Travel Bites: The Best Veggie Eats in Berlin

Home to the bratwurst, currywurst and schnitzel, Germany may not necessarily be a country you associate with vegetarianism. But Berlin is out to turn this idea around, and vegan and vegetarian restaurants, cafés, bakeries and even supermarkets are popping up all over the place.

When Matt and I recently visited Berlin, we ate predominantly vegan and dined in some amazing places. Making our way around the city eating everywhere from fast food cafés to white tablecloth restaurants, we enjoyed every bite.

Here’s a quick run down of our tastiest meals:

Fast Rabbit

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“Delicious as Fuck”, reads the slogan on the window. A big claim, perhaps, but one that Fast Rabbit does not struggle to live up to. This vegan “fast food” café in the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood serves a range of wraps, salads, soups and baked goods. Not so much “fast food” in the McDonald’s or Subway sense but in the freshly-made-to-order-but-pretty-speedy sense.

Fast Rabbit Table

Their speciality is their “Dirty Wrap”: a freshly made tortilla filled with either Oriental or Mexican ingredients (or a mix of both if you’re feeling indecisive). I went for Oriental with mixed vegetables, red lentils and home-made lemon hummus. Divine.

There are different combo options and at just €7.50 for the “Fast Rabbit” combo, which includes a wrap, fresh salad and a drink, the meals are great value.

Fast Rabbit Wrap
Oriental Dirty Roll – grilled vegetables, red lentils, lettuce, and lemon hummus.

The café’s décor and design is awesome with hand-written menus, eco wall gardens, a broken skateboard coat rack, and rabbity artwork dotted around the walls (I bought an awesome framed rabbit print by the tattoo artist wife of one of the waitresses). Oh, and there’s a lovely, big dog under one of the tables. Just quietly hanging out.

P2013632
The dog was hiding.

The entire menu is vegan, though (somewhat oddly) they do offer dairy milk for coffee. I suppose they don’t serve vegan food for the sake of serving vegan food; rather, they serve great food that just happens to be vegan.

Highly, highly recommend if you’re ever in Berlin.

P2013637c
Indeed.

Lucky Leek

The Lucky Leek features a small, 100% vegan menu that changes daily to make use of fresh market produce.

With starters priced around €7-€8 and mains between €14-€18, it is one of the pricier veggie options; though not exactly breaking the bank it was a little more than we anticipated spending on our traveller’s budget. However, we decided to go ahead and spoil ourselves and it was well worth it!

You know a place is fancy when there’s words like ‘cassoulet’ ‘piccata’ and ‘jus’ on their menu… In the one dish. Feeling like plebs, we didn’t know what half of the menu items were so we though we’d just wing it and hope for the best. We were not disappointed.

Unfortunately, being a classy joint with low-lighting, it wasn’t the most opportune of places for taking photos. Here’s one sneaky (if slightly grainy) shot of my zucchini rolls with cauliflower crème brulee and black lentils and watercress.

Lucky Leek Starter
Zucchini Rolls with Crème Brulee

The presentation of dishes was impeccable but unfortunately, you’ll just have to imagine my ravioli with Riesling ‘cheese’ sauce main, and Matt’s Shiitake Mushrooms and Thai Wonton Soup starter and Red Onion Seitan Steak main. (Or you could check out their Happy Cow profile for a bit of food porn.) We were also given complimentary canapés; I’m not sure what they were (a lentil something on a spoon and a bread something in tiny cubes) but they were delightfully presented and delicious.

The service was polite and attentive without being overbearing and the free starter was a nice touch. I’d definitely recommend this restaurant as a special occasion or date venue but make sure you book in advance as it’s incredibly popular.

Vego Foodworld

Vego Foodworld - Exterior

To say this place had a lot of different burgers on their menu would be an understatement.  There were about 30 burgers on the menu, all vegan. Yep, thirty. Yep, all vegan. Plus, they serve a range of vegan wraps, pizzas and snacks all for ridiculously good prices. An entire meal – burger, fries, salad and drink – for under €10? That’s more like it!

Vego Foodworld - Interior
The small restaurant was packed with diners and people picking up take-away when we went at dinner time.

With so many options, I struggled a little to narrow down my choice to just one, so in the end I played it safe and went for the burger named after the joint – the vego Burger. It had a tofu patty with lettuce, aubergine, carrot, courgette, red pepper and grilled ‘cheese’. Although I couldn’t finish it (with my massive plate of fries and salad!), I can honestly say it’s one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.

Vego Foodworld - Vego Burger
vego Burger

Matt went for the sChicken Schnitzel Hawaii Burger with a ‘chicken’ schnitzel patty, veggie ‘bacon’, tomato, pineapple, lettuce and some fancy sauce. It was crispy and beachy and although I’m not big on fake meats but it wasn’t at all ‘meaty’. I can imagine eating this burger outdoors on a balmy summer evening.

Vego Foodworld - Hawaii Burger
sChicken Schnitzel Hawaii Burger

With super-friendly service, a relaxed vibe and amazing food at wallet-friendly prices, it would have been plain silly not to return! On our final day, we ducked back for ‘linner’ (lunch/dinner, obviously) before heading to the airport.

This time I wanted something slightly lighter so I went for the Huton Wrap with Peking-style tofu, salad and ‘cheese’ sauce and Matt got the Hot Chilli Cheese Burger.

Vego Foodworld - Wrap
Hutong Wrap
Vego Foodworld - Chilli Burger
Hot Chilli Cheese Burger

Again, we were both really pleased with our choices, though I don’t think they could possibly outdo the first night.

If you’re in Berlin, go here. (Not a recommendation, a demand!)

Chay Viet

Chay Viet - Exterior
Unfortunately my camera didn’t like their fluorescent sign…

Summer Rolls aside, I’ve never really liked Vietnamese food. Purely because I’ve never found much vegetarian food on the menu. However, I’ve always wanted to like it, so upon finding a purely vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse!

Surprisingly bigger on the inside, Chay Viet is a welcoming restaurant with friendly staff and a casual vibe. The interior is casually decorated with pot plants and Vietnamese art and statuettes.

Although I wanted to order everything on the large menu, I can never go past summer rolls. Especially ones filled with tofu. After marvelling at the size of dishes as they made their way to everyone else’s tables, my summer rolls didn’t disappoint. They were huge.

Chay Viet - Summer Rolls
Tofu and vegetable Summer Rolls

Luckily, they were quite a light dish so I still had room for (most of) my main of curry with mixed vegetables and two types of tofu.

Chay Viet - Curry
Vegetable and Tofu Curry

Matt started with the spring rolls and went for vegetable and tofu rice noodles as his main. Unlike most spring rolls that come in pastry, these were more like fried batter casings. Perhaps it’s deep fried rice paper? Either way, they were pretty darn good.

Chay Viet - Spring Rolls
Vegetable Spring Rolls
Chay Viet - Noodles
Rice Noodles with Vegetables and Tofu

The photos really don’t do this place justice. It. Was. Amazing.

We paid around €26 for two huge courses and a drink each and almost rolled out of the place. Insanely good value!

____

So, I’m just going to throw this out there… Berlin is now up there as one of my favourite cities I’ve been to. And it’s definitely one of my favourite cities I’ve eaten my way through.

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11 thoughts on “Travel Bites: The Best Veggie Eats in Berlin

  1. It’s so good to hear that berlin is taking the lead in Germany! I live in the back of beyond, so would have to travel to munich for vegan restaurants probably, but there was a food fair in Nuremberg last week and they advertised several vegan supermarkets popping up all over. Glad you enjoyed it, and one day i will finally get back there and will definitely try these places out. Thanks!

    1. I do hope Berlin’s love of veggie food spreads! And enjoy it if you do head back there. :)

      We did go to the vegan supermarket Veganz and it was amazing (post to come)! They seem to be sprouting up in more and more places; a branch is opening in London this year!

      1. I heard about the supermarket just recently – and in the Cook Veg magazine it was mentioned too. If you visit it I hope you’ll do a post! :D

  2. These restaurants look great! I will definitely use it as a guide the next time I find myself in Berlin. I especially love the “delicious as fuck” slogan – like a punk rock vegan restaurant!

    What were you in Berlin for, just out of curiosity?

    1. I’m glad you like it! Fast Rabbit was definitely my favourite place we went to in terms of atmosphere and design, though foodwise, it’s too hard to choose.

      I went to Berlin with a friend for a long weekend. We just went to tourist and explore; Berlin has been up the top of my list for years but somehow, I’d not managed to get there yet. I finally did and I fell in love! :)

  3. me too! I went there 1 year ago& also visited veganz, the vegan supermarket & a wonderful vegan eaterie called freckles! You can read more about it here: http://sophiesfoodiefiles.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/travelling-sophie-berlin-part-4-all-vegan/ & here too: http://sophiesfoodiefiles.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/travelling-sophie-berlin-part-3/
    In this last post, I went to a top vegan restaurant? but it was a bit dissapointing?!!! Not very creative, if I must say. X
    Your vegan eateries are looking great but often their interiors are not cool.

    1. We went to Veganz too and stocked up on goodies! I may do a post on it soon.

      That’s a shame you didn’t enjoy the vegan restaurant that you went to. We really loved all the places we went, though Fast Rabbit definitely won in terms of cool interiors; it was just my kind of place! :)

  4. […] Vegan Tuck Box is a snack and treat subscription service but they also have an online store selling a huge range of products individually. With vegan products sourced from all over the world, you will find hard-to-get items like the amazing-looking German chocolate from Schakalode. As they sold Vego bars, we ended up in a great discussion with the stall rep about the Berlin restaurant by the same name and all the amazing Vegan places to eat in the German capital; I think I’m going to have to take a trip back to try out all the places we didn’t make it to when we went earlier this year! […]

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