Like most major cities, ‘clean eating’, veganism, farm-to-table gastronomy, and urban gardening are growing in popularity in Berlin. With markets and cafes like the ones in our guide, it’s easy to see why.
Unverpackt, which in English means ‘unpacked,’ is pushing the boundaries of modern market shopping. The store’s merchandise is sold virtually free of all packaging: instead of relying on conventional packaging methods, Unverpackt sells everything in bulk and shoppers simply bring their own jars, bottles, and Tupperware. Of course, the products are regionally sourced and 100 percent organic. What’s more is that Unverpackt is a resounding success, gaining plenty of media attention as well as many satisfied customers. This innovative concept calls into question the absurdity of using so much packaging in the first place.
Die Dicke Linda is teeming with fresh seasonal fruits and veggies along with flowers and a number of other natural treats, meats, and seasonings. Die Dicke Linda offers a chance for customers to reconnect with the producers of their food, an important element in changing our consumption patterns and adopting healthier lifestyles. Look out for the market’s trademark red-and-white striped canvas stalls in Kranoldplatz near Hermannstraße Station each Saturday in the summer.
While Berlin has plenty of vegan restaurants, figuring out where to shop for vegan foodstuffs can be a bit tricky. Luckily, more exclusive vegan shops are cropping up around the city. Veganz is at the forefront of this trend. Founder Jan Bredack wanted to make a vegan-friendly market where customers wouldn’t have to spend ages meticulously scouring ingredients lists.
The Bowl, Warschauer Street | courtesy of The Bowl
Conveniently located right above the Veganz on Warschauer Straße, The Bowl is a restaurant committed to clean eating. This means every dish and snack is entirely gluten-free and vegan. The Bowl is open all day, with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert menus. Breakfasts include items like smooth bowls, while lunches and dinners feature savory-themed dishes. The California bowl, for example, comes with avocado, quinoa, and healthy fried sweet potatoes. It is seasoned with lemon-sesame dressing. For dessert, opt for a healthy shake or rich raw cake.
Enten und Katzen, which means ‘duck and cat,’ is an organic deli, grocery store, and cozy cafe with a sunny terrace in Prenzlauer Berg. In addition to health foods, Enten und Katzen sells a variety of different natural beauty products and cosmetics, something that can be a bit more difficult to come by, even in Berlin. The deli has an impressive array of ethically sourced meats and a selection of dozens of cheeses. Plus, there are also soups, pastries, and light breakfast options on offer at the cafe. Coffee drinks can be served with milk alternatives, like soy, as well.
Anaveda, near Kottbusser Tor, has a daily menu consisting of ayurvedic dishes –a traditional Indian holistic diet – as well as other multicultural specialties like red curry with beets and seasoned rice. It’s easy to find things here that are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free. This is an excellent spot to grab some takeaway fare as well because most of the food on offer is pre-made and displayed in a deli case at the front of the shop. Prices are excellent for health foods, with meals costing well under €10. Anaveda also sells various teas, sauces, and other nutritious fare prepared in accordance with traditional ayurvedic methods.
Tucked just at the busy Moritzplatz roundabout is the secret garden haven, Prinzessinnengärten. This whimsical green space functions as a public community garden with plots available for rent. Additionally, they serve daily lunches made using produce picked directly from the garden. Meals are simple and plant based but anyone who is accustomed to eating produce this fresh can attest to what a difference in flavors and textures it makes. Dining al fresco at Prinzessinnengärten is a wonderful way to ignite the palate and get acquainted with the benefits of garden-to-table gastronomy.
One of the city’s most famous and well-established farmers markets is Kollwitzplatz Market in Prenzlauer Berg. This organic bazaar strengthens ties between urban consumers, local producers, and artisans, making it a great way to get in sync with the German custom of enjoying produce in accordance with the seasons. Late spring calls for white asparagus and strawberries, for example, and it is common to see excited Germans coming from Kollwitzplatz donning containers of each under their arms.
Located in Friedrichshain near Ostrkreuz Station, Laauma is a cheerful little restaurant that serves raw, vegan and sustainable entrées, desserts, and brunches. In addition to soups and sandwiches, a common favorite at Laauma is the raw veggie pasta marinated in lemon and served with sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and cashews.