Please note: This article was first published on The Vegan Tourist on July 8, 2014, and updated in October 2018.
Update (October 2018): This restaurant closed in May 2017. The owners, Charlie and Irene Schillinger, concentrate on their wildly successful new venture, Swing Kitchen, a vegan fast food chain. The have opened five locations in Austria so far (a sixth is scheduled to open soon in Vienna’s 1st district). Two restaurants will open within the next few months in Berlin, and one in Bern, Switzerland.
I finally made it to the vegan restaurant Schillinger last Sunday. The restaurant has a stellar reputation amongst vegans in Austria. I don’t think there’s a single vegan in the country who’s never heard of it. It is that famous.
So it was high time that I made the trek there myself. And it is quite a trek. Schillinger is located about an hour north of Vienna, in the county Lower Austria, in a tiny village called Großmugl. It is only accessible by car (there’s no train station in the village). As I don’t own a car, I never quite managed to make it all the way to Großmugl. But last Sunday I finally got my chance: a car, three people, and a motion-sick dog (who threw up thrice in the car during this trip) arrived at Schillinger at 4:30 PM in the afternoon – quite famished – and sampled the menu.
All the food at Schillinger is vegan, and there are many dishes to choose from. I am happy to report that the restaurant’s excellent reputation is justified.
Between the three of us, we shared two appetizers, a double-sized entree, and two desserts. I didn’t get to taste one of the appetizers, Frittatensuppe, but apparently it was very good (2.80 Euros including tax). Frittaten are crepes cut into small pieces, and Frittatensuppe is an Austrian specialty.
I ordered the fried (mock meat) “duck,” which was served hot. It was marinated in a soy & chilli sauce, and served with sweet peppers on a bed of salad. Very good! (4.90 Euros).
As an entree, the three of us shared the so-called “house plate,” meant for two people (24.00 Euros), which is basically a sampler of various mock meats with French fries, coleslaw, salad, and herb butter (all vegan, of course). The platter was so big, and there was so much food, even the three of us couldn’t quite finish it. It was delicious.
For dessert, we ordered panna cotta (with mango pulp, pistachios, and whipped cream (3.50 Euros), and tiramisu dumplings with strawberry pulp and a compote of peaches (4.50 Euros). I liked the tiramisu dumplings, but I loved the panna cotta.
All in all – food, plus three soft drinks, three glasses of wine, one double espresso -, we spent 55.10 Euros (including taxes), plus tips. The restaurant is so popular that guests kept showing up all through the afternoon to eat, and it started to really fill up when we left at about 6:30 PM. If you want to visit Schillinger – and you should – you absolutely have to send them an Email and make a reservation at least a week in advance.
The restaurant is currently owned by Karl “Charlie” Schillinger and his wife Irene. The restaurant first opened its doors in 1793 – that’s not a typo. Eight generations of “Schillinger” have continuously owned and managed the restaurant. The current owners decided to turn it into a vegan restaurant – due to huge demand. According to the information on their website, they first started cooking vegetarian dishes for friends, who told their friends about it, who spread the word even further, and so on. That’s why one of the best vegan restaurants in the country is located in a tiny village in Lower Austria. It’s a huge success story, and proof that there’s great demand for vegan restaurants everywhere.
Hauptstraße 46, 2002 Großmugl, Austria
Opening hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays: 9:00 AM – 1:00 AM; Thursdays 4:00 PM – 1:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM;
Reduced opening hours for the kitchen: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays: 12:00 noon – 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM; Thursdays 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM; Saturdays & Sundays: 12:00 noon – 11:00 PM