Kreuzberg is perhaps the most famous alternative area of Berlin, and thus it may be the one with the highest concentration of vegan-friendly eateries. To give an idea of how ‘alternative’ it is, we went on a walking tour to see the local street art and graffiti and a member of the group with a Primark shopping bag was advised to cover it up lest she get bottled by the locals. Hardcore! But it’s hard to imagine the people we observed on our leisurely summer strolls attacking a tourist: it was a really lovely and interesting place, and we were able to eat outside in the sun on several occasions. And the food is good!
Our first stop in Kreuzberg was Yellow Sunshine, a vegetarian fast food place with a good selection of vegan options. I got a “chicken” burger with a heap of fries that really hit the spot – it’s never going to be the best meal of your life, but it’s satisfying and tasty when you’re in the mood for it. We had been looking forward to a slice of vegan tiramisu but they were sold out, so we wandered along to a nearby vegetarian cafe for dessert.
Rootz (UPDATE: closed May 2017) turned out to be one of our favourite spots of the holiday. We split a peanut butter devil’s food cake, and just look how thick the icing was! That’s the kind of cake:icing ratio I heartily approve of.
We were so impressed that we were back for lunch the next day. I went for the Mexican bean burger and the Square Rootz chips, from a variety of root vegetables. The burger was spicy and good and certainly didn’t need to be doubled – one was plenty. That’s not to say I didn’t have room in my pudding stomach, obviously. We split a salted caramel cupcake, which I could happily eat every day.
Every Thursday evening there’s a Street Food Market in Kreuzberg, so we made that a priority in our trip. There was a fantastic array of food, and the vegans were also spoilt for choice. I showed my northern roots by scoffing this pie from the Hallo Good Pie stand: the pastry was so good (as was the filling, but I’m crazy about pastry), and the little salad was nice and refreshing. My beau got this plate of Ghanaian food, which is all vegan except for the yam balls, which reportedly were a touch disappointing anyway. The other bits I sampled tasted lovely. And we also shared a couple of Turkish nibbles as well. We found the lentil fritter a bit dry, but the rolls were really good.
Although there were dessert options in the hall (both cake and ice cream), I had my eye on a prize just a few metres down the road: Eissalon Tanne B, where we picked up some scrumptious Belgian waffles with ice cream and whipped cream. What a feast! It’s pretty rare that I see vegan waffles anywhere, so this was a real treat.
One of the downsides of being vegan is that you can’t just jump in and try any street food or local delicacies you like when you’re on the road, so any time I find an accommodating market like this I’m in my element. It was fantastic to treat ourselves to an assortment of street food for very little money, and then get a sumptuous plate of dessert as well. All hail Kreuzberg!