Vollpension (Vienna, Austria)

Interior at Vollpension
The inside of Vollpension is cozy and welcoming

Vollpension is a bakery, where you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner. But it is more than that. They call themselves a “generational coffee house”, a social enterprise to bring generations together. Their reasoning: in busy cities nowadays there is not a lot of room for  meaningful conversations between people, especially between generations. Quite some seniors in big cities in Austria (and other places) are lonely, and have a low income since it is harder for older people to find jobs. Vollpension is a social initiative to bring young and old together, to provide jobs and a social network to older people. About 60% of the employees at Vollpension are over 55. The idea of visiting Vollpension is like going to your grandparents, for a cup of tea and a piece of pie.

Cups at Vollpension
Mismatched coffee cups!

I love this initiative and I am not alone! For brunch Vollpension was super busy! If you plan to go, maybe reserve in advance to guarantee a spot. The idea of “grandmothers kitchen table” is also present in the interior. Mismatched cups, comfy chairs, cozy-kitchy furnitures and decorations…very welcoming! In the back pies are being baked by the seniors according to family recipes. They have actually published a book with recipes and stories from the bakers (only in German I believe)

Drinks at Vollpension
Coffee, orange juice and soy milk in the small can

We went for brunch on Sunday morning and as mentioned before, it was very busy. There was place on the terrace but it was a bit chilly. Fortunately there was still place at the ‘kitchen table’, a large table where several groups of people could sit. There is a vegan breakfast option; the ‘Kerndlfresser’, and a vegan bircher muesli. (These options are clearly marked on the menu ) Additionally there is soy milk for coffee and there are some vegan cakes! When I was there I believe there was no vegan option for the lunch or dinner, but the menu changes of course.

Vegan breakfast at Vollpension
Vegan breakfast: the kerndlfresser (if someone knows what that means, please leave a comment…I am curious!)

The Kerndlfresser consists of two slices of bread, from a Wiener bakery, oven-roasted veggies, carrot spread, a fruit salad and some raw veggies, all sprinkled with sunflower seeds. The veggies, aubergine, potato, zucchini, and cauli flower, are nice. I really liked the carrot spread, it also had pumpkin which gave an additional sweetness. The fruit salad consisted of melon and pine-apple, and was the least interesting part in my opinion. The bircher muesli is huge! The muesli itself is mixed with berries, then a grated apple layer, topped with some strawberries.

Bircher museli at Vollpension
Bircher museli

There are several cakes on the menu, but none are vegan. However, there were some more cakes available, among which a vegan lemon cake! It is very nice, so very fluffy and soft!

Vegan cake at Vollpension
Vegan lemon pie!

I really like this social initiative, and Vollpension is such a welcoming place! It is great to see that it is so successful. The food served at brunch was great! It would be nice if they could add some vegan options for the lunch, but after a brunch that size you won’t be hungry for a while anyway 🙂 Oh just one note, like several other places in Vienna, you can only pay with cash here!

 

Type of place:  Cafe/Bakery
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes!

Website (German) : https://www.vollpension.wien/

Brunchroom (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Brunchroom in Amsterdam has been on my “places to try” list for a while now. The ‘problem’ is that a> I don’t go to Amsterdam that often, and b> Amsterdam has quite some choices for vegans, so my “to visit” list has been growing for a while! A few weeks ago I visited Amsterdam again and I decided that this time, I really had to go get some vegan waffles (!!).

Table at Brunchroom
Reading table

Brunchroom is a bit away from the Amsterdam city centre, but definitively within walking distance from the Central Station. The place is a bit small, but very cosy and cute. It was also quite busy! Fortunately we could still nab a spot at the reading table.

Interior at Brunchroom
Waffles are huge but I still don’t wanna share!

As the name implies, here brunch is served in many shapes; eggs, yoghurt, sandwiches, soups, waffles and a variety of drinks, such as coffee (milk alternatives available: soy and almond), tea, chocolate, juices and smoothies. Their menu changes a bit with the seasons, I noticed they still have the winter menu on their website. There are several vegan options, for the sandwiches, soups, smoothies and of course the waffles! There is also a vegan speciality coffee, the lavender latte. Of course, me and my trusted better half took it upon us to try to taste as much as we could!

Drinks at Brunchroom
How pretty do these look!

We tried both vegan smoothies that were available: the lambada (peach, coconut, banana, orange, turmeric) and the twist (beets, dates, strawberry and banana) They were delicious and thick, and presented so beautifully! The Lavender latte is an espresso with frothed hot coconut milk and lavender. I liked the concept, but I find the taste of coconut milk in coffee often too overpowering.

Drinks at Brunchroom
Nice details

For the waffles you can choose your own toppings, which are divided into a few groups based on the price. There are a lot of vegan options, and even vegan whipped cream! Choosing toppings took a while because there were so many options.  In the end I tried a combination of peanut butter and banana, a classic, with some additional pumpkin seeds. My husband tried peanut butter, fig jam and maple syrup. The waffles were delicious and thick, and huge!

Waffles at Brunchroom
Peanut butter-banana-pumpkin seed and peanut butter-fig jam-maple syrup

Even with so much other stuff to try in Amsterdam, I cannot wait to go back to the Brunchroom!

Type of place: Brunch/Breakfast
Completely vegan: no
Website (Dutch, English) : http://brunchroom.nl/