Berlin’s signature dish is Currywurst, a sausage covered in tomato sauce and curry powder. From that nugget of information you might assume that the cuisine on offer in Berlin is a) not terribly sophisticated, and b) meat-heavy.
These two conditions become less true each year, and the capital of Germany now offers a healthy choice of distinguished eateries for vegetarians, vegans or those who simply want to take a break from animal-derived food. Here’s a handful.
Cookies Cream one of a new wave of vegetarian restaurants which recognizes that you don’t have to do away with style when you do away with meat. Connected to Cookies nightclub, the restaurant is hidden away in a converted cinema off an unpromising alleyway, while the food is fresh and inventive with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.
In a quiet corner of central Berlin, Chipps is fitted out in sleek matt grays and offers fare dominated by modern, meatless takes on Central European classics. In a neat twist of the usual ratio, the few meat offerings are confined to the side dishes.
No animals were harmed in the making of your meal at La Mano Verde, a completely vegan restaurant just off the prestigious shopping boulevard, Kurfürstendamm. Soaring windows, industrial fittings and attentive service await.
It’s no surprise that Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin’s heartland of organic-shopping, environmentally-aware consumers, has its own vegan restaurant. But if you’re imagining uninspiring plants and grains unimaginatively prepared and unattractively presented, Lucky Leek will change your mind.
Just because you forego meat doesn’t mean you don’t want some fast food every now and then, which is where Kreuzberg’s Yellow Sunshine comes into its own. As well as veggie burgers and (excellent) fries, you can even try a vegan version of Currywurst.