A Vegetarian Abroad: How to Eat Your Veggies in Germany3 min read
Haben Sie vegetarische Gerichte? “Do you have any vegetarian meals?” If you’re plant-based and traveling to Germany, it’s a useful phrase to remember.
When you think of Germany, you may be thinking of beer, bratwurst, pretzels and other delectable foods unique to the area. But did you know Germany is considered a global leader of vegan and vegetarian lifestyles?
With many vegan and vegetarian-friendly products and restaurants offered throughout the country, visitors on veggie-based diets have more options than they think. Traveling to Germany as a green eater can be fun and exciting, especially if you prefer to prepare your own meals. Here are a few ways you can navigate a day in Germany on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
A typical German breakfast consists of sausage, cheese and boiled eggs. Alternatives for these could be substitutions like meatless breakfast “meats” and cheese alternatives found in local markets throughout Germany. Another option could be opting for porridge or muesli—a tasty concoction consisting of rolled oats, fresh or dried fruits, and nuts and seeds. Many grocery stores stock vegetarian and vegan options as well as non-dairy milk options. Finding different types of vegetarian or vegan breakfast products in stores allows you to have some creativity with this meal.
In Germany, it’s typical to eat several snacks throughout the day to keep from overeating during lunch and dinner. You can find a number of different kinds of snacks while going about your day. Nuts, seeds and dried foods are always an option, especially for on-the-go travel. Coconut, kale and quinoa chips can also be found in local stores if you need to munch on something quick. But if you prefer something that will keep you going through a day of sightseeing, protein bars, vegan chocolate bars and even Clif bars are available to toss in your bag.
Lunch is considered the biggest meal of the day in Germany. This can be a good time to load up if you’re out and about for the day. Whether you’re interested in indulging in vegan schnitzel or sausages, or want to stick a salad, Germany offers food items for both kinds of meals. Salads can be an option for quick preparation and an on-the-go meal while you explore the country. Germany has a number of vegan/vegetarian food stores for finding vegan dressings and meat substitutes that come sliced and ready to go right into a salad. Another great on-the-go option is grabbing some meat substitute-cold cuts and hummus for sandwiches.
Dinner in Germany, known as “abendbrot,” is a light meal. A typical abendbrot consists of soup or salad followed by a selection of whole grain bread, deli meats, cheeses, mustard and pickles. If you want to stay close to this meal while on a vegetarian or vegan diet, pick up some cheese alternatives and meatless cold cuts. There are also a variety of veggie/meatless patties that are quick and easy to prepare. More hearty servings of beefless “steak” and chicken-like products can also be an option for the meat portion of the meal. Finally, add a salad or vegetable soup as a side dish to tie it all together.
Eating at a Restaurant
If food prep isn’t your thing or it’s not a practical option on your trip, don’t lose hope. In fact, you’ll find thousands of vegan, vegetarian, and veggie-friendly restaurants scattered around Germany for your dining pleasure. A quick online search will bring up scores of options. One of my favorites is Happy Cow, where you’ll find vegetarian restaurants listed by city and region in Germany.
While it may come as a surprise with many staples of Germany being related to meat, the country is just as welcoming to vegan and vegetarian diets. Finding all you need for delicious, vegetarian meals couldn’t be easier while exploring the beauty of Germany!