Berlin - 3 Days in a Vegan Paradise
I always felt it was a bit strange that I really haven’t been to Germany until now. I did once sleep 8 hours on the Frankfurt airport’s floor and I also had 3 hours of food shopping in Kiel when I came there with a cruise, but other than that – no proper quality time to get to know the country.
This Berlin weekend getaway was a spontaneous “cheap tickets – why not” kind of thing, so there wasn’t much planning done. What I knew about Berlin? Well, it’s history. Also, that it is a cool city. Cool is a very arguable word and might be defined differently by people, so I was open for whatever will hit me.
What I didn’t know, though, is the fact that Berlin is now ranked as a vegan capital of the world! Oh, lucky me!!
And vegan it really is! Once I started to look for places to eat, I got overwhelmed in a minute and I knew it’s going to be a tough decision time once I am there. My plan was to bookmark as many restaurants as I could find so that there would be at least few options in every area we are planning to visit. There is nothing worse than having to walk for hours while being hungry and searching for vegan options… It brings the worst of me!! Luckily, this cannot happen in Berlin. Vegan food can be found in even the weirdest and the least expected places throughout the whole city.
We spent 2,5 days in Berlin and our goal was to don’t stress, enjoy amazing food, do some shopping and see the main highlights of the city. A simple plan with no proper plan.
We landed in Schönefeld airport around mid-day which means – lunch time! Instead of going straight to our hotel, we decided to jump off S-bahn train at Warschauer Straße station and head to 1990 Vegan Living Vietnamese restaurant. It was one of the top places that I wanted to try and the fact that it is near by a vegan supermarket made this decision very easy. The area is sort of a cluster of vegan restaurants, so even if you aren’t a fan of Vietnamese food (that’s not possible, but OK) you will have loads of choices within every 10 meters.
1990 Vegan Living
Krossener Str.19, 10245 Berlin
The concept they have is that you order different bowls of your choice for the price of 3.5 € each and you choose your base: rice, noodles or red rice. In my opinion, this is the greatest thing ever! You can share and try out so many different dishes! And the table spread is an instagrammers paradise. Tough choices were made, and we decided to go for 5 different bowls with a bowl of noodles each. We chose the famous All Times Favourite seaweed salad, Buddha Bowl, Goi Cuon, Thit Bung and La Lot. It was heaven!
Warschauer Str. 33, 10243 Berlin
This is what you wish existed nearby you. It’s where all the vegan good stuff can be found in one place. My plan was to skip the hotel breakfast and buy our breakfast at this super market instead. Breakfast is one of the most complicated meals for me while travelling. Why? Firstly, I truly believe that I would die if I skipped my breakfast. Or at least I feel like that if I don’t get my morning meal! I have no idea how some people can survive on only coffee in the morning… So, I MUST eat something once I get up. Secondly, there still aren’t many hotels out there that can offer vegan options for breakfast. And no, plain toast isn’t a breakfast.
We bought several yogurt brands to try out and luckily it all fit in our hotel mini fridge.
We stayed at Ellington Hotel Berlin (Nürnberger Str. 50-55, 10789 Berlin), which is located in the shopping district of Berlin. I do recommend the place! I think I never stayed in such a nice hotel before for such a reasonable price.
After we checked in to our hotel we went out for some sightseeing of Berlin’s essentials. Victory Column, Soviet War Memorial Tiergarten, Reichstag, Branderburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral. This isn’t a short stroll to cover on foot, therefore we wanted to finish our evening with some delicious German beer and a nice dinner. And then we found Maximilians.
Friedrichstraße 185-190, 10117 Berlin
This restaurant we found accidentally. Area was full of Italian restaurants and all we wanted was a good German beer…and we got lucky! As a vegan I approached it very carefully, because it is a traditional Bavarian kitchen restaurant - it’s all about bratwurst and goulash here. But it wouldn’t be Berlin if even places like this didn’t have a vegan menu! Ordered some Kale Patties with side salad, had few beers and after a long walk back to hotel we called it a night!
P.S. On the way back we passed by Sony Center (Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin), which is a pretty sight in the night from the inside.
We weren’t early birds that day, but after our little supermarket breakfast we went straight for the metro and went to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It’s a bit hard to describe how I feel about this place. It’s this huge area, what seems like in the middle of nowhere to me, but at the same time it bears such a big meaning and you can’t help but feel a bit touched.
After the Memorial we decided to check out Checkpoint Charlie. Mostly because it was relatively nearby and on the way. Standing in a long queue and paying for my photo to be taken isn’t my most favorite thing to do, but we thought maybe there is something else to the place.
And it was! There was also Charlie’s Beach (Schützenstraße 2, 10117 Berlin, Tyskland)! A beach bar in the middle of the city with actual sand and lounge chairs and several food trucks (falafel wraps and vegetarian “wurst” available). Good place for some rest and couple of beers.
After a nice chillout moment we went for the East Side Gallery (Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin). This is one of the “if you did not go, you haven’t been in Berlin” places. So please visit! It’s easy to spend a couple of hours there. However, we made it short, because someone was getting hungry and that’s risky.
I read a lot of good reviews about Markthalle Neun (Eisenbahnstraße 42/43, 10997 Berlin) and we went straight there in hopes to find some delicious food. However, it must be a bad time of a day or something like that, because most of the stalls were closed. The only vegan option for me was a stall of momos. Since I am saving myself for the real momos experience in Nepal, we went to look further! Didin’t have to go far though, Yellow Sunshine Burger place looked too good to pass by.
Yellow Sunshine Burger
Wiener Straße 19, 10999 Berlin
All vegan burger place. I don’t know about you, my fellow vegans, but ordering a bacon and cheese hamburger was a very weird experience for me! Also, when a vegan place is crowded by masses of non-vegan people – it’s a pretty solid indication how good their burgers are! They also serve a range of organic vegan beers.
After lunch we decided to just go along the Landwehrkanal until we reach Freischwimmer (Vor dem Schlesischen Tor 2, 10997 Berlin) which I have bookmarked as a cute place to have a beer. The restaurant is built on an old wooden pier and really does have its charm! Also, they also have loads of vegan options for food!
Last day we left for shopping. Since our hotel was located in the middle of the shopping district, it was an easy day start. Tauentzienstraße has loads of middle range shops and there is also KaDeWe mall for brand lovers or windows shoppers like me. Bikini Mall is probably the coolest mall I ever visited with it’s pop-up boutiques and industrial designs. We continued our shopping journey and went to Mall of Berlin which is one of the biggest malls in the city. The clock was ticking, and we still had to find a place to eat before our flight home, so we decided to go for some Indian food in nearby restaurant Bombay Spice (Wilhelmstraße 79, 10117 Berlin). Their menu is pretty wide and most of the dishes can be made with tofu.
It’s hard to describe Berlin. There are people who love it and there are those who don’t like it at all. That’s what I heard people say. As I told in the beginning, cool is a very arguable definition. Berlin is alternative, it’s for sure liberal and expressive. But it’s just not the most charming city for me.
Would I like to live in Berlin? The answer is no. (Yes, even with all the vegan culture around!)
Would I like to come back? Probably not in the nearest future. I had great time for these couple of days, had some new experiences, enjoyed wonderful food, took a glance at the past, because the city itself is a living reminder of it. Berlin is worth seeing and making your own mind about it!
- Berlin isn’t a small city and going most of the distances by foot will consume both your time and the energy. Use public transport!
- If you plan on using public transportation at least 3 times a day – buy the visitors pass! We bought daily passes two days in a row and skipped the first day since we went mostly by foot anyways.
- Carry cash with you! This was the biggest shock to me – most restaurants in Berlin doesn’t take cards. Some take only specific cards (my usual debit Visa card has been rejected several times, which happens... almost nowhere else).
- It’s allowed to drink beer in public places, so there is a lot of people doing it. It’s pretty cool! However, I kind of feel weirdly about an adult on a Monday early noon drinking beer on the metro.