Vegan Berlin

If you’re vegan and looking for a travel destination where you’ll feel at home, you couldn’t do much better than visit Berlin.

Germany has been ahead of the game in terms of vegetarianism and veganism for some time, but a recent visit to Berlin proved that the UK still has a long way to go to make vegans feel truly at home. Most cafes and restaurants in Berlin have several vegan options and, according to Berlin-Vegan (, there are more than 60 eateries that are exclusively vegan. The Happy Cow website lists 173 vegetarian and vegan cafes and restaurants in the city (

There’s something to suit everyone, from vegan cocktail bars, microbreweries, and crêperies to outlets selling doner kebabs and currywurst, the traditional Berlin snack that is said to have originated from a post-War fusion of ‘British’ and German foods. There are plenty of healthier options too!

We stayed in the Mitte district and found numerous options within easy walking distance. Momos ( offers a selection of organic vegetarian and vegan dumplings that are really good value and great for sharing. If you want to convince meat-eaters that vegetarians and vegans can eat tasty burgers, then Peter Pane’s ( fairytale ‘burgergrill bars’ offer five choices of vegetarian burger and four vegan ones, as well as a temping vegan chocolate brownie with ice cream and peach compote; the restaurants are very popular, so you will need to book in advance. Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers (, situated in a recently renovated courtyard, is a great spot for breakfast or lunch and offers dishes including avocado on sourdough bread and a very tasty selection of winter root vegetables and spicy chick peas.

You’ll never find it difficult being vegan in Berlin and there is no shortage of websites that offer recommendations; the only difficulty you’ll have is knowing where and what to choose. For further information and suggestions, check out these websites:

Anne Orgée


(A meal at Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers, Berlin)


Take part in new research on vegetarian-friendly omega 3 oils

University College London is testing the effectiveness of omega 3 oils, derived from entirely plant-based sources, in reducing background inflammation in the body. Taking part in the study involves taking capsules every day for three months, and sending two samples of saliva. To get involved contact Robert Pigott: robert.pigott.17{at}

Paul Appleby

Book review: The Essential Vegan Travel Guide

The Essential Vegan Travel Guide: How to plan your stress-free, meat-free trip by Caitlin Galer-Unti. The Vegan Word, 168pp, ISBN 978-0-9986555-0-5, £11-95

The Essential Vegan Travel Guide is not a travel guide as you know it; it doesn’t provide information on specific locations, but rather provides a wealth of information about how to find vegan restaurants and how to thrive as a vegan away from home. Having trekked across various cities in search of a vegan restaurant that has unfortunately closed down, thanks to a ‘traditional’ guide book, this innovative approach is probably a good thing.

Dedicated to “lost vegans everywhere”, the aim of the book is to remove the stress from finding good vegan food wherever you are in the world. It provides a step-by-step approach to finding vegan-friendly (or vegetarian, raw or gluten-free) fare, and hints for travelling (including with dogs or children), finding somewhere to stay, and cooking basic meals in your hotel room. It also includes useful sections on the best dishes to order, and how to order them, in a variety of non-vegan restaurants, including Burmese, French and Jamaican.

A large portion of the book is dedicated to web-based searches and forums, and there is a helpful list of useful resources and recommendations which is also available on the Vegan Word website ( The author recommends Happy Cow ( as the site where she starts all her searches. She also recommends other directories, blogs and local websites. Some of the tips seem a little basic, since most vegan travellers are likely to have used the internet to search for appropriate eateries. However, there are many search tips and innovative ideas that many people may not have thought of. For instance, did you know that putting ‘related:’ before the URL of a website that you are interested in will provide you with sites offering similar information? You might have used a Doodle poll to organise an event, but have you thought of using it to plan your restaurant and café visits by entering the opening times on the days of your trip?

There are recommendations for finding local vegans who may be willing to offer advice, or even a vegan-friendly place to stay, including social networks such as ‘Meetups’ and ‘Couch surfing’, the latter offering travellers the opportunity to find out about local culture by staying with local people or just meeting for a coffee; advice about staying safe is also provided. The information in this book will date as search mechanisms and media fall in and out of fashion, but the principles and the creative thinking are likely to endure, so you probably don’t need to buy it every year! It starts with some of the myths about travelling as a vegan – that you’ll insult the hosts by refusing to try local cuisine, or will starve because you can’t find anything to eat – but ends with a sense that stress-free vegan travel is possible, whatever your destination.

Anne Orgée

Oxford Vegan Festival 2018

Farplace Animal Rescue ( make their third visit to Oxford in the space of a year with another Oxford Vegan Festival on Saturday 10 March, 10.30am-5pm. As previously, the event will be held at the Kassam Stadium Conference and Events Centre, Oxford, OX4 4XP. Entry costs £3 on the day or in advance, under 16s free. VIP tickets (limited to 100) with goodie bags are available for £15 and give priority early entry. Details at

Rick’s Vegetarian café, Oxford

Readers who like to eat out might have spotted a new vegetarian café and take-away in Oxford: Rick’s Vegetarian at 71 St Clement’s Street (near The Plain). Paul Freestone, who visited the café in early February, writes: “I tried the falafel burger with fries (£7-99) and it was very good. The portion size was substantial, the filling included avocado and the fries were crispy and delicious. The menu is almost entirely vegan (see Paul’s photo below), and on the basis of this sample, it’s definitely recommended. The café occupies a small space with just 15 chairs, and is open from 10am to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm daily.” Heather Saunders adds: “I spoke to the owner over a cup of tea, and he seemed pretty passionate about serving up good quality, natural, cruelty-free food, which is fantastic. I had the ‘lunchbox’, which was delicious and amazing value with a big plate of veggies, pulses, grains, and salad for fiver; and shared the vegan pancakes with my boyfriend and they were also very good. Definitely recommend visiting when you can.”

Update 19/2/2018: According to their Facebook page (, Rick’s Vegetarian is open from 10am to 4pm daily (but not in the evening, as stated above).

Food Thinkers Lunch, Friday 16 February

There will be a “Food Thinkers Lunch” at Linacre College, St Cross Rd, Oxford, on Friday 16 February, when I will be one of two speakers each giving a brief ten minute talk on the growth of veganism in the UK, followed by a Q&A session. The event, which is free to attend, starts at 12:20 in the Private Dining Room at Linacre College. Food is available and the meeting is very informal, but you can only attend if you sign up via the following link:

Paul Freestone

Vegan Eats Oxford

OxVeg supporter Heather Saunders runs a blog called Vegan Eats Oxford (  Heather writes: “I post weekly updates on Vegan Eats Oxford of reviews of vegan-friendly establishments around the local area, as well as write-ups of events, and general tips on vegan living. My hope is to help new vegans navigate eating out, as well as to provide support for people new to Oxford or who are visiting and maybe don’t know the area well. I do feature chain restaurants on the blog but I also really want to support local businesses that are making the effort to offer vegan options.”

Paul Appleby

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