16.5.17

Travel: Berlin, Germany - suitable for Vegans

Travel Berlin Germany Vegan Vegetarian Free From Tourist Attractions Sight SeeingIf you follow me on social media you'll know I spent last week in Berlin. I’d previously been to Germany on school trips but my ability to speak the language is little to none. I've two phrases I remember from GCSE and one is laughable - Ich habe ein Meerschweinchen (translates to "I have a guinea pig"). It’s funny how with hindsight you regret not paying attention in school and disappointment that even with an Austrian Grandmother we weren’t taught German at home. When we booked our trip to Berlin it dawned on me I had been in Hamburg at the time the wall fell and I think the significance of that event passed over me as a teenager.

Berlin is a huge city and you could re-visit numerous times and still miss things. It’s a great city to just wander around and take in the architecture. In five days we covered most of the well known tourist stops – Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall (East Side Gallery & Open Air Exhibition) and Holocaust Memorial. There are many museums and we opted to visit the DDR Museum and the Spy Museum (Deutsches Spionagemuseum).

Sightseeing is one small element to travelling and I'm most certainly someone who books a trip based on the food I can eat. If you are new to my blog I should quickly mention I’ve not eaten meat since my teens and I’ve food allergies which include milk and egg. I find it helpful to seek out Vegan dishes, it still carries a risk of cross contamination but on the whole it can take the pressure off menu choices. I’m probably not the first to say this but based off my travels around Europe, Berlin is easily one of the best cities for Vegetarians and Vegans. There are dedicated Vegan cafes and restaurants but you’ll also find options elsewhere which is particularly useful for us because my husband isn’t vegetarian. I did notice that sometimes vegan items are marked vegetarian so don’t overlook this when checking menus. I’m sure I picked up online that this is because people feel the word vegan is not as recognised. If you're interested in where we ate keep reading.
Vegan Vegetarian Food Berlin Germany Free From Allergies
Boussi Falafel - We arrived in Berlin late afternoon so whilst getting our bearings we found the Mall of Berlin which has a large food court. I wasn’t expecting much but found a falafel stand and was ecstatic to see everything listed vegan including a mayo option with chips. Also whilst I think of it the ice cream stand had vegan options (Alteatro tucked in a corner near the lifts and toilets).

Coffee Fellows - if you love Bagels (like I do) then grab lunch here (we stopped in the store near Checkpoint Charlie). The Vegan bagel was a delicious combination of avocado, hummus and salad. I washed that down with an amazing iced lemon matcha drink. There were also several vegetarian options which I guess they may adapt if you asked.

Dean & David - their slogan is "fresh to eat" so I'd describe this place as a health conscious fast food chain (similar to Pret a Manger?). The menu is salads, sandwiches, soups and curries and you’ll find vegan options marked on the boards. I enjoyed the superfood salad.

Back Werk - we spotted these stores at train stations and I’d describe it as the German equivalent to Greggs. They had several vegan sandwiches including a schnitzel one and I noticed some chia and coconut yoghurt breakfast pots. Everything is labelled on the shelf so easy to pick out what is suitable.

Peter Pane Burgergrill - by far our favourite place as we ate there TWICE! We stumbled across this place as we exited the U-Bahn at Friedrichstraße. My husband just assumed it would only have meat burgers but I checked regardless (thanks Katie for that tip to check where you might not think to look). You can imagine my excitement when I spotted vegetarian and vegan burgers on the menu.  I had the Panflote and Weltreise. The ultimate prize for me was a vegan dessert option, chocolate mousse on chocolate biscuit with coconut vanilla ice cream and mango. I also recommend the Blueberry Mojito.

Brammibal's Donuts - a little cafe on a mainly residential street selling Vegan donuts and not just any old boring doughnut we chose chocolate peanut butter, cherry pistachio, salted caramel and banana peanut butter. My husband who is a fuss pot but has no special dietary requirements happily helped me eat the box of four. Yep! we went a little nuts over that, a box was better value according to my husband....clearly it was all a clever plan.

Bio Company & Alnatura – if you are self catering or looking for snack food then both these stores are equivalent to say Wholefoods or Holland & Barrett. There are stores across the city and they also have a little cafe/deli counter so you can grab and go for lunch if you wish.

Veganz (a vegan supermarket) – this is probably the place I knew the most about before visiting Berlin thanks to bloggers I follow. There are three stores in the city and our closest was in Kreuzberg. This Veganz is located on the top floor of an indoor market with a vegan cafe next door called Goodies. Veganz also have their own branded products which we spotted in various shops across the city including DM and Netto.

One of my most sentimental discoveries was Manner Hazelnut Wafers. I remember these were a treat sent to us from Austrian relatives when my sister and I were little. I had absolutely no idea I was still able to eat them and was ecstatic to see them labelled Vegan. If you want to have a true German experience with a Currywurst then you can do so as a non-meat eater. Sadly I forgot to note the name of a place we walked past but I did spot Vegan options so keep your eyes peeled and double check stands as you walk around.

We made one slip up on food whilst in Berlin. Just be warned to check ingredients on the large soft Pretzels as I found myself chomping down on one filled with cream cheese. I was so caught up in the buzz of safe eating that I took my plain looking pretzel for granted. Also double check your pizza bases as whilst researching links for this post I’ve just realised I possibly scoffed my way through a pizza I should not have eaten despite no cheese....oops! I probably came out unscathed because the amount was so small or I tolerated my allergens baked. Regardless that was a stupid mistake to make.

I think that just about covers everything. For getting around the city we opted for the Berlin Welcome Card, it covers transport and gives discounts on attractions, we bought in the airport which took the hassle out of getting bus tickets to our hotel. If you’re looking for a hotel recommendation we stayed at TRYP by Wyndham Berlin Mitte. I’d say it’s a modern business hotel but easy to get to from Tegel Airport, it’s located in what would have been East Berlin and a short walk from the Natural History Museum (U-Bahn stop Naturkundemuseum). We were also a 5/10 minute walk to Bio and Rewe supermarkets.

Have you visited Berlin or are you planning to in the future? Will you be going for the sights or the food? :)

Sarah x

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