Friday, April 18, 2008

Berlin; from Sweets to Seitan Döner!

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this post & more!

After a fabulous 6 days of food & fun in London, it was time to move on to Berlin. I had only spent one day in Berlin a few years ago & even in that short time could see it was a cool city, so I was anxious to return. In the back of my mind there was a bit of concern about the language barrier & my vegan diet, but that concern was quickly laid to rest!

We started by hitting everyone's favorite veg*n fast food joint, Yellow Sunshine in Kreutzberg. Burgers, dogs, & snacks are the name of the game here with a hefty helping of fries or a salad on the side. While the vegan options are clearly marked, they also have an English menu for those not interested in guessing games. Ryan went with the masses & had one of the many burger options & I went for the Seitan Currywurst, as currywurst is everywhere in Germany & I was curious! Let's just say, curiosity killed the cat & I was less than thrilled to have a giant hot dog slathered in cold ketchup & sprinkled with curry powder on my plate. yikes! Ryan fared a bit better with his burger, but ultimately we're not the "vegan fast food" type. We also wanted the vegan tiramisu, but sadly it was not ready yet.

Yellow Sunshine is located at Wiener Straße 19, 10999.

After our fast food excursion, we headed the vegan grocery store Veni Vidi Vegi! It was comforting to have a safe place where I could buy as much as I wanted & not have to decipher a label in German! Needless to say, I went crazy & bought a plethora of items such as Streich sunflower seed pate, gummy bears, Wheaty spacebars, Oat Cream, two types of Chocoreale, & even a vegan white chocolate bar!

Veni Vidi Vegi is located at Pücklerstr. 32, 10997.

On the super adorable front, Maja's Deli is an all vegan cafe that has both takeaway & dine-in food options, plus a large selection of cakes, cookies, & other desserts. The decor alone is worth going there for; sunny yellow walls contain large banners with cows declaring, "Go Vegan!" & "Holy Cow, it's Vegan" & bottles top every table with a single tulip sticking out of them. This cafe would make anyone feel at home! They carry multiple hot dishes daily with a choice of grains or pasta to go on the side. I had a wonderfully creamy "cheesy" sauce over broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots, seeds & nuts with a side of couscous. Ryan had his dish of beans, TVP & mixed vegetables in a thick tomato sauce over pasta with a side of freshly squeezed orange juice. They were both very filling & hearty! Of course, we couldn't pass up some items from the extensive dessert options, aka it's review time!

Apple Raspberry Cake- A bit of a breakfast feel, this cake had a crumbly biscuit bottom & was topped with apple & raspberry chunks in a soft base & a sweet crumb top. Overall it was nice, doughy, & not too sweet. 3¾ stars

Chocolate Cheesecake- The nice, crunchy chocolate bottom layer & delicious chocolate crumb & melted chocolate drizzle top were unfortunately filled with a with firm center that tasted far too much like tofu. I can't say I would order this again. 2 ½ stars

Maja's Deli is located at Pappelallee 11, 10437.

Another great vegan option is Hans Wurst Vegancafe in Prenzlauer Berg. Based on their strange webpage & myspace profile, I wasn't sure what to expect here, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a gorgeous 100% organic, 100% vegan cafe with a lovely atmosphere. Unfortunately at this point my camera died, so you'll have to bare with horrible iPhone photos taken in a candlelit room! We shared a delicious pizza topped with pineapple, tofu, tomato sauce, & garlic olive oil. Ryan also had a large fresh salad & I opted for dessert.

Chocolate Mousse- Smooth & not too heavy, this lightly chocolate flavored pudding topped with cocoa & flanked with fruit slices was refreshing, especially after a dense meal. That being said, it was nothing spectacular & I could take it or leave it. 3 stars

Hans Wurst Vegancafe is located at Dunckerstrasse 2a, 10437.

Now you know I love a good cupcake, so it's no shock that I had to go to Cupcake, the 1st shop of its kind in Berlin! It's always nice when a bakery has vegan options & Cupcake carries a rotating selection of vegan cupcakes & the occasional vegan pie, along with soy milk & coffee with soy options! Dawn, the owner is just as sweet as her selection & we started to use this beautiful shop as our shelter from the falling snow outside. I have seen a lot of cupcake shops & bakeries in my day, but Cupcake is one of the most gorgeous ones out there with its retro 50's feel & mismatched vintage plates & cups. I was able to try 3 different cupcakes here, but that doesn't mean I only ate 3 cupcakes!

Chocolate Strawberry- A soft & sweet cocoa flavored cupcake, it was dense, but not heavy, moist with a chewy top & had a nice texture. The strawberry buttercream had a sweet berry flavor & this nice little morsel reminded me of a child's birthday cake. 3½ stars

Vanilla Lemon aka Blondie- A bit muffin-like, this vanilla cupcake was topped with a mild lemon buttercream that had a tinge of vanilla aftertaste. The flavors made a nice combination, but I'd stick to the chocolate! 3 stars

Chocolate Peanut Butter- Needless to say, Ryan was all about this & we actually put in a request for this flavor & Dawn graciously complied! Another soft & sweet chocolate cupcake topped with a sugary sweet peanut butter buttercream, it was nutty with a wonderful smoky roasted aftertaste! 4 stars

Cupcake is located at Krossener Strasse 12, 10245.

While that concludes the sweets of Berlin, I have to end with a place that blew our minds! We had heard rumors of seitan döner & with some internet research, Vöner was discovered. Vöner is a tiny little veg*n cafe in Friedrichshain with a simple menu of 2 burger options, pommes, & "vöner". Ignore those burgers & grab yourself seitan cut right from a rotating spit & placed in to fresh bread, pressed & filled with fresh vegetables, plus garlic & spicy sauces! They do have a non-vegan sauce option, so be sure to specify vegan. We loved this place so much, we managed to squeeze in a 2nd trip on our way out of town. We also mention it in conversation far more often than what is healthy. We tried to convince the purveyor to open a location in San Francisco & he said he'd love to so he can come surf here! Let's hope that happens. By the way, Cupcake & Vöner are not too far from each other & make for a perfect food adventure & a nice walk.

Vöner is located at Boxhagenerstr. 56, 10245.

As you can see, Berlin has a lot of vegan options in all corners of the city. I fell in love with Berlin & have been daydreaming of moving there ever since. If you have a chance, I highly suggest you take a trip to this vibrant city full of beautiful art, beautiful people, & wonderful food!


Susan Voisin said...

Wow! I never would have guessed that Berlin was so vegan-friendly, but now you have me wanting to visit. That vöner is making me seriously hungry. Must find food...!

Jess said...

Holy cripe! I can't believe that Berlin is so veg-friendly, either... Maybe it's because I associate Germany with bratwurst? I don't know, but you have me seriously craving all of that food now! Esp. that "voner." Spit-roasted seitan?! No way.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I was in Berlin about 5 years ago (before I became a vegan), and NEVER would have thought that it would be vegan-friendly - look at all that delicious food!! My favorites would have to be what you dined on at Yellow Sunshine and Cupcake :0)

Natalie said...

My sister just moved back from Germany and all she ever talks about is döner this and döner that.

Cakespy said...

Damn, between this and my little sister (who's laying down the law for Greenpeace in Berlin right now!)'s reviews via email, I really really want to visit Berlin right now. Those cupcakes look killer.

Alicia said...

well, you just gave me a bunch of great ideas for my next trip to Berlin! (which I hope will be soon...)

Mihl said...

Oh my God, there's a cupcake shop with vegan options in Berlin? I didn't know that and I am so printing this out! You know Berlin better than me!
You didn't like Currywurst? Don`t tell this a German or a Berliner. :D (Although we really don't eat sausages all the time)
By the way, if you like the Streich and when it's gone, I have a home made version on my blog, if you want.
(You can find it under the label "seeds", it's the last entry)

Celine said...

that's it: I'm moving back!

Anonymous said...

I've only been to Berlin once and I wasn't a vegan, or even a vegetarian, but now I really want to go! I want that vöner.

Erin said...

Add me to the list of people who is shocked that there are wonderful vegan friendly options in Berlin.

Now if only Melisser could go to Vienna and report back the vegan-numminess or the lack-of there ;)

Mama Mia said...

I love berlin and all the great food there!

urban vegan said...

What a great vegan-friendly city--you've alleviated my wurst fears (yuk-yuk). I am drooling big time. What a fabulous getaway.

And you're so cute, Melissa.

Anonymous said...

i didn't know that berlin is much more vegan friendly than vegas! what a great post!

Anonymous said...

Now I'm dying to go, especially since it's spargle (asparagus) season in 2 weeks or so, and they take it very seriously... I remember being there for 2 days many years ago for a wedding and hearing about an "asparagus buffet." I thought it was bizarre at the time, but now I would really appreciate something like that!

Anonymous said...

I can't remember the name of it, but really, really great veg place a few blocks east of the Brandenburg Gate. Ate there three times. Berlin is by far my favorite big city in the world.

the little one said...

I was in Berlin a few years ago and totally loved it but did no where near as well with the food as you did! I'll definitely take these recommendations with me if (when hopefully) I get the opportunity to go back. Great finds!

Anonymous said...

hey there... greets from berlin! thanx for the kind words about the shop. i'm glad you were satisfied with the vegan cupcakes. that means alot! and the pictures turned out great (even though that camera battery was dying!) i have to say that i had an amazing veggie burger at the tiki heart a couple of days ago... let's save that for your next trip! hope all is well back in the states? come back for a visit anytime, we loved having ya!

xx, dawn

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

gah! I need to travel. there. asap.

Lori- the Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

i have heard Berlin rocks for vegan stuff. i wanna go, if not just for the cupcakes. wow!

sarchan said...

I never would have thought Berlin to have so much(awesome, by the looks of your post) vegan-ness. Reading you Europe posts has been a lot of fun. And--Chocoreale--gasp!

Vegan_Noodle said...

I am seriously in shock that Berlin has so much to offer vegans! I spent some time there about four years ago (pre-vegan days) and loved it. Now I simply must return for the voner and cupcakes!

Anonymous said...

That currywurst looks fantastic! I wish I could get something like that around here. The blob of stuff on the plate kind of freaks me out though.

Lindsay (Happy Herbivore) said...

I love Germany... everything looks marvelous! i want it all... esp the cupcakes and other "Treats"

Bianca said...

Wow! I had no idea Germany would be so veg-friendly. I think the country has kind of a meaty image, what with all the bratwurst! And I actually think the seitan dog with ketchup looks yummy!

But oh my god, the cupcakes! I would just die for one of those!

Anonymous said...

Wow - what a wonderful post full of such great info!
Those cupcakes...I'm so hungry now!

TB said...

I lived in Berlin for 3 months in 2000 and I have to say, the vegan options in that city have come a long way in 8 years! You guys made out like bandits!!! Awesome post.

Liz Ranger (Bubble Tea for Dinner) said...

this is amazing, I never would have guessed Berlin to be so vegan-friendly! I might decide to go there for my masters, after all...

(Voner sounds like total heaven, too!)

Chef Erik said...

That cool! In NYC I eat at Kate's Joint. It's a dinner style but all vegan. The unturkey club is the bomb!

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)

No More Sad Geraniums said...

I def. used this as my guide when I first got here this summer. Needless to say, I have been to all but Yellow Sunshine. It helps that I live in Prenzlauer Berg in being close to a few. (Un)fortunately for me, I have become addicted to Vöner. So good!

Anonymous said...

Omg, thank you so much! I'm a vegan who just moved to Ramstein, Germany from San Francisco, California. Thanks to you, I know where to eat when I visit the rest of Germany.

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Meredith said...

I REALLY want to try voner! I was in Berlin last June (as an ovo-lacto vegetarian). I had no idea there were vegan options anywhere! I was traveling with a large group, and most of my vegetarian meals involved potatoes, onions, cheese and sour cream cooked together. I did, however, have a fair number of doners from the regular stands - I just substituted falafel for the schwarma meat. It was so tasty! Berlin is a great city. Kind of weird, but really, really interesting. I would love to go back someday, but first I'm off to London and Edinburgh this August.

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