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The apps and discounts to help you save money when eating out in Vienna

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David Everson-Baltas - [email protected]
The apps and discounts to help you save money when eating out in Vienna
Schnitzel is an Austrian favourite. Photo: Reinhard Thrainer from Pixabay

Eating out at a restaurant in Austria's capital city Vienna is becoming increasingly expensive but there are ways to save money and make it more affordable explains David Everson-Baltas.

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It’s a sad truth that food prices have soared in recent years, and they show no signs of returning to what they once were.

If you’ve found your budget shrinking as I have, you may also have decided to cut down on dining out quite as often; indeed, you’ve probably blown the dust off those budget-friendly home-cooking recipes you’ve been neglecting all these years. But did you know there are huge discounts and offers to be had at restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores all over Vienna? And the best part? All you need to take advantage of these savings is your phone.

TheFork

Firstly, I want to introduce you to TheFork. TheFork (previously Delinski in Austria) is a popular online restaurant reservation platform that helps people discover and book dining experiences at restaurants. But what will really pique your interest is that a significant proportion of the restaurants on the platform offer discounts of up to 50 percent off the bill - and that, somewhat astonishingly, includes drinks. 

If you’re thinking this all sounds too good to be true, you’ll be reassured to know that the TripAdvisor-owned platform, with its user-friendly app, has an active community of 20 million monthly users, and with over 55,000 participating restaurants across 12 countries, your choice of eateries is by no means limited. 

READ ALSO: The best and worst Austrian foods (as voted on by you)

Amid the excitement of seeing your bill slashed in half, it’s worth remembering that it is considered good etiquette to offer a tip based on the full price of the meal before the discount.

To find out more about the restaurants and offers available to you, download the app or visit the website.

Sausages are one of the staple foods in Austria

Sausages are one of the staple foods in Austria (Photo by Krzysztof Kowalik on Unsplash)

Too Good to go 

In this day and age, enjoying fine dining experiences at up to half price seems too good to be true, but there are also ways of saving money on food that come with the added bonus of benefitting the planet and environment.

Founded in 2015, Too Good To Go is a mobile app that links customers to restaurants and stores with surplus, unsold food. It currently operates in most major European cities (including Vienna) and has now expanded to North America. With needlessly discarded food being responsible for 10 percent of greenhouse gases and over 2.8 billion tonnes of waste each year, this app offers you the chance to join the efforts in reducing it.

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After downloading the app, you can scroll through pages of restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores to see what is on offer. Each establishment generally offers what’s called a “surprise bag” (Überraschungssackerl) in which you’ll find a variety of items that have gone unsold or are nearing their ‘display until’ date. Aside from the thrill of receiving a surprise bag (admit it, it's exciting), you'll also enjoy the added benefit of discounts as high as 70 percent on your food purchases, all while doing your bit to save the planet.

Like TheFork, Too Good To Go has become a mainstream, international app used by over 13 million people. The amount of actively participating businesses on the platform is fast approaching 27,000, and to date, users and businesses are collectively responsible for saving over 30 million surprise bags from going to waste.

Bread rolls

A selection of bread rolls. Photo: Manfred Richter from Pixabay

Restaurantwoche

If the apps we've mentioned don't quite tempt you, you’ll be pleased to know there are yet more discounts being offered, this time through Vienna’s annual Restaurant Week (Die Restaurantwoche).

Restaurant Week, organised by Culinarius and involving some of the country’s most highly rated restaurants, typically takes place in September and March each year, and offers diners the chance to visit award-winning restaurants for a fraction of the price they would normally have to pay. 

READ ALSO: How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

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The meals are set menus of between two and four courses put together by the chef/owner, and depending on what time of day and which establishment you decide to visit, prices range from €19.50 to €69.50 per person.

Having visited countless restaurants over the years during Restaurant Week, I’ve noticed that it's not unusual to find that the meals on offer work out at roughly half their regular price, providing diners with the opportunity to affordably savour the menu's standout dishes. 

A restaurant in Austria

Photo by Ivusko / Pixabay

If you would like to know more about Restaurant Week, how it works, and which restaurants partook in the scheme this year, head over to their website, and if you want 48-hour early access to booking next year, don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter; as a seasoned Restaurant Week veteran, I can attest to the fact that tables book up quickly.

At a time when every penny counts, finding ways to enjoy special dining experiences without breaking the bank is a welcome relief. Vienna, with its rich culinary heritage, offers a treasure trove of options for savvy diners.

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Whether you're exploring TheFork for exceptional discounts at renowned restaurants, indulging in the culinary wonders of Vienna's Restaurant Week, or joining the sustainable food movement with Too Good To Go, you can now savour the flavours of this vibrant city at low cost, with just a tap of your phone.

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