To start this party off, I’m going to begin with one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been to; Berlin. I love Berlin for so many reasons. Here are a few of them: this city and its people (the ones I’ve been lucky enough to come in contact with) honor its challenging history with understanding and sympathy and consistently work towards a brighter future every day, the food scene (especially the vegan one since that’s the one I care about) is ABSOLUTELY BANANAS, the art is stunning and everywhere, the parks are breathtaking, there are dogs and bicycles everywhere and the streets are filled with people, young and older, enjoying life. I really love Berlin.
It’s hard for me to do a One Day Kiki’s Way for Berlin since there’s just so much to do and I can’t wait to go back and discover more, so this one will be more like places I really love to go and explore and then places I have found to be particularly tasty.
First things first, rent a bike. There are bike rentals at most hotels, on many street corners (especially where there are more tourists). They usually cost about €12 for the whole day. This is your wonderful mode of transportation for the whole day, so get ready to ride.
My favorite breakfast spots in Berlin are as follows, again, depending on which neighborhood you’re in!
White Crow Cafe: A great plant-based cafe with daily changing homemade gluten-free, soy-free baked goods, yummy coffee drinks and sandwiches as well! They are the home of Berlin Kombucha Society too, so that’s pretty cool. And there’s a VERY sweet dog there, named Moose.
Two Planets: A delicious vegan friendly cafe with a cool vibe and DOPE ASS TOAST. The avocado toast was incredibly delicious.
Brammibals Donuts: Fully vegan, fully adorable decor, fully amazing. Run, don’t walk. Brammibals also has a rotating flavor charity donut. It’s a great spot and the shirts say “donut eat animals.” When we went, we partook in the BLT bagel (for some sensible breakfast activities) and then devoured these donuts: Boston Creme Pie (Kiel’s favorite), Peanut Butter Fudge (who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate?!) and Strawberry Rhubarb Vanilla (this was their charity donut when we were there).
Depending on where you’re staying in the city, you should bike to the Tiergarten and/or to Tempelhof. If you head to the Tiergarten, you’ll be able to see the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz and the Reichstag Building with the incredibly impressive dome that you can walk up (highly suggest registering at least a day in advance for this!) I love biking through the park; there are many gardens, memorials, dogs, statues, ponds and humans enjoying this beautiful park. Tempelhof used to be an airport and now is a beautiful sprawling park with runways that people use for all sorts of wind sports. Lots of dogs and picnic-ers here. It’s really eery and awesome to ride around all the terminals as well.
Who doesn’t want a massage ever? I highly suggest Thai massage at LIMIN Thai. It was the first Thai massage I’d gotten since being IN Thailand that I really felt like I might be back in Thailand. A beautiful experience with incredibly strong masseuses.
Berlin is a really fun city to travel to the different neighborhoods and explore the vibes. Good thing you have a bike!
Tiergarten is in Mitte, the middle of the city, where, as I said before, some of the more famous tourist monuments are. Also next to Tiergarten is the stunning and intricate home of the Berlin Philharmonic and the beautiful and sobering Holocaust memorial. Both are worth exploring in your own time.
Prenzlauer-Berg is a really cool artsy area and is really fun to bike ride around, stopping at local coffee shops and watching people!
Another area I love doing that in is Friedrichshain, where the center of that neighborhood reminds me of the West Village in NYC. So many vintage shops, vegan ice cream places, delicious Vietnamese street food everywhere, it’s pretty incredible!
The East Side Gallery is definitely worth a visit. This nearly one-mile long stretch of the Berlin Wall is now covered in gorgeous works of art and acts as a memory, a remembrance, a museum and a celebration of art and moving forward. The gallery has official status as a Denkmal, or heritage-protected landmark.
MORE FOOD (duh)
I will now return to food… the rest of this list is just amazing food places that I loved in Berlin when I was just there in April. One of my favorite things about Berlin is that even though there is at least one vegan option at virtually every restaurant, there are also SO many fully plant-based restaurants, too many for me to actually go to them all in multiple days. I will try to categorize but just try to go to all of these places!
1990 Vegan Living: An amazing plant-based Vietnamese restaurant. This one has a home-y vibe with huge windows that open so you’re basically sitting out on an active street in Friedrichshain. At 1990, the thing to do is go with a few people and then order a LOT of food. The dishes come as “bowls” and basically it’s Vietnamese tapas. Everything we ate was delicious, and we ate a lot!
Frea: Frea is a zero waste restaurant. It’s amazing. There are no garbage cans and they process all of the waste in a composting machine within 24 hours and that soil is returned to the supplier farms. So beautiful. We had a beautiful and romantic dinner here which included homemade sourdough flatbread with sunflower dip and pickled celery, onions and mushrooms, homemade pasta with pumpkin and sourdough flakes, lentil ragout with garlic creme and roasted veggies and for dessert, a delicious apple strudel!
Soy: an absolutely delicious plant-based Vietnamese restaurant in Mitte. They open around lunch time and have a great lunch special so it fills up pretty quickly. There are small tables and a few larger community tables as well. I really loved the Pho, the Banh Xeo (a traditional HUGE crispy pancake made with coconut milk, topped with seitan, lots of veggies and bean sprouts and served with amazing homemade sauces) and the steamed dumplings!
La Stella Nera: This place is little and super busy, but worth the wait, or just order a pizza to-go, like we did! It was really hard to choose what to get since everything looked so amazing (calzones too!?). Whatever you choose will be amazing; I can’t wait to go back!
Alaska Bar: A really cool vibe tapas bar! We went late at night (we were the last ones out!) We got a bunch of things, as per tapas style, and they were all amazing. Low-light, little tables, good drink options (all vegan of course!), fun books and pictures everywhere, delicious food!
Emma Pea: I loved this spot. I had their house burger and I told them, and think I still stand by this, that it was the best vegan burger I have ever had. It was just SO good. Emma Pea is adorable. Tiny, tucked away off a side street in Friedrichshain, in a back ally near an indoor climbing gym. We had read that it was a bit hard to find, but Google maps did lead us there, and I’m so grateful for it! Inside there’s a cozy fire, you order at the counter, the menu is scribbled over chalkboards all around, it’s such a great, simple spot. The tandoori fries were also spot on. It was just so delicious.
These are my honest reviews of places I went and what I loved when I was in Berlin. This is not an ad.