Hallo from Vienna! Soz it has taken me so long to get this first post going but the internet at the last hotel caused a few issues with my laptop.
We touched down in Frankfurt last Saturday after a loooong flight and hopped straight on a DB Bahn ICE train to Berlin. For some reason this ended up being at least $1500 cheaper than flying direct to Berlin, plus it was a nice opportunity to see another part of Germany. The Frankfurt train station is FULL of awesome vegan options which are labelled on the menus, so if you’re going to be stopping there at any stage you won’t have any trouble eating. I grabbed a pretzel (naturally) and jumped aboard for our 5 hour train ride.
I didn’t really know what to expect from Berlin and I think that was probably for the best. Some of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen standing right next to some of the ugliest. The green spaces are freaking amazing, with trees lining just about every street, even in the middle of the city and just so many other awesome things to see and do. But let’s get real and talk about the food, that’s what you’re here for, right?
For our first dinner we decided to find somewhere within walking distance of our hotel as we were just about ready to collapse after the 24+ hours of travel. We stopped at Lucky Leek, a fancier place in Kollwitzplatz. As we hadn’t made a reservation we were told we could only have the Daily Special menu (around 34€), which was fine by us so we took a seat and waited. First was an amuse bouche consisting of smoked tofu with vegetables and a little cheesy puff thingy. Both were delicious and fresh!
Next up was probably one of the most delicious soups I have ever tasted and to be honest I can’t tell you exactly what it was. I feel like it could have been mushroomy? Anyway, it was awesome and the menu changes often so if you front up you’ll probably get a different amazing soup!
The main course was tomato filled pasta with a roasted capsicum sauce, cabbage roulade and baked crispy “feta”. Now this was a taste sensation! That fetta was creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside and the sauce was full of flavour.
Dessert was a little combo plate of a chocolate and blackcurrant cake, cookies and cream ice cream, a little biscuit and a crunchy chocolate cluster. The cake was beautifully layered with different flavours and smooth textures, the ice cream was a little icy but delicious. The biscuit and the cluster were both tasty as well but since they weren’t on the menu I don’t exactly know what they were.
On our first day of sightseeing we took a lunch break at Samâdhi for some Malaysian eats. The place itself was pretty cute and just around the corner from the Holocaust Memorial, so if you’re checking that out it’s worth stopping in. We had the Gemüse – Tempura (vegetable tempura- 10.90€) and Samâdhi’s Vorspeisen für 2 Personen (basically a mixed entree for two -17.90€). To be honest the tempura was nothing to write home about as it was super oily but the mixed entree of spring rolls, gyoza, “chicken” drumstick, corn fritter and salad was really awesome. Next time I would probably get that and a stir fry dish.
We chose Viasko, a cute little bar and restaurant for our dinner that night and I ordered the Panini Viasko (10.50€) ciabatta stuffed with seitan piccata, garlic cashew cream, avocado and salad. This thing was FILLING but it was full of flavour too. A great hearty option if you’re looking to sink a few drinks as well.
If you’re ever in need of a quick and easy bite, stop by a Kamps bakery and grab yourself a delicious pretzel for less than 1€) I did this on a few occasions when there was nothing nearby and it saved the day! These pretzels actually taste like the little crunchy snacks we have at home except they’re bigger and breadier, it’s crazy! They also have a list of vegan products here.
As a pizza fan, I tried two pizza places while in Berlin; Sfizy Veg and Zeus Pizza and Pide. At both places I had a Hawaiian style pizza for under 10€ with vegan cheese, mock ham and pineapple and both were truly delicious however I think Zeus may have won this round due to the crispier base, better mock meat and the fact the pizza held together really well. the below photo is from the still delicious Sfizy Veg as I didn’t have my camera on me at Zeus.
If you’re on the hunt for a burger, go no further than Yellow Sunshine Burger (cute name, awesome burgers). This has a semi-Lord of the Fries vibe but like 10000 more options so I went for the bacon cheeseburger with fries for around 8€. Plus I grabbed some Seitan Currywurst for 2.80€ because you can’t really go to Germany without having currywurst, right? The burger was a modest size and easy to handle with a delicious mock meat patty and crispy cheese on a soft, toasty bun. the wurst was hella meaty and super saucy which made it crazy amazing.
Dolores is kind of like Guzman Y Gomez if they tried a bit harder with their vegan options. There are a few different menu items to choose from and two types of mock meat to add to the dishes and I opted for the Vegan Lover burrito stuffed with smoky corn soy meat, peanut sauce and a bunch of veggies for 7€. They are SUPER filling so thats a pretty solid bargain right there.
Not too far from Lucky Leek you’ll find an LPG Biomarkt (like a health food store) with a cafe attached. Before browsing for some snacks, we stopped into the cafe for a quick lunch. There were quite a few vegan options available and I went for a broccoli curry. To be honest it wasn’t that great but at least it was cheap, for around 7€.
It’s so refreshing to see an abundance of clearly specified vegan foods at airports and train stations here. Even in our small departure area at Tegel airport, there were several vegan options available so I grabbed a vegan baguette from Marché. The bread was delicious and it was stuffed with antipasti vegetables and salad. A great way to end my time in Berlin.
Here’s a little breakdown of how I did Berlin!
Where to Stay
If you want to be close to the action, Alexanderplatz is probably where you wanna be. This will put you close to shopping and the major transport interchange. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Alexanderplatz and was stoked with the location and service. I had a couple of issues with the free wifi but it was free and for the most part worked fine. Breakfast was also included and while it was a very meaty/cheesy affair, there were breads, jams and fruit available.
As we were only in Berlin for a short period, we usually used taxis or Uber to make our way around when we weren’t walking. Most Berliners choose to use the U and/or S Bahn or ride bikes, which are available to rent from many places in the city.
Yellow Sunshine Burger and Zeus were definitely my faves when it came to junky, mock meaty indulgence but if you want a special night I do highly recommend Lucky Leek.
What to Do
Jumping on a hop on/hop off tour bus may sound super lame but it’s actually an awesome way of getting acquainted with a new city and knocking over a bunch of the must-see sights in a short period of time. The Neues Museum houses some amazing artefacts from Ancient Egypt and Rome and is located right neat Berliner Dom, a freaking awesome cathedral that is quite possibly the most bitchin’ building you’ll ever see (inside and out). Berlin is a crazy amazing city with so much to see and do, you’ll never be bored and more importantly, you’ll never be hungry!