Who would have thought a couple of years ago that being vegan would become a mainstream lifestyle? To eat ideologically meat-free is not for hippies anymore, it is for the healthy and trendy now. There are many reasons why, for a change, this is actually a useful trend: not only is a diet without meat and other animal products good for both your body and the environment, it can also be super yummy. Wait – vegan and yummy? Berlin can show you how: Numerous coffeeshops and restaurants are vegetarian or vegan only these days. And to make sure you don’t get lost in the capital’s fruity vegetable jungle, we introduce you to our favorite vegan and vegetarian places in Berlin:
Ok, Starbucks does have soy milk for your venti latte, too. But a real vegan café can be so much more than that, as Freckles Café proves: It is right in the coffeeshop paradise along ever-popular Bergmannstraße in Kreuzberg and their slogan is: “Everything is vegan here!”. As all good cafés, the menu is not extraordinarily large but extraordinarily tasty, with a convincing choice of cakes, tartes and snacks. On the other side of Kreuzberg, not far from Schlesisches Tor, lies what might well be the most cozy vegetarian place in Berlin: Die Rebellion des Zimtsterns is all organic and all meat-free. You can find this cute little paradise with the protesting name and the fair price structure somewhere between the hip borough around Wrangelstraße and the nightclubs at Arena. Don’t miss the vegan rice pudding with almond and coconut milk! Brazil inspired Café Vux in Neukölln is a little more fancy: not only the decoration is (soy) cream of the crop here, but the choice of amazing vegan bagels and cakes will make even the most hardcore meat-consumptionist drool. A poem of cocoa butter and tofu.
Neukölln has long gained a reputation as Berlin’s most vegan borough. Thus it is no surprise that some of the most exciting meat-free restaurants can be found here. Burrito Baby for instance turns normally meatful Mexican street food into a vegan delicacy: mince becomes soy schnetzels, and the rest, too, is at least vegetarian. A few blocks down Weserstraße Let it Be will spoil you with vegan crêpes. You can have everything gluten-free here, too, and the yummy idealism addresses even the rubbish problem: to avoid waste there are no crêpes to go. If you feel more like something real German, you can have that vegan as well: Kopps is a fancy German restaurant at Koppenplatz in Mitte that is 100% free of animal products. And if you find that too posh, you should definitely check out Goura Pakora not far from Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain. They only use regional and organic ingredients, the prices are affordable and the way they make their food follows the old indian tradition of Vedic Cooking. Ok, this one is a little hippie…
You prefer to rattle the pots yourself? Luckily we have a nice guest kitchen at Industriepalast Hostel. You can get all groceries at the first all-vegan supermarket franchise Veganz. Their largest branch store is right on the other side of the bridge and offers an extensive range of animal-free products. A friendly alternative is the Dr. Pogo Veganladen-Kolletiv at Karl-Marx-Platz in Neukölln. On 90 square meters they offer milk and meat substitutes, noodles and rice on tab, cosmetics, literature, and whatever else the plant-fed heart desires.
You think that is it in vegan-friendly Berlin? Not at all! The ice cream parlour of Fräulein Frost in Neukölln for instance offers all sorts of animal-free ice cream. Also, did you know that many cocktails contain additives of egg white or gelatin? Chaostheorie in Prenzlauer Berg is Germany’s first 100% vegan cocktailbar. Seems like there is only one thing missing still: an extended vegan (hangover) brunch: Ohlàlà is a French coffeshop offering a vegan, gluten-free and yummy breakfast every Saturday.
If you need further vegan tips for Berlin, the online platform www.berlin-vegan.de is your best choice: There are further restaurant and café reviews, all sorts of information about becoming vegan, an interesting blog and news concerning meat-free events. Smartphone users can even download the Berlin Vegan Guide, available in the App Store (iOS) and Play Store (Android).
Enjoy exploring vegan Berlin,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.