Recently, I was very lucky to visit Berlin for a couple of days. Having heard that Germany is extremely veggie and vegan-friendly, I couldn’t wait to touch down and see what the city had to offer. Of course, I wanted to see as much as could of Berlin in the short time I was there, and it was wonderful to get a real feel for the city.
About 10% of Germany’s population is vegetarian/vegan, so the demand for good quality products is high. There are so many bio and organic shops, supermarkets and health food stores (I even saw one in Alexanderplatz train station) that it seems that the Germans are more committed to living a less processed diet than we see in the UK, and of course there is a greater focus on meat and dairy-free options for people, in contrast to Belgium.
I tend to try and get around on foot as much as I can when I visit somewhere new, as I like discovering secret alleyways or cute little bistros which i wouldn’t get to see if travelling on the metro or a tram. I was thrilled to find so many restaurants and cafes actively advertising that they do vegan options, and these were not speciality places – just standard eateries.
What was also brilliant was being able to grab a coffee from anywhere and being offered soya milk – marvellous! I struggle to drink black coffee, so on a chilly Berlin morning, a soya cappuccino was just the ticket!
Of course, Berlin is such a large city, I suggest having a look on the Happy Cow App and also Trip Advisor for vegan/veggie/organic etc places near to where you are. I was lucky enough to be staying in the cool Alexanderplatz area, and there were plenty of places to grab some food on the go.
I must recommend Bio Company, it is an organic supermarket with a bakery and cafe, and is FULL of vegan products that I had no idea existed. It is not 100% vegan by any means, but is a great option if you want to grab some coconut water (I am loving that so much at the moment) and some veganwurst to snack on as you explore your surroundings.
A little gem that I stumbled upon after a morning of museums was a vegetarian/vegan cafe called Katjes Cafe Grün-Ohr. I had a lovely chat with one of the girls who worked there who happily pointed me in the direction of the vegan cakes. And of course, it would be rude not to have a strudel when in Germany! I like to think the green juice helped balance it out. I really recommend this place if you are in the area and fancy some ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ as my German Great Grannie would say.
The final night was a treat indeed as we headed to vegan restaurant Kopps. I had read some excellent reviews, and as it was relatively close to where our hotel was, it seemed like a no-brainer. If you are on a tight budget, then this might not be the place for you, as it isn’t cheap, but you do get what you pay for here: excellent service in a stylish setting with delicious, fresh, gourmet vegan food, presented beautifully. I tried the cocktail of the day, which was mango mixed with champagne, two of my favourite things in one glass.
Berlin is a fantastic city, full of history and you must see as much as you can. I really hope to return and spend a little more time there in the future (and eat more. A lot more).
Rachida is a freelance journalist specialising in editing text written by non-native English speakers. She also runs The Green V website along with her blog, A Vegan in Brussels. Her goal is to make veganism more contemporary and accessible and to eat as much vegan cheese as humanly possible.