Berlin Vegan Guide

When two super dulce Italianos asked us to housesit and take care of their equally amiable Italian shadow cat named Giulio in Berlin this February we jumped at the chance. We had been in touch with them previously because we applied to their listing on Trusted Housesitters for Christmas, but they were already booked. A couple months later, they contacted us again, asking if we were available for February. We checked flights and couldn’t say no to 70 euros round trip, especially since Berlin was somewhere we had our plant-based eyes on for a while. This Berlin vegan guide is by no means a comprehensive list, just our personal experiences on the options we were most interested in trying. There were still far more that we didn’t have the time to get to in our week and a half there.

We arrived on a frigid Thursday night to a homemade 3-course vegan meal and excellent conversation. We immediately felt at home and ready to take on Berlin – once we had a good night’s rest, of course. House sitting is much more than a free place to rest your head. For us, it’s super important to connect with home and pet owners, and we immediately clicked with our hosts in Berlin!

Since this is a Berlin vegan guide, it’s worth noting that Berlin mostly seems to be a cash only city. We never bother taking a lot of cash with us when we travel because we charge everything to our travel credit card to get all the points! In Berlin, we had to succumb to the stupid ATM fees a couple times because very few places took credit cards. We were quite surprised since most places in Madrid take cards and Berlin is an even bigger city. So be forewarned! Cash is king here.

Let It Be Creperie – 100% Vegan

Sam’s first international trip was to France when she was eight years old. In Brittany, she had the most memorable food of her life: a crepe Lorraine with ham and cheese. For the 17 years since she’s been searching to duplicate that experience – and the search came to an end here.

Alternative Travelers Berlin Vegan Guide - Let It Be
The interior is homey and cozy.

All of the crepes (both sweet and savory) are named after vegan celebrities: Moby, Woody Harrelson, Daryl Hannah…etc. They also have burgers (Thom Yorke, Chrissy Hynde, Peter Dinklage + more), salads,  and sides, but we came for the crepes.

We had two savory crepes. These are the first crepes we had that felt like we were eating a crepe instead of a flour tortilla – light, fluffy, slightly chewy but still cut easily with a fork.

Alternative Travelers Berlin Vegan Guide - Let It Be

Sam had the Woody Harrelson: a traditional ham, cheese and leek filling. The cheese texture was on point: thinner than cream cheese, thicker than cream. It tasted rich, well complimented by the salty smoky ham, with the leeks’ fresh springy-ness shining throughout. The Erykah Badu was a bit unorthodox but nonetheless impressive. The sweet softness of the sweet potato, the creamy rich peanut butter sauce, and the fresh spinach went very well together.

The crepes are big, so expect to be satisfied with one. We didn’t have room for dessert, but Sam went back later to meet up with a fellow vegan Instagrammer as well as try a dessert crepe and their mac and cheese.

The crepe was so chocolatey she had to take several breaks while eating it. Vegan decadence comes at a bittersweet price.

Alternative Travelers Berlin Vegan Guide - Let It Be

Note: Accepts credit cards. Open only evenings/early afternoons on weekends.

Sfizy Veg – 100% Vegan

Now that’s what I call a pizza pie! Literally right down the street from Let It Be is Sfizy Veg. After many years chomping down New York pizza in all its iterations, noming all the vegan pizza throughout the U.S (if you’re in Baltimore ya gotta try Johnny Rad’s), and our recent trip to Italy – we’re becoming quite the discerning pizza-eaters. When we found out that there was an all vegan pizzeria run by Italians in Berlin, we had to go.

The atmosphere at Sfizy Veg is cozy, romantic, and eclectic, with a wall full of 19th-century photographs, owls, antique décor and a ceiling painted black with splattered pink, yellow, and green neon paint.

Order at the bar and they will bring your pizza to your table when it’s ready – a no-nonsense style that we always appreciate. We’re purists when it comes to our pizza, so we had to get the Margherita pizza with the basics: mozzarella, basil, and red sauce. There’s something about a good, simple crust and sauce that sets a baseline for a place. The dough is incredible, with the right good amount of sauce and cheese (although Veren is a recovering cheese fiend and always wants more).

There was a separate section labeled “Green Pies”  i.e. pesto pies, so of course, we had to try one. The artichoke pesto pizza was excellent as well, with pepperoni, artichokes, and mushrooms all cooked to perfection. In the end we preferred the Margherita, with its perfect portion and price, but the green may be right up your pizza pie hole alley. You can easily satisfy two with one pie, assuming you haven’t been starving yourselves. They had tiramisu for dessert as well, but we were too stuffed to try it.

Note: Only open evenings + cash only.

Vöner – 100 % Vegan

Finally, plant-based kebaps! If we lived here we would swing by on the regular. Berlin has a huge Turkish population, so doner kebabs are a very popular street food here. Madrid has a bunch of kebap places as well.

The interior is anarchist, punky, and small and we snagged a seat by the window. The menu is small but varied, with burgers, kebab, and fries. But we weren’t here for the burgers. We wanted a kebab on some form of bread and another dish that seemed everywhere – currywurst. Once we saw they had fresh cut fries, we had to get those too.

Alternative Travelers Berlin Vegan Guide - Voner

The currywurst was fantastic. We had just tried a lesser vegan version on our way over, just to get a sense of standards, and this was on a whole nutha level. The skin was crispy and the inside tender and savory. It came with a loving helping of the curry sauce, which is almost a cross between ketchup, your typical NYC hot dog onion sauce, and a hint of curry. It’s not spicy at all but has a distinct taste and it goes great with those fries, which are fucking fantastic.

Alternative Travelers Berlin Vegan Guide - Voner

The Voner keBAP’d us in the face. They could be vegellionaires if they wanted to. The kebab is juicy, crumbly, savory, pretty much everything you hope for in a vegan mock meat. Toss on the extra house sauces and fresh veggies. So delightfully messy you’ll be checking your pants for a vöner.

Tip: If you’re sharing, get the durum vöner (comes in a wrap) like we did. If you’re solo, for 50 cents less, get it in a pita.

Bottom line: Amazing, so cheap, fast food, vöner friendly. Cash only.

Yellow Sunshine – 100% Vegan

Yellow Sunshine is another all vegan fast food place, though this one specializes in burgers. The burgers were super cheap (about 5 euros each + a couple euros for a meal deal) and filling, but not super memorable – as burger joints tend to be. What is impressive here is that everything is bio aka organic.  They also have shakes, currywurst, nuggets, etc. If you’re craving a burger or quick bite, definitely head here!

Alternative Travelers Berlin Vegan Guide - Yellow Sunshine

Bottom line: Cheap. Cash only.

Black Sheep Cafe – 100% Vegan

This place is a little neighborhood spot a little off the beaten path for most people visiting Berlin for a short time. Still, it’s worth a visit for their great bagels and coffee. The atmosphere is clean and minimalist, with plants as decoration. A little dachshund named Winnie that seemed to be a regular was zooming around barking for attention from the patrons, but no one seemed to mind because she was so cute!

Black Sheep Cafe has a variety of bagel sandwiches, but I was just craving a plain bagel with cream cheese. Perhaps it was a lost in translation moment or maybe the cream cheese is just more sour in Germany, but it tasted more like sour cream. Also, any bagel sandwich is a base of 4 euros no matter what you put on it, (didn’t realize – will take the blame). So it’s a much better deal to get a bagel sandwich with a ton of things on it than a 4 euro bagel with cream cheese, so learn from us!

They also have a variety of sweet treats. While I was trying to decide if I wanted the cinnamon roll or not, someone snatched it up, so I had the brownie instead. It was very tasty but a little dry.

Bottom line: Great bagels, great coffee, great place for doing some work or writing. Accepts credit cards!

Brammibal’s – 100% Vegan

Everyone we talked to insisted that we try Brammibal’s donuts, but we just weren’t enamored with the spot. It’s an all vegan donut shop right alongside the river. Their donuts were good, but there was something missing for us. Maybe we’re spoiled by vegan donuts in NYC so a vegan donut shop is not as much of a novelty for us. And Brammibal’s would be right at home with the vegan scene in Brooklyn. It was a touch pretentious hipster and without the cozy, laid-back charm we crave in a place.

The donuts were super tasty, but on the day we went, they didn’t have any simple standards like glazed, chocolate, or even just filled donuts when we went. The only donuts when we went were coconut bacon encrusted bombs – a bit too much in our opinion. Give Sam a cake donut (or Veren a glazed yeast one) any day. It definitely depends on the day and time you go though because their website says they have more low-key donuts like cinnamon sugar, espresso, or speculoos, all which we would have been happy to try.

Bottom line: Fancy vegan donuts.

Goodies – 100% Vegan

Vegan croissants, what what!? They were on point: buttery and super flaky. With each incredulous bite, Veren did not hesitate to take another. Goodies are normally located inside the Veganz grocery stores, though they also have a standalone location.

Katjes Café Grün-Ohr – Vegan Options

We stumbled on this place while on a break from our Alternative Berlin tour. While everyone was getting sub-par coffee from a tiny bodega, we popped over here and grabbed some pastries and coffee to go.

Your teeth will literally sink into the apfel streusel – a thick slab of soft dough topped with apples and crumbly topping. Surprisingly soft and moist throughout, you could easily enjoy this without teeth.

The cinnamon roll was excellent with a soft doughy interior, slightly barely perceptible sugary crispness on the outside, and just the right amount of cinnamon.

Charlie’s Vegan Food and Coffee – 100% Vegan

Sam was wandering on her own one day, already full, but when she saw a sign advertising vegan food and a Spanish tortilla on offer, she had to check it out. Upon viewing the Spanish tortilla, that option was reconsidered, because it looked quite small and would be likely judged too harshly on the vegan tortilla in Spain. The curry was overly spicy but without the depth of flavor and the vegetables were clearly frozen veggies (again – no flavor). The rice was undercooked. On the other hand, the apple turnover was fantastic – flaky and all gooey appley insides. And folks, that’s why you should always stick to the specialty of the eatery you’re stuffing your face in. Cafes are for pastries.

Bottom line: Go for their pastries. Takes credit cards!

Pêle-Mêle – 100% Vegan

We stopped in here while we were waiting for Sfizy Veg to open. One thing I like to do is mark on Google Maps all the places that we might be interested in going to so that if we find ourselves in the neighborhood, there’s an already go-to option.

We had tea lattes that came accompanied with cute heart shaped cookies. They also have a vegan brunch on the weekends. Next time.

Bottom line: Great for doing work or hanging out a bit. Cute and cozy interior.

Momos – Vegetarian with Vegan Options

A really tiny and humble spot off the beaten path, but worthy of your time. The staff was super friendly and suggested that the dumplings taste best steamed – this allows the nuance of flavor to come through.

These are great, but we must point out outright: they’re not exactly Tibetan/Nepali style dumplings, which are called “momo”. These are more akin to raviolis, with much thinner, gummier wrappers and non-traditional soft fillings. We tried the dumplings with shiitake mushrooms and one with curry and carrot, but there were ones even with cheese. They were delicious and we’d definitely go back. We always welcome a new spin on things. And everything is BIO (organic)! Impressive.

Momo Master – Vegan Options

We had been wandering around the RAW Gelände cultural complex when we first noticed an area with a few food trucks and carts. On our way back the second time we strolled by, the Momo Master himself insisted we try some – for free. He was closing up for the day and had some extra. This turned into two plates, one steamed, one fried, both veggie filled.

The momos came accompanied by a spicy, and then mild version of the same (Sam) sauce, which he made as well. These are clearly handmade, with soft and chewy pillowy outsides, and finely chopped veggies stuffed inside. If you’re in Berlin and you want to know what real momos are like, look no further.

Inseparable from this experience is the man himself. He lived up to the reputation of Tibetans being some of the most genuinely nicest people in the world. We asked all sort of questions about his life. He speaks five languages: English, German, Nepali, Tibetan, and Chinese, having spent significant periods of his life in each of these countries. His momo cart is uniquely Tibetan style dumplings, aka Momos. He laughed a lot and happily shared his craft. He could be called the Momo Master King.

Actually inside a small cart, but Sam’s expert photo skills make him seem larger than life.

This gregarious dumpling slinger has this title for a reason. Easily the best momos we’ve had since we’ve left New York. And Veren knows the real deal made by momo grandmas in Queens. The neighborhood Jackson Heights, where he used to live and work, has enjoyed a recent influx of Himalayan immigration. Expect to hear more about it in the upcoming third and final installment of his NYC budget guide.

Grocery Stores

Veganz – 100% Vegan

It’s been years since we walked into a grocery store and could say that we wanted to eat anything and everything they had. A literal plethora of options, we spent many minutes just ogling the selection. If you’re vegan, it’s worth going for the experience even you don’t buy anything.

Do note, just because it’s vegan, that doesn’t mean it’s good. We had some disappointing Veganz brand butter cookies, though the wonderfully delicious chocolate heart cookies made up for it.

There are a few locations throughout the city, but it’s more fun if you go to the one at Friedrichshain (Warschauer Straße 33) because it’s like a vegan mini-mall with a vegan restaurant, a vegan shoe store, and a vegan cafe (Goodies) all under the same roof.

This is the future.

Dr. Pogo – 100% Vegan

All vegan, but possibly for those that are anti-Veganz, since that’s just how alt and vegan Berlin is. We’re sure Dr. Pogo gets all kinds of patrons. This place is a collective and has more of a co-op vibe than the clean supermarket feel of Veganz. They had a yuge selection of vegan products. We first laid eyes on vegan white chocolate in Dr. Pogo.

Edeka – Vegan options

Edeka is the largest supermarket chain in Germany. They are everywhere and have a pretty decent vegan and bio section. Even the small one across the street from where we were house sitting had a range of vegan alternative meats (though no vegan cheeses, interestingly enough). Their prices are great and they have a fresh bakery section as well where you can pick up some German brown bread to have with your salami and mustard!

Eurogida – Vegan options

We would never have known about this place if our lovely hosts hadn’t mentioned it to us. Eurogida is a local Turkish market/grocery chain that reminds us of a large bodega in NYC. They have a deli section, a fresh bakery with great fresh Turkish breads, and lots of good produce. We picked up some cheap dates for our smoothies here, along with fresh pitas and rolls. We definitely recommend grabbing groceries here if you’re staying in Berlin for a bit – there are 13 locations spread across the city.

Original Unverpackt – Vegan options

Bulk store without packaging. Since it’s a bulk store, we didn’t buy anything, but  It was a fun experience to see shampoo, oils, and sauces in big vats. We wish we had stores like this in Spain (do they exist in the U.S.?). The only problem is that they’re still more expensive than items from a traditional grocery store. For these things to become more mainstream, they need to lower their prices, though of course there are a lot of factors. Still glad these exist!

There are a few locations and one is just down the street from Yellow Sunshine.

Further Reading

It seems like every vegan blogger has made their own vegan pilgrimage to Berlin, so there’s a wealth of information out there on the interwebs. For more Berlin vegany goodness, check out:

VeganNomNoms has many comprehensive guides to Berlin as she has called the city home for many years, but start with her Berlin Vegan Guide – it is an epic wealth of information with links, places to stay, things to do, and she’s always updating it. I had the chance to meet up with Nicole for her birthday party and can confirm that she is also an incredibly sweet and funny person!

Indefinite Adventure are also based in Berlin and have many Berlin vegan guides, including a digital nomad vegan cafe guide, best vegan brunches (so sad we didn’t get to one!) and best vegan fast food.

Slow Vegan Travel has a Berlin restaurant guide, though a few of the restaurants on this list seem to have closed so be sure to check. They also have an extensive slow travel guide to Berlin with lots of alternative and free things to do.

If you prefer drooling over all the options in video form, Kristen of Will Travel for Vegan Food created a great video for VeganTravel on the vegan options in the hipster neighborhood of Neukölln, and Wanderlust Vegans has a Berlin food vlog on all of the vegan treats they devoured in their time in Berlin.

Berlin vegan guide for vegan restaurants, vegan friendly places, vegan grocery stories, and more!

Have you been to Berlin or would like to go? What places do we need to try next time we visit? Let us know in the comments below! 

 

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Sam and Veren have joined forces to become the Internet Blogging superhero, AlternativeTravelers. Blending two creative styles (and stubborn brains) together - some would call this a miracle.

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