Exploring Vienna with a gluten intolerant vegetarian


My colleague traveled to Vienna this winter and instead of taking me with her, the black adder only sent me a selfie from Flixbus. She said: “Off I go with Alex to do some shopping and see a concert. You enjoy slaving away at work.” The only adequate response I could think of was: “Damn you on Christmas 2018!”

Flixbus – LIV; Photo: Alex, Flash.hr


Three weeks ago, I got a text from DJ Rea Farout. She spent six months in Costa Rica and she was about to land in Vienna. She thought it would be fun if I picked her up so that we could stay a couple of days and explore before returning to Zagreb together. The weather just got warmer so I thought to myself – a field trip to Vienna is the best idea since the pre-bankruptcy settlements. I bought cheap Flixbus tickets and booked a hotel room at Arcotel Donauzentrum. Who is slaving away now, Liv?

I have arrived to Vienna on Tuesday at 3 am. U-Bahn wasn’t driving yet so I took a taxi to the hotel. I was driven by some Indian guy who I needed to instruct on where to drive. My altruism cost me 17 Euro. 

In the morning I had to mentally prepare for the fact that Rea is a vegetarian as well as allergic to gluten so I ended up eating oatmeal and yoghurt. God of processed meats, forgive me. 

ARCOTEL Donauzentrum Beč – breakfast; Photo: Josip Novosel, Flash.hr


Arcotel Donauzentrum – Dear Leader – after breakfast, one needs to lay down a bit; Photo: Flash.hr


Rea arrived around 11 am. I said to her: “Now is not the time nor place for narcissist selfies at the hotel room. Let’s go sight seeing!”

Arcotel Donauzentrum – Rea Farout; Photo: Dragi Vođa, Flash.hr


The hotel was around 10 minutes away from the center by U-Bahn. It is the most affordable to buy a two or three day worth ticket, depending on how long you’re staying. The info you need is here: https://www.wienerlinien.at/eportal3/ep/channelView.do/pageTypeId/66533/channelId/-47401

As soon as we went out, Rea said she had to do a short Yoga meditation in order to mentally prepare for a whole day of hanging out with me. I have explained to the police that I was just taking her to therapy.  

Rea Farout – These plant eaters always find time for yoga and meditation; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


View over Vienna on water from U-Bahn.

Vienna on water; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr

The problem in traveling with women lies in the fact that they always seem to find a drug store to step into. Rea said: “I’m looking for something citrusy.” I replied: “I will buy you a lemon, now let’s go soak in the culture of this city. Beer, Wiener schnitzel, photos by the fountain or even a museum if we have to.” 

Rea Faraout looking for a citrus scent in Vienna; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


After my complaint, we went on with our adventure. 

Vienna – Rea Farout; Photo: Dragi Vođa, Flash.hr


Now these are the types of fountains our mayor should be building; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


Rea found us a cool hipster vegetarian friendly cafe in Vienna – Harvest Cafe Bistrot. We have been looking for it half of the damn day and when we finally found it, it was closed. Apparently they’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Despite that, God exists. We grabbed a bite at a nearby Turkish fast food and went to the Schiffstation City for a coffee. The view over the river and hipster almond milk Rea has ordered have their price. 4,5 Euro for coffee. Luckily, my hand is short but also giving. 

Dear Leader – I spent this much on Rea’s coffee; Photo: Rea Farout, Flash.hr


A travel without selfies is like Church without pedophiles. 

Selfie in Vienna – Rea Farout and Dear Leader; Photo: Flash.hr


Don’t you think we didn’t enjoy all the vegan delicacies. We stumbled upon a cool ice cream shop Eis Greissler that has genius gluten free ice creams for vegetarians and vegans.

Eis Greissler; Source: Facebook


Rea looked around the souvenir shops. We entered an antique souvenir shop called KABUL. I wanted to buy a little Buddha statue for her, but I lost all of my giving spirit when the sales person said it cost 4500 Euro. 

Souvenir shop KABUL – Buddha; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


I said to her: “As if God is telling me not to waste money. It will be much cheaper to simply buy myself something.” I have found this awesome shirt and payed a humble 70 Euro for it. That would not have been much of a problem if I had not left for Vienna with mere 140 Euro in my pocket and Euros vanish in Vienna as quickly as pedophile charges in Vatican. However, you are not a true Croat if you don’t spend more than you have. Luckily, Rea had more cash on her. Shopping is much better in Vienna than in Zagreb. The selection is bigger and the prices are pretty much the same, if not lower. The restaurants are more pricey though. 

Rea has found a vegetarian shop right before we returned to the hotel. She felt like the captain of Titanic when he proudly said: “Fuck the ice! Full speed ahead.” 

Rea Faraout in vege shop in Vienna; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


She was so excited she levitated in the room. Luckily, the ceiling was low so she hit her head and passed out on time. 

Arcotel Donauzentrum – Rea Farout; Photo: Dragi Vođa, Flash.hr


Another day began with a jar of Nutella for breakfast as if to foretell how great the rest of the day will be. 

Arcotel Donauzentrum – Dear Leader – Light Nutella breakfast; Photo: Flash.hr


After the whole jar of Nutella, I had to do some sport activities to get rid of all the extra sugar. After all, summer is just around the corner. 

Arcotel Donauzentrum – Dear Leader – the barbecue king; Photo: Flash.hr


Even Rea was content because they prepared gluten free muffins for her. She wasn’t the first vegan guest there, obviously. Stomachs full, we went to the city. 

Vienna; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


St. Stephen Chatedral in Vienna
Vienna, Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


To be in Vienna and to not try the Wiener Schnitzle is sacrilege. That dish was a status symbol even back in Yugoslavia. I have promised Rea all of the veggies on my plate, but luckily for her, they had a vegetarian menu as well at the Glacis Beisl restaurant. 

Glacis Beisl – Dear Leader; Photo: Flash.hr


Glacis Beisl – Wiener schnitzel; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


Glacis Beisl – Rea Farout; Photo: Flash.hr


One of the reasons we chose this restaurant was that it was near the Leopold museum which just had a Zoran Mušić, Kimt, Moser, Gerstle and Kokoshka exhibition and we all know how big of a Zoran Mušič fan I am.  

Leopold museum – Dear Leader; Photo: Flash.hr


This museum is definitely worth visiting, but aside from the showpieces, we were the most intrigued by a certain employee. We entered the elevator and a janitor was in it as well. Suddenly, he spoke up in fluent serbian – bosnian: “Fuck all of them! What is wrong with these people?” Rea said: “Luckily we understand each other.” The janitor: “Well I would never pay to see all of this crap. It is sick, that is.” You can take a man out of Balkan, but you can’t take Balkan out of the man. haha:)

Leopold museum – Zoran Mušić; Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr
The sight after exiting the museum:); Photo: Dear Leader, Flash.hr


After walking around the entire day, we went back to the hotel to take a shower and change. They had some super cool soaps scented with peppermint and rum. Why, oh why can’t I buy that at my local store? 

Arcotel Donauzentrum; Photo: Flash.hr


On our last night we went to the jazz and music club Porgy & Bess. 

Porgy & Bess jazz and music club; Photo: Rea Farout, Flash.hr


I thought that Zagreb had a flourished jazz scene, but this was on a whole other level. Ex porn club turned into a beautiful jamm place. Amazing sound system, Fazioli piano on the stage (Rolls Royce of pianos) and a daily schedule filled with superb bands from all around the world. 

Porgy and Bess Jazz and music club; Source: P&B


I have tried to get some Croatian musicians to perform there, but the owner has informed me that they were full until the end of the year and that we could only negotiate about 2019 concerts. We had an opportunity to listen to Antonio Lizana ‘Oriente (ESP). 

The concert was amazing and we had a great time in Vienna. They even allowed me to try out the Fazioli. I have always wanted to play one. They kindly kicked me out once I started playing all of our previous presidents greatest hits.  

All in all, Vienna is a great city for shopping and to go out on a weekend as well as for living according to a few of my friends who have already moved there. It is packed with Serbs, Bosnians and Croatians so you will surely find your way around, even if you don’t speak German or if you are a vegetarian who is allergic (or in Rea’s words intolerant) to gluten. 

Ps: You can follow Rea on Instagram:



Author: Josip Novosel aka Dear Leader, self effacing lover of busses, corresponding member of the “Vegetarians are humans too” magazine, a friend to the wealthy, a tycoon and a snob but above all a human.



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