Vegan Eats In Berlin

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

As the vegan food capital of Europe, Berlin is a haven for any plant-based foodies like me. Usually, I really enjoy eating nutritious, healthy, homemade foods, but when I arrived in Berlin I was ready to dig into a whole lot of plant-based soul food. With vegan cakes on every corner and a great selection of vegan meals in almost every restaurant and cafe, the only problem I had was trying to fit as much food as possible into my four day trip without needing to be rolled onto the plane home!

After dealing with some serious food envy for the past year due to one ridiculously delicious looking Instagram page, hitting up Brammibal's Donuts, a 100% vegan donut shop, was top of my list in Berlin. As the shop often sells out, I wanted to get my hands on some donuts ASAP, so I dragged Jay out of bed bright and early to get there at opening time on Saturday morning.

As I expected, we were spoiled for choice, but eventually settled on a box of four donuts - salted caramel hazelnut, cinnamon sugar, double chocolate & peanut butter glazed banana custard filled. As hard as it was to resist, we put the donuts aside to enjoy later and ordered some of the amazing breakfast options the shop offers. Jay went for waffles with blueberries, banana and coconut cream while I opted for a cappuccino and one of my pre-vegan favourites, syrupy French toast which also came with blueberries, bananas and a ridiculously tasty almond and coconut granola. Jay's waffle was a little on the crunchy side, but was salvaged by the coconut cream, but the French toast was divine - the thickly sliced bread doused in maple syrup tasted almost like thick, American style pancakes - seriously delicious! The portion size was absolutely huge and even though I was starving, I only managed half, so it would definitely make a great sharing option. When we had recovered from the food comas caused by our giant breakfasts, we tucked into a healthy lunch of decadent donuts and oh my god, were they delicious. Salted caramel (my OG addiction) was my personal favourite! As usual, my eyes were bigger than my belly so we ended up with donuts left over for breakfast the next morning - I definitely wasn't complaining because if you can't enjoy a breakfast in bed of donuts on holiday, when can you?!

Jay and I aren't particularly adventurous when it comes to our evening meals, and almost always opt for Italian because the dishes can usually be easily veganised and you can never go wrong with pizza and pasta! We were pretty pleased to find a Vapiano's just around the corner from our hotel which was kind of like an Italian version of Nando's. It's a self-service with plenty of pizza and pasta options as well as salads (but lets be honest, we weren't there for the salads)! After ordering, the chef cooks the meal in front of you which is a nice touch as it gives you the chance to customise your dish. The only downfall is that service feels pretty slow, in reality, it's probably no slower than any other restaurant but because you're stood up waiting for the meal, it definitely drags a little more. I decided to go for a spaghetti pomodoro with spinach and pine nuts and Jay went for the fusilli arabiata, which he loved but was a little too spicy for me! The sauces tasted really fresh (and garlicky - just how I like it) and the meals were really great value as the portions were pretty huge!

We also tried out another Italian, Papa Pane Di Sorrento, after seeing a tasty looking Instagram of their pizzas. Even though the restaurant was packed, we were served really quickly and while they didn't have any marked vegan options, they were more than happy to veganise their veggie pizza by removing the cheese. The pizzas were a bit more on the pricy side than the other restaurants we tried but they definitely hit the spot!

Though we'd been to Berlin before, there was still a bit of sight-seeing to do, so I also tried out some easy on the go vegan options. One of my favourites was actually from Starbucks, as in Germany they've recently released two vegan muffins; a chocolate cherry & a blueberry - both of which made a perfect grab and go snack along with a cappuccino! I also indulged in a few Apfeltasche's from Kamps bakery which were pretty much like an apple turnover topped with a sugary glaze and almonds and in my book, you can't really go wrong with pastry, apples and sugar! Kamps actually had quite a few clearly labelled vegan options but I only got around to trying the Apfeltasche because it was just so good!

And finally, as we got really lucky with the weather throughout our time in Germany, it only seemed right to stop for some ice-cream. There were absolutely tons of ice-cream parlours dotted around the city all of which had at least a couple of dairy free options. I went for a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of banana and while the strawberry was tasty, the banana, which had a really nostalgic flavour that reminded me of banana nesquick powder, was definitely my favourite.

Leaving the city, I felt as though we'd only just scratched the surface of vegan options, but I'd definitely go back just for another donut from Brammibal's.

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