce.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

The Grönsaksbullar didn’t live up to all the hype, but they were okay. I would order them again. It’s the only vegan dish on offer at Ikea, so vegans have little choice, whether they like it or not. Nevertheless, I am hugely appreciative of Ikea’s efforts to introduce at least one plant-based dish on its menu. I want to support that, so I’ll order them again. But I didn’t buy a bag of frozen Grönsaksbullar, which are available at their store. I simply wasn’t that crazy about them.

The quinoa-mushroom side dish was a disaster. The quinoa was cooked in way too much water, the quinoa seeds were mushy and soggy. Quinoa is not a grain, it is the seed of the Chenopodium plant. So don’t cook it like you would cook a grain like rice. Use less water! Perfectly cooked quinoa should be fluffy and not mushy. Even worse, the quinoa-mushroom dish was prepared with little or no salt, no other spices seemed to have been used for seasoning, and it didn’t taste much like anything. It really wasn’t very good, I simply couldn’t eat it. Half of it went in the trash.

The worst thing you could do, of course, is add any sort of fluids to the cooked quinoa, so tomato sauce is a big no-no for any dish that is served with quinoa. Grönsaksbullar with mushy quinoa-mushrooms and tomato sauce is not an inspired dish. Nutritionally balanced, yes. Did I like it? No.

Here’s hoping that Ikea will tweak the recipe, that the store’s kitchen staff will learn how to prepare quinoa properly, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that in the future Ikea will give customers the option to order just the Grönsaksbullar (without a side-dish). Paired with some potato-salad from the salad buffet, this would have been a very good meal indeed.

I hope that Ikea will introduce vegan desserts in the future – all those tortes and cakes, and I couldn’t eat one of them! Vegan sandwiches would be lovely. Soy or rice milk for coffee would be very welcome, too. Consider this my wish list for Santa Clause.

After I had lunch at Ikea, I spent another hour or so shopping at their store. I spent roughly 50 Euros on various items from their home decor section, and bought several Christmas presents there. I deliberately spent money at Ikea, because the store makes an effort to accommodate vegan customers. There’s a lesson here for other furniture chain stores and various other stores with in-house restaurants: Vegans get tired and hungry, too, and we’re very loyal customers! If there’s nothing for us to eat at your restaurants and cafes, then we will spend our money elsewhere.

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Where Have All the Vegan Bloggers Gone?

In an effort to keep my website current, I decided to check if all the links which I listed under “Vegan Resources” were still current. Imagine my surprise when I found out that many vegan bloggers had abandoned their websites. Some published a “last blog post,” like maple spice, and listed the reasons why they no longer could or would tend to their websites, but most vegan bloggers simply stopped updating their sites.

I often feel guilty for not blogging more frequently on The Vegan Tourist; but no matter how busy my life gets, I always return to this site – when and if I have something important to say, or some bit of information or good news that I want to share with others. I think that’s the secret to keeping a blog alive: not to consider it an obligation, but as an opportunity to connect with others.

If you take a closer look at some of the abandoned websites of vegan bloggers, you’ll notice a pattern: many start out enthusiastically, publishing numerous blog posts during the few first few years. Then they start to publish fewer and fewer posts, and eventually the websites are abandoned. Some bloggers, like Maple Spice, take drastic measures: “So, no more social media for me and I’ll be spending much more time out in the garden…”.

If you’re just starting your own vegan blog, or if your established blog has become an obligation to you, my advice would be to simply relax. There are no rules to blogging. You don’t have to keep to a schedule. You don’t have to blog about your life or post new vegan recipes every single week (or several times a week). Do whatever you like, and don’t succumb to (imagined) pressure. You’ll just feel miserable.

Personally, I have a very limited online presence. I do have a website called Viaduct Dreams, where I post updates about my professional achievements. I freelance as a writer, and this site gives potential clients an idea of what to expect, if they hire me for a project. Why is it called Viaduct Dreams? I love all things Roman, especially Roman architecture.  I blog on this site, and I have a Facebook page called The Vegan Tourist, linked to my personal Facebook account. That’s it. I don’t have a Twitter or an Instagram account, or any other additional social media account. I don’t even get Emails on my mobile phone, and I can’t access the Internet from my mobile phone either. I’ve purposely disabled both functions. I check my Emails on my laptop twice a day, and that’s it. I infrequently log onto my Facebook account. I don’t live my life online, and that’s why I still enjoy blogging after several years.

These are some of the websites, which I no longer list under “Vegan Resources,” as they are no longer being updated. The websites are currently (November 13, 2015) still online, and you can access their archives here:

But…where do you get your protein? (last post:  February 12, 2014)

Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk! (last post: September 7, 2014)

Eats Well With Others (last post: June 18, 2013)

maple spice (last post: August 4, 2015)

Post Punk Kitchen (last post: June 6, 2014)

The Laziest Vegans in the World (last post: December 27, 2014)

What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway? (last post: June 6, 2014)

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