Everyone knows all vegans love to talk about veganism, and I am no exception. When, for various reasons, you decide to go vegan, you feel obliged to spread the consciousness. But let’s not get into the morality of it all. This blog is about the vegan lifestyle in Innsbruck for vegans and non-vegans alike.

I will give you some ideas on where to go shopping, where to eat out, tell you some of my favorite homemade meals, and I’ll even try to remake a traditional Austrian dish “the vegan way”.

I love me some Mexican food.

Is there a “Vegan Scene” in Innsbruck?

Coming to Innsbruck, and knowing there’s a big meat and cheese culture in Austria, I was rather doubtful whether I would be able to go out for dinner – something I love doing. To my surprise, the very first night I got here I ended up at Olive (see further).

However, admittedly, eating vegan in the restaurants at the ski resorts is challenging. I recommend you bring your own food while going up the mountains. Bread with hummus and some dark chocolate – vegan, of course – are my favourite.

Now being here for over two months, I actually met a lot of vegans. But hey, I guess those weirdos eating tasteless food just attract each other right?

Hummus is delicious and great as a dip or spread. Try to make it yourself!

Where to shop for vegan food in Innsbruck?

There is so much vegan food in the supermarkets here, big up Innsbruck! Like anywhere else, the supermarkets with more ‘environmentally conscious products’ – i.e. bio and organic – tend to have more vegan choices.

One of my favorites is Denn’s biomarkt, which is located in the Anichstrasse, right in the city center. I remember walking in here for the first time, making a right after the vegetable aisle, and there it was… A refrigerator that read “Alles Vegan”. They offer a wide variety of vegan products throughout the store and also have an organic bistro with a vegan lunch meal every day.

a fridge stocked with vegan food at Denn's Biomarket in Innsbruck

A vegan refrigerator at Denn’s Biomarket.

It’s a bit of an assumption, but vegans tend to think more about what food they buy and where their products come from than most people.

Buying whole food products, preferably from local producers is probably your best choice. There’s a farmers market at the Markthalle every morning from Monday to Saturday, where you can buy fruits and vegetables straight from the farmer – almost as if you would buy them at the farm!

Buying food straight from the farmer at Innsbruck's Markthalle

© 2018 Innsbrucker Markthallen-Betrieb Ges.mbH

Where to eat out as a vegan in Innsbruck?

I personally love cooking, however sometimes you simply want to go out for lunch or dinner. Many restaurants will offer you a vegan option, but only few have actual vegan dishes on their menu.

The dining room at Olive, a vegetarian restaurant in Innsbruck

© Olive

My favourite restaurant in Innsbruck must be Olive. They offer a small menu – strictly vegan and vegetarian – but the quality of the food is really good and fresh. My personal favourite is the falafel; the red wine grape chutney kills it!

Olive restaurant's delicious vegan falafels with quinoa tabbouleh with orange and pomegranate, Maroccan salad, tahin creme and red wine grape chutney

Falafel, quinoa tabbouleh with orange and pomegranate, Maroccan salad, tahin creme and red wine grape chutney at Olive.

Jakob Schrott, the owner, has been a vegetarian his whole life. He saw a lack of vegetarian restaurants in Innsbruck and happily filled this gap. He notices the demand of plant-based food is growing, and not only from vegans or vegetarians.

 

© D-Werk

Pictured above is D-Werk, a relatively new restaurant located on Innrain. They redesigned the concept of “fast-food” and offer quality food – with kebab as their highlight – made with regional products in a vintage and industrially furnished room. The use of plastic and aluminum paper is a no-go. Instead, expect your kebab in bio-degradable wrap paper on a bamboo tray and grab yourself some wooden cutlery accompanied by an organic drink.

I had a non-vegan friend with me when visiting D-Werk. He took a normal kebab guacamole wrap and I had the Vegan Kreation Guacamole – which was made of seitan and was absolutely BOM. My friend tried my meal and he actually liked mine better! A vegan kebab that tastes better than the “original”? As with so many other vegan alternatives, you can only have an opinion when you try it.

Another one of my favourite restaurants is My Indigo. If you don’t have a lot of time and you’re looking for an inexpensive but healthy meal, this is your go-to while in the city center. Their kitchen is inspired by different parts of the world and they offer vegan salads, soups, and curries.

The three places mentioned above are pretty well known amongst the people here, so let’s dig a little deeper into the local stuff. Every Wednesday and Friday, Caritas organizes cooking evenings, with cuisines from all over the world. Twice a month these evening are vegan! Feeling inspired? It’s possible to organize your own cooking evening. Email them to see what is possible.

A seemingly happy cow.

Another way to look for vegan or vegetarian places is to check out the website Happycow. Here you can look up all the restaurants and bars around your location that offer these types of meals.

My favourite 5 easy vegan meals to make at home:

  • Green curry with coconut milk and rice, carrots, broccoli and bamboo
  • Veggie burgers with lentils and stir-fried Romano beans with ginger and garlic
  • Bulgur with sautéed red onion and crispy broccoli
  • Smoked tofu with mashed sweet potatoes, mushrooms and other veggies
  • Vegan pizza (Tip: make your own spicy olive oil and try some capers on there)

Are you sure a pizza needs cheese? Give it a try!

How to make vegan Kaiserschmarrn

To show it’s not hard to be vegan, I thought about making a traditional Austrian dish completely plant-based. Since I have a sweet tooth, Kaiserschmarrn was my victim.

I followed the first recipe that popped up on Google. Switched the dairy milk to oat milk and the cow butter to vegetable butter. For the eggs, I mixed crushed flax seeds together with water to make a thick and smooth cream that imitates foamy beaten egg whites. Some curcuma – a powerful anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant – was added to give it a bit of a yellow color. As a side, I made fresh apple sauce with a hint of cinnamon.

My ingredients for the Kaiserschmarrn.

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about the flax seeds, and I haven’t tried the original Kaiserschmarrn, but this stuff was amazing. Who needs eggs, cow milk and butter anyway? GO PLANTS!

Vegan Kaiserschmarrn

Hopefully this blog got you thinking about introducing some vegan meals into your diet. It’s good for your health, the environment, and it doesn’t cause suffering to animals that want to live a happy life just like you. If you love animals, why abuse, kill and eat them?

Finally, please watch the free documentary “Land of Hope and Glory“. Educate yourself about what’s on your plate and the malpractices that go with it. #Peace

I used the word ‘vegan’ 39 times in this blog, well, now 40…