Oh rarity indeed in which the world-wide availability of animal-free victuals needn’t require a solid grasp (let alone a desperate clutch) of the language, hours pored over HappyCow, and/or an unacceptable quantity of tender discs. With my dunderhead German competency and mondocheap budget, Berlin recklessly indulged my lackadaisical nature. Friends and I aimlessly meandered ‘cross both the gentrified and gloomy boroughs of Berlin and still there were vegan purchases aplenty. Albeit, the comestibles were typically fried or otherwise low on the nutrition-meter, but Berlin still shined to the moon as a vegan eats bonanza.
No white lies though: my utilitarian restaurant research print-outs held pocket priority just over a map and just under a mid-afternoon snack. After all, what import do passports and other document mumbo-jumbo hold when one’s belly rancorously YAWPS its discontent?! Pro tip: for maximum ease of food-locating, map out the closest veg-friendly places closest to the room, hostel, or cardboard box you’re using as shelter.
Upon declaring lunch defeat to the über-decadence and exorbitance of KaDeWe‘s food department, the shimmering orchestral cue gradually heightened as the camera slowly panned over to a glowing Wittenbergplatz market across the square. And then: a decidedly non-diegeitic clash of cymbals. Quick edit to an extreme close-up of our group’s exclaims of gaiety and consoled appetites. Credits role and… lunch was served.
After a thorough scouring of the market’s offerings and a laughable pronunciation of the term “veganer“, falafel won the hour. This street food classic was tinged of the hippie persuasion with its tomato-sauce rice filling, austere lettuce mix, and homemade chickpea balls crammed into a fragile tortilla; no tahini sauce to my minor chagrin. Gritty nom shot was nonnegotiable.
A vendor’s sign be-fixed with the scrawl “homemade mango sorbet” swiftly foreshadowed the dessert course selection. Ladled into a plastic cup from the depths of a wooden ice cream maker, the sorbet’s texture can only be (positively!) described as gloopy. With an unmatched flavor bravado of sweet mango, this closing end to my market haul was an auspicious culinary augury of meals yet undiscovered.
Egads! I shall not even attempt to atone for this photo’s sins. As you look askance at its yellow-tinged illustration, I assure you this parsley-packed falafel was dynamite, stupendous, or whichever hyperbolic expression suits ya’ fancy. The grain base (specifics cower away into the corners of my memory) formed the sands of the marinara moat. Eventually all three dish elements copiously mud-wrestled as I do profess to an ardent penchant for food mixing.
This delicious home-cooked meal was largely crafted by my talented and altruistic vegan CouchSurfing host. Praises be sung to your name, Katharina, for your contributions to my first homemade falafel. And in Berlin, no less.
Photo Credit: Rachel Minier
We have a (name woefully forgotten) Asian place to thank for this steaming delicious mess (alternate picture here) of vegetable medley inundated in creamy peanut sauce. Details are hazy, but I do remember the prices were dirt-cheap without the dirt, with my entree plus mango juice deducting roundabouts €4 from my cash stores. High-fives were gallantly exchanged all-around as we left the establishment in search of more Touristy Culture. Myself? I was dreaming about the destination of our next meal, as per yooj for this food-obsessed blogger. Vegan vittles across the continents, Imma getcha.