When we realised that the Vienna Naschmarkt, a mouthwatering neighbourhood market in Austria‘s capital, was just down the road from our apartment rental we knew that it would be perfect for what we’re doing on our our grand tour: going slow and local.
Having a fresh food market five minutes away from us is our idea of self-catering heaven. But we were surprised at what else we found there..
The Vienna Naschmarkt – Our Mouthwatering Neighbourhood Market
At the mouthwatering Vienna Naschmarkt, the largest inner city neighbourhood market, there is a plenty of scope for us to pick up key ingredients for our meals, such as meat and fish, along with bread, cold cuts, and cheese (particularly good is the Italian cheese selection), and fresh handmade pasta.
While there’s an abundance of wonderful European products on offer, the most enticing offerings are from Turkey, the Middle East, and Asia. It has been Austria’s immigrants, especially from Turkey, who have really changed the market and its eateries in the years since we last visited Vienna.
Stroll through the market and you can pick up Turkish mezze, including flavoured hommus, Japanese teas, Eastern European style pickles, German sausages, Middle Eastern spices, and more… and then you can go and sit down and eat Turkish kebabs, fresh sushi, Chinese noodles, or seafood from Scandinavia.
We couldn’t go past the opportunity to buy some of our favourite Italian staples to have on a freezing cold night, such as fresh mushroom ravioli, Parmigiano Reggiano, and a little winter treat, a fresh truffle. More on that in another post.
While locals have been debating the impact of the restaurants that now take up much of the stall space in the market, we think the eateries add to the lively atmosphere. There’s the added bonus that they keep the place alive longer at night after the stalls have been packed up and the shops have closed their shutters.
After a wander through the Vienna Naschmarkt late one night we had a very satisfying Vietnamese meal at Phở Sài Gòn (#191-193) that was as good as Vietnamese we’ve had anywhere and with quaffable wines by the glass.
On another (freezing) day on our way home from a walk around the city, just as snow started to fall, we dropped into Scandi-inspired Neni (#501), which offers an interesting combination of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean-and Austrian dishes. We had a fine lunch, also with some decent wines.
One of the great things about coming here at night is that not only will you find some decent food, afterwards you can also hit some of the beautiful cafés and bars in the streets around the market, such as the atmospheric Café Drechsler (Linke Wienzeile 22/Girardigasse 1), opposite the markets, which is open 24 hours and serves up hearty Austrian food.
When we told the owner of our apartment how much we had enjoyed the market, she said “you should see it in summer!” We liked it exactly the way it was actually.
So while locals debate whether it’s too touristy (it certainly wasn’t when we were there) or whether it’s too expensive or whether it’s no better than the supermarkets (we think ‘no’ on all counts), we can’t think of a city that wouldn’t be improved by having a market like the Vienna Naschmarkt that thrives day and night, even in the depths of winter.