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My Berlin Vegan Food Diary


It feels like everyone and their dog has been to Berlin in the past few years. There's no doubting that the German city is definitely in vogue. Fascinating history, great architecture and hip locals, it's easy to see why so many people are flocking there for a city break - but personally, my reason for my trip back in May with my mum was to sample the the insane amount of vegan food (though I did end up falling in love with the city and liked it a lot more than I thought I would). 

Berlin is widely considered the vegan capital of Europe, and that was pretty much my whole reason for wanting to go there. And last May, me and my mum made the trip across. While we definitely still made time to explore the different tourist spots (I wrote this architectural guide for work last year and just had to see it all for myself) my nose was glued to my phone's Yelp app looking for great places to sample some plant-based goodness. Here's the places that made my shortlist. 

Curry by the Wall




You can't go to Berlin and not try a currywurst, or avoid Checkpoint Charlie - and this place combines together two quintessential Berlin must-dos. It's hard to miss this place as it's right beside where some of the original wall still stands (and is bright red). I had the veggie version while my mum had the meat version. It was the first time either of us had sampled currywurst and while it wasn't horrible, it's one of these national foods that gets blown out of proportion (it's like tourists coming to Scotland and getting really excited about trying Haggis...even though Scottish people tend to only eat it on Burns night or St Andrew's Day). 

Samadhi



Not far from the Brandenburg Gate, this seems to be a popular spot for vegans visiting Berlin if my Instagram comments were anything to go by. It's not something a lot of people know, but I studied Buddhism as a teenager (what do you mean you spend your youth drinking and sneaking out?) and I recognised the word Samādhi (it's a type of consciousness level that is above day-to-day living) and knew I was probably in the right place for a conscious lunch. 

The menu was large here and comes with a picture book so you can get a good idea of portion sizes. While I should maybe have tried branching away from my norm while on holiday, I immediately began eyeing up the dishes with tofu in them because I'm a basic vegan bitch. But I'm glad I did because this was potentially the best tofu I have ever eaten (emphasis on the ever, guys). 

Mariona Berlin



This wasn't somewhere I had been planning to go; me and my mum were heading to the Oberbaum Bridge, passed it on the way there and noticed the vegan sign outside. Honestly, the idea of an Italian didn't thrill me as I have sat and silently ate way more arrabiata pasta that I would like to, just to be polite and not make a fuss. But we didn't have any food plans that day so I thought I'd thought I'd give it a try. 

It was nice, nothing to rave about but nice. The vegan menu was obviously a new touch as it was handwritten, and it was in German so I picked out the gnocchi (because it was a word I recognised*). It was cooked in a herby sauce of some kind and while it was tasty, it isn't something I haven't already eaten and felt a little stereotypically vegan.

Duo



Also on the way to the Oberbaum Bridge me and my mum passed by this cute little ice-cream parlour that also offered vegan flavours. The place is very unassuming but the guy behind the till was lovely and gently laughed as he translated all the flavours into English. Quality wise it was your standard ice-cream and this place is a little out the way, but it's always nice when your mum buys you an ice-cream cone (even when you're 26). 

SOY



Now we're onto the good stuff! Found not far from the Fernsehturm, I had heard about SOY before I left for Berlin and was determined to find out if its 5 star ratings were well-earned. Turns out they were, and this was the best lunch I had while there - both in terms of food quality and restaurant atmosphere. 

It was an impressive menu and being the stereotypical vegan I am I was still drawn to the tofu (it's a Vietnamese restaurant) but this time it came with a twist: it was STUFFED? Mate I've eaten a lot of tofu, in a lot of restaurants, and not come across stuffed tofu before! Truthfully it was tofu cubes sliced through the middle and filled like a sandwich but we can overlook that. And it was delicious, which is all that matters at the end of the day. 

Aside from the food, the atmosphere was spot on. SOY had a trendy atmosphere that successfully stayed away from deep hipster territory, and I'd say it was similar to that of 13th Note in Glasgow.

Veganz



Not exactly a restaurant - but what vegan visits Berlin and doesn't stop by the vegan supermarket? Me and my mum were staying in your simple hotel room but walking round the isles here I wish I had opted for a self-catering apartment, AirBnB or hostel, as most of the food needed a fridge or cooked in someway. The supermarket has its own self-branded food items - such as the 'make your own Seiten' packet of wheat gluten I bought (that I still haven't used/worked out how to use) - while there are some brands that you'll recognise from the UK.

Little Green Rabbit



Me and my mum booked a late afternoon flight home and we didn't want anything too heavy for our final meal. Little Green Rabbit wasn't far from where we were staying and we had passed it a few times while wandering around the Check Point Charlie area, and it looked like it would fit the bill. It's a canteen sort of style place where you pick your base and add vegetables of your own choice. Despite being a hot day I opted for the Yellow Thai Curry, which was lovely but perfectly light at the same time. They also sell a range of smoothies and it's the kind of place where you know you're getting plenty of vitamins and your food is healthy as well as kind.

Are you a vegan who has been to Berlin? Where did you choose to eat?

Morag x

* I'd recommended learning German before going to Berlin. While the locals can speak English and will do when they realise you only know English, they will speak in German to you automatically and a lot of menus are German. 

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