This blog is a celebration of the wonderful world of vegan cooking. Enjoy!

* The title of this blog refutes the dangerous idea that veganism is a weight-loss diet and that all vegans are skinny. Conversely, being a-not-so-skinny-vegan is also not the same as being overweight or unhealthy. All food intake must be part of a balanced lifestyle.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Sauce

In the past few months I've become a rather obsessed user of Pinterest. It is a fantastic tool for finding delicious vegan recipes that I would never have dreamed of. It's also a great tool for spying on my omnivore friends to see what kind of food they are eating so that I can make similar things and gently introduce them to a plant-based diet. Well, that's not entirely true, I do not do anything gently, but for whatever reason there are now many recipes on my Pinterest boards that aren't vegan but that I've pinned with the comment 'to be veganised'.

One of the other habits I've developed since becoming an avid user of Pinterest is that when I'm cooking with or for someone else I tend to just refer them to my 'Savoury Things to Try' board. That way the person I'm cooking with gets to maintain the illusion that they've been involved in the choosing of the menu but I get to cook something new I already wanted to try.

(I may be a little bit of a control freak.)

Last week The Hipster came across a vegetarian (but not vegan) recipe for sweet potato burgers with roasted garlic cream and avocado from How Sweet It Is during this aforementioned process. With a few substitutions and some tweaking of the process I easily turned the vegetarian recipe to a vegan recipe.

The burgers are delicious served on wholemeal buns with the roasted garlic sauce, sliced avocado and some fresh lettuce. A side salad with green or spring onions in it compliments the dish well and makes sure you get enough greens if you are eating this as a main meal.

I would suggest starting on the sauce first since you need to roast the garlic bulbs. But once they are in the oven you can start on the burgers and come back to the sauce later.

I've given instructions for both frying and baking the burgers. We fried ours but I've had just as much success baking burgers in the past if you want to avoid the oil. Also, frying the burgers will mean they are crunchy on the outside and rather moist and smooshy on the inside. If you prefer a more solid burger then I would suggest baking them.

Roasted Garlic Sauce

2 hands/bulbs of garlic
2 tsp olive oil
2/3 cup plain Greek soya yoghurt*
1 tsp maple syrup**
extra salt & pepper for seasoning

Preheat oven to 180C.

Slice the tops off the garlic bulbs so that the very tops of the garlic cloves are just exposed. This makes getting the garlic out easier later.

Gently rub the hands bulbs so that most of the loose paper comes away (so it's not so messy to deal with later) but leave at least one layer (to help keep the moisture in).

 Wrap each bulb in foil and place on a baking tray and drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil onto each bulb. Place in oven for 45 minutes. Then remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, remove foil and then allow to cool completely.

Once the garlic is cooled, squeeze each clove into a food processor or blender along with yoghurt and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Add seasoning and then blend again for a few seconds.

* To make Greek soya yoghurt from your ordinary soya yoghurt, just strain through cheesecloth into a medium sized bowl (I use some leftover muslin from a top I made and hold it on to the bowl with some clean clothes pegs) for at least 8 hours (the longer you leave it, the thicker the yoghurt will be. If you put some on a teaspoon it should be thick enough to hold on for a few seconds when you slip it upside down). You can keep the whey (water that drips through) to make porridge or for baking as long as you keep in a clean, sealed container and use within a few days. Scrape the yoghurt from the cheesecloth and put into a sealable container (I normally wash the container the yoghurt originally came in and then just use that again) and use within a few days.

You could just use the soya yoghurt as it comes instead of making it into Greek soya yoghurt but your sauce will be a bit thinner. 

** If your yoghurt is sweetened you might want to leave this out.

Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers
makes 6-8

2 tsp ground flaxseed (or other egg replacer)
4 tbsp water
2 large gold sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
400g can of cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (optional, for frying)

Whisk the flaxseed (or other egg replacer) with the water in a small bowl or mug until thick and creamy. Set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, put the sweet potatoes in enough water to just cover them and bring to the boil then simmer until soft. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool them and drain again. (You could also cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave to speed things up.)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, roughly mash the beans with a fork or potato ricer. You don't need to finely grind the beans, some chunks are OK.

Add the cooled sweet potatoes to the beans and mix. Add the flaxseed mixture and then the rest of the ingredients (except the olive oil). Put the mix in the fridge for 15 minutes (optional, although it helps with the stickiness).

Take out of the fridge and form into patties on an oven tray and some baking, greaseproof or parchment paper. This is easiest if you form balls in your hand (somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball) by rolling a handful gently in your palm and then gently pushing the patty onto the tray. You should have 6-8 patties. If you are frying your patties, refrigerate for another 15 minutes (optional, but helps keeps the patties together).

Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Scoop patties from baking tray with a flat spatula and place in pan. Fry on each side for 3-5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C (this should already be happening because you should have roasted your garlic!). Bake the patties for 15-20 minutes or until burgers start to brown. If you want a tougher burger, leave in the oven for longer (but don't let it burn!).

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Vegan on the Isle of Wight

A little while ago The Hipster and I went on a trip to the Isle of Wight. I desperately wanted to get out of Cambridge but we'd just returned from our trip to Berlin so I couldn't really afford another trip overseas. Or could I?

The Needles.
 The Isle of Wight is pretty much its own country except you don't have to bother exchanging any money and they speak the same language (mostly, I still have trouble with some of the regional accents). And it's technically over a sea(-ish) so you kind of feel like you have gone overseas. If you are a foreigner be prepared for the psychological games the locals try to play with you: some stock their front yards with Union Jacks, St George's Crosses and UKIP posters and others are so damn friendly and welcoming you wonder if they confused you with a celebrity. And if you are vegan... just be prepared.

I always like to scope out a place before I visit it to make sure I am going to be able to eat there. My first point of call was the Isle of Wight Vegetarians & Vegans. They have a website with some suggested places to eat but, as these places were mostly on the opposite side of the island to where we were staying in Shanklin, I emailed them directly and they were super helpful (although there wasn't exactly much for them to work with in Shanklin).

The Shanklin coast.
 We stayed in a B&B in Shanklin called The Havelock. Shanklin has some very pretty coastline and a quaint, old part of town and is very much a Victorian-gentlemen-convalescing-by-the-seaside kind of town. And while The Havelock are certainly not a vegetarian establishment (much to The Hipster's delight every morning as he ate all the animals) they provided a hearty vegan-alternative to a full English breakfast for me every morning along with soya milk, vegan butter and homemade bread (although the homemade bread gets eaten quickly so the earlier you get up the better!). The owners, Ann and Dave, are also extremely helpful and accommodating and recommended places in Shanklin that may cater for vegans.

I also did a bit of research myself (and some rather vocal begging) to some of the local restaurants and ended up being overwhelmed by how damn helpful everyone was and then sometimes even pleasantly surprised by the food.

Sadly, I didn't take any photos of any of the food but I hope you find the guide helpful nonetheless.

Places I visited:


The Shanklin coast.

Tue - Sun: 18:00 - 23:00 (change throughout season so call)

This restaurant is located in the old village part of Shanklin. I had phoned beforehand to make sure they could cater for vegans and we booked a table as soon as we arrived on the island. The service was very good although the food was a little bit disappointing. I had a Greek salad for a starter but without any protein or fat in the salad it was a bit lacking. I'm also pretty sure the olives came out of a can.

For the main I had the aubergine and chickpea loaf with a sweet pepper and tomato sauce. This had a lot more flavour and was really quite tasty and satisfying. And it's on their every day menu which means you don't need to phone ahead. There were no vegan dessert options and no vegan wines.

The Hipster had a starter, a main and dessert and wine and our total bill was just over £50.

Fine Nammet

Mon: 17:00 - 21:00
Tue - Sat: 11:00 - 21:00
Sun: 11:00 - 16:00

Firstly, don't let the atrocious website put you off. This is a fantastic place to eat. I honestly cannot say enough good things about the fantastic service, the helpful management, the skills of the chefs, the quality of the food and the ambiance of the restaurant. But apparently neither can anyone else on the Isle of Wight. So before you read any further, if you plan on eating in Shanklin and want to eat at the best place, book as far ahead as possible. I don't think they've had a single spare table since they've opened. We watched them turn away dozens of people while we were sitting there eating and heard them do the same over the phone. It's a popular place so get in early.

There is nothing vegan on their menu. But that didn't stop me. I emailed them to ask if they could cater for me and not only did they say they could, they then let me know what local produce was available, what they could do with it and then gave me two choices for each course of a three course menu.

For a starter I had a watercress soup. I chose this because I couldn't possibly see how they could make watercress soup taste anything other than like grass. I was wrong. So very wrong. It was fresh, well seasoned and absolutely delicious.

For the main I had cauliflower 5 ways served with herbed sauté potatoes. Again, I chose it because I was damn interested to see how on earth they thought they could make cauliflower tasty 5 different ways. And I'm so glad I did. This dish was amazing. The different textures and the alternating flavours of each of the parts was just delicious. And it was so colourful! All the meals were beautifully presented but unpretentious.

For dessert I had banana fritter with rum and raisin sauce. I had the option of a fruit salad which, in hindsight, I should have taken. Not because the banana fritter wasn't delicious, because it was, but because I was kind of full by that stage and the dessert made it a little difficult to walk home with a massive belly full of fritter. But it was worth it. It was very yummy and I ate every last bit of it.

The Hipster also had three courses although his final course was a cheese platter which is a little bit more expensive than the other desserts. He also had wine. However, they have a 2/3 course dinner special which he seemed to have ordered from so our bill came in under £50 which was amazing considering that we both had 3 courses, he had wine and that my meals were made especially for me.

So, if you are going to Shanklin, go to Fine Nammet.

The Ventnor Botanic
garden hosts a range
of Australian flora
due to the island's
microclimate. I was
looking for the kangaroos.


The Plantation Room - Ventnor Botanic Garden

Gardens open daily 10am-5pm. Call cafe to check opening times.

We had been told that this cafe had a vegan-friendly chef so on our first full day on the Isle of Wight we strapped on the walking boots and walked the 6 miles from our hotel to Ventnor Botanic Garden. Luckily we had eaten a full breakfast because when we arrived there were no vegan-friendly cakes or scones or any vegan-friendly food at all. They did have a lovely range of tea so I just had a cup of that before we walked around the gardens and then trekked the 6 miles back to Shanklin. And luckily, again, we had only been able to get an early table at Fine Nammet and the meal there was great (see above).

I've contacted the cafe directly to get them to confirm the availability of vegan options and will update this post when I hear back from them.


The Red Duster

Open Tue-Thu for breakfast, lunch and dinner but close between meals so call for times. 

The Red Duster. Not so vegan-friendly.
When you look for vegetarian restaurants on Google or Trip Advisor for some reason The Red Duster pops up. I have no idea why. It is definitely not a vegetarian restaurant and it's definitely not vegan-friendly. The a la carte menu has a whole vegetarian section but this seems to only be offered at dinner time (we arrived at the end of lunch). The staff tried to cater for me as best they could and I ended up with a tasty salad that was fresh and flavourful but it lacked any sort of protein and I ended up walking to the Sainsbury's at the end of the road after the meal to get a banana and some cashew nuts. The restaurant seems to be a bit of a local institution, though, but I'm not sure it's the best place for vegans.



Open daily
from 8am - serves breakfast, coffee, tea, pastries
from 12pm -  serves full menu

The pier at Ryde.
We went to Ryde so we could ride the train along the pier and so The Hipster could look at the hovercraft (for the millionth time). I was hoping that The Orrery Cafe might be open (see below) but it seems to have very strange opening hours. But along the same street are an array of restaurants so I just let The Hipster pick whatever he wanted to eat (since he normally has to eat wherever I say) and I had planned on forcing the restaurant to feed me.

In what I was coming to learn was typical Isle of Wight style, the restaurant was very friendly and tried to be as accommodating as possible. There was nothing vegan on the menu but our waiter went and spoke to the chef and they decided to make me a pizza. And when the pizza came and it looked a little bland, our waiter went back to the kitchen to fetch some rocket to make it a little more interesting (it actually tasted quite good without the rocket but I appreciated the gesture).

It wasn't spectacular food but it was tasty enough and I appreciated that they could feed me at such short notice.

Recommended places I did not visit:


The White Lion

Open daily 12pm - 9pm

A pub located in Arreton, between Shanklin and Newport, it has a good range of vegetarian options although it's not clear from the menu if any of these would be suitable for vegans. Recommended by IWVV website.


Cowes main street.
Brawn's of Cowes

Mon - Wed: 6pm – Late
Thu – Sat: 12pm - 2.30pm, 5pm - Late
Sun: 12pm – 2.30pm

Tapas bar with lots of vegetarian options. Hummus and falafel may be vegan. Recommended by IWVV website.


Quay Arts Cafe

Mon – Sat 9:30am – 4:00pm. Lunches served 12:00 – 3pm

This was recommended by IWVV, and they actually claim on their website that they cater for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian diets, but unfortunately we never made it to Newport. It will be one I will make sure I visit next time.


The Orrery Cafe

Open 11-4ish Monday -Friday and from 11-5ish on Saturdays

This cafe seems a little... odd. It was closed when we tried to check it out and from their website it's not entirely clear that they are even still open or even serve food. But it's also recommended by IWVV and appears to be the only vegetarian-only cafe on the entire island.

The Ventnor coast.

El Toro Contento Tapas Bar

Open daily from 4pm.

Tapas bar with vegetarian options on the menu, some look like they could be vegan. Recommended by IWVV website.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Vegan Egg-Free Mayonnaise

Since moving to a share house I've had to come to terms with sharing cupboard and fridge space. This means that I can no longer collect vegan-friendly condiments with the enthusiasm that I used to. Now I make my own sauces and dressings and there is less packaging and less waste involved and I'm seeing what goes into my food. And I think that can only be a good thing.

In the past few weeks I had made falafel and falafel burgers on a couple of different occasions and used something like this Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing to accompany it. Then last week our MCR had a long-weekend BBQ to celebrate the final emergence of the sun after months of absolutely horrid (typically British) weather. So I decided to make a potato salad and to make my own mayonnaise.

If you like your mayonnaise a little creamier then I suggest straining the 1/2 cup of yoghurt through muslin or cheesecloth (or a clean dishcloth) for 24 hours to remove excess water. You'll be left with a thicker yoghurt (kind of like Greek yoghurt) and you can then add all of the other ingredients from there.

You can tinker with the measurements according to taste. Sometimes I also like to add a 1 tsp of miso paste for a little extra flavour if I have some around. It makes enough for about 750g of potatoes. I only used half for 500g of potatoes and then stored the rest in a jar in the fridge to use later as a yummy creamy dressing for a vegetable salad.

At any rate, as the weather slowly gets warmer and BBQs become a little less painful to endure in the cold, I hope the recipe is of some use. Luckily, it can be served hot or cold! Enjoy!

Vegan egg-free mayonnaise in a potato salad.

Egg-free Mayonnaise

1 cup soy yoghurt
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

For a warm dressing, pour on warm potatoes/vegetables and serve immediately.

For cold potato salad, allow potatoes to cool, stir in dressing and refrigerate until needed.

Vegan egg-free mayonnaise on some lightly steam vegetables is just as delicious!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Oil-Free Sugar-Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

I recently went to a vegan baking evening hosted by the Cambridge Carbon Footprint group who put on a variety of events to raise awareness about climate change and sustainable living. Unfortunately, the evening was aimed more at omnivores who wanted an introduction to vegan baking rather than vegans who had been baking for quite a while. Also, the two recipes we made (Sticky Toffee Pudding and Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles) were packed full of refined sugar. But I met some lovely people and still had a great evening so it was well worth it.

I've recently been trying to avoid eating sugar as part of a regime to stabilise my blood sugar levels in order to avoid migraines. Any slight addiction to anything seems to be enough to put me in some sort of withdrawal which can start a headache which can then turn into a eleven day head pounding marathon. So despite the pudding and snickerdoodles being rather delicious, I wanted to try to come up with a recipe that did not use sugar.

The recipe I came up with uses dates to sweeten the cake and dates and maple syrup to make the toffee sauce. Now, I'm not suggesting that maple syrup is better than sugar. However, I figured that it would be better to come up with a recipe that doesn't use sugar so that I get out of the habit of using it. The maple syrup could easily be replaced by agave nectar, brown rice syrup, date syrup etc which tend to have lower glycemic indexes (although that does not necessarily equate to them being better for you). I used maple syrup because I had it on hand.

The recipe also uses quite a lot of maple syrup for the toffee sauce. This is mostly because the original recipe had both sugar and golden syrup with melted butter and so it was difficult to get the right consistency with the dates. You could easily double the amount of dates and add 80ml (1/3 of cup) of water in with the dates and milk when you boil them for the sauce and then only add a small amount of maple (or otherwise) syrup to taste. You could also easily halve the amount of toffee sauce and still have enough to complement the cake.

The biggest problem with me baking by experiment is that I end up eating all of the experiments. So I decided that perhaps it might be best to try to cut the vegan butter out of this recipe too hence why it's an oil-free sugar-free sticky toffee pudding. I will post another version that I adapted from the original recipe with all of the tasty, naughty stuff in it (although still not as much as in the original recipe!) at a later date.

The recipe uses soya milk and soya yoghurt so will only be sugar-free if your soya milk and soya yoghurt are sugar-free. It's easy enough to get unsweetened soya milk but it might be a little bit trickier to get unsweetened soya yoghurt unless you make your own. Alternatively, you could use 1/4 cup mashed silken tofu or more soya milk instead.


Oil-Free Sugar-Free Sticky Toffee Pudding


250ml (1 cup) unsweetened soya milk
100ml (slightly < 1/2 cup) water
200g pitted dates*, halved
1 level tsp bicarb soda
50ml (1/4 cup) unsweetened soya yoghurt
200g (1&1/3 cups) self-raising flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Toffee Sauce:

75g (approx. 8) pitted dates
150ml soya milk
80ml maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5/375F.

Line a 20cm x 20cm shallow cake tin with baking paper.

Put the dates in a small saucepan and cover with soya milk and water. Simmer until dates are soft then take off heat and stir in bicarb soda. It should froth. Leave to cool.

Mix the spices into the flour in a small bowl.

Place the yoghurt into a large bowl and stir in the cooled date mixture. Sift and fold in the flour. Spoon cake mixture into prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until cake springs back when touched.

Allow cake to cool then prick the top of the pudding all over. Pour on the toffee sauce incrementally, allowing the sauce to seep into the cake before adding more.

Toffee Sauce:

Roughly chop the dates and cover with soya milk in a small saucepan and simmer until dates are soft. Leave to cool slightly, add maple syrup and vanilla essence then transfer to a food processor or blender**. Blend until smooth.

*I prefer medjool dates.
**Please make sure your food processor or blender can handle hot liquids and is not glass. If it cannot, wait for the dates to cool completely and then carry on as per instructions.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


If you are vegan and you've never been to Berlin then I cannot recommend going enough. I've travelled quite a lot and have visited some fantastic vegan restaurants in some wonderful vegan-friendly cities but no where compares to Berlin. And it's not just the fact that there are vegetarian and vegan restaurants in almost every damn area you can think of (check out the Berlin Vegan website if you don't believe me) it's the fact that even in the non-veg*n establishments they are still so damn vegan-friendly.

One of the reasons for my trip to Berlin was to see my friend Ahmad. He took us to lots of veg*n restaurants all over Berlin, introduced us to the hip and cool areas and took us to the most hipster cafe I've ever been in in my entire life (even The Hipster had trouble keeping up with the coolness). The cafe is a cafe/gallery called Bloody Mary and they have an impressive range of smoothies. And to give you an example of how wonderful Berlin is I will give you an excerpt of my conversation (that I have turned into a short play) with the extremely cool guy working there who spoke perfect English and whose customer service was so overwhelmingly wonderful I considered staying there and marrying him.


A Vegan In Berlin

Act I

elise: Um, are you able to make the smoothies without the yoghurt?

coolest hipster cafe dude on earth: Sure. But we have soya yoghurt so I can make it with that instead.

(Elise's jaw drops to floor as she contemplates a cafe having soya yoghurt. Silence ensues and she scrambles to choose a smoothie because she did not, in one million years, expect him to say yes to being able to make it without the yoghurt let alone make it with soya yoghurt.)

The End


Bloody Mary cafe; cards and coffee;
Guarana smoothie with soya yoghurt.

Before I get around to writing about the individual places I ate at I wanted to say a couple of things about how I found the restaurants this time. Normally I use the Happy Cow website and work my way to a certain restaurant based on ratings and reviews. This time I did things a little differently and chose places to eat based on where I currently was (or if Ahmad took us there). Before I left England I downloaded the Trip Advisor app onto my phone which can be used offline. It uses your GPS signal to figure out where you are and can find you the closest restaurants. You need to filter by vegetarian restaurants but I found it quite useful. The only thing that was a bit unhelpful is that the app doesn't display opening hours so we turned up to a couple of restaurants at certain times and found that they were closed.

Berlin Vegan also has an app for your phone but it does require a data or wifi connection. Wifi is available almost everywhere in Berlin so that's not always a problem but if you are using it to find somewhere to eat in-between places and you don't want to incur roaming charges then it's a bit inconvenient. The app has a great feature where it draws you a map from your current location to the place you are going, though, so we would look up the restaurant when we had signal and just keep the map active once we were out of range. Just be warned, though, that some of the information for the places on the app are in German only but I certainly hope that this will improve if the English version of the app becomes more popular.

There are a couple of things to remember about eating out in Berlin. Firstly, water is not free. You (most of the time) cannot get tap water so if you order water you will be paying for it. Secondly, you need to tip but the tipping process is extremely confusing. The standard amount is about 10% but there are no tip jars and leaving money on the table is not really done (most places you will pay at the counter after your meal). What you are supposed to do is listen to the total and then say to the person serving you that you would like to make it another amount. So, for example, say your total is 16 euros and you are paying with a 20 euro note just say to the person serving you 'make it 18' or whatever you think is appropriate.

Below are little bits about the places we ate at while in Berlin that I hope is of help for anyone travelling to Berlin any time soon. I've split them up into vegan, vegetarian and omnivore but they are all vegan-friendly. There are many, many more that I would like to visit so I am already planning my next visit to this wonderful vegan-friendly city.


Wind & Wetter

This was the first cafe that we went to simply because it was a short walk from the hostel we were staying at (EastSeven Berlin Hostel which I cannot recommend enough). Lunch is served between 12 and 4 and dinner is served between 7 and 11. The place is spacious and the menus are in both German and English. The food seems to be vegan versions of pub food mixed with a bit of American diner influence. We went there for lunch and I had the Grilled BBQ Smoked Tofu Sandwich and The Hipster had the soup of the day which was a vegetable soup. We both got freshly squeezed/pressed juices which was rather yummy.

It's not exactly gourmet food (my sandwich was served on a white baguette) but it was hearty and tasty. There was also an impressive range of cakes on display that I would have like to have tried but I couldn't actually finished my sandwich so there was no way cake would have fitted.

Grilled BBQ Smoked Tofu Sandwich

Kopps Bar & Restaurant

Ahmad had told us that one of the must-do things in Berlin was brunch on the weekend. Knowing that I was vegan he booked us a table at the all-vegan restaurant Kopps who have a vegan buffet brunch on weekends from 10am -4pm. They are also open on weekdays for lunch and dinner where you can order from an al a carte menu (you can also order from this on weekends).

I don't think I've ever been to an all-you-can-eat vegan buffet before. I also don't think I've ever eaten so much food in my entire life! A lot of the dishes had TVP in them, which I am not a fan of, so I steered clear of them. But there was a large range of hot dishes, salads, cold 'meats', breads, condiments and desserts available. I especially liked the desserts. There was a polenta dessert made with almonds, orange and sultanas that was delicious. There was also chocolate brownies, two different style of vegan pancakes, vegan cream, vegan custard and fresh fruit. The great thing was that even though I was the only vegan (and there was only one vegetarian in the group) everyone really enjoyed the buffet and stuffed themselves silly.

Drinks were not included in the price of the buffet (which was 13.50 euros) but it was still excellent value for money.

Vegetarian (vegan friendly)

Cafe V

This was a nice vegetarian restaurant that we decided to venture to after checking out the East Side Gallery. The menu is really quite extensive with a lot of options for vegans that are clearly marked. The menu is also available in English.

Chickpea Polenta in Indian Curry Sauce with
Sultana-Almond Spinach

I had the Chickpea Polenta in Indian Curry Sauce with Sultana-Almond Spinach. The polenta was really yummy with the sauce but the thing that made the dish absolutely amazing was the spinach. I've never enjoyed eating my vegetables so much in my entire life! Another friend ordered one of the other vegan options (the Stuffed Aubergine) and he said it was really nice. Everyone seemed to really enjoy their meals although The Hipster order one of the salads and said it was rather heavy on cheese. However, after a very long day of walking around being tourists the restaurant was nice and cosy and the meals were generous and generally delicious.

Take cash because they don't take card.

Stuffed Aubergine


This is a vegetarian Indian restaurant near Savignyplatz in the Charlottenburg region of Berlin. We visited this restaurant by recommendation from a friend of Ahmad's.

They have a buffet available but we missed it so were left to order off the very extensive menu (which has English translations). There are quite a few vegan options and they are all clearly marked, although I was a bit confused by some of them as they seemed to contain paneer so I just steered clear from those ones.

I ended up ordering the vegan platter which was huge and quite tasty. The style of food was more like the Indian I used to get in Australia rather than the oily Indian served here in the UK. Everyone really enjoyed their meals and it was really reasonably priced.

Omnivore (vegetarian/vegan friendly)

Make your own salad at CHIPPS: the only vegan
option on the lunch menu.

This was probably the most expensive and less vegan-friendly. So why did we end up there? Well, it's a bit of a funny story.

The Hipster and I had spent the morning in the Pergamon Museum and wanted to check out another hipster vegan cafe in Berlin before heading back to the UK that evening. I used the Trip Advisor app on my phone to find the closest/coolest vegetarian cafe/restaurant to us. After some avid scrolling on my phone while basking in the beautiful spring sun we decided on a place called Cookies Cream. It seemed to be the closest place to us although it also seemed to have some rather cryptic reviews about actually finding the restaurant once you had reached the address.

Turns out these cryptic reviews weren't so cryptic: the address is easy to find but the restaurant itself is hidden. We found it eventually, relying on our friend's German, only to discover a very friendly staff member who congratulated us on finding it but informed us that it was closed for lunch. But he raced away to grab some business cards that showed us the location of another restaurant that was owned by the same 'hard vegetarian' (I have no idea what that term means). And that's how we ended up at CHIPPS.

CHIPPS actually has a completely vegetarian menu but with a couple of meat side dishes you can add on if you are omnivore. The breakfast menu had a couple of options for vegans but we had missed the times for that. The lunch menu doesn't have any vegan options except for a 'make-you-own' salad which was actually quite nice and rather large (I ordered the medium just to get more choices) although they did forget to put in one of my options. However, I got muddled with the tipping so I feel CHIPPS and I are even on that score. But if you aren't keen on the idea of getting 'just a salad' for lunch then maybe CHIPPS is not the place for you. I enjoyed mine, though.

Soya milk is available (although, it's available everywhere) and the coffee was good.

(They don't have a website but you can check out their Qype page and a review in English and a German review)

Azzam is found in the Arab-Turkish district of Neukölln. It's not at all in the standard tourist part of town but there are many locals who claim that this place has the best hummus in Berlin and possibly the best falafel too!

The menu wasn't in English (although it was in both Arabic and German) and I'm not entirely sure if the staff spoke English (Ahmad ordered in Arabic for us) but it was still pretty easy to figure out what was what on the menu.
I ordered the falafel plate and for 3.50 euros I was given a full plate of falafel with hummus and pita and pickled vegetables and all-you-can-drink tea. It also came with some sides of a tahini-yoghurt sauce and a garlic sauce but these didn't look vegan so I avoid them (they were shared among the group). It was tasty and by far the best value for money meal we had in Berlin.