Sustainable City Guide: Vienna
It's easy to fall in love with Vienna. There is a grand history in its Baroque architecture, Mozart's staccatos float out of concert halls, and a treasured coffee house culture that make you want to linger. On top of all that, we've also found old world workshops with rich pasts and eco-friendly ideas that are focused on the future. Yes, Vienna is our kind of city!
Lena Hoschek (7th district) - traditional Austrian dirndls and 1950s hourglass silhouettes are the look here. Lena’s ribbon skirts are made by hand in Austria and she uses a lot of natural fabrics for her classic pieces. Stop by her newly opened children’s concept store, Bunny Bogart, to pick up a few well-edited pieces for the little ones.
Mühlbauer (7th district) - Milleners since 1903, this 4th generation family run workshop is now an international brand. Their modernized styles are mostly done in straw and felt.
Supersense (2nd district) - Andreas Heller, Nina Ugrinovich, and Florian Kaps founded this workroom/creative space. In a 19th-century Venetian-style palazzo, you can print your own poster or record your own track on a record before having a snack in their cafe. It’s a place to be inspired and get your imagination working.
Wiener Silber Manufaktur (1st district) - 130 years of tradition goes into this table-silverware company. There are over 11,000 drawings in its archives that include designs by Zaha Hadid and Erwin Wurm. In 2009, the brand developed a silvery alloy that is dishwasher safe! No more silver polishing on the weekends.
Vienna to Go, (6th district) - not your tacky souvenir shop, owner Karen Grobner, made sure of that. Located in Otto Wagner’s art nouveau Majolikahaus building, Grobner sells items made by her students.
Füllbar - shopping for cleaning products is probably not on the top of your list of things to buy, but this shop is a great example of how we can work towards zero waste. All of their products are eco-friendly and chemical free. You bring your containers and buy the amount you need. Will someone bring this concept to every town please?
J & L Lobmeyer, (1st district) - a treasure trove of crystal, china, and chandeliers, J & L Lobmeyer is an institution that’s been at its location at the center of Vienna’s shopping district on Karntner Strasse for 200 years. Its heritage goes back to the Austrian royal family. Austria gifted a chandelier to the U.S. for helping them during WWII. You can see it hanging at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Many of the handmade pieces are created using increasingly rare techniques.
Tian (1st district) - it used to be hard to get around Austria if you are a vegetarian, but things have changed. Restaurants like Tian are giving Austrians a whole new appreciation for vegetables and earning its Michelin stripes while doing it. Visit their sister location, Tian Bistro, for a more casual atmosphere and less dollar signs.
Der Greissler (8th district) - a waste-free food store. You bring your own containers and only pay for what you want. They focus on ecological product with fruits and vegetables from the region and fair trade products from around the world. There are also jams, craft beer, organic wines, oils, coffee, and much more.
Restaurant Dreiklang - focused on whole organic foods that are GMO free. This restaurant takes sustainability to heart by not using microwaves, having a mostly vegetarian/vegan menu (although organic meats and fish are offered as well). Even the cleaning products are eco-friendly! Try the mushroom risotto.
Demel (1st district) - after an afternoon of shopping in the pedestrian area, stop into this confectioner for a melange and a strudel. Bring home “cat’s tongue” chocolates for a little taste of Vienna.
Cafe Sperl (4th district) - the most Viennese of the Vienesse cafes. Panelled wood, low hanging chandeliers, and parquet floors retains the old world feel of this circa 1880 cafe. “Come and stay awhile” should be their slogan. Catch up on the news from the host of newspapers provided while you wait for your melange. You could also play a round of billiards and watch the world go by. There is even a kid’s corner stocked with books and toys to occupy the little ones while parents eat their signature sperltorte with two hands.
City Farm at Schloss Schönbrunn - in the UNESCO site of the Schloss Schönbrunn palace there is a program geared towards children to engage them in growing fruits and vegetables. There is also a program designed to help refugee children. That's something even adults would enjoy.
Vienna is a very green city and has made an effort to support the bee population (and you know how we feel about bees!) by creating apiaries in places like the Vienna's Opera House, City Hall, and the Natural History Museum. You can buy their honey at shops around town. Click here to find out more.