While it’s not exactly easy to find pant-based food in rural Austria (or at least not as easy as in Vienna, Graz, or Salzburg), with a few preparations it’s not impossible to be vegan in Hallstatt. Let me show you how!
You may need to plan ahead a little because options aren’t as abundant as in Austrian cities. So for starters, always check Happy Cow!
At the moment, there are no entries for Hallstatt, but who knows, that might change soon!
Hallstatt is the epitome of a picturesque Austrian village. However, I don’t want to get your hopes up because veganism is practically unheard of in most restaurants here.
And even if you aren’t a vegan, it’s not generally recommended to eat in Hallstatt, since it’s a highly touristy place all around.
We walked past a few places where you can probably find a place that serves spaghetti pomodoro, but be prepared to be underwhelmed and overcharged.
The only place that seemingly offers decent vegan dishes upon request is Heritage Hotel Hallstatt. Here’s a quote from their website:
Our kitchen naturally also caters to vegetarians and vegans and to people suffering from allergies. Inquire at the restaurant directly to find out about allergens and meat-free and vegan dishes.
Since Hallstatt is quite small, you can however easily arrange to only spend half a day here and then have your meal elsewhere. Here’s how we did it:
We prepared our own vegan breakfast to go at our apartment and sat down on a park bench. If the weather allows it, that’s a wonderful way to enjoy a vegan breakfast with a breathtaking view.
If you want to bring your own breakfast or snack, I’d recommend going to a larger supermarket such as Interspar or Merkur on the way, because the tiny supermarket in Hallstatt has almost no vegan options whatsoever (I think we saw a tub of hummus, but that’s it).
Since we arrived early in the day (around 9:30) and during COVID, the town was almost empty and wonderfully quiet. We also had no problem finding a parking spot, so I can definitely recommend doing that!
However, most shops and attractions weren’t open yet, so all you can do is take a walk (and some gorgeous photos for the gram!).
Apart from just talking a walk and taking in the beauty of this place, we visited the following sights:
Even if you weren’t a teenage goth like me, I can not recommend visiting Hallstatt cemetery enough. It’s such a peaceful and serene place overlooking the lake.
Plus, the charnel house really is one of a kind with its 1200 beautifully painted skulls.
I was fascinated by the death positive approach of this type of “burial”. It was started by necessity, since Hallstatt cemetery literally has no more room to grow. Bodies would be exhumed after 10-15 years of being buried, the skull would be bleached in the sunlight and then carefully painted according to the dead persons life and achievements. Laurels for valor, roses for love, and so on.
While some might find it macabre, I think it’s such a beautiful tradition to think about a person many years after they have died and honor them and their life by decorating their remains.
TW: Photos of human skulls below.
I did not take any pictures at the museum, but if you’re interested in history and archeology, Hallstatt Museum is for you!
Hallstatt is known for its production of salt, dating back to prehistoric times, and gave its name to the Hallstatt culture, the archaeological culture linked to early Celtic people of the Early Iron Age in Europe, c. 800–450 BC.*
You can learn all about what it was like to live and work in Hallstatt from pre-historic times to now.
Vegan Lunch in Bad Goisern
Since we only spent half a day in Hallstatt, we decided on a lunch break in Bad Goisern at “Goiserer Mühle”.
It’s pretty much exactly half way between Hallstatt and Bad Ischl, so perfect for a lunch break if you want to visit both in a day, like we did. (Bad Ischl – guide coming right up!)
As with all vegan-friendly places in rural Austria, it’s definitely wise to call ahead and ask if they have vegan options that day. It’s happened to us a few times that I showed up assuming they could cater to our dietary needs, only to find out upon arrival that their only vegan option was already sold out for the day.
So we called ahead, reserved a table and were happy to find vegan ravioli with mushrooms, a side salad and even vegan apple cake for dessert.
Vegan-friendly Hotels and B&Bs in and around Hallstatt
We only spent half a day in Hallstatt and stayed at a private apartment in Bad Aussee. But if you are looking for a stay in the region, here’s what we could find in close proximity to Hallstatt:
- Pension Grüner Anger
- Heritage Hotel Hallstatt
- Hotel Goiserer Mühle
4822 Bad Goisern
- Naturhaus Lehnwieser (100% Vegetarian and organic)
- Die Wasnerin
Again, it’s always wise to give the hotel a heads up that you’re vegan. They might even prepare something special just for you!
Final Advice for Hallstatt
Please be mindful when visiting Hallstatt. While it seems as if everything is made for tourists, it is not Disneyland. People actually live here so don’t climb on private balconies, don’t take flowers from someone’s garden and don’t make a ton of noise.
If you liked this post, be sure to check out my other posts about vegan option in Austrian travel destinations such as Vienna, Graz, or Salzburg and sign up for the newsletter to never miss a blog post!
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