Some vegans do not entertain thoughts of spending
holidays in Germany, thinking that they would go hungry amidst the country’s meat-based gastronomic culture. However, there’s no point in sticking to such notion because Germany today is ranked as the 6th best country for vegans.
Which Cities in Germany are Vegan-Friendly?
The cities of Berlin and Hamburg rank the highest as the most vegan-friendly metropolis, followed closely by Leipzig and Cologne. Actually, Berlin was the first to embrace veganism in Germany, which earned the city recognition in 2017 for being the vegan capital of the world. At that time, Berlin already boasted of over 300 diners that offer vegetarian dishes and more than 50 restaurants that are exclusively serving only plant-based dishes.
Soon after, other cities and towns joined the trend, in light of the country’s growing vegan and vegetarian population. A survey conducted in 2019 revealed that nearly 10% of Germany’s population are sticking to vegetarian food choices, of which 1.6 percent are vegans. Compared to other European countries, the proportion is the highest in Europe.
Considering also that tourism is one of Germany’s leading industries, cities and towns in German regions like Bavaria are not lacking in restaurants and inns that serve vegetarian and vegan dishes. As more than 6,000 tourists arrive daily in Bavaria, to visit Neuschwanstein (Hohenschwangau), Germany’s famous fairy-tale castle, it’s not impossible to find excellent plant-based dining options in any of Bavaria’s many storybook villages like Hohenschwangau in Füssen,
Some examples of German Vegan Food
Actually, becoming vegetarian or vegan in the country isn’t difficult because the country is traditionally into organic farming. Although there’s a world of difference between organic and vegan diets, the discipline instilled by the country’s organic agriculture made the diversification and transition into vegan food production less difficult.
While not totally abandoning its image as the land where the best sausages and schnitzels are produced, Germany has also become a leading producer of meat substitutes that allow its vegetarian and vegan population to still enjoy their favorite traditional German food. Meatless sausages and schnitzels are made from meat substitutes like seitan, tofu, mushrooms, cauliflower and aubergines/eggplants.
Generally, people in Germany are more inclined to eat fruits and vegetables that are in season. Strawberries and cherries in summer, gourds and parsnips in fall, and mostly root crops during winter. Their perennial staples are the fermented cabbage known as sauerkraut, potato dumplings and asparagus.
The white asparagus for one is a culinary treat as it is more tender and less bitter than the green variety. If one is to order them in a restaurant, they are called Spargelzeit, cooked boiled and served with a smothering of hollandaise sauce.
While a traditional German feast includes platters filled with bite-size portions of sausages, cheese, bread and a variety of spread, most German hosts also provide vegetarians and vegan versions as nibbler’s treat. The platters include chewy Bavarian pretzels with horseradish or mustard spread, beer-battered cauliflower, hops salad or a bread made with Bamberg’s “smoked beer.” These are only examples of the alternative dishes, which German vegans and vegetarians partake, which only means vegan tourists will not go hungry for lack of appropriate choices.