Vegetarian Eating in Germany

foods-of-germany
#1

I am not a Vegetarian, but I can say that after a week eating at restaurants in Germany I was somewhat sick of meat and potatoes.

I am happy to report here that I made a discovery: produce from Germany grocery stores is of phenomenal quality. Most of Europe has better produce that, say, the US, but I found the prices for things like tomatoes, peppers, herbs, greens, and fruit to be far lower than I expected given that it’s the country is not comparatively cheap in other ways.

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#2

That’s a great tip! Bonus: saying “Ich bin Vegetarier” at a restaurant is very fun.

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#3

Eating out in Germany as a vegetarian is not extraordinarily hard compared to other countries. It depends on the region but every town with a population >40.000 has a high probability to have a vegetarian/vegan only restaurant (big cities usually have several ones).

My advice for travellers:

  • every kebab store usually offers falafel wraps or wraps with “halloumi”, a fried cheese from Cyprus. With a price from 3-6 € that’s also a very cheap eat for a good value.
  • all kind of asian restaurants are usually a good address, italian ones as well
  • “Traditional” restaurant are a bit more difficult, but thanks to a growing number of vegetarians many of them, even the provincial ones, offer vegetarian/ vegan options. Depending on the region, Käsespätzle are the veggie standard dish.
  • Saying that you’re vegetarian is usually confusing the waitresses and waiters. Some of them don’t know what it actually means and offer you fish or just plain cooked rice. Better ask directly, whether the dish contains meat, bacon, chicken broth or whatever you avoid. Whenever you order a salad or potato dish, make sure that there is no bacon on top :smiley:
  • be also aware that animal products like gelatine and bone extract are “hidden” in many “traditional” dishes such as cream desserts (better ask at the bakery whenever you order tortes, pies and pudding based desserts) and dark and light cream sauce (usually a huge bovine soup bone is cooked in it), which might be served with mushrooms and spätzle.
  • soups (if not labelled as vegetarian) are always prepared with beef or chicken broth

Guten Appetit!

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#4

In Spain you can tell a server that you are vegetarian yet end up still being served ham because it’s so ubiquitous that no one would even consider going without it!

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#5

Any experiences traveling as a #vegan in Germany?

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#6

Yea In Denmark once I ordered a vegetarian dish and the main one came out OK but the salad that came with it had bacon one it because as the server said they didn’t think of it being meat because it was only a spice.

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#7

Spain is really a tough place for vegetarians :smiley: My favourite dish there is marinated olives and capers with potato chips. When travelling to places where the food situation is not vegetarian-friendly at all, I would always choose an accomodation with a kitchen where you can prepare your own meals. Trying new food is not my priority on travel so I can also get in touch with local gastro culture by only having small snacks or drinks and without being stigmatized as the poor grumpy vegetarian.

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#8

Good you ask!
There is also a growing community of vegans in Germany or people sympathizing with a plant based diet. In large cities such as Munich or Berlin you will find vegan only or extremely vegan friendly places all over the place. If you wish personal advice for Munich, let me know!

Typical vegan only restaurants/supermarkets offer the typical vegan food esthetics that has been established, including bowls, salads, burgers, wraps, and pasta dishes. Also a growing number of common ice cream shops offer vegan options and bakeries offer vegan sandwiches (ask for the ingredient list). As a traveller in Germany bakeries will be your best friend :slight_smile: There is also a larger number of “healthy” or “organic” restaurants that are vegan-friendly.

And a growing number of restaurants all over the country offer at least one vegan option in their menu. I recommend to check out Tripadvisor, or a google search for any town you might visit, “vegan Bamberg” for example. There are many vegan food bloggers who post recommendations and will also give you personal advice if you contact them.

Of course there are many ways to “hide” animal products in vegan-looking dishes (see my upper post) such butter and milk powder or even on the molecular level in food additives. But every product you buy in the supermarket has an exact ingredient list (better install a translation app if you don’t understand German language) and you can ask the waiter. Also in this case it is better to name specific ingredients you avoid instead of asking “I’m vegan, what kind of vegan dishes do you offer?”

In any case I would recommend a little online research before you go out for dinner and mark some promising places on your map if you want to avoid annoying discussions with ignorant waiters or ending up with another hangry evening on beer and french fries :wink:

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#9

Germany has been my easiest place to travel as a vegetarian. Like Transdisciplinary says, the larger cities have a lot to offer. But even the smaller towns are getting to be more veggie/vegan aware. Only the super traditional places will pose a problem. I waited for 45 minutes to get a veggie thing at Hofsbrauhaus because I think I was the first person to ask for one in years.

I would recommend downloading the Happy Cow app if you visit. It’ll show you everything vegan and/or vegetarian friendly in your area.

" Ich bin Vegetarierin. Kein fleisch, bitte," is usually all you need to say.

And you’ll never be any more than a few feet from a falafel place. They’re everywhere.

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#10

I’ve been to Germany twice as a “Vegetarier” and had no problem finding food, even in Bayern, which is famous for its sausage laden dishes. I had an easier time eating in Berlin, Munchen and even the small city of Bad Doberan than I did in Brussels. Heck, you can even get vegetarian “Currywurst” at the Currywurt Museen in Berlin!