Sausages aren’t a bad place to start when exploring Viennese street food, however, don’t forget about what else is on offer, with the city’s Turkish community bringing in some vibrant additions.
Vienna’s thriving Turkish community brings with it delightful food vans serving up tasty snacks, with falafel being one of the most favored. Along the bustling Brunnenmarkt in the 16th district, you will find plenty of stalls serving fresh wraps and sandwiches, some for as little as two euros — a perfectly cheap and easy eat for vegetarians.
The arrival of winter in Vienna is not defined by snow or Christmas fare, but by the arrival of roasting drums in tiny shacks emitting the warm, unmistakeable wafts of roasting chestnuts. The stalls start cropping up along the populous streets of Vienna around October when the weather starts to turn and the festive season and markets start creeping up. You’ll find nothing more comforting than these smoky treats in a paper bag on an icy day.
Similar to the above, this is a seasonal treat usually available at the Maroni stands. These are wedges or crispy discs on a skewer, somewhere in between a crisp and a chip. They’re a stereotypical Viennese winter snack to munch on as you stroll in the park.
Sausage stands are frequented by locals at late night, who will catch up or wind down with a can of beer and the sausage of their choosing. There are a few reasons why these little institutions are so popular with the Viennese population — the wide variety of wurst (Kasekrainer, frankfurter, bratwurst — the list is endless) but also the unique atmosphere that these stands evoke at nighttime. They aren’t hard to find around Vienna, but many of the best wurstlstands live around the center of town. Although ask any local and they will tell you their personal preference.
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Asian stalls offer fast, hot food in the classic oyster pail. Wok egg noodles, rice with vegetables, sweet and sour chicken — a medley of super speedy food is on offer at these stalls, cooked in front of you in under five minutes. Maki, sticky sushi rice with avocado, salmon or crab wrapped in seaweed, is also usually sold here — a healthier alternative to some of the more indulgent hot dishes.
Another delightful addition to street food in Vienna delivered by the Turkish community, this is a soft, buttery flaky pastry snack with a filling of creamy spinach or feta curried potato. It’s available in the Brunnenmarkt and in various Turkish bakeries around the city. Some bakeries have a 24-hour license meaning that it is possible to grab one as you stumble home from a night out — although beware — its flaky texture combined with an intoxicated disposition can lead to mess.
Wandering around Vienna, if unacquainted, you will likely find yourself pondering over what this ubiquitous sandwich is and where it comes from and why everybody seems to be eating it. The latter question is a bit of a mystery but the Leberkäse is essentially an uncomplicated Austrian marriage between a sizeable slice of liver sausage (corned beef, bacon, and onions) and an airy emperor’s roll, sometimes seasoned with gherkins or mustard.