First opened in 1886, the Ital. Eissalon am Schwedenplatz has been cooling the tongues of the Viennese for a century and a half, therefore it couldn’t be missing from our list of Vienna’s best ice cream spots. The delightfully retro interior and generous awnings are particularly welcoming on a hot summer day, where if you’re lucky you might encounter the ageless “Mr. B.”, sketchbook on his lap, finishing up his latest scene of Vienna streets. This acclaimed salon makes all its own “Geladoro” products at its glistening new Manifattura del Gelato in Seestadt.
Ever inventive, the Eissalon has been adding new flavors with a Viennese flare: Maroni (chestnut), Himbeer–Prosecco (raspberry-prosecco), Topfenkrokant (sweet cheese crackle) plus Mohn (poppy seed) and other vegan flavors. Highly recommended is their lavender-pear: The lavender holds true to form with an aromatic punch and is complemented by the softer tones of juicy pear wrapped in a creamy scoop.
Reumannplatz is a bit off the beaten path, but coming here is well worth it, thanks to the Tichy Eissalon. Two multi-counter windows for regular buy-and-lick customers and spacious seating in and out for serious aficionados. They have some 16 “normal” flavors, pretty delicious. But try one of the 70 Coups, exotic ice-cream combinations, served on a dish, to be nibbled at leisure. Some are predictable vanilla or chocolate ice with fresh fruits, syrup or nuts; others have challenging names like Omelette Soufflé or Rehrücken (Saddle of Venison). Their perennial is the Eis-Marillenknödel, a kernel of apricot sorbet in a ball of vanilla ice cream, rolled in roasted hazelnut crumbs. A classic.
Even though Zanoni & Zanoni is among Vienna’s best ice cream spots, they don’t believe in massive display. It’s enough just to dominate the corner of Lugeck and Rotenturmstraße. So just line up at one of the 3 or 4 counters for a choice of around 30 flavors, nine of the straight fruits (such as apricot, strawberry and blueberry) certified vegan. And they helpfully announce “to go” in five languages, with Russian, for some reason, in extra-handsome embossed lettering.
Outside there is pleasant café seating. With tourists noticeably absent, the Viennese have re-possessed the space: elegant well-coiffed ladies, refugees from the media battlefields, and a smattering of lesser mortals like the rest of us. A busy corner to watch life go by.
There’s a miniature Zanoni on the Ring, right across from the Mozart statue high on his pedestal in the Burggarten and minutes from the Burgkino. Here they have some 20 flavors plus milkshakes and ice/cream fruit coups. Modest seating outside, a peaceful distance from the buzz of the Ring traffic.
There is also a Zanoni Zanoni in the “To Go” corner of the magnificent Meinl food emporium on the Graben. With a mere 20 flavors, it’s enough for most, right behind a child-sized plastic ice-cream cone. Totally retro tacky – but fun. And anyway, it’s the taste that matters!
On a warm summer’s day, the long queues in front of Eis Greissler are hard to miss, often stretching halfway down the block. Inside the blue-white checkered storefront, the popular ice cream shop crafts its own silky, and often unlikely flavors, such as “goat cheese,” “poppy seed,” and “pumpkin seed oil.” Featuring milk from its organic dairy in Lower Austria, its fruit selection is full of regional treasures, including tangy “apricot,” “elderflower” and “red currant” that take you back to a childhood spent in Oma’s garden.
First opened in 1947, Italian Gelateria La Romana boasts over 50 locations across Europe. The Viennese shop on Stiftgasse off Mariahilfer Straße has a modern-rustic interior and offers Italian ice cream made fresh every day on location with an assortment ranging from classic flavors to custom concoctions with an eye to history, such as Crema dal 1947, a lemon-infused take on vanilla, adding a touch of zesty-tang to a classic, and 150 anni dell’Unità d’Italia, a delicate Piedmont hazelnut cream on a melted chocolate mini-tarts. Much to celebrate!
With three locations in Vienna’s 1st, 2nd and 8th districts, all decked out in glistening white marble and soft beige, the family-run ice cream business Leones from South Tyrol focuses on fruit and nut-based flavors with some exotics, such as lychee, saffron and lavender. If you go for the ginger, beware! It is not for the faint of heart. A deliciously refreshing boost on the hottest of summer days, it tingles on the tongue and is just sweet enough to satisfy your post-prandial dessert-cravings.
A modern and artsy ice cream shop, Schelato is colorful on and off the menu: If you go down Lerchenfelder Straße as the sun sets, the light radiates off the shop windows with a warm sheen. To enhance the glow, order a scoop of their “vegan banana split,” a chilled banana with chunks of chocolate – fresh, light and creamy, pungent and fresh. Their colorful palette of flavors changes daily so be open to something new, perhaps a “happy koala with eucalyptus,” “flower sorbet with lavender” or “walnut tofu.” Guaranteed: no artificial colors and flavors found here.
Ice cream is a bit of the conundrum for a vegan – after all, it’s made of milk. Well, usually, but Veganista is the true believer’s dream come true: Its 11 locations all over town beckon with funky concoctions like “cinnamon bun-salted caramel swirl,” Bienenstich (a German almond and vanilla custard dessert), and “orange-olive oil-saffron” – all made from almond, coconut, soy, and oat milk and served in biodegradable cups. Its Inbetwiener is another novelty, with“nut” or rich “praline” ice cream sandwiched between two chewy chocolate chip cookies – also a hit. Take your pick and enjoy one of Vienna’s best ice cream! And you probably ought to get yourself a Stempelkarte (loyalty card). All calorie-free, of course.
Among Josefstädter Straße’s colorful shops and playful family atmosphere is Zuckero, found at No. 73. Quaint and small – it calls itself an Eisdiele, or “ice cream foyer” – Zuckero makes up for its smal stature with its seemingly endless assortment of flavors. “One scoop of cookies in a waffle cone, bitte”. It’s the perfect choice for lovers of classic vanilla and chocolate, with crunchy pieces of chocolate cookie in every lick. It is a bit on the dolce side, so one scoop is enough, even for addicts. The sister Café-Konditorei is at Breitenfurter Straße 1, in the 12th district of Meidling.