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Foodies find good choice in Vienna’s markets

Tired of processed and pre-packaged food? There's no excuse for not eating well, if you're willing to try out some of Vienna's specialized food markets. The Local's food correspondent Gaz Smith checks out the choices available, and gives his recommendations. Let them know you read about it in The Local if you visit.

Foodies find good choice in Vienna's markets
Photo: Eishken Estate

We´ve all been there, standing frowning at the checkout of the supermarket with an uninspired basket of junk or processed 'food' wondering why we didn't just order out for a pizza.

Here are some places that are worth a little detour that will help you to cook properly at home, and rekindle the love of tasting something home-made off a wooden spoon…hopefully without burning your tongue.

Meat

The bad news is that most Austrian grocery stores and supermarkets have a sigh-inducing fresh meat range. The good news is that Vienna is liberally littered with great butchers.

Find yourself a local one who's good and stick with them. Chat with your local butcher, a bit of rapport will only lead to great meat.

Our tip is to get your pork, poultry and innards from an Austrian butcher, but hit up your local Turkish butcher for anything beef or lamb related.  Most Turkish places will mince meat freshly and cheaply in front of you if you ask.

Making a bolognese?  Pick a nice lean piece of meat to be minced.

Making burgers? Make sure there's a nice bit of fat going in; a ratio of twenty percent fat to meat is where the entrance to burger heaven begins.

Places we love include Szabo's and Stanzl's the butchers.

Fleischerei Szabo
Anzengrubergasse 11
1050 Wien

They're also at:
Schönbrunnerstrasse 129
1050 Wien

Open Mon-Thurs 6 am – 1 pm and 3–6 pm,
Fri 6 am – 6 pm, Sat 6 am – 1 pm

http://www.fleischerei-szabo.at
Tel: 01/54 53 908

Friedrich Stanzl
Erbergstraße 83
1030 Wien

Mon-Thurs 7 am – 1:30 pm and 3:30–6:30 pm,
Fri 7 am – 6.30 pm, Sat 7 am – 12 pm

http://www.stanzl-spezialitaeten.at/
Tel.: 01/713 31 30

Fish

You´d think that being landlocked makes fish a terrible option in Austria, and mostly, you're correct. However, a bit of effort and you could close your eyes and believe that you've transported yourself to a far flung coastal town somewhere.

Don´t even consider touching those bloated packs of week old trout you see hidden at the end of the meat counter in supermarkets, they'll turn you off cooking fish for life.

Avoid fish with dull eyes, that is floppy and sad looking. If it smells of fish, forget about it, it's old.  Bright eyes, slimy scales, bloody gills and firm tails are what you´re after.

If it´s only the filleted fish for sale, look for near-transparent or opaque fillets, that haven´t been sitting on ice absorbing water all day, otherwise they will stick to your pan and end up soggy when cooked.

Be brave when demanding the freshest fish, they´ll respect you for it.

If you want spanking fresh fish then Eishken Estate is your best bet, a bit of a trek out to them, but well worth the drive.

Eishken Estate
Großgrünmarkt Inzersdorf
Laxenburgerstraße 365, Halle A2, Stand 1-3 
1230 Vienna

Mon- Fri 6 am – 1 pm, Sat 7 am – 12 pm

www.eishken.at/index.php
Tel.: 01/889 37 33

Closer to home, and also very very good we have

Umar Fisch
Naschmarkt 76-79
1040 Vienna

Mon–Fri 8 am–6 pm
Sat 8 am – 5 pm

www.umarfisch.at/fischshop.shtml

The fish shop at Lubin imports the fish directly from their own boats in Croatia.

Lubin Fisch
Hainburgerstraße 50
1030 Vienna

Tues-Sat 9 am – 5 pm
Tel: 01/955 67 08

www.fischlubin.at

Frische Paradies is also a very safe option.

Sagedergasse 18–22
1120 Vienna

Mon–Wed 8 am – 6 pm / Thu–Fri 8 am – 7 pm /
Sat 8 am – 4 pm.

http://www.frischeparadies.de

Vegetables

There are dozens of good markets littered around the capital.  Saturday mornings at Naschmarkt in the summer months can be joyous when the sun has brought the best out in fruit and vegetables.

Other great options are rooting out the best stalls at Brunnenmarkt and Karmelitermarkt.

There´s no definite consistency in shopping for fruit'n'veg – play it by ear, ask what's good, wander around, let what´s good dictate what you´ll make for dinner that night.

Our experience of the supermarket chains are that Hofer and Lidl offer the freshest and cheapest fruit and veg, but usually a narrower range than can be found at the markets.

Naschmarkt. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Naschmarkt

Mon – Fri 6 am – 6:30pm / Saturday 6 am – 5 pm

Saturday mornings is when the farmers and growers bring the local seasonal stuff, get in early, and be prepared for grannies to poke you with umbrellas to get the best fruits and beware the drunkards falling out of Goodman's from the night before.

Brunnenmarkt

The longest street market in Vienna, if you´re looking for trendy and hipster, get out now, but if you're looking for decent fruit and veg, then stick around.

Mon-Fri 6 am – 6:30 pm / Saturday 6 am – 2 pm

Karmelitermarkt

We always go here to buy fruit and spend the day eating at the little places littered around here.

Mon – Fri 6 am – 6.30 pm / 6 am – 5 pm

Bread

You can´t beat tackling the thick heavy crust of real bread, compared to that air-filled tasteless belly-filler that most places have. The bread – and everything else – at Joseph Brot is well worth the journey. For an extra euro a loaf, you can get a real, organic loaf of bread.

Felz at Westbahnoff is great too, and of the chain bakeries, Der Mann is our favourite. Of course you can make your own bread, and we´ll follow up soon with easy and simple bread recipes.

Joseph Brot
Naglergasse 9
1010 Wien

Mon – Fri 7 am – 7 pm /Sat 8 am – 6pm

They also have a second location in the third district:

Joseph Brot
Landstraßer Hauptstraße 4
1030 Vienna

Mon – Sat 6.30 am- 9 pm / Sun 7.30 am – 9 pm.

www.joseph.co.at/

Felz
Schottenfeldgasse 88A
1070 Vienna

Mon – Fri 6 am – 6.30 pm /Sat 6 am – 5 pm /
Sun 6 am – 12:30 pm

www.felzl.at
Tel 01/5230141

General ingredients

Special mention, for something a bit different, and to really inspire, pop into Prosi's.  The range of lovely ingredients is enough to have you whipping out the pots and pans, and they are all round decent people. The little canteen down the back is always full of happy customers. Make sure to grab one of the home-made samosas beside the checkout.

Prosi Exotic Supermarket
Wimbergergasse 5
1070 Vienna

Mon – Sat 9 am – 8 pm

http://prosisupermarket.com

It's scary and depressing to see how food habits are changing, it used to be cost effective to buy and cook home-made food, but these days, and unnervingly so, convenience food is cheaper to buy.

But look where buying €1.39 packets of lasagne got us. Old horse and donkey meat anybody?

An extra euro here and an extra bit of shopping there, and you´ll quickly get into the habit of eating home-made food.  Now go forth and cook.

– Gaz

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FOOD & DRINK

Hugo, Almdudler and Radler: 5 drinks to try in Austria this summer

It is easier to face the summer heat with a proper cold drink in your hands. Austrians know that well and have created (or made popular) several delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Here are five you should try.

Hugo, Almdudler and Radler: 5 drinks to try in Austria this summer

The debate of which is the perfect summer drink is undoubtedly a very controversial one.

While many people would argue that nothing can beat the Italian Aperol Spritz (which is also very popular in Austria), some would rather stay with a simple cold beer.

If you are team Spritz, then you should know that Austria has a love for things g’spritzt, with their own versions of sparkling drinks (with or without alcohol). However, for those who prefer a beer, the alpine country is home to several famous brands, including the Styrian Gösser, the Viennese Ottakringer, and Stiegl, from Salzburg.

READ ALSO: Five Austrian destinations you can reach by train to escape the heat

In any case, when living or visiting a new country, it’s always fun to try out the traditional dishes and, in this case, beverages.

Here are five drinks you should try during the Austrian summer.

Hugo drink summer drink austria

Hugo is a very popular (and sweet) summer drink in Austria (Photo by Greta Farnedi on Unsplash)

Hugo

Some say this is the Austrian answer to the Aperol Spritz, but its sweetness from the elderflower syrup makes it quite different from the bitter bright orange Aperol.

There is also a bit of controversy as to where this drink, which Austrians love to drink during a nice summer afternoon, originates.

Internationally, it seems to be widely accepted that this alcoholic aperitif comes from South Tyrol, a German-speaking region of Italy with deep Austrian roots. Ask any Austrian, though, and they will tell that just proves the drink is from Austria.

READ ALSO: Eight ways to talk about the heat like a true Austrian

Italian or Austrian, the sweet drink is made with prosecco, elderflower syrup, seltzer and mint leaves. Serve it with lots of ice in a large glass, and you have a perfect summer drink.

white wine drinks party

Mix your white wine with sparkling water and you get a refreshing gespritzt (Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash)

weiß gespritzt

This is extremely popular, relatively cheap even in fancy restaurants, and somewhat controversial, but take some white wine and add a little sparkling water (sometimes ice) and you get a weiß gespritzt, or a g’spritzter.

READ ALSO: The best Austrian wineries to visit this summer

Not everyone appreciates mixing your wine with water, but it makes for a refreshing and lighter drink. In Austrian restaurants, you might be asked whether you want a summer gespritzt, which means it has higher water content and, therefore, is lighter, or a “normal” one.

It is by no means an Austrian drink, and you may have to ask for a Weinschorle instead of a Gespritzter in Germany, but it is a popular drink in the German world.

gösser radler drink

Austrian brands sell some of the most popular Radlers in Europe (Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash)

Radler

A Radler is another drink that though not from Austria, is extremely popular here. Not only that but some of the most popular Radlers are sold by Austrian brands.

Traditionally, all you need to make a Radler is to mix beer and lemonade. However, the drink is also found bottled and sold by beer companies such as Gösser and Ottakringer. The mix has also expanded and you can discover Radlers with a citrus or berry mix.

READ ALSO: Austrian old folks toast success of ‘Grandma and Grandpa’ beer

It is a lighter and sweeter beer, perfect for enjoying the summer with a fresh drink that is not so alcoholic.

Mixing apple juice and sparkling water creates a perfect non-alcoholic summer drink. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

Apfelspritz

Following the Austrian love for adding sparkling water to drinks, a very common and non-alcoholic beverage is the Apfelspritz.

It is a mix of apple juice and (you guessed it) sparkling water. It is popular in Biergarten as a non-alcoholic alternative, with kids joining in on toasts with their apple and soda mix.

The drink is also very common in Germany (where it is known as Apfelschorle), Switzerland and Hungary.

READ ALSO: Cash and Schnapps: A guide to visiting pubs and cafes in Austria

almdualer gerhard schilling

Almdudler’s CEO Gerhard Schilling holds a bottle of the traditional Austrian drink (© Philipp Lipiarski)

Almdudler

Another option for a summer light and non-alcoholic drink is the Almdudler, which is technically the name of the Austrian brand that sells the famous carbonated soft drink.

The drink is a blend of 32 “natural alpine herbs, beet sugar and soda water”, according to the website. It has a very distinctive logo and can be found in almost all Austrian households – being one of the most popular beverages in the country.

Did we forget about your favourite summer drink? Then let us know in the comments below or send us an email at [email protected]

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