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Giant bread | © Scott Pacaldo/Flickr
Giant bread | © Scott Pacaldo/Flickr
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A Gluten-Free Guide to Enjoying Vienna

Picture of Kate Jackson
Updated: 17 March 2017
A lot of people steer clear of the world’s most infamous protein. Whether it’s down to an intolerance, a dietary preference or a phobia of carbohydrates, the word ‘gluten-free’ has slowly woven its way into our daily vocabulary. Although Vienna is a city famous for being deeply infatuated with cake and pastry, there are plenty of bakeries catering to the wheat weary.

Let us start with the savories. Some may fear that Austria, with its culinary superstars of breadcrumbed fillets and multi-layered pastries, is a difficult place to stick to a gluten-free lifestyle. However, Vienna is keeping with the times and becoming increasingly open-minded to the concept of alternative diets, and has towed the line with this fast-growing fad that has swept across the globe over the past couple of years.

Disappointed that you couldn’t try schnitzel due to your pesky gluten intolerance? Now you can! Zum Wohl (whose food is void of both lactose and gluten) has taken sympathy upon the celiac population and created a gluten-free version of Austria’s national dish so that no one misses out on sampling their most coveted of meals. Traditional Viennese restaurant Gasthaus Nestroy also offers a gluten-free version on request.

Gluten Free Schnitzel? | © 65294 / pixabay
Gluten-free schnitzel? | © Monsterkoi / Pixabay

Although it is a fact that’s often conveniently forgotten on nights out; it is, unfortunately, true that beer contains gluten. However, many restaurants have taken this into account and are offering wheat-, barley-, and rye-free beer. Pizza Scarabocchio has been quick on the mark (also offering gluten free pizza – hallelujah!), as has Garage01 and the aforementioned Gasthaus Nestroy.

TIAN, a Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant in the first district, has a creative, colorful menu featuring many lactose- and gluten-free dishes, abolishing the myth that gluten-free has to equal flavor-free.

Sweet-toothed celiacs often get a sore deal when it comes to finding a dessert. In Vienna, it’s difficult to walk down a street without getting distracted by an array of dainty, tempting cakes staring longingly from a bakery window – a potentially cruel experience for gluten-free visitors. However, do not fear, because many of Vienna’s cafés are slowly evolving and creating versions of their star cakes that won’t make you break your dietary word.

Traditional Austrian Dessert Kaiserschmarrn | © RitaE / Pixabay
Traditional Austrian dessert kaiserschmarrn | © RitaE / Pixabay

Simply Raw Bakery is a haven for clean-eating fanatics who don’t want to miss out on the good stuff. With a menu of tiramisu, banana splits, and the traditional Austrian kaiserscharrm, you’ll forget all about your intolerance.

If you’re worried you won’t be able to indulge in the Viennese coffee house experience, Café Mozart now offers six different cakes, mousses and pastries that do not contain gluten.