Swing Kitchen is boutique fast food for vegans. Well, to be fair, the food at Vienna’s Swing Kitchen is delicious. The soft bun, the tender soy burger patty that mingles with the creamy sauce and crunchy roasted onions – all of this delights the tastebuds. Sure, it has little to do with choosing a vegan lifestyle – but who cares as Swing Kitchen is fun. The black-and-white tiles and big lamps in that industrial chic look straight out of New York, the big band swing music playing in the background – it’s all very laissez-faire, yet also aims to draw on (in a modern way) the “innocence” and soul of the big band swingin’ era.
The huge chalkboards assure the guests that all the plastic you see at Swing Kitchen is bio-degradable, while the heavy cast iron trays add to the down-to-earth feel of the “simpler times” theme happening here. Why is the chain called “Swing Kitchen”? It isn’t because of the Swing music. Yet rather, its name reflects the movement it ambitiously aims to inspire in the non-vegan community. As Irene and Karl “Charly” Schillinger, the heads of the whole shebang, put it: “If vegan fast food can make at least some of the meat-eating folk swing to meatless days occasionally, that’s a big win already.”
Since they opened their Swing Kitchen in January 2015, a vegan burger mania has spread in Vienna, resulting in quite a few Swing Kitchen locations opening up all around Vienna.