A coeliac’s guide to Austria

I travelled to Vienna for a long weekend in May and discovered a few things that the coeliac traveller might like to know. Here are some tips, restaurants and cafes that I visited!

Watch out for the term ‘Glutenfrei’ which translates into ‘gluten free’ in German. It will be your saviour. Most places do cater for gluten free diets, though beware that I was glutened at a popular cafe that was noted on a few other blogs to be gluten free. Always best to double-check what you’re ordering. Europeans, unlike us English-speakers, often speak near perfect English, amongst a multitude of other languages but if you’re really not sure download or save the gluten free card to your phone!

Griechenbeisl

After getting into Vienna late on the Friday, I immediately checked my Google Maps for the local pinned places that were ‘safe’ for coeliacs. I had read lovely reviews and was not disappointed by the service, ambiance or the food. The waitstaff were attentive and knowledgeable about gluten free needs, and frequently came back to double-check with me. The meal was good, if somewhat basic for the prices but this was a commonality throughout Vienna. If anything the history of the building itself was worth the price of the food. For a glass of sparkling wine, a salad, a small red wine and main I paid €45.

Entree: GEMISCHTER SALATTELLER (Seasonal mixed salad)

Main course: WIENER TAFELSPITZ / APFELKREN / SCHNITTLAUCHSAUCE / RÖSTKARTOFFEL (Boiled beef Viennese style / apple-horseradish / wild chive sauce / roasted potatoes)

Café Imperial

After a day trip to Salzburg, I got back quite late and was looking around for a place close enough to the tramline to take me back to the hotel where I could pop in for a bite to eat. I found this place on my pinned list and decided to try it out as it didn’t seem to be particularly busy late on a Sunday evening. The waiter was familiar with the dietary requirements of a coeliac and talked me through the menu. I was impressed that there were a number of gluten free options available! The cafe itself is stunning, and I actually ended up spending a good couple of hours there with a book and glass of wine or two over dinner. Given that they had a few gluten free cake options, I couldn’t pass up on desert either!

Main course: Original Wiener Schnitzel (unbreaded to make it gluten free)

Dessert: Imperial Torte – Das Original

 

Café Mozart

This is not the place to go if you’re looking for dinner or lunch as I discovered the night before! I had been walking around trying to find a gluten free option, and this was one of the café’s listed on my Google maps. When I got there, all they could offer me was salad without the dressing, or variations thereof! They did mention that they had a number of cake options but that’s not what I wanted at 8pm on an empty stomach! I decided to give it another go the next afternoon and popped in for coffee and cake. It was a wonderful sunny day, but I stayed inside (they still allow people to smoke in outdoor seating areas in Vienna!!) and had a cappuccino and cafe torte which was gluten free and clearly labelled. I had no reaction after the food, and it was absolutely delicious cake! The service was a tad slow, but understandable given the crowds. It was nice place to spend a few hours watching the world go by.

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Pizzeria Scarabocchio

I finally ended up at this place for dinner after failing with Café Mozart. It meant I had to catch a cab to get there, but it was well worth the extra cost. So many options! Gluten free pizza and pasta galore. Usually when travelling abroad I like to stick to the local fare, but in this case I made an exception as it was nearing 9pm and I hadn’t eaten since lunch time! I was starving. I didn’t take any photos – that’s how hungry I was, but I did enjoy a delicious, I-can’t-believe-this-is-gluten-free spaghetti bolognese with an Italian red to go along with it.

Blueorange

Again this place is slightly outside of the city, but there were so many options for gluten free bagels that it was totally worth the trek! I was in heaven! Maybe it’s because I’d been craving bagels for a while, but finding this place was magic! It’s in one of the outer districts of Vienna. The server knew about gluten intolerance and explained that they toasted the bagel separately so it would take about an extra 15 minutes for it to come out – which was fine by me. I had my coffee in the cafe and my bagel to go. The coffee was great and the bagel was absolutely divine. And all gluten free!

BONUS!

Go check out Villon for an immersive experience in Austrian wines! They don’t have gluten free nibbles or anything that I was aware of, but they do have a selection of 40 local wines on tap that you can taste and try to your hearts content! It was fantastic, the staff was knowledgeable about the local wine industry and it was in a quaint underground cellar. What more could you want?

 

 

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