I took advantage of being back in my old neck of the wood to check out what was happening on the vegan and vegetarian food scene in Montreal. I was super excited to see that most of my old fave vegan restaurants in Montreal were still alive and well, and even more excited to discover that there were quite a few newcomers, making Montreal one of the most vegan-friendly cities I’ve lived in – not far behind my beloved Berlin. Being vegan in Montreal seems to be the hip thing to do right now and I am really not complaining! So without further ado, here is what I think is the best of Vegan Montreal!
I know some of my German friends would roll their eyes at me for saying that Germans love to be naked in public. But I think they totally do. If you’re not familiar with the Freikörperkultur, of FKK (free body culture), chances are you will after spending some time in Germany. And while some would simplify that the FKK movement was born as a form of resistance against the East German regime, nudism in Germany has its roots way further in history. After doing a little research, what stuck with me most is the use of nudity historically as a way for people to free themselves from the religious restriction that has taught people to be ashamed of their body, and from the industrial society. Without clothes, no-one is a factory slave, everyone is equal.
The Two Vegans One Country Train stopped in Hamburg!
Much like Leipzig, Hamburg came as a pleasant surprise, with chilled vibes all around and throngs of alternative, cool and independent shops and cafés. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s located not so far from Berlin, but I found Hamburg to be a bit similar in some ways — be it in the cool nature of the stylish locals or the general overall diversity. As such, the German port city obviously had several vegan restaurants for us to sample, and, what the hell, a fully vegan bed and breakfast! So without further ado, I’d like to present you a short list of all the delicious vegan food we sampled in Hamburg. I know we’ve missed a few, but I’m hoping to go back soon and update this guide. Recommendations warmly welcome!
From one vegan traveler to the next, I can’t stress this enough: you have to chill, man. There have been times in remote areas of Southeast Asia where all there was for me to eat on the menu were stir-fried vegetables and rice for several days in a row, and other times where the language barrier made it impossible to communicate my dietary needs. I’d hate to see food go to waste, so when this happens, I tend to suck it up and eat around the offender. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened often. But I can’t stress enough that a relaxed attitude will take you a long way. The best we can do is do our best. And take snacks with you, always.
Frankfurt is one of those places I assumed I’d hate before visiting. Ahh, don’t I love to be proven wrong about my expectations! The reality is that I really liked Frankfurt. A lot. For its eclectic mix of old and new, for how unapologetically rough around the edge it remains despite being the financial center of Germany, and for the beautiful nature that still surrounds the city. But also, for the great selection of vegan food we discovered!
I hit the gym most evenings after work before I became a full-time traveler. While this was a perfectly enjoyable way to spend a few hours by myself and unwind at the end of a long day (especially on cold winter nights where exercising outside in the dark had absolutely no appeal), it quickly became either impossible or too expensive once I started traveling to far flung destinations. It also made no sense to trap myself in an air conditioned room with all this warm and wonderful tropical nature around me to use as a playground. The answer came organically: yoga.
Two Vegans One Country stopped in Munich to discover what the city has to offer!
There’s so much more to Munich than Oktoberfest. Sure, the Bavarian capital can be the scene of lederhosen-clad drunken Weisswürste fest. But open your eyes wide and you’ll discover an amazing health and vegan scene, gorgeous boutique hotels, and — what the hell — river surfing right in the city center. There’s definitely more than meets the eye in Munich and Randi and I set up to explore what lies beneath the Schweinsbraten. Wunderbar.
If you loved Berlin for all its disheveled and raw charm and have been told countless times “this ain’t the real Germany”, consider yourself in luck, as there is another little slice of imperfect paradise waiting to be discovered less than 200km away! Leipzig is neither the Germany these people are referring to — and you will love it. In fact, if you are not a big fan of big bustling cities, you may love Leipzig even more than Berlin.
I’m vegan burger-obsessed as much as I’m a health nut. If there’s a burger on the menu, it’ll trump any organic carboardy bird food I’d usually go for. Burgers are the bomb! They’re cheap, filling, somewhat of a blank canvas for anyone’s imagination to go free, but (almost) always delicious whatever level of fanciness they’ve been dressed up or down into. And to say Berlin has its vegan burger game down pat is quite the understatement. Every burger joints ha a vegan option. Scratch that. Every restaurant has a burger option has a vegan burger option. Berlin has more burger spots than native Berliners and my ambition to document every single vegan burger option in the city was quickly shut down by the pace at which places open and close. So, as the Berlin vegan burger scene ebbs and flows as a goddamn annoying breathing thing (come back, Dandy Diner!), this guide is getting updated with latest discoveries and classics not to be missed.
I hate to bring this to you, but Christmas is right upon us, peeps! I know, right? Where does the time go? I’m sure I’m not the only one to think that it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy Christmas presents for the ones around us, with so and so being allergic to this and that, and so and so buying only locally and fair trade. I’m sure a few of you have this lone traveler in your family for whom it is impossible to find the right present because she is living out of a small backpack, and on top of that is a vegan. Fret not! I’ve made this handy gift guide for you! Here’s what I think the best vegan-friendly presents are for all budgets this holiday season.