Tuesday, 13 September 2022
On a long-distance bike tour like the one from Munich to Venice the challenge is not to know when you will arrive where. So upfront research on the net isn't an option unless you really have lots of time to spend on preparing the tour. So when we arrived in Bruneck at lunch time my backlist contained only one item, a small organic supermarket which not only was closed for the
traditional Italian lunch break, but had closed for good a few monthes ago, in June 2022.
Luckily we found a branch of the South-Tyrolean delicatessen
Pur Südtirol selling regional produce, a majority of certified organic quality. Everything is presented in style, there's an organic bakery till and one for cheese and (not organic) cold cuts. A few gravity bins allow customers to refill dry food (not organic as far as I could see); the fresh fruits and greens were all organic.
There's a nice self-serviced cafe corner offering a daily changing seasonal vegetarian main course. Since we wanted to have our bikes within eye-sight outdoor seating was the only option. Unfortunately all these tables were taken, so we decided to proceed our tour through the Puster valley and take with us rolls, which the friendly service staff filled with cheese and some greens while I was waiting.
Across the main street, Graben, a health-food shop, the
Reformhaus Egger can help to complete supplies.
More to try
[The_Conscious_Traveller, Italy, Bruneck, Brunico, Pustertal, Puster_Valley, MuenchenVenezia, organic, biologico, supermarkets, grocery, cafe, eatery, lunch, deli, zero_waste]
Monday, 12 September 2022
The nice little town of Sterzing is not only a train stop on the reliable European train route from Munich over the Alpes to the Veneto, operated by Austrian ÖBB; it's also a destination on the bike route München–Venezia. Unfortunately we arrived there on a Sunday when shops are closed. We did not find a place to have an organic lunch (locals, please help!), so this post is based on up-front research on the net, window shopping on destination and more research on the net afterwards.
On a weekday I would have loved to have a glass of milk at the milk shops of the local organic dairy Milchhof Sterzing. There's one
on the premises of the dairy and a second one in the new town of Sterzing, the Neustadt.
A few steps further down the pedestrian street there's a wonderfully looking delicatessen shop,
Gut&Gerne, offering a good deal organic products from the region. The shop is a venture of the family-run Hotel Lilie nearby and you can buy convenience food from the hotel kitchen and bakery.
The hotel itself does not advertise organic breakfast, but they have dairy products of the Milchhof Sterzing, and given the Gut&Gerne shop window you will likely find more organically or at least more sustainably produced agricultural products from the region. To which extend the hotel restaurant and cafe use organic products I cannot say.
[The_Conscious_Traveller, Italy, Sterzing, Vipiteno, MuenchenVenezia, organic]
Wednesday, 07 September 2022
Innsbruck was a Saturday-to-Sunday overnight stop on the München-Venezia bike route, so this guide is far from complete! The only thing I can say for sure is that finding a (partially) organic place open on Sundays isn't easy.
My first impulse for an organic Sunday morning coffee was Cafe Crema in Welsergasse, a few steps from Landhausplatz, but the place turned out to be closed on Sundays. They promise to use a good deal organic produce from Tyrolean farmers. The coffee is only fairly traded, not organic. You may expect home-made cakes and a small range of savoury snacks for lunch or breakfast.
With option number two I was luckier: Although the Moustache looked like a decent (American-style) bar for an evening out and quite closed from its street address in the morning it turned out that the proper entrance was from Domsplatz, with pleasant outdoor seating. On Sunday mornings they do not serve the usual falafel and hummus sandwiches, but offer a generous brunch buffet, including very palatable hummus, pancakes and cake. About 90 percent of the food, so the promise goes, should be organic.
Unfortunately I was too busy to try all the good stuff on the buffet that I completely forgot to scrutinise the bottles in the adjacent main room. But since the bar looked very well assorted I am sure the bartender will offer an organic gin or more if you ask.
More to try
I love food markets, and had I been in Innsbruck on a week- or Saturday I would have loved to have breakfast or lunch at the
Klein und fein cafe in the Markthalle. Their lunch menu sports a mixture of international classics and Austrian dishes, predominantly vegetarian and made with local, often organic ingredients. They also offer ice-cream made from organic milk. Unfortunately the place is going to close mid of September, 2022. Whether their home-base shop is open to the public I cannot say, but it's certainly not a public restaurant.
As the original plan was to eat out late on Saturday night, I had the sister restaurant to the Salzburg burger grill Ludwig on my list. On Sundays the place is closed.
Next time I'll come to Innsbruck I hope to visit Oscar kocht, the vegetarian restaurant of a chef with Mexican roots promising to cook with predominantly organic ingredients. In summer 2022 Oscar wasn't here, and the female duo of Sloe was serving vegetarian/vegan dinner in this location, though not on Sundays.
When I checked for bicycle-friendly hotels on the München-Venezia bike route I found a hotel that I already had on my shortlist of overnight options offering at least partially organic breakfast:
the Hotel Schwarzer Adler.
Unfortunately our budget wasn't prepared for the price tag they called for that night (more than 300 EUR for the double room), and so the place remains unreviewed here. (The night was spent in a hostel offering organic tea and plant-based drink – not enough to qualify for this post.)
[The_Conscious_Traveller, Austria, Innsbruck, MuenchenVenezia, organic, lunch, dinner, restaurant, cafe, coffee, vegetarian, ice-cream]
Wednesday, 31 August 2022
Meat-lovers, be brave in Verona: All the places I found serving organic food are vegetarian or even vegan.
Piu Gusto Bio offers organic breakfast, health food for lunch as well as coffee and cake. They have outdoor seating on the main street, so unless the corona virus forces you to avoid closed rooms it's nicer to sit inside in the pleasantly decorated air-conditioned cafe. For lunch there are tasty sandwiches and daily changing plates with wholefood preparations inspired by the suggestions of the Havard School of Public Health for a healthy eating plate. Around 2pm choice was limited, but the broiled zucchini and fennel, the aubergine-bean mixture and the falafel-style bean balls were very nice and not as bland as health food often uses to be. All food is vegetarian, most of it vegan. While the coffee was nice (well, it's Italy after all), the chocolate cake was dry and crumbly.
More to try
Satisfied there was no need to proceed to the Ziga bar north of the Adige river, in the neighbourhood of Borgo Trento which promises a little more elaborated vegetarian, though only partially organic lunch and dinner, natural wines and organic beer.
For vegan sweets, coffee, a soup or savoury snack I have Dulcamara
bakery cum self-service day cafe on my list, but my time between two trains did not allow for more than one lunch and an ice-cream.
For vegan organic pizza and pasta try La Laterna. Their signature dish is bigoli (thick "spaghetti-like" pasta)
alla carbonara, and I'm curious how they interpret this rather un-vegan recipe in a vegan style.
Some years ago I found the following pizzeria in Borgo Trento on the web, but all references to opening hours have been gone, so I suppose that the place shut down:
[Verona, organic, biologico, vegan, vegetarian, breakfast, lunch, dinner, restaurant, eatery, cafe, coffee, bakeries]
Monday, 29 August 2022
My stays in Verona usually fill the time between two legs of a train ride: Sufficient time for a refreshing organic ice-cream in the old town – in the summer 2022 even for lunch – and to shop travel provisions. The most important learning to begin with: 2 pm on a Tuesday afternoon turns out to be the wrong time for a gelato.
My first address is the fully organic ice-cream shop Come una volta ("Just like once upon a time"). When closed the shop, located on a street corner in the old town, looks abandoned, and you may start to feel nervous when a minute before the announced opening hour there's still no light to be seen. Be calm: At the exact hour the shop assistant will arrive, unlock the doors and, within a minute, serve your order: Unusual for an ice-cream parlour the containers with the creamy, well-balanced ice-cream are closed and hidden from the visitor's eyes. Unfortunately the shop is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
If so proceeded to the second best, yet older one: The partially organic ice-cream parlour L'Arte del Gelato has been serving artisanal ice-cream since 2002 using organic sugar, chocolate, mint extract and fruit. The milk is produced by South-Tyrolean farms but not certified organic. I was really looking forward to taste their ice-cream again in 2021 as it had been a lip-smacking creamy experience some years before. But unfortunately I met barred doors, with a display of tempting ice-cream cakes behind since I came there on a Tuesday. In 2022 it seems however that they are back to pre-corona everyday opening hours, but I did not have sufficient time to step by.
On the aforementioned day-trip to Verona I also tried to find Gelateria Natù in the neighbourhood of Santa Croce, with little success which again had to do with a train to catch too soon. Their website was kept up to date until 2020 but I do not know whether they are still serving natural artisanal ice-cream made from organic milk and nuts.
Apart from the milk-based varieties there were some vegan fruit flavours and a number of lactose and glutine free nut and chocolate flavours made with rice drink. Besides they use agave syrup instead of sugar.
You may also come here for a coffee, pastry or aperitif but I cannot say whether you have organic options here. Note that this place obeys the typical Italian closing time around noon.
[Verona, organic, biologico, vegan, ice-cream, cafe]