The Local’s meaty vegan guide to Berlin

Germany has a reputation as a meat loving country and, in Berlin, that seems to be true of its vegan population. In the German capital there are many eateries - from candlelit cafes to greasy fast food joints - serving up tasty Vleich, or vegetarian Fleisch (meat). Some have been known to convert even the most devout omnivores.

The Local's meaty vegan guide to Berlin
Vöner. Photo: DPA


The giant rotating wheel of smoked goodness in the heart of Friedrichshain looks suspiciously like a Döner. Yet it's actually a tempting slab of Tempeh, shaved off and placed in a big Brot in the same fashion as its meaty twin. This Vöner, an abbreviation for Vegetarian döner, also comes complete with the usual salad filling and your choice of sauce. We must say the peanut sauce is an excellent choice. Still not fulfilled by this fake meat? Try the veggie Currywurst, a tofu dog topped with a sweet and savoury sauce.


Address: Boxhagener Straße 56 (Friedrichshain)

Der vegetarische Metzger

A vegetarian butcher shop sounds like the ultimate oxymoron. But Der vegetarische Metzger is a Kreuzberg institution devoted to the best Vleisch possible. Open since 1962 – long before the formation of Berlin’s hipster vegan scene – the Metzger also serves up pre-cooked hits like cheeseless chili cheese fries, burgers and shawarmas with vegan dressing.


Address: Bergmannstraße 1 (Kreuzberg)

Fish-free tuna on sale at the Photo: DPA

Burrito Baby Berlin

This aptly named Mexican joint in Neukölln carries a selection as large as the size of its burritos of veggie-friendly fare. Try the scrumptious “Vegan hit” which includes Soja Schnitzel and Cashew Creme. The “BBQ” with black beans and tofu is another top pick for anyone craving Mexican made healthy.


Address: Pflügerstraße 11 (Neukölln)

Yoyo Foodworld

After a first glance at this menu with names such as Chicken Schnitzel Burger and Bavarian wrap, it would be difficult to tell that it’s 100 percent vegan. Yet all the traditional fast food dishes at Yoyo Foodworld are exactly that. There is even a selection of traditional German dishes, such as the Käsespätzle made with a soy cheese substitute. Calling itself the “first vegan fast food restaurant in Germany,” Yoyo is just a stone's throw from Boxhagener Platz. 


Address: Gärtnerstraße 27 (Friedrichshain)


The first vegan pizza place in all of Europe, this kitschy kitchen decked in 70s decor serves not only gourmet pizzas but also every Italian-themed item you can imagine, from over-fired thin crusted delights to lasagne with vegan cheese and a meat-flavoured tomato sauce. Even omnivores will be impressed with the tasty cheeseless choices.


Address: Treptower Straße 95 (Neukölln)


If you still have a cheesy craving after Sfizy, this casual pizza place off the trendy Eberswalder Strasse is a good way to get your fix. They have an extensive menu with some fancy favourites such as a slice with Shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions and of course vegan mozzarella cheese. There is even a lasagne with “Bechamel sauce” and a creamy tiramisu.

Address: Eberswalder Straße 21 (Prenzlauer Berg)

Chay Viet

In the mood for traditional scrumptious dumplings minus the typical meaty interior? The charming Chay Viet on Brunnenstraße offers a wide selection of veggie tofu Eintöpfe (stews) which will please omnivores and veggies alike. They also offer the Vietnamese national dish Cha La Lot made veggie: marinated tofu is wrapped into betel leaves and fresh salad.

Address: Brunnenstraße 164 (Mitte)


From the outside this hole in the wall does not seem too spectacular. Inspired by Nepalese momos, this cafe on Chauseestraße serves an array of vegetarian dumplings with strange but satisfying ingredients such as spinach or pumpkin and chickpeas. They also have a selection of dessert dumplings such as walnut chocolate brownies.


Address: Chausseestraße 2

Vegetarian Schnitzel, anyone? Photo: DPA

Cookies Cream

This is perhaps not the name you might expect of an all-vegan restaurant, and that's not the only confusing thing about this eatery.

Finding this place seems like some sort of an initiation ceremony – you have to weave through a courtyard just off Friedrichstraße trying to find a tiny name on a doorbell. Then you wander up a dark stairway to a surprisingly fancy restaurant that serves up a seasonal rotating menu of the finest of vegan tastes.


Address: Behrenstraße 55 (Mitte)


A classy classic in Mitte, this candle-lit restaurant serves up a creative rotating menu of meatless fare from local farms. If you stop by during their sunnier hours, try the all-you-can-eat vegan buffet, which is available both Saturday and Sunday until 4 pm, and offers traditional treats done sans dairy, such as a tasty tofu scramble and Belgian waffles.


Address: Linienstraße 94 (Mitte)

Lucky Leek

One of the few vegan restaurants to land in the famed Michelin Guide, this posh Prenzlauer Berg bistro operates under the auspices of star chef Josita Hartanto. The fine five-course menus will include treats such as mushroom risotto with “feta” and beetroot carpaccio with marinated eggplant, red onions and dill sour cream if you're keen on something particularly fancy.


Address: Kollwitzstraße 54 (Prenzlauer Berg)


For some tasty finger futter as you grab a drink, the cosy Chaostheorie bar offers a selection that includes double cheese nachos and double chocolate cake. Even their creamy cocktails such as the salted caramel and blueberry cheesecake “Freakshakes” are made without milk. The bar is also known for its regular livestyle events, including a weekly Vegan Singles Night, should you be looking to meet your meatless match.


Address: Schliemannstraße 15 (Prenzlauer Berg)


In southern Europe, it’s often the norm to receive a free bite when you order a drink. A Spanish bar in the heart of Reuterkiez, Alaska brings the phenomenon up north, with a twist. All of their free tapas are 100 percent vegan, including the eggless tortilla, vegan camembert cheese and ‘patatas bravas’ or traditional pieces of potato with vegan aioli. They even offer a Churros Sunday if you’re a fan of the traditional deep fried pastry stick dipped in chocolate.

Address: Reuterstraße 85 (Neukölln)


Let them eat bread: the origins of the French baguette

More than six billion baguettes are baked each year in France and UNESCO has now inscribed the tradition in its “intangible cultural heritage” list.

Let them eat bread: the origins of the French baguette

The French baguette – one of the country’s most abiding images – was given world heritage status by UNESCO on Wednesday, the organisation announced.

READ ALSO French baguette gets UNESCO world heritage status

Here are some of the more popular theories:

Napoleon’s Bread of War
The oldest tale has the baguette being kneaded by bakers in Napoleon’s army. Less bulky than a traditional loaf, the long slim shape of the baguette made it faster to bake in brick ovens hastily erected on the battlefield.

France’s most famous man of war was preoccupied with getting his men their daily bread.

During his Russian campaign in 1812, he toured the ovens daily to sample the day’s offering and ensure the crusty batons were being distributed regularly, according to historian Philippe de Segur.

He also had portable bread mills sent to occupied Moscow, but the setbacks suffered by the Grande Armee in one of the deadliest military campaigns in history ended his bid to export the doughy staple.

Viennese connection
Another theory has the baguette starting out in a Viennese bakery in central Paris in the late 1830s.

Artillery officer and entrepreneur August Zang brought Austria’s culinary savoir-faire to Paris in the form of the oval-shaped bread that were standard in his country at the time.

According to the Compagnonnage des boulangers et des patissiers, the French bakers’ network, Zang decided to make the loaves longer to make them easier for the city’s breadwomen to pluck from the big carts they pushed through the city’s streets.

Breaking bread
Another theory has the baguette being born at the same time as the metro for the 1900 Paris Exposition.

People from across France came to work on the underground and fights would often break out on site between labourers armed with knives, which they used to slice big round loaves of bread for lunch.

According to the history site, to avoid bloodshed, one engineer had the idea of ordering longer loaves that could be broken by hand.

Early rising
In 1919, a new law aimed to improve the lives of bakers by banning them from working from 10 pm to 4 am.

The reform gave them less time to prepare the traditional sourdough loaf for the morning, marked the widespread transition to what was called at the
time the yeast-based “flute”, which rose faster and was out of the oven in under half an hour.

Standardised at 80 centimeters (30 inches) and 250 grams (eight ounces) with a fixed price until 1986, the baguette was initially the mainstay of wealthy metropolitans, but after World War II became the emblem of all French people.