Today is the first post of many that will shed a little light on some of my favorite destinations during my travels in Europe. I will be listing them in order of experience not in order of favorites.
If you’ve ever been to Vienna, Austria you’ve probably heard of this historic market. Two street blocks are occupied by the vendors and restaurants of Der Nashmarkt. On one side you’ll find restaurant after restaurant with great open seating, where you can’t distinguish where the outside ends and the inside begins. On the parallel side you will find the same layout but with food vendors. You can find anything from tea and spices to specialty olives and cheeses.
This market is really an experience to the foreign eye. At first glance it seems as if this place goes on forever. And to be honest it does. I would recommend going here for lunch or pre-dinner drinks. The food shopping on the other hand, is a little deceiving. With any fresh produce market, the vendors will have almost identical carts. That’s to be expected. Unfortunately, the specialty items such as gourmet olives and various other antipastos are most definitely monopolized and therefore are repeated at each different vendor without variation.
Don’t be too discouraged though– like I said, the restaurants are really really cool and stretch beyond traditional viennese cuisine to offer asian and Mediterranean (just to name a few). Just walk a couple of store fronts and you will be transported to a different part of the world.
Even the food vendors are worth a trip to at least experience once in your life.
A tip I have for anyone wishing to visit this place while in Vienna, and for really any meal eaten while traveling, is to walk around and get your barring before you commit to a restaurant for food or a drink. A general rule of thumb that I live by when traveling is; Go where the biggest line has formed, whether it’s an extremely long line at a market stand, or an overly crowded restaurant nestled next to a somewhat empty one. Clearly, the line has formed for a reason. People don’t like to wait around for nothing, if a line has formed it’s because this place is worth the wait.
So, take it all in and go to the place with the most [local] people. International travelers don’t count mind you- they all gathered because this hypothetical restaurant is the only one to offer an english menu, and well… do you really want to eat a menu made specifically for you with company just like you while in a foreign land? If you’re reading this blog the answer better be a big fat NO. It’s fun to run into someone just like you from 3 towns or states away while abroad, but it’s not fun to have lunch with the entire American population that happens to be traveling at the very same time. You’re traveling to experience another culture, and food is a significant part of culture, just remember that!
What’s your favorite way to experience a foreign culture?
Do you tend to flock to or flee from what’s culturally comfortable to you while abroad?
Do you have any questions about traveling or my trip that you would like to have answered? (I’m putting together a Q&A for my last recap post, so please please let me know!!!)