There’s no denying that Berlin is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world. But when your time in the German capital is limited, such an amazing choice of eateries can be overwhelming.
When we went to Berlin in October 2019, I knew one thing: I was going to eat well. However, choosing which restaurants, bars and cafés to visit wasn’t as straightforward. With only so much time and appetite to spare, I had to accept that we’d only scratch the surface of Berlin’s unbelievable vegan scene. Nevertheless, we left feeling satisfied that we’d sampled a good mix of everything that the city had to offer. Not only that, but I definitely ate some of the best vegan food of my life… Stick around for more on that later.
So let’s get to it. Here are some of the amazing places we ate at, with a succinct summary of why I think you should visit too!
The Locals’ Experience
OK, full disclosure; I have no idea if real Berliners actually ever chow down at Curry at the Wall. But I see no reason why they wouldn’t. The little kiosk offers a no-nonsense menu of bratwurst, currywurst, and fries, all of which come in vegan-friendly forms. For me, part of traveling is sampling local delicacies, so it’s always nice when plant-based alternatives are available.
In my opinion, you can’t really go wrong with tasty, stodgy food. And it’s even better when it’s washed down with a bottle of beer. With that in mind, Curry at the Wall is the perfect pre-drinking spot or hangover haunt.
Another thing that this tempting little hole-in-the-wall has going for it is its location. As the name suggests, it sits right next to one of the remaining chunks of the Berlin Wall. It’s also adjacent to the thought-provoking Topography of Terror museum. Furthermore, the eatery is within walking distance of Checkpoint Charlie, with many other sights dotted nearby. So there’s no excuse not to make Curry at the Wall a stop on your itinerary.
La Dolce Vita
Italian food has long been a people-pleaser, for omnis and vegans alike. However, I can’t think of many plant-based pizzas that can match up to those at La Stella Nera in Neukölln. Cooked to perfection on a traditional Neopolitan base with outstanding topping combinations, you’ll be hard-pushed just to pick one. And you might encounter further confusion when perusing the mouth-watering pasta options. The selection of starters and desserts also deserves a mention. Though we didn’t try any, there’s still some regret that I passed up the opportunity to try vegan tiramisu and cannoli.
The Fast Food Fix
There’s a lot of stuff to see and do in Berlin. So if you find yourself stuck for time, there’s nowhere handier than McDonald’s to grab a quick bite. And in Germany, the plant-based option doesn’t disappoint (unlike the U.K. offering… Veggie Dippers? WTF). Let me introduce you to the Big Vegan TS burger. Aka, one juicy soy and wheat patty, served inside a classic sesame seed bun with tomato, lettuce, red onion and the undisputed (OK, maybe a little bit disputed) king of the Big Mac – the gherkin! The result is fast food magic; Meaty and familiar, but completely revolutionary.
I know there are many vegans who wouldn’t dream of stepping foot in a McDonald’s given what the company represents. Honestly, I admire this stance. However, Germany has got it so bang on with the Big Vegan that it could definitely convert some of the most staunch meat-eaters. For that reason, I chose to support it – three times in one week.
The Burger Alternative
For those who don’t wish to spend their money in the world’s largest restaurant chain, and want their burger fill all the same, check out Swing Kitchen. This Austrian company puts environmentalism at the heart of its operation, to create a delectable menu of guilt-free fast food. Top tip: The garlic sauce and French fries are an absolute must!
So far, the all-vegan chain has two locations in Berlin. One of them is on Georgenstraße, by Friedrichstraße Station. This location is handy for the amazing Tränenpalast museum, Museum Island and Berliner Dom. You can find the second restaurant on Rosenthaler Straße. This is the one that we ate at between drinks in one of our favourite Berlin neighbourhoods, Mitte.
The Best Vegan Food Ever
We visited Alaska in Neukölln on our first evening in Berlin, and again on our last night one week later…. and quite honestly, I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.
From the outside, you’d never tell what culinary wonders lie within this unassuming, dingy little bar. However, to browse Alaska’s traditionally-Spanish tapas menu is to look greatness in the eye. Over our two visits, we sampled most of the dishes on offer, and I can report that all of them were unreal. However, special mention has to go the somehow-eggy vegan tortilla, the smoky carrot lox and the crispy patatas bravas – all of which were simple yet delicious. No words can do the food here justice. All I will say is that, if you are going to Berlin soon, Alaska needs to be on the top of your agenda.
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Clearly, there are many more vegan hotspots in Berlin, and I can’t wait to return to the city to sample more. In the meantime, let me know your favourite places to eat in the German capital, so I can add them to my “must visit” list for next time.