I was lucky enough to get to visit one of my favourite cities, Vienna, a few weeks ago. Part one of my Re-Visiting Vienna series is right here, there are pictures of ice cream so you probably want to check that out!
Since my last trip in 2011 Vienna has spawned not one but two entirely vegan supermarkets. I was so excited to hear this! I feel like everyone's heard of Veganz so I'm going to start with the slightly lesser known market, Maran Vegan.
I was amazed by the size of the place as soon as we stepped through the doors, it's the size of a smallish regular supermarket! It feels spacious and well laid out and like I could actually do my grocery shopping here.
The counter on your right as you enter the store is full of delicious looking salads so that you can grab lunch to go.
There's also a case of baked goods which are accompanied by cookies and croissants ontop of the counter. Perfect for a grab and go lunch if you're pushed for time.
I was also totally impressed by their produce section.
But obviously I was more impressed by the mock meat and cheese section! There were so many kinds of seitan, it kinda blew my mind.
There were also plenty of vegan cheeses to choose from. This is the cheese used by Rupps, one of my favourite bars in Vienna, to make their grilled cheeses.
Wilmersburger is another one of my favourite non-dairy cheeses. It's similar in taste and texture to Violife but they're a different deal. I've been known to snack on a whole pack of this stuff whilst exploring European cities.
As well as your staples - rice, pasta, non-dairy milk and a great selection of Japanese products by Clearspring, there are plenty sweet treats. I think these are a repackaged version of Freedom Mallows! They're a bit like a flump!
I picked up a pistachio rice milk chocolate bar that I didn't love but Nick sure did.
Maran Vegan is an awesome addition to Vienna's vegan scene and I'd say it's a must visit spot for sure.
Next stop on the vegan supermarket tour was Veganz, having already visited their locations in Berlin I knew what to expect but I was still wowed! This is the non-dairy fridge. There are so many kinds of vegan yoghurt and cheese these days and vegan cookie dough exists. This is such a rad time to be vegan!
This is possibly the largest bag of vegan shredded cheese in the world!
Veganz definitely have more imported American products than Maran Vegan. I was sad that I couldn't take home any Gardein products, I seriously love them and I'm hoping to try the new Fishless Fillets in Austin later this month - if anyone has an oven they wanna lend me then holla!
I also want to try the Tofurky Quiche and maybe the Pockets, again though I couldn't be taking frozen stuff home and it seemed silly to pay import prices to try them at my friends houses when I can probably give them a whirl in Austin.
People in the US of A have the widest range of vegan ice creams to choose from so I'm excited products from there are slowly trickling over to Europe. If I'd seen the So Delicious Almond Milk Mini's I'd have snapped up a box and eaten them right there and then.
Veganz also sell enormous bags of Vital Wheat Gluten, something I always pick up when I'm travelling as it's so much cheaper anywhere other than the UK, and a huge range of imported chocolate bars from Go Max and Eli's Earth. There's also a chiller section with prepared foods but it wasn't overly impressive. This parfait looked super good though!
The savoury selection really wasn't great, there were sandwiches that appeared to be filled with a couple of slices of roasted pepper and a lettuce leaf (my friend confirmed that these were indeed as terrible as they looked) and I bought this pasta salad that was just downright gross. It tasted like vinegar!
If I hadn't been sitting in the airport waiting for a delayed plane when I opened it I wouldn't have eaten more than a couple of bites. Having eaten some delicious prepared foods from the cafe adjacent to the Veganz store in Berlin I think the Vienna location definitely needs to step up their game.
Vegan Supermarkets aside Vienna, in fact Austria in general, is a hotbed of vegan activity! Ubiquitous Austrian brand Manner have plenty of vegan options. There was a terrifying moment a few years ago when they put milk into the original recipe but the backlash was strong and almost everything's back to normal now. The Original Neapolitaner wafers are my favourite, I always buy a huge bag because life's too short not to eat copious amounts of delicious wafers.
These little packs are also vegan, perfect for when you're on the go to or, y'know, for breakfast.
On this occasion I also discovered these delicious chocolate coated gingerbready bites which have to be my second favourite Manner product.
I also picked up these adorably names Nougatcreme dumplings! These are essentially the filling from the wafers in sweet form. They were way too sugartastic for me though (and I love a Go Max bar!) but Nick and my friend Tabitha were super into them so they didn't go to waste.
You can find Manner products in almost every store in Austria that sells food as well as in Veganz, the flagship Manner store at Stephansplatz, and the Manner concession on the first floor of the Thalia bookstore on Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna.
The Anker chain of bakeries is another place where it's easy to find delicious vegan food. The stores are all getting makeovers at the moment so expect to be looking out for slightly different signage. Part of bringing them up to date is labelling the vegan options, I'd love to see that happening at chain bakeries over here.
The word vegan is in the top right hand corner of the label on all suitable products.
As well as bread there's a sandwich which has roasted vegetables and a tofu spread. I was wishing I'd picked one up before going through security at the airport after I tasted that pasta salad from Veganz!
The thing I was most excited about though was the vegan friendly pastry selection, they have both an apple turnover and a currant turnover.
I picked apple and I wasn't disappointed, this was delicious and I'll certainly be eating it again.
Another chain that's down with their vegan labelling is Spar, I found all of these products and more whilst wandering around the Spar at the airport. Spar is right opposite arrivals so if you're headed for departures you just need to go down a level to find it. There's an Anker bakery right there too making Flughafen Wien the best airport I've been to so far.
If I'd had any cash left I'd have definitely tried to squeeze some of these products into my Manner filled backpack. I think it's ridiculously awesome that a supermarket chain not only labels vegan options but goes as far as to have own branded hamburgers, gyros and pates! Again, awesome job Austria. You know I'll be back!