I’m thrilled to be posting a city guide for what is one of the most sustainable and progressive cities in the world, Berlin.
Berlin is a city that is characterized by its youthful energy. It is the rebel child, pushing boundaries and staying out partying until 5 AM. It has the grunge of Brooklyn, the sprawl of Paris, and the social and environmental consciousness of Stockholm. But when all is said and done, Berlin is simply, uniquely Berlin. The city stands out from its more posh sibling cities of Munich and Hamburg, and is described by locals as being very “un-German.” This counter culture has made it a hot tourist destination with millenials, as well as a popular spot for expats and digital nomads.
With 65 fully plant-based restaurants, and over 300 listed as vegan-friendly on the HappyCow app, Berlin is a vegan’s dream come true. You can find just about any type of cuisine in its cruelty-free form here.
While there is a lot of darkness etched in Berlin’s history, the city today is paving the way towards a greener, more sustainable future. Tucked away behind the walls of graffiti are parks, green spaces, and urban gardens. You will find plenty of young, motivated, creative types who are keen on making the world a better place.
I hope this Berlin City Guide helps you navigate some of the best sustainable shops, restaurants, and sights during your stay.
Bonanza Coffee Roasters
Bonanza Coffee Roasters is passionate about crafting an excellent roast and is deeply involved in the entire process, from bean to cup. Their cafe is absolute aesthetic perfection- open, light-filled, and modern.
Tucked inside the contemporary concept store Voo Store is Companion Coffee, a cozy little hideaway with just a handful of tables, the company of plants, and windows that open up to fresh air on a nice day.
A general store, cafe/ restaurant, and event space all wrapped up into one. There are plenty of seats available, so head here to work on your laptop, meet up with friends, or simply linger over coffee and a light breakfast.
No Fire No Glory
A specialty coffee shop in Prenzlauerberg serving espresso drinks, pastries, and light fare.
Where to Eat
Located on the second floor of Veganz, Berlin’s all-vegan grocery store, is this plant-based restaurant where fresh, healthy, plant-based ingredients are the main event. In addition to savory bowls and smoothie bowls, they also offer smoothies and healthy desserts.
Vegan donuts and third-wave coffee make for a naughty-yet-nice way to kick off a day of shopping and exploring.
A beautiful juice shop serving a variety of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and raw vegan dishes.
La Stella Nera
For an authentic Italian food experience- minus the meat and dairy- head to Stella Nera. They have an extensive menu of antipasti, pizza, and pasta, plus traditional Italian desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta.
An all-vegan restaurant serving inventive, plant-focused meals.
This vegetarian dumpling restaurant offers several vegan options in a casual, counter-serve setting.
A no-frills vegan kebab shop serving doner, curryworst, burgers, and fries for inexpensive prices.
A buzzing Korean restaurant serving traditional Korean dishes like bibimbap and ramyun, with many vegan/ vegetarian options.
W der Imbuss
A mostly vegetarian/ vegan menu with an variety of international cuisines including Indian, Mexican, and Mediterranean.
A beer garden with a beautiful outdoor space that is perfect for escaping the city grit on a nice, summer afternoon.
A large indoor/outdoor nightclub open on Fridays and Saturdays, where the parties last well past dawn.
One of Berlin’s oldest biergartens, with ample outdoor seating and a small drink menu of traditional beers and wine. Their food menu includes a vegan option of vegan meatballs with beans, potatoes, and pickles. Heads up, they take cash only.
For a weekend-long techno party with no break, head to Sisyphos. This space is a perfect representation of Berlin’s grit-culture.
Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg
Avesu, one of the biggest online, 100% cruelty-free shoe stores, is based in Berlin and has two brick & mortar locations- one across from The Bowl on the top level of Veganz grocery store in Friedrichshain, and another in Prenzlauer Berg.
Folk Days sells artisan-made fashion and design goods and does a rotating pop-up shop, highlighting other ethically-minded brands.
A general store selling a range of home goods including lighting, pottery, candles, furniture, stationary, and more. Be sure to stop in their attached cafe/ restaurant for a coffee and a pastry.
Contemporary fashion from ethically and sustainably minded brands.
Sells a variety of men’s and women’s fashion and beauty products from eco-friendly and ethical brands.
Women’s fashion and beauty products from sustainably-minded, mostly European brands like Signe, Skall Studio, and Maska.
SHIO sells a variety of contemporary fashion made from eco-friendly materials, and also has a line of up-cycled fashions repurposed from second-hand clothing.
Un Autre Voodoo
Sells products made locally and sustainably by international designers based in Berlin.
An eco-minded boutique selling a variety of men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry.
A small storefront selling eco-friendly and ethical clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Things to Do
Head to Berlin’s most beloved park on a Sunday afternoon for the weekly flea market and karaoke.
Tempelhof Feld is an airport that was built in the 1920’s and ceased operation in 2008. It is now a park where you can walk around on a nice summer day and have a picnic, go for a bike ride, and check out its urban garden section where locals grow vegetables on raised beds.
A stretch of stalls along Maybachufer in the Kreuzberg neighborhood selling handcrafted goods and authentic Turkish dishes. Operating hours are 11 AM- 6:30 PM on Tuesdays and Fridays.