If you’re vegan or into vegan food, you might want to add Berlin to your list of places to visit. The German capital has one of the fastest growing vegan scenes in the world with vegan supermarkets, shoe shops, clothing stores, coffee shops, bars, countless restaurants and even vegan sections in regular supermarkets. It’s safe to say that the city has turned into a veggie heaven that’ll make you think that mainstream veganism isn’t such a crazy idea after all. In the midst of vegan comfort food like burgers and ice cream, you may wonder what the the city has to offer to raw foodies and those who enjoy the occasional raw vegan meal or treat. Quite a lot, as it turns out, and the raw scene is only just starting to flourish. Here are seven of our favorite raw vegan spots in Berlin. Enjoy!
Rawtastic, located in one of Berlin’s hippest neighborhoods, officially opened its doors in September 2015. From the food to the atmosphere and the staff, the dining experience at Rawtastic is simply divine. The owners, Simon and Tugba, moved from Sweden to Berlin to open the city’s first 100% fully raw vegan restaurant last year and spent months developing their new business venture. Driven by a passion for healthy living and the most exquisite gourmet raw foods, the pair put together a mouthwatering menu that’ll convince anyone, from raw foodies and vegans to even the most skeptical non vegans. The breakfast menu includes chocolate chia pudding, probiotic yoghurt made with cashews, coconut and a touch of cinnamon, a raw bread basket with cashew cheese and more. Some of the highlights of the main course selection are the ‘shroom burger, the lasagna and the raw pizza. If you can’t decide what to opt for, fear not, as the tasting platter (12 euros) includes bite size portions of several of the menu items.
We tried to taste as many dishes as possible and my personal favorite was the raw cheese plate. Some of the best raw nut cheese I’ve ever had! The overall quality and taste of the dishes reminded me a lot of what used to be New York City’s finest raw restaurant, Pure Food & Wine. Make sure you try their house kombucha or one of their cold pressed juices or superfood smoothies for an extra boost while you’re there. The desserts change daily, but they’re likely to have a variety of raw cakes and treats ready for you. If I had to choose one restaurant to impress people who are new to raw foods, Rawtastic would definitely be it.
info: danziger str. 16, 10439 berlin (prenzlauer berg) / opening hours: mon-friday 8am-12am; sat-sunday 10am-12am/ budget: reasonable with menu items ranging from 4.50-14 euros + brunch platter and raw cheese platter (serves) for 18 euros each; juices 3.90 euros and smoothies 5-6 euros / website: www.rawtastic.de / menu: click here.
[inside daluma – picture: courtesy of daluma]
Daluma is one of my personal favorites whenever I’m in Berlin. Fresh and delicious vegan food galore in a cosy and inviting setting. Daluma was opened in 2014 by three friends who wanted to create the kind of café/restaurant they say they’d been missing for years. The name is a clever and catchy mix of the first syllables of their given names: Daniel, Lukas and Martin. Their menu is full of delicious salads, smoothie bowls and juices, but you can also go there to simply enjoy a cup of organic coffee, tea or coconut water. One of the things I like most about Daluma is that the main dishes follow a “combine it yourself” system where you can choose each individual layer, from the base to the toppings and the dressing. Everything is 100% vegan and organic with many raw options.
Daluma’s philosophy and intention: to create products and dishes made with the freshest organic ingredients every single day and to offer meals that are nutrient dense and optimally combined with an amazing taste. Mission accomplished, I would say.
[on the left: Lukas, one of Daluma’s founders; on the right: Daluma offers a variety of delicious cold pressed juices and desserts]
info: weinbergsweg 3, 10119 berlin (mitte) / opening hours: mon-friday 8am-8:30pm (kitchen open until 8pm); sat-sunday 10am-7:30pm (kitchen open until 7pm) / budget: reasonable, approx. 5-10 euros per dish/ website: www.daluma.de.
The Juicery, in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg, right next to the famous Mauerpark, is one of those places where the love of detail and passion for food are tangible. Seydi, the owner, loves what he does and you can feel it. Every smoothie is carefully prepared and decorated, and even the (filtered and energized) water is served to you with a fresh raspberry in it. After learning more about personal development and raw foods, Seydi decided to open his own juice and smoothie bar just a couple of years ago, in order to create a positive space for inspiration and health.
The first thing you’ll notice when walking into The Juicery are the amounts of fresh organic produce everywhere, which, if you’re as obsessed with fresh fruits and veggies as I am, will make you feel right at home. The store is relatively small, but a few benches and the lovely staff members make it cosy enough for you to enjoy your juice or smoothie on site. Everything is beyond delicious. Highly recommended!
The Bowl, open since spring 2015, is Berlin’s first official plant-based “clean eating” restaurant. The concept is simple: delicious, unprocessed, whole, plant-based food served in bowls. It works. The restaurant is a very popular hotspot for Berliners and tourists alike. From smoothies to macro bowls and delicious desserts, you won’t be disappointed. The Bowl is located on the second floor (a.k.a. the 1st floor for Europeans) of an entirely vegan building (that fact alone is worth a trip). On the ground floor, you’ll find the vegan supermarket chain Veganz, as well the smoothie bar/café Goodies and right next to The Bowl, Avesu sells cruelty-free shoes. Most bowls include steamed and cooked food, but their smoothies, juices, some appetizers, side dishes, desserts and one bowl are raw. If you get there in the morning, you’ll also be able to enjoy the raw breakfast bowl.
[clockwise from top left: smoothies, the raw white chocolate bowl, the raw bowl and the raw breakfast bowl.]
The Bowl is the perfect place to go, whether you enjoy healthy foods in general, you want to enjoy a mix of cooked and raw foods or are simply looking to have a good time with friends, you’ll find exactly what you want.
info: warschauer str. 33, 10243 berlin (friedrichshain) / opening hours: mon-sunday 10am-12am / budget: approx. 9-10 euros per bowl, smoothies, desserts and appetizers are cheaper (3-6 euros) / website: www.thebowl-berlin.com / menu: click here.
[picture: courtesy of essentisbiohotel.de]
Getting to Amaranth, which is part of the Essentis Bio Hotel in Oberschönweide, is a little complicated (it took me about an hour to get there from Tiergarten/Mitte), but well worth the trip. In the midst of a neighborhood where you’d least expect a vegetarian, never mind vegan or raw restaurant, is Amaranth, probably one of Berlin’s best kept vegan secrets. In just a few years, the hotel and restaurant, located right by the river Spree, transitioned from a traditional menu that included meat and other animal products, to vegetarian and now almost completely vegan. Although challenging at times, especially during the first couple of years, manager Tobias says that he doesn’t regret the transition one bit.
The best time to go to Amaranth is on Sundays to enjoy their fantastic and fully vegan brunch buffet. They have a wide range of cooked and raw vegan options, including delicious chia pudding, dehydrated seed crackers, kale chips, gazpachos, smoothies, salads and desserts.
The atmosphere in the restaurant can be described as friendly and chill, a great place to forget about time for an afternoon and just enjoy your surroundings. A group of international staff members and volunteers further contribute to the welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. All volunteers must meditate, practice yoga and eat vegan food daily during their stay, a brilliant concept if you ask me, and just one of the many details that make Amaranth unique. Tobias’ goal is to inspire people and influence them positively by showing them how delicious vegan and raw vegan food can be.
[Note that the restaurant is already fully vegan, only the breakfast buffet for hotel guests still includes a few vegetarian options, but they’re working on transitioning to a 100% vegan buffet]
info: weiskopffstr. 16/17, 12459 berlin (oberschöneweide) / opening hours: mon-saturday open for lunch and dinner (+ vegan and vegetarian breakfast for hotel guests), sunday brunch 11am-2pm / budget: sunday brunch buffet 19euros per person / website: www.amaranthvegan.de / menu: click here.
ExtraVeganz is part of the world’s first vegan supermarket chain, Veganz. It’s located right next door to Veganz‘ first location in Prenzlauer Berg, where you’ll also find a Goodies coffee shop, as well as a cruelty free shoe shop and a vegan clothing store. Every Sunday, you can enjoy their 100% vegan brunch buffet, which is also 60% gluten free, 50% raw and organic and local wherever possible.
Each week has a different theme, the week we visited it was “English Cuisine”, and the chefs do their best to be as creative and innovative with the food as they can. The result is impressive and something you won’t want to miss while you’re in Berlin. From superfood granola with golden turmeric “milk” to stuffed mini peppers and tiny jars filled with crumble, every combination is likely to be something you haven’t tasted before. The cooked dishes are slightly more conventional, but delicious nonetheless (in case you also eat cooked food or intend to go with a friend). As space is limited, I would definitely recommend making reservations well in advance.
info: schivelbeiner str. 34, 10439 berlin (prenzlauer berg) / opening hours: sunday brunch 10am-4pm budget: approx. 15 euros per person / website: www.veganz.de / menu changes every week / reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
note: winter break until February 7th, 2016.
Hofladen im Kiez
Last but not least on the list of raw food spots is Hofladen im Kiez in Berlin’s somewhat posh neighborhood Schmargendorf. Literally translated, “Hofladen im Kiez” means “courtyard store in the neighborhood”. It’s an organic store that includes a cute little café with indoor and outdoor seating. Neither the store nor the café are vegan or even vegetarian, but every Friday, they offer a raw vegan dish of the day, as well as a selection of raw cakes for dessert. The dish can be anything from a raw burger to raw raviolis and crackers.
Hofladen im Kiez may be a little out of the way if you’re staying closer to the city center, but there are plenty of other things to discover in that part of town, like the Grunewald forest and lake. Berlin is a fantastic city for bike rides, so you could even rent a bike for the day and explore one of Berlin’s greener sides.
info: kolberger platz 5, 14199 berlin (schmargendorf) / opening hours: raw lunch fridays 12pm-3pm; store and cafe open mon-friday 8am-8pm; saturday 8am-6pm; closed on sundays / budget: reasonable-pricey (but worth it) / website: www.gesundundsuendig.de / menu: changes every week.
I hope you enjoyed the recommendations! If you’ve been to Berlin before, feel free to share your personal favorites in the comments. And just in case 7 wasn’t enough, here are a few more spots to explore:
b.alive: raw vegan popup dinner club. To keep updated about upcoming dates, sign up here or contact them directly: email@example.com; they also offer raw cooking classes, workshops and event catering.
Superfran’s Feinkost-Manufaktur: 100% vegan with raw options. Facebook: click here.
Laauma: 100% vegan café with some raw options. Website: www.laauma.com
Bistrot Bardot: 100% vegetarian (with vegan versions of every dish) and some raw options. Website: www.bistrobardot.de
Goodies: 100% vegan café and smoothie/ juice bar with delicious vegan sandwiches, soups and pastry, as well as some raw options, especially raw cakes. Several locations in Berlin. Website: www.goodies-berlin.de
And a list of some of Berlin’s many juice and smoothie bars (click on each name to get to their website or Facebook page):