Thursday, 8 June, 2023

Read this in: German

To find a Berlin hotspot, every visit is a bit like Russian travel roulette. If you had a vegan favorite ice cream parlor a few years ago, maybe next time you will visit this place and now it’s a  kebab shop. And there is just good that you know places that survive the time and remain faithful to the next visit. We have searched for you in Berlin for a long, long time and so found some places that are guaranteed to know no tourist guide and that are not flooded with crowds.

The bohemian village

Probably everyone, even outside of Berlin, probably knows the Tempelhofer Feld. My husband was always fascinated by this former airport, which closed in 2008. But basically it’s just a really, really big meadow that gets overrun by crowds in good weather. Who is now in Neukölln does not have to be the same on the concreted streets. Even if there are good alternatives like Isla Coffee, there is still a secret. And yes, even most Berliners themselves do not know this location and shrug their shoulders, if you call it. Of course, it’s not a trendy district. But especially in the hustle and bustle of Neukölln it is quite exciting, suddenly in the middle of the village to stand. If you want to escape the city, you will find a historic blacksmith shop, some dreamy gardens and small, old churches.

A touch of Asia

Now we come to a place that has often been misunderstood – the Dong Xuan Center. I do not know how it came about that this place is probably the most disappointing place in Berlin for tourists. The center is a market with Asian shops, no Asia Disney land or amusement park. No, the Dong Xuan Center uses just those who want a cheap haircut, like to buy Asian food or just like to eat Asian food. If you want to go shopping, you can find enough malls and smaller shops in the city center and you do not have to take the tram to Lichtenberg. For us it was only in the commercial center, because we just wanted something new. And we had no expectations, we were not disappointed. Our discovery there was sugar cane juice, sweet but not too sweet and very pleasant on hot summer days. And otherwise, you can just browse there and let yourself drift.

The donuts from Brammibal’s Donuts are not only known in Berlin – in addition to vegan varieties from the fixed range such as my favorite variety Maple smoked coconut, there are also monthly specials like Strawberry Pistaccio

Vegan ice-cream and donuts

In Berlin you are sometimes like a herd animal and go to the donut shop or the ice cream shop, which everyone thinks are good. How should it be different? My husband was especially diligent and had chosen an ice cream parlor, which he absolutely wanted to visit. Unfortunately, he is now no travel blogger and has not checked against whether the ice cream parlor still exists. So we suddenly stood in front of a branch of a vegan donut shop. The ice cream parlor had probably shut down. We made the best of it and took a sweet sin for breakfast for the following day.

Tribeca Icecream offers a small but fine selection of vegan ice creams. Being out there in good weather is like a little vacation from the big city.

In a side street on Prenzlauer Berg, tucked away and away from the crowds, Tribeca Ice Cream is a small island of tranquility. The ride is also worthwhile, because other vegan and partially vegan ice cream parlors like Mos Eisley in Berlin-Neukölln are constantly overrun.

But even in such a situation in search of ice is Google Maps your friend and helper. And who says it, 200 meters away, there are two vegan ice cream parlors. We chose Tribeca Ice Cream. Although 2.20 euros per ball are not super cheap, but the taste is worth it.

At GaYaYa in Berlin you can enjoy Asian food of all kinds. In our five-course menu, I especially admired the colorful sushi with avocado.

Culinary discovery trips

At this point not only one, but hundreds of tips could stand here. Where are so many places you can eat well in Berlin. The city has a culinary diversity like no other city that I know. These include not only The House of Small Wonder directly at the Friedrichstadtpalast, but also many other small shops that are not in every tourist guide.

Okonomiyaki sounds like a little tongue twister, but is a very tasty kind of vegan pancake from Japan. This savory pancake with vegetables and vegan or even non-vegan toppings like fish, bacon or cheese is one of the most popular street foods from Japan besides toriyaki, marinated chicken on skewers and takoyaki, squid balls with sauce.

If you want to find the latest street food trends, do not miss the breakfast corner in the Mauerpark flea market.

If you like street food, you should also visit the Mauerpark flea market. Of course, this is totally touristy, but similar to the Dong Xuan Center, I find that the flea market is rather less suitable for tourists. I like to go there on Sundays, get dressed up with juice and delicious street food like Okonomiyaki, Japanese hearty pancakes and then walk over to the adjacent park, where many live musicians play during the day.

In particular, as far as Asian cuisine is concerned, Berlin has always surprised us positively. Being able to eat vegan ramen is a very special experience that we Northern Lights do not every day, because vegan noodle soup in the Japanese way, there are unfortunately not in Hamburg or Bremen (so far).

Isla Coffee always worths a visit. Especially the Cold Brew coffee and the Iced latte with oat milk I can recommend to you. And for those of you who are not coffee fans, there’s great banana bread!

A good start in the day

Essential for me in the morning is a good coffee. Therefore, my big and important advice is: Do not go to big chains or even to the little store in station. Berlin is full of talented baristas who serve you magical coffee. Since I live mostly in Neukölln when I’m in Berlin, my favorite is and remains Isla Coffee and the Cold Brew there is simply inimitable – seriously, I tried! But there the Cold Brew tastes better than anywhere else in the world. I’m trying to find an even better Cold Brew coffee, but I think it’s going to be difficult.

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