We might have known that Berlin is a great place to immerse yourself in the arts, but we had no idea how incredible – and how cheap – their food scene is.
Known for the obvious: bratwurst, pretzels, and beer, we were unaware of the variety of markets, fresh produce, and unique restaurants.
Not ones to leave food up to chance – it’s hard to be foodies in Accra – Chandler made a list of restaurants we might want to check out during our week in Berlin. That, along with some great tips (and meals) from our host, Alise, made the food scene in Berlin unforgettable.
I’d like to break these restaurants down by neighborhood, but Chandler’s the one who’s good with maps, and now that we’re in Leysin for the summer, he’s a bit busy with his grad school classes. I’ll do my best : )
Berlin, honestly, is an incredibly accessible city. For only 30 euros, you can access all public transportation in Berlin for seven days. Which meant it didn’t really matter where the restaurants were located, because we were able to hop on the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses, and trams and nothing was ever more than 20 minutes away (which in both Accra or Dallas-Fort Worth time, is amazing).
To narrow our list from the crazy amount of well-reviewed restaurants in Berlin, Chandler only looked up vegan/vegetarian restaurants. Of course, though we can usually find something to eat on any menu, it was amazing be able to eat anything on the menu. And those “anythings” were incredible:
Our first meal out (and one of the highlights of the trip), was dumplings at Momos. With six speciality dumplings to choose from (four vegan, two vegetarian), we couldn’t decide and so we sampled a little bit of everything – some steamed and some fried. The fresh cheese-potato and pumpkin-chickpeas dumplings were the stars.
We also went to Daluma and drank some of the best juice I have encountered in my entire life: The Equalizer with passion fruit, basil, active water kefir, caju, agave, and lemon. The food was equally fresh and impressive. While my Oriental Study was fun, Chandler’s Green See Ramen with vegetable-kelp-dashi, baby pak choi, edamame, corn, spring onions, ginger, sesame, soy sprouts, and noodles stole the show.
Another memorable meal was at The Bowl, an incredible vegetarian restaurant located upstairs from Veganz (the first vegan supermarket chain in Europe) – we did some grocery shopping afterward : ) The blueberry lemonade I could do without – Berlin in general likes to make their lemonade sparkling, but the food was delicious. Mine was a little pretentious, they called french fries & sweet potato fries, “roasted root vegetables,” but it was amazing to be able to eat a caesar salad without anchovies in the sauce! And Chandler’s raw watermelon salad looked incredibly fresh.
Sometimes, you don’t want your meal to try so hard, and we got an amazing halloumi burger at Kreuzburger – though I don’t recommend the regular veggie burger, that was a little mushy.
We also had some delicious phở at Monsieur Vuong (try the mango/coconut milk smoothie!). And fresh bibimbap at Wawa. Vaust, a vegan wine bar, had the most unusual menu we came across, but we loved their specials! At Hammers Weinkostbar we got to sample some German white wines (the Riesling Mosel being my favorite) and some new cheeses (Beaufort and Tome des Bauges – both French).
And while each of these places had lovely atmospheres – especially The Bowl – we found some other venues to love for their ambience.
Alise reminded us about Markthalle Neun and made sure we tried the potato focaccia bread from Sironi – yum! And, of course I couldn’t pass up some organic ice cream from Rosa Canina (the apple puree with cinnamon paired nicely with chocolate!).
We also fell in love with Café am Neuen See, found in Tiergarten. We went there for pre-dinner drinks one evening and decided we had to take Alise back for dinner and drinks another night. It was a perfect location – beautifully serene, on the water, surrounded by forest, lovely twinkle lights, and great food.
And if that wasn’t enough, Alise gave us the 411 on all things desert in Berlin. Because of her, we found Brammibal’s and ate some amazing vegan donuts (salted caramel hazelnut and lemon curd bergamot). Located by the Turkish Market, we had a great time exploring that morning.
On our own, we found Amorino, an excellent, all natural, gelato shop. And while they shape their ice cream to look like the petals of a flower, it was Jones Ice Cream that really takes their desert to the next level. I doubt you could go wrong with any of their flavors, but my favorites were choco & brownies, vanilla & cookie dough, and strawberry buttermilk. If you’re more of a sorbet kind of person, passion fruit & yogurt was pretty bomb as well.
I couldn’t imagine a better food experience in Berlin. And while we didn’t go vegan the whole time we were there (am I really going to give up cheese and ice cream? No.), the number of tasty vegan meals we had access to was fantastic.
Berlin is definitely a city I can’t wait to eat in again.