Vegan Germany

I just came back from a great trip to Germany. Visiting family was part of the reason for my visit, but going to Berlin and checking out Vegan Street was a big reason too. I visited a few cities and was impressed with all of them.

Stuttgart

Before I arrived in Stuttgart my mom and some of our family got to check out a vegan restaurant on my list: Körle und Adam. They loved the food, and the cosy atmosphere of the restaurant. Their website is in German, but even if you can’t read the words, you’ll drool over the food and cheer on the rescued animals in the photos from Hof Butenland and Erdlingshof—local animal sanctuaries.

korle u adam

I had a family dinner at another vegan restaurant, Coox & Candy. Their vegan version of the traditional spätzle dish was phenomenal. All my relatives were happy with how delicious and filling their vegan meals were, and a few even took animal rights pamphlets that were available on the way out.

coox u candy

München

I was excited to visit München (also known as Munich). First stop Max Pett, an organic vegan restaurant that my aunt discovered while searching online for vegan restaurants. We ate outside on the patio and enjoyed delicious fare, including veganized versions of typical Bavarian desserts.

max pett

The next day we visited Veganista, a vegan boutique. Owner Rahel welcomed us to her adorable little shop and I ended up buying an armful of clothing, including vegan suede booties by Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather and tops and a dress by German vegan eco brand Armed Angels.

veganizta

After shopping, my mom, aunt and cousin ate at Café Katzentempel, a vegan cat café! In the café, we met the six resident rescued cats, and filled our bellies with cruelty-free food.

katzentempel

Berlin

Berlin is a vegan mecca. There are countless vegan restaurants and over 300 omni places have clearly marked vegan items on their menus. Organic markets are everywhere and they all have amazing vegan items—from salad dressing to plant-based liverwurst.

vegan food

We arrived just in time for a monthly vegan social, Berlin Vegan Drinks. We were welcomed to the event and got to chat with the organizers as well as several attendees. The vegan BBQ hit the spot.

meal at vegan drinks

Fast Rabbit was a few blocks away from our AirBnb, guaranteeing that I could start each morning with a soy latté and vegan baked goodie.

fast rabbit

My mom and I splurged on a fancy Saturday evening dinner at Lucky Leek. We had a three-course prix fix meal and reveled in the ambience. We compensated the next night by walking to the simple, yet delicious Vego Foodworld, where we had an inexpensive dinner or salad and vegan schnitzel.

lucky leek

Vego

Vegan Street, or Schivelbeinerstrasse on the map, is a vegan’s delight. With Veganz grocery on the corner, complete with a Goodies bakery inside, and DearGoods vegan clothing and Avesu vegan shoes all side-by-side, we were in vegan heaven. We bought vegan hazelnut spread at Veganz (eat your heart out, Nutella), and ate bagels with faux egg salad out on the picnic tables in front of the store. I found a cute pair of vegan shoes next door, and bought a couple of fair-trade, organic tops from Armed Angels and Wunderkwerk.

bagel

On our way to another vegan eco boutique, Loveco, an animal rights parade marched down the street! I took a flier advertising the documentary Earthlings, and learned about the upcoming Vegan Fest (which sadly I had to miss).

parade

We did make it to Kontor Eis before it was time to head home. Kontor is an all-vegan ice cream shop with a terrific assortment of vegan ice cream and sorbets—and a great vegan message!

kontor

If you plan a trip to Germany, you shouldn’t have trouble finding vegan food. People know the word “vegan,” and in Berlin, almost everyone speaks English. Happy Cow will help you find vegan food, and Bio Markets (bio meaning organic) have a ton of vegan options.

In Drogeries (drugstores) like DM, cosmetics and beauty products are clearly labeled and often have a V or the logo of The Vegan Society on them. Plus, in 2009, EU nations banned testing cosmetic on animals. In 2013 they stopped importing products developed with the use of testing on animals. Still, the vegan symbol will ensure the products you buy don’t have animal ingredients.

go vegan

This was a whirlwind overview of my trip so I’ll be diving in deeper to share with you all the details of food, cats and vegan shoes in upcoming posts.

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Vegan Philadelphia

I got to spend the 4th of July weekend in the City of Brotherly Love. My friend Donna and I enjoyed all the city had to offer: shopping, art, American history, and of course, food.

Philly is a great city to be vegan. We tried a few different vegan restaurants and found vegan options at omni restaurants. People knew what vegan was and were happy to accommodate me. Here’s the rundown:

Blackbird Pizzeria is a small, all-vegan casual dining environment. Order at the counter and your food will be brought to the table. I didn’t have a chance to try their pizza because I had a vegan Philly cheesesteak and the hottest seitan wings I’ve ever had. This meal was delicious! The cheesesteak was seitan-based too, making this a gluten-licious meal. The wings had a cool dipping sauce that redeemed me after every scorching bite.

blackbird pizzeria

Vedge is the opposite of Blackbird. A vegan fine dining experience, reservations recommended. The plates were small and artistic, making it perfect to try a starter, hot course, and side. I didn’t have a lot of room for dessert, but I ordered one anyway. We had soup, salad, golden beets, grilled tofu, Brussels sprouts, and cheesecake. Their cocktails are beautiful and refreshing.

vedge

Charlie was a Sinner is a dimly-lit fancy vegan bar. Small plates are great to nibble on while enjoying a cocktail. The kitchen is open late. I wasn’t too hungry at midnight, but I tried the crab cakes anyway.

crab cakes

At El Vez, the waiter helped me pick out tacos that I could veganize. It’s worth a stop at this restaurant for their house-made guac alone. The frozen cocktails are an added bonus.

tacos

The menu at Fuel proudly states that all salads and entrees can be made vegan, so that’s what I did. I had a healthy sandwich with tofu and tons of veggies. It was flavorful and healthy.

sandwich

While exploring the city, we grabbed quick meals here and there. It seemed like every place had at least a veggie burger—even the burger stand in Franklin Park!

veggie burger

The avocado toast with gazpacho and salad that we ate on the patio of a cute sandwich shop was a nice treat on a hot day.

toast and soup

We didn’t get a chance to try Hip City Veg or V Street, so I have at least two more reasons to go back to Philly.

Also, those wings!

Visiting the Cherokee Rose Inn

It’s no secret that Portland is a very vegan friendly city. But not everyone knows about a true gem, the all-vegan Cherokee Rose Inn, tucked away in Southeast Portland.

cherokee rose inn

photo c/o Cherokee Rose Inn

I usually stay in a hotel downtown when I visit Portland. To mix things up, on my latest trip to Rose City, hubby and I visited this lovely B&B.

Staying in a big house in a real neighborhood made us feel like locals. The inn is a true bed and breakfast, and is walking distance to Belmont Street, where you can eat and drink your fill of vegan food and libations at the Sweet Hereafter, and also not far to Stark Street, home of the world’s first vegan mini-mall: Sweet Pea Baking CompanyHerbivore Clothing, Food Fight Grocery, and Scapegoat Tattoo.

Proprietor sandy Miller is a welcoming host and strikes the perfect balance. She’s hospitable, but respected our privacy. A long-time vegan, she’s done a wonderful job decorating her beautiful home and providing creature comforts in the two upstairs guest rooms, sitting room, and bathroom. We stayed in the Eagle room, a spacious room with queen-sized bed, walk-in closet, and extra trundle bed.

We had already planned to eat our way through Portland’s many vegan restaurants, and were we ever delighted with Sandy’s breakfasts! We had Belgian waffles with coconut whipped cream and homemade sausage patties the first day–and coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed orange juice!

The second morning, we were treated to down-home Southern cooking, vegan style: biscuits and gravy, black-eyed peas, grits patties, greens, fruit–and of course that great OJ!

The Cherokee Rose Inn is a place you’ll be glad you visited. Next time you’re in Portland, stop by and tell Sandy, and her little dog Hamish, I say hi!

at the front door of the Cherokee Rose

Vegan travel tips

Sometimes, TWV (traveling while vegan) is easy. In New York City, there was no shortage of vegan restaurants (Candle 79, the Chelsea neighborhood, and Williamsburg area of Brooklyn are examples). Savannah, Georgia was a bit harder, but far from impossible.

I’ve travelled to Costa Rica and Vancouver, and lots of places in between–and I’ve always found vegan food. As summer travel heats up, I thought I’d share some travel tips with you:

Book it

Flying? When you book your flight, don’t forget to request a vegan meal. On short flights, or when food is sold à la carte, see the next tip, wich is:

Pack snacks

In order to eat healthy and never be famished, I pack snacks for the plane and for the trip. I’m never without a Luna bar (or 5) and a bag of almonds. They keep me energized between meals, and on the off-chance I can’t find more than a flimsy salad to eat, I get by with what I pack.

Research

Veg Dining and Happy Cow are great resources. You can even download their apps for your smartphone so you’ll never be left wondering. Look up the city or country you’ll be traveling to and plan to visit vegan, vegetarian, or veg-friendly restaurants.

Shop

I generally don’t eat out three times a day when I’m on vacation. I look for farmers markets and grocery stores so I can stock up on nibbles like hummus and carrots, fresh fruit, soy yogurt and other healthy foods. Most will fit in a hotel room mini fridge so you have something to turn to throughout your stay. Camping? The world is your oyster (just don’t eat the oyster!). Veggie dogs, instant oatmeal, and vegan marshmallows will keep you happy.

Ask

I prefer to support vegan restaurants, but I’ve found vegan meals in the least likely of places. Even meat-centric restaurants will assemble a special meal upon request. I’m always polite, grateful, and tip accordingly. I’ve found that people are usually happy to accommodate my requests.

Network

Between friends and social media (FB, Yelp, web searches for vegan resources in the place you’re visiting), I get a lot of tips and suggestions.

Suitcase_by_Linda Bailey

Armed with these tips, you’ll be ready for your vacation. Do you have any other ideas for a smooth vegan holiday?

 

Vegan Savannah

I like to visit new places, and of course I’m always on the lookout for vegan options. I pack Luna bars when I travel so I’m never hungry or deprived, but what I really enjoy is finding a good vegan meal–sometimes where you’d least expect it.

On my recent girls’ trip to Savannah, Georgia I was pleasantly surprised at the vegan choices I had. Southern cuisine is world-renowned but not especially known for being vegan. I did a little planning by looking up places on Veg Dining and Happy Cow. I found a couple of vegetarian places and a host of veg-friendly restaurants.

I started every morning at the Sentient Bean, where I had a soy latté and vegan burrito. I took a slice of vegan banana bread to go and was full ’til dinner. This cute little coffeehouse is a gem at the end of Forsythe Park.

soy latte

Walking through the park was a great way to start the day. On Saturday, the park hosted a farmers’ market, where I picked up walnuts, fresh berries, toasted kale chips and a bag of grits. (I’ve since veganized a classic grits casserole recipe.)

One evening, my friends and I splurged on dinner at Cha Bella, a decidedly non-vegan restaurant. It did offer local, organic cuisine and sustainable in-season veggies. I was graciously offered a vegan entrée (and I honestly can’t remember if it was on the menu or especially made for me–the service was so good, everything seemed made for us). At most restaurants, ask and ye shall receive. But do tip accordingly!

For another meal, we stopped by the casual Kayak Café, where I had the seared tiger tofu burrito and a delicious side salad. Kayak Café prides themselves on being able to make almost any dish vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.

tofu taco

Moon River Brewing Company was another great, casual place for a bite–and they have a big, outdoor beer garden. There wasn’t anything explicitly vegan on the menu (well, fries or a house salad maybe), but my lovely server worked with me to create a vegan wrap. She even checked with the cook to see if the rice was vegan (it wasn’t–they cooked it in chicken stock or something). I loved that she looked out for me like that. I wrote a thank-you note on the receipt and left it with my tip (again, showing a little appreciation goes a long way).

At Jazz’d Tapas Bar, I chose a roasted garlic hummus plate and a fresh salad. I was really there for the drinks, so a snack was perfect. We ate and drank and listened to the live band and a crooner who sounded exactly like Frank Sinatra.

At Leopold’s Ice Cream I found a refreshing lemon sorbet. It was as close to tutti-fruity as I could get. Johnny Mercer wrote the song Tutti-Fruity after his favorite flavor at Leopold’s.

Leopold's

Savannah was a lot of fun and I had an easier time eating out with my friends than I thought I would.

Two tips when travelling (besides packing Luna bars):

  1. Visit a grocery store for fruit and snacks. I dropped by a Kroger supermarket and bought soy yogurt, apples, bananas, baby carrots and hummus. They fit in the hotel room fridge, saved me from eating out three times a day, which in turn saved me some money.
  2. Look for “ethnic” cuisine. Indian and Thai places, for example, are in virtually any city and are pretty much guaranteed to have vegan dishes.