The hype is true: Berlin could very well be the vegan capital of the world

Berlin: Marienkirche and Fernsehturm

A recent trip to Berlin (above) confirmed to me its status as one of the world鈥檚 capital cities for vegans. I鈥檇 been once before, as a vegetarian, and was decently catered for, but a few years later and eating out is an absolute delight.

During our five days there, we barely scraped the surface of the options available, but suffice it to say, it made such an impression that I鈥檓 headed back again in just a few months to revisit the wonderful food sampled last time, and to dig ever deeper into what鈥檚 on offer for vegans.

On the way to our hotel, in the fashionable area of Friedrichshain (on which this piece is going to focus), we stopped in the Teutonic equivalent of a kebab and falafel shop (Haroun al Rachid, Neue Bahnhofstr. 28), it being around lunchtime after a long morning, and us having spotted a board advertising 鈥榲egan halloumi鈥.

Not realising quite how vegan-friendly this whole area was, I went in and interrogated the guy behind the counter about the exact nature of the 鈥榗heese鈥, which was basically tofu slices in a fine batter. It was cheap and it was fresh and it was tasty (see below).

Haroun al Rachid: vegan halloumi

This was just one of a myriad such places, all advertising vegan choices, around the station Ostkreuz.

I always prefer to eat in totally plant-based restaurants, but I love the idea of a city in which vegans are catered for wherever they go and with whomsoever they are travelling. I鈥檓 lucky enough to do most of my travelling with someone of the same dietary persuasion as me, but for those with omnivore companions, I know eating out can be an issue. After that first meal, though, I stuck entirely to vegan-only food establishments.

From there we headed to our hotel, the Almod贸var, chosen for its purely vegetarian breakfast menu and ethical stance.

Having googled the breakfast, I knew I was going to be good鈥 but 鈧17.50 worth of good? My travelling buddy likes a bargain, and who could possibly be providing that much food first thing in the morning that we would want to eat? We agreed to try the buffet at the hotel’s Bistro Bardot (see below) on the first day and henceforth play it by ear.

Berlin Almodovar Hotel, Bistro Bardot

And, yeah, upshot was that we breakfasted there on all four mornings: long lazy breakfasts that went on for well over an hour. Vegan croissants, freshly baked pretzels, several varieties of bread were served alongside currywurst, scrambled tofu, several types of cold 鈥榤eats鈥 and dairy-fresh cheeses, and several varieties of cake and muffin. This is on top of the cereals, fruits, juices, coffees and rustic-looking teas.

Friedrichshain is just a wonderfully cool area. Formerly part of East Germany, Continue reading →