When I went vegan (about four years ago), I envisioned it being easier pretty much anywhere else. I missed all the plant-based foods, fancy cafés and amazing restaurants I knew from London, New York and Berlin and wished for even only a few vegan places to open up in my lovely hometown. And guess what? My wish came true! Within the last years, Hamburg has evolved into a paradise for a healthy and cruelty-free lifestyle and I am more than happy to see more and more shops opening their doors to (not only) vegan customers.
Aside from the vegan food, Hamburg has so much to offer: its harbour is the second-biggest seaport in Germany and thanks to the Alster and the Elbe, it holds a wonderful maritime charm. Even if my hometown is known for its typical “Hamburger Schietwetter“ – I would translate that as a frequent mixture of drizzle, rain and wind – it can be a green haven during the summer months.
So, when you plan your next trip to Europe or even Germany, please consider stopping by and enjoy some of my favourite places – you won’t be disappointed!
This cozy place, also known as the vegan kitchen-diner, is great for burgers – which can also be made gluten-free or served as delicious bowls, if you prefer to forgo the bread. Happenpappen was founded by Roman Witt, who is now running a culinary school, and has lately been passed on to a new owner, the lovely Cathy. This laid-back, casual hangout does not accept reservations, and as they are quite the hotspot among veggies, you’d be lucky to get a table on the go – but even if you do have to wait, the food’s absolutely worth it!
After Roman handed off the little Happenpappen to Cathy, he fully concentrated on his new baby: a vegan culinary school located only minutes away from his former restaurant, offering a variety of courses from the basics to more advanced kitchen magic. Accompanied by amateur chefs – and sometimes well-known German food bloggers and chefs – attendees get to know the secrets of Indian or Israeli cuisine, learn how to make their own chocolate or burgers and make new contacts with interesting people. The atmosphere of Kurkuma is beyond cosy – highly recommended for a special outing.
One Saturday morning, on my way to my local whole-foods shop, I noted a sign saying a vegan restaurant was opening just a couple of minutes from my flat. I could hardly believe my eyes, as Winterhude isn’t known as the kind of super-stylish neighbourhood where one might expect such hip, on-trend dining. But since the opening of Froindlichst a few months ago, the restaurant is always packed with hungry vegans and omnivores alike, indulging in great pizzas, burgers, soups and salads. Everything can be made gluten-free, what I really appreciate, and I normally eat here about once a week.
This tiny little café specialises in cupcakes – and their vegan option is pure perfection: a rich chocolate cake with an even more decadent peanut butter frosting. Liebes Bisschen also has vegan cookies and cakes, like a zucchini apple loaf or a peanut butter crunch bar. Be careful, not all of their treats are vegan, but they are happy to help you with your choice.
Yes, we have our own vegan supermarket! If you ever dreamed of going to a grocery store and being able to buy whatever you like without studying the ingredients (oh, the misery of the constant label-checking!), this is a must-visit. From fresh fruit and veggies to all kinds of nut butters, cheese, pizza, sweets and superfoods, Veganz is the land of almond milk and maple syrup for all vegan foodies.
Hamburg’s first food truck company, founded by Christian Kuper in 2014, makes the best sweet potato fries I have EVER eaten: they’re that perfect blend of crunchy texture and non-greasy finish. Their motto is: “Karma is not a bitch if you stop eating shit!” (true story). Their event and brunch location, The Base, will soon host their third truck and you can check their tour plan here.
At the entrance of our vegan supermarket Veganz, you can find Goodies, a cruelty-free coffee house chain from Berlin. This is the place to get the best chocolate brownies in the whole world, IMHO, plus loads of other fancy treats such as raw cheesecakes, smoothies, scones and cakes as well as delicious savoury stuff, like sandwiches, salads and soups. My favourite is their quinoa lemon salad with rhubarb and broccoli. And their brownie, of course!
Gracias Madre Raw Food
Note: Unfortunately, this location is now closed, because the owners moved to California.
Cinnamon buns, cookies, brownies or cheesecake – there is nothing you cannot have at this wonderful veggie haven. And the best part: after devouring all of the sweet temptations, you won’t have a guilty conscience, because everything is free of refined sugar, dairy and gluten, but full of great taste and pure goodness. Gracias Madre!
This lovely restaurant will always be my favourite. La Monella has everything from a warm atmosphere to heartwarming food. They serve vegetarian Italian food with loads of vegan options. A must-try tip: the potato and truffle pizza with vegan cheese is a total winner.
Believe it or not, we have our very own vegan caterer in Hamburg! And their concept was so successful, that the founders decided to open a restaurant, where I regularly indulge in delicious green spelt burgers, fresh salads and divine desserts. If your mouth is watering at “chocolate tonka mousse with chili berry sauce“, you should definitely make a reservation here.
Homemade “bliss balls”? Check. Crispy kale chips? Check. Cold-pressed juices? Double-check. If you are into healthy food and drinks, you should stop by at Lebeleicht, a chic bar located next to a luxury fashion store in Eppendorf. My favourites are their ginger shots, packed in tiny little bottles à la Alice in Wonderland, and their chocolate chunk blissballs. YUM!
This pretty new place is, as the name suggests, paleo and not vegan. BUT there have plenty of healthy vegan options on offer, like overnight oats, smoothie bowls, quinoa salad and raw superfood bars. Try the purple acai bowl and a nice almond latte at Paledo!
This was one of the first vegan restaurants in Hamburg, but I have only been here a few times. Why is that? I think the food at Leaf is worth a visit, even if not excellent – but it’s of the more pricey variety. Though the atmosphere is inviting and the service is nice, so if you’ve got the cash to splash, go ahead.
During the summer months, you can enjoy Hamburg’s best vegan (soya) ice cream at Die Eisbande. They have classic flavours like vanilla and chocolate, as well as more fancy ones, like mousse au chocolate (to die for!) and Snickers. Unfortunately this ice-cream paradise is closed during the winter – but this also means that the first cone of the year always feels like Christmas.