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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats


Updated: Mar 31, 2023

When we heard that Figlmüller Wien had created a plant-based alternative to their original Schnitzel we couldn't wait to try it out. We popped by the restaurant on an early October evening to try this legendary Austrian dish and its modern recreation.

Figlmüller have been serving their original recipe schnitzel since 1905 from their tiny tavern round the corner from St Stephen's cathedral. Later they opened a much larger restaurant down the road - and if like us you turn up without a booking, that's where they'll send you. Be prepared to queue for a while, this place is legendary so inevitably popular with tourists and locals alike.

A stone archway with a sign reading Zum Figlmuller
The entrance to the smaller Figlmuller (you'll definitely have to book for this one!)

How was the vegan experience at Figlmuller?

When we reached the front of the queue it wasn't long before a friendly waiter in a tux beckoned us in. We were seated at a table that felt pretty private even though we knew that the restaurant was full of people. It didn't take us long to choose from the menu as obviously we were going to try their signature dish. There were only a small number of vegan options, so if you visit you're almost certainly going to try the same dish as us.

The first thing that we noticed when looking around Figlmuller was how massive the regular schnitzel was. You really can't miss it, as almost everyone in the restaurant was tucking into the same dish. It wasn't like your standard supermarket schnitzel that fits in the palm of your hand: this schnitzel was bigger than the plate it was served on!

​The vegan schnitzel was smaller than the pork schnitzel, which was a little bit of a shame, but to make up for this fact they give you two! Hooray! Even though you don't have the food-as-large-as-your-head wow factor, the schnitzel really makes up for that through its taste and similarity to the real thing. Just like a traditional schnitzel, the vegan schnitzel was crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. We were really impressed with the flavour: it was among the best plant-based meat alternatives we tasted in Vienna, and one of the best of our travels in 2021. The 'planted viennese schnitzel' is made of pea protein; when the provided lemon was squeezed over the schnitzel it provided a tasty zing that worked so well with the slightly salty flavour of the schnitzel.

Two vegan schnitzels with a slice of lemon. In the background, two bowls of salad.
Figlmuller's vegan schnitzels: not as big as the original, but they give you two (yay!)

The downside was that the restaurant only offers a small number of vegan sides. We opted for the recommended side salad which had plenty of flavour, but in comparison to their famous potato-field salad looked a little less exciting. However it was nice and light, and this ensured that the really delicious vegan schnitzels were front and centre. The side salad wasn't what I will remember from our trip to Figlmüller - but really, if it was, the schnitzels wouldn't be doing their job properly!

The most obvious difference with the vegan schnitzel was the size and shape: it would be amazing if one day Figlmüller's vegan schnitzel looked as close to their traditional dish as it tasted. Even though the flavour of the plant-based version is awesome, it would be even more exciting if it was as big as your head. The only other real difference was in the texture - the vegan schnitzel was a little firmer. The breadcrumbs, their colour, flavour and crunch were very much the same which in terms of mirroring the traditional schnitzel is excellent. Despite the slightly different texture, the classic taste was still there and it was just as more-ish as the traditional version - it just might fill you up a little faster than the authentic schnitzel.

How much did we spend?

Vienna is not a cheap city, and we knew that visiting a traditional restaurant would not be the most cost-effective way to eat. However, for a treat it was well worth it:

One Planted Viennese schnitzel with green side salad cost €15.90 (approx. £14.04 or $17.09)

Have you had any great (or not so great!) vegan schnitzel in Austria? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.


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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
Beautiful Belvedere Palace is one of our favourite places in Vienna

Where should I stay?

If you're looking for a friendly, conveniently located hostel in Vienna, top-rated Hostel Ruthensteiner might be exactly what you're looking for, with both private and dorm rooms at really reasonable prices.

If a hotel is more your style, why not check out Safestay Vienna Margaretenviertel, which is only a five minute walk to the Naschmarkt area - its reasonably priced and attracts consistently high reviews from its guests.

Tours & Experiences

If, like us, you're a big fan of visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, then Belvedere Palace has to be on your list. We really enjoyed visiting the stunning gardens here; with an entry ticket to Upper Belvedere you can skip the queues to see famous artworks including Klimt's Kiss and works by Van Gough and Monet. Or why not try one of the top-rated Viator tours below?

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