Saturday, 28 March 2015


I managed to take off my hair-shirt last year, and permitted myself a (short) Holiday in Berlin (listening to Frank Zappa the entire time). Sadly for my extremities, this was in December and I spent the whole time cold and wet. Happily for my brain, I consumed All Of The Culture (Wittgenstein graffiti!!), and a fair amount of the food.

Indeed, my selection of hotel was premised entirely on it being located at the midpoint between the main museums and galleries, and the hipster district, Kreuzberg; the hipsterishness being verified by the concentration of vegan cafes.

On my first night, I trekked down to the main part of Kreuzberg, where I found a Kaisers, and on the way home the very excellent LPG Biomarkt. This doesn’t sell gas for your car, but is a gigantic organic/healthfoods shop. This provided me with the means for a somewhat cobbled together dinner, but no less delicious.

 You can’t get much more echt than real bread, wurst, and a bloody big gherkin. 

Interestingly, though the wurst was completely vegan, it tasted eerily like the (animal) wurst I had in Germany as a child. Spooky verisimilitude.
At the bottom left there is a doughnut; I was foolishly trying to photograph this with one hand while trying to not get the whole thing completely soaked by the continuous rain. 
Other eats in Berlin involved pretzels (surprisingly no better than the good ones in Melbourne), sufganiyot (it was hanukkah at the time, so I went to a vegan-friendly Jewish bakery; also conveniently this was a Berliner. Two birds, one stone!) and vegan Currywurst, wolfed on the most miserably cold day of all. And lots of bread. Bread bread bread. I paid the price for this, but it was probably worth it. 

Currywurst. I..e mock meat, dusted with curry powder, and covered in sauce. Not entirely convinced that this counts as a regional delicacy.
I also had the only good coffee of my entire 2 months outside of Australia in Berlin, courtesy of Five Elephant. Unsurprisingly, the young woman who served me was from Melbourne. Natürlich!

Though I was on a mission to visit Veganz in Prenzlauer Berg, there were Veganz concessions in branches of Kaisers, and other supermarkets (Aldi, REWE) had pretty decent selections of vegan food. I got some organic vegan pate at Aldi, for instance, which was something ridiculous like one euro. Top marks for the bio soja drink in a glass bottle, too. 
Classy glassy. Even plant milk tastes better in glass.
Vegan mecca

 I did make it to Veganz, and came out with more German “meats”, and vegan chocolate (white chocolate with cherries; “milk” chocolate with peanut butter). It was hectic, busy, and my browsing was somewhat hampered. Quite possibly they never have quiet times, a la Terra Madre. 

I wasn't completely enraptured by Berlin, probably because I spent more time in the Big City bits (i.e.  too much like any big city) than I wanted. Next time I will explore Kreuzberg, Neuköln and Prenzlauer Berg properly. I would also recommend going with another person, because that way more stomachs = more food to try.