Linz, Austria’s third largest city after Vienna and Graz, may not be on top of most travelling vegans’ wish list. Indeed you may never have even heard of it, as I had not until I first came to Austria to teach English in 2010.
Like other Austrian cities, Linz is becoming more and more vegan friendly, and for a city of its size (it has a population of just 190,000), it certainly has a decent range of places to find vegan food. Here are my top picks for vegan Linz. (Updated January 2018)
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Big Jo Falafel
This is my go-to place for a quick, easy, cheap meal or snack when I’m in Linz. This place probably serves the best falafel I’ve had in Austria, and at €3, the falafel sandwich (more of a wrap, really) with three freshly-made falafel, hummus, lettuce and sliced tomato wrapped in flat bread is a good deal and is vegan without having to ask for anything removed, plus it’s always served with a smile. The place itself is nothing special, and indeed is not a place to linger (especially when people are smoking inside) but you can easily take away and eat down by the Danube. They now also offer a few vegan pizzas!
I’ve already written a whole post about this place, so I won’t go on. This 100% organic restaurant that works with products all sourced within a radius of 40km of Linz offers a few vegan options including soups, mains and perhaps a dessert if you’re lucky. The food is decent, not amazing, but the setting is lovely and the hipster vibe quite charming and it makes a fine place to have lunch on a sunny day.
There are plenty of places to get ice cream in Linz, and indeed most of them will have several non-dairy sorbets, but Eisdieler is the only place that clearly advertises a selection of their ice creams as vegan. Scoops of vegan ice cream are €1.20 to €1.60 each if you choose to have it served in a cup or the factory-made cones. They also have black, handmade vegan cones made of charcoal, which are €1 extra. If it’s hot outside, be prepared to queue. There’s free water and paper cups while you wait.
In the basement of Linz’s art house cinema, Moviemento, this comfortable and relaxed yet somewhat more upmarket restaurant serves something for everyone. Approximately half of the dishes are vegetarian and there are two or three vegan options each among the starters, mains and desserts. Given the quality of the food, the prices are quite reasonable with mains from €7 to €9. If you plan to visit on a weekend evening, booking a table in advance is advisable.
Friedlieb und Töchter
A new kid on the block in Linz, Friedlieb und Töchter is everything you’d expect of a hipster, third wave coffee shop. They offer soy milk for hot drinks, and always have at least one vegan cake. There is also acceptable wifi, though seating options are limited given that it’s a small space. The location right in the heart of the old town, makes it a great place to sit and people watch from.
Austria’s first all-vegan fast food restaurant, this place offers a good selection of faux-meat style burgers for reasonable prices (we paid €10 for two burgers and a portion of potato wedges). They also have a few sweet treats, including muffins and cupcakes. Service is a little erratic and perhaps slower than you’d expect with staff seeming somewhat disorganised, but the packaging is all biodegradable and the food is tasty.
An organic shop and vegetarian restaurant, this cosy little place has four tables and serves mostly vegan lunch menus. The staff are lovely, and the range of products on offer is similar to most organic shops in Linz, but with a few more unusual items too.
Unfortunately, their cakes are not vegan, but the main and soup of the lunch menu almost always is, but they do offer fully vegan breakfast of muesli, pancakes, fruit, juice and hot drinks. The vibe is cosy and comfortable, and the location right in the old town makes it a convenient place to stop by for lunch.
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