Return to Berlin – Day 1

I bloody went back to Berlin! I had so much fun back in May last year that I decided to return last November, these posts have been a little while coming, sorry for the delay. I honestly originally planned to make this trip less food related than my previous one, but the trip came while I was recovering from fractured ribs so movement was fairly restricted. Luckily for you all, I could move long enough to go from one meal to the next, so prepare yourself for a load more tasty tips for how to stuff your vegan faces in Berlin!

I’ll do a similar set up to last time and write a blog post for each day followed by a round up listing everywhere I went with the proper links and such. So, let’s get started shall we?
If you read my posts from May, you’ll remember that I’d gone to Berlin by train. This time I decided to fly, mostly because I have an upcoming work trip to Nuremberg next month that will be done by rail and I didn’t want add another long train journey to the mix. Whilst I felt guilty for flying, my ribs were grateful for the quicker journey and it allowed us a lot more time to get things done. It was convenient but I did feel sad that the journey wasn’t quite as exciting this time round. It felt strange to just jump on a plane and end up in Germany an hour or so later, I missed the adventure of the journey this time round.
We landed in Berlin at around 10am and had a good four hours in the city before we could get checked into our apartment. I made the decision to drop our luggage off at Berlin Hauptbahnhof (the main train station) as it’s cheap and seemed like the easiest choice. Unfortunately I forgot how confusing that station is when you’re first there. I was tired, cranky and not confident in my German so early on in the trip, so stubbornly spent ages looking for the luggage hold. We probably spent an hour at the station trying to sort out our luggage, so by the time we found somewhere to eat we didn’t have long until check in time.
I wanted to eat somewhere new, so decided to check out Cafe Morgenrot, inbetween Mitte and Friedrichshain (where we were staying). I was so excited to check this place out because it’s a workers co-op. So everyone who works there owns the business, shares all tasks, has equal say and pay etc, so all good stuff. The cafe isn’t 100% vegan but is very vegan friendly.
When we arrived I was surprised by how big the place was, I immediately regretted not bringing our suitcases with us as there was plenty of room for us to keep them by our table. I’ll definitely remember this for next time.
There were a few choices on the menu, nachos, soup of the day, quiche and salad and lots of cakes/cookies on the counter. I went for the soup of the day – Tofu Fish Broth with bread. I was super excited to be surrounded by Fritz Kola again so also ordered one of those. The soup arrived really quickly and I couldn’t believe how big the portion was for the price. I only paid 3,50 for the whole lot. I know Berlin is pretty affordable but this was still better than expected. The soup was delicious and really filling. It was packed full of veggies, tofu and seaweed.
 We picked up some chocolate, raspberry muffins on the way out too. They were pretty basic cakes, nothing special but still really good, especially if you don’t fancy a cake covered in frosting.
I was sad we couldn’t stay longer as it had a really chilled atmosphere in there. I think if I lived in Berlin it would be one of the places I’d go to most, it’s a great space and no pressure to finish your food and leave. Plus cheap and wholesome food! Win!
We decided to go straight to the apartment and pick up our luggage later. We paid a little more for this place than our last trip but it was so worth it. We booked through Oh Berlin again, the apartment was awesome, no complaints at all. The location was great, we were a 5 minute walk from Strassmannstrasse tram stop in Friedrichshain, close by to Frankfurter Tor and Warshauer Strasse (where one of the Veganz branches is). We also had a Denn’s Biomarkt close by as well as a Netto. Here are some photos.
Bedroom/dining room area
After checking in we collected our luggage, did some shopping at Denn’s and then got settled into the apartment. I managed to get hold of some preview tickets for Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 as Cinestar in Potsdamer Platz put on an extra screening. I didn’t want to venture out too far for dinner, so decided to check out Chay Village, a vegetarian vietnamese restuarant just a few tram stops away in Friedrichshain.
We didn’t get there as quickly as we had planned so were a little short on time, luckily for us service was really quick. We decided to share some summer rolls with a satay dip and an inside out rice roll to start off with. Both of these were amazing. The summer rolls were light but full of flavour and the satay sauce was so good. The inside out roll was really unusual. Looking at it, it does just look like a block of rice but inside was filled with a sweet tofu filling. The soy sauce with sweet onions and nuts on top complimented it really well.
Summer Rolls
Inside Out Rice Roll
For my main, I went for a faux meat dish with sour tamarind tomato sauce, served with rice. This was also pretty good, lots of fresh vegetables and a very generous portion. I did find it a little sour for me but I do think that’s exactly how it was supposed to be with the tamarind. It was a little unusual at first but the more I ate the more I fell in love.
Tamarind Tomato Faux Meat
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to try any of the desserts, which sounded amazing. I really enjoyed my meal at Chay and will definitely have to go back when I’m next there. I plan to go back very hungry and with lots of time so that I can sample most of the menu! Despite it not being completely vegan most dishes were suitable or could be made vegan so plenty of choice.
We raced over to Potsdamer Platz with very full bellies and got to Hunger Games just in time. I wish I’d taken photos of the Cinestar because it was huge and amazing (well, for a film nerd/graduate like me anyway). It was really fancy and ridiculously busy. I wanted to get a drink and snacks from one of the popcorn bars (yes, there was more than one) but the queues were way too long. There was even a wine bar by our screen! And it was pretty clean in there too, so fancy! The film was awesome, though it was a little weird that there was an interval for food/drinks during the adverts. Is this normal in Germany or is this just Cinestar?
Overall we had a pretty awesome first day in Berlin, but I knew when I went to bed that night that I needed to up my food game if I wanted to get all the places on my go to list covered!

4 thoughts on “Return to Berlin – Day 1

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