I realize that my travel guides always tend to suggest that you eat like a hobbit (constantly/tremendously/gluttonously), but I really mean it this time. Like super mean it. Berlin is the most vegan-friendly European city. I'm pretty sure it's the most vegan-friendly non-American city, actually. If you disagree, please buy me a ticket to your city of choice and I'll let you know.
Anyway! My first food stop was an urgent, unplanned curry meal at Eatery FBI, right near our hotel in Potsdamer Platz. I think it stands for Free Berlin Ich. Famous Bread Inhere. Federal Bosnian Intervention? The servers were very knowledgeable about what was vegan, and they spoke English of course. They also made a green smoothie that I got a few mornings! Score! The curry was decent for what was essentially fast food - comforting and it tasted good! I hate the word tasty but I would probably use it here if I could stomach it.
I had a tofu sandwich that, while it sounds like the shittiest thing ever, was great. I mostly credit the spectacular, sturdy, chewy baguette that raised the sandwich to a higher level. Bread is so important. The tofu slices were yummy too, fresh and flavored and so much better than ready-made vegan lunchmeat blech ach. It had a bit of mustardy spread, tomatoes, and other salad fixings on it and it was so good!
We also tried a...this. What's it called? It's a fried gooey cheesy and spinach pastry. It was good but not my typical yoga studio fare; it's a little too fried and oily for my taste.
Momos is a little place selling freshly steamed Nepalese dumplings. They're more like ravioli than the Chinese or Japanese dumplings you or I might expect, in that there is less doughy part. Despite the slightly lower carb level, the taste was pretty good, with strong curries and spices coming through. I prefer less spicy dumplings, but if you are a fan of strong curry flavors or, of course, Nepalese dumplings, then you'll like this place. I just had a steamed bun yesterday, so right now I'm like give me all the big puffy balls of dough and so a little biased in my memory. The vegan options are clearly marked (and the majority of options are vegan). You can get your dumplings pan-fried or steamed, and you can choose small (8 momos), medium (14 momos), or large (18 momos), with 1-3 dips. We got a small because this was second lunchies, and we got the mitho sauce, which is another strong curry-like tomato dip. It was a little too much of the same flavors so I'd suggest a different dip.
My pick for what place out of Berlin should be franchised internationally in every major city is Vöner, the VEGAN DONER restaurant in the Friedrichshain neighborhood. That's right, not only does it have the cutest sign ever but it is vegan doner. Like doner kebab, you know that disgusting slab of hanging meat that sellers shave off and wrap up in pita for? But it's all vegan! They have burgers, fish & chips, all manner of vegan doner, and even Berlin's very well known fave currywurst (which we will recreate later this week!). Definitely get the vöner. I got it as a platter but I wish I got it in the pita because I love bread. Still, the vöner was so awesome!! The chips were good, the tahini sauce was solid, and it had a little bit of Israeli salad (I wonder what it's called here?). But the seitan vöner was amazing! I love this place so much! I would go every week if I lived there.
My other absolute favorite place that I would go to every week (or maybe every day) if I lived there is Ohlala, billed as a 'dessert restaurant' but is really actually heaven. While they do have actual food there - we had a good quiche and a salad - the desserts steal the show, your hearts, everything that can be stolen.
But, if you do happen to be going to Ohlala, none of the above matters, because you can get this freaktastic work of all the genies in the atmosphere:
I don't know how we move on from there, but move on we must. Moving on...
On our last night in Berlin, we were so beat and realized so late that we were hungry, so we checked out the restaurant in the hotel. Not the super fancy one that had two Michelin stars, because that was booked for quite some time, but the little sister restaurant Qiu, which still seemed way too fancy to cater to veganism. Also, this little piece of amazingness was on the menu (and I'm still laughing at the wording):
ICE CREAM - EISSALON TANNE B & CARAMELLO
Last but certainly not least: ice cream! Berlin, like every European city, loves its ice cream a sumbitch. There are salons (with the emphasis on the first syllable obvs) everywhere, and so many have vegan options. And most of you know my deep, deep hatred for places that only offer vegan fruit sorbets. TRY A LITTLE HARDER PEOPLE. I want chocolate or something awesome and non-fruit. I eat fruit for breakfast! Luckily, the SALons in Berlin offer wonderful non-cheater vegan options. My favorite was Eissalon Tanne B, in Kreuzberg. Get it? Eissalon= ice salon? Love it. I had absolutely wonderful chocolate and cherry.
This ice cream was positively delightful! The cherry wasn't sorbet but legit ice cream, so it wasn't cheating, and the chocolate was so delicious! No So Delicious the brand but sooo delicious nonetheless. And the cones were vegan! Yayyy!
We also found vegan treats at Caramello in Friedrichshain. Friedrichshain, by the way, is like a small Brooklyn in terms of vegan-friendliness by density. Even the non-food shoppes were vegan-friendly (tattoos mostly).
I don't know whose chocolate + red fruit-flavored ice creams were better! Yummy!