My name is Kristen, and I am a Southern Californian who has called Austria home since 2007 and Vienna home since 2008.
This blog, which I began writing in August of 2011 and began publishing in January of 2012, highlights the best of my dining adventures in and around Vienna.
If you’re here to find an abundance of schnitzel, sauerkraut, and dumplings, it might not work out between us.
While I do enjoy it from time to time, I eat copious amounts of the traditional fare from my Austrian mother in-law when visiting her in the countryside. Here in the city, it’s not what typically gets me out and about each week in search of new places. It’s Vienna’s other offerings–the variety and innovation–that have stolen my palate.
(And my purse.)
‘Innovation,’ and ‘variety’ are not words often associated with Vienna. It’s a city known for changing ever so slightly and oh so slowly. Yet if one seeks, one can find that there’s more here than traditional restaurants serving up meat and potatoes on cobblestone-laden roads with red trams whizzing by.
Vienna has amazing sushi. (In a land-locked country, no less.) Tasty Thai food, gooey Neapolitan-style pizza, the perfect French bistro for a lazy Sunday, an authentic Turkish place by a market.
But most cities with an international population have these offerings, right?
Sure. Yet I think Vienna is unique because of its emphasis on local and seasonal food sourcing. (Wherever and whenever possible, anyway. See: sushi, landlocked country.) What I find even more remarkable about this, is that restaurants do this without labeling themselves so, a reflection of the Austrian food philosophy on the whole. Get it from your own backyard! If you can’t find it there, then visit your neighbor! There isn’t a local or seasonal ‘food movement’ here per se.
It is that way already.
And what’s more–something has been happening recently here in the local dining scene. Whether the food is coming into its own or becoming more like everywhere else remains to be seen. All I know is that I’m happy to be along for the ride. I’ve observed some pretty historic moments–the entry of the word ‘cupcake’ to local lingo, for example, finally replacing its misnomer–muffin. Salads, (formerly relegated only to sides, and very sorry sides, drowning in little bowls of vinegar) have been allowed to take center stage as entrée options. The definition of ‘spicy’ is inching towards accurate.
And as international food offerings have become more authentic, traditional cuisine has begun to be reinterpreted, with new places cropping up, seemingly overnight, full of innovative flair and fun. (There is a German saying for this phenomenon–Wie Pilze aus dem Boden schiessen [like mushrooms shoot from the ground].)
Somewhere along the way, it became
an obsession a hobby of mine to hunt down new and new-to-me places. I am always looking forward to exploring a new corner of the city (and beyond), hoping to find something delicious at the destination.
I love sharing my findings.
Perhaps you are interested?
If so, then willkommen to sushiandstrudel!