The Organic Traveller
Saturday, 18 May 2019

Berlin: Organic Moabit

When you're captured in the boring conference centre Moa-Bogen (not far from the Berlin main train station, Hauptbahnhof) where not even the tea bags in the conference area are organic (with the notable exception of one type of simple black tea which was available from one single tea bag dispenser) all you want is to go for a stroll at lunch time. But this is not Kreuzberg and it's not so easy to find organic food options. What I discovered in the vicinity were two vegan day cafes with more or less limited use of organic ingredients, both not more than a five minutes walk away (though in opposite directions).

Around Birkenstraße tube station

Geh Veg

For cheap and simple, filling vegan food find the ice-cream-shaped neon light of vegan Café Geh Veg next to the Birkenstraße tube station (the name is a mesh up of the literal translation of "go veg", the German word for pedestrian way -- Gehweg -- and the German phrase "Geh weg!" meaning "go away"). This small and somewhat shabby place serves breakfast until 2 pm as well as black bean burgers, salads, bagels, wraps and cakes. Unfortunately it’s only partially organic: The bagels, the tempeh and the soy and the oat drinks are organic, most of the tea bags and soft drinks are, too, but veges, yogurt alternatives and the ice-cream usually are not. The coffee is even cheap conventional supermarket fare. Questions about the origin of the ingredients were dealt with in a friendly way, but the staff does not seem to be very knowledgeable. Note that the toilets are next door.

Valladares

For way nicer surroundings in Spanish style walk in opposite direction: Directly located at the pleasant retreat of Stephansplatz with a nice children's playground surrounded by Wilhelminian style houses you'll find Valladares Feinkost. It's not only a 100% vegan café, but also a small organic grocery selling organic dry products, dairy alternatives, wines, lemonades, water and even natural cosmetics. The coffee is roasted in town but not organic, the plant-based drinks are. According to the barrista fresh veges used in the dishes would usually be organic, but there's no commitment to what's organic and what not. Unfortunately the cakes aren't. The oat-drink-based cappuccino I found too sweet (due to the brand), so here the one from Geh Veg was better, despite the inferior coffee.

Alt-Moabit

Domberger Brot-Werk

From Birkenstraße take the U9 tube one stop to Turmstraße, and you're in the heart of Old Moabit, with busy shopping streets and pleasant residential areas. Here you'll find the Domberger Brot-Werk, a true artisanal bakery with an open bakehouse as part of the shop. It smells deliciously here and you may be surprised by the limited selection of items -- just a few types of bread and rolls, and one type of cake if you come in time for the latter. But the taste! I still regret that I did not buy a loaf of bread to take with me, since the Bavarian-style pretzl I had was overwhelmingly tasty: fresh from the oven, with an intense flavour of wheat and baking stone (although Bavarians would probably complain about the softness). The bakery itself is not certified organic, but uses certified organic flour, eggs, and milk. The fruit for the cake and other ingredients come from the Kreuzberger Markthalle 7 and may not be organic. Needless to say that you can have a coffee, too, probably also in front of the place when the weather is nice.

For 100% organic ice-cream head for the Eisbox ice-cream parlour a few corners away. Unfortunately I run short of time, so share your experience with me if you come here.

There's also an organic supermarket of the small Berlin-based LPG chain a few meters further west which also offers fully organic lunch. Their bakery counter opens an hour before the supermarket, at 7am. The LPG groceries are organised as a co-operative with a focus on regional producers and neighbourhood welfare, offering discounts to its members. Its name matches the common abbreviation for the agricultural production cooperatives in former East Germany.

At the main train station

Within the city's huge main train station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof (which you can reach within a few minutes on the TXL bus from the Turmstraße stop located on Alt-Moabit street) it's hard to find a supplier of organic provisions (you'll have to fall back to the conventional Rewe supermarket or the Rossmann drugstore and check for organic labels). I could not find any eatery using organic ingredients, but you can at least have organic coffee drinks and tea at the Pret a manger self-service cafe. When you enter the station from the southern exit at Washingtonplatz this is the first place to the left. They use fresh organic milk from the Bavarian Andechser dairy, but unfortunately none of their cakes, cookies, sandwiches and other own-brand snacks are organic.

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2019-05-18 18:00:00 [Berlin, Moabit, organic, vegan, cafe, restaurant, eatery, coffee, ice-cream, supermarkets, grocery, bakeries] Link

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This work by trish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For commercial use contact the author.