In early August I spent an extended weekend in Hamburg for a relaxed city break (and a little foodie adventure) with a friend. We did not expect to be as spoiled in the food department as in Berlin, but had read that there are quite a few vegan restaurants in Hamburg. The fact that we didn’t get to try everything on our list is surely a good sign and we certainly did our best to enjoy as much delicious plant-based food as we could.
Breakfast / Brunch
The first morning we went straight to the beautiful Eppendorf area in northern Hamburg for a fabulous brunch. The menu was right up my street, so it wasn’t too easy choosing between pancakes, (sourdough) French toast, the “Pink Goddess Smoothie Bowl” and the savory options, which included scrambled tofu and grilled veggies on hummus. At a place like this there’s no such thing as a wrong decision though. And I can truly say that the chocolate chip spelt pancakes, adorned with a rainbow of fresh fruit and roasted buckwheat, surpassed my expectations. I loved the generous and extravagantly plated portion as well as all the lovely embellishments on the side. Paired with an oat matcha latte it was a more than perfect start to a great weekend.
By the way, the Eppendorf neighborhood was lovely to walk through on a Saturday morning – lots of nice shops and more cute cafes and beautiful parks – so definitely take your time.
Another morning, another brunch… While there’s also a Paledo (Paledo Soulfood & Drinks) in Eppendorf, we chose this one to get an impression of a different area (Winterhude). Beautifully located near a canal, it felt like the perfect little neighborhood spot where locals go after a morning jog (and jog they did, as the subsequent walk along the Alster, down the fittingly named “Schöne Aussicht”, revealed – almost to the detriment of the mere leisurely walkers).
At this cafe I did not have to choose between pancakes and smoothies: the pancake bowl – a smoothie bowl topped with mini pancakes! – left nothing to be desired. I had the açai bowl and my friend the chocolate and they were both topped with delicious baby pancakes, granola, fresh fruit and chocolate peanut butter. The other (clearly labeled) vegan options sounded intriguing too, like the blue ocean bowl with fig, dragonfruit and cauliflower. Definitely another one I’d go back to. And again, you can combine it with a beautiful walk in a neighborhood outside of the city center (but still within easy reach).
For our third and last breakfast/brunch we headed to the Special Connection – a place where everything seemed crafted with so much love and attention to detail. This was also the most central of the three, in the Altona area, close to the Elbe. As you can see from the photo, I kept my pancake streak running by choosing Vive le pancake! (“organic buckwheat pancakes with homemade strawberry-rhubarb compote, date caramel and organic granola”) with their homemade cashew yogurt. Truly divine and I may have had the best of the three matcha lattes here. The other vegan options for breakfast were the Summer Dream (“refreshing Birchermüesli with a hint of orange, homemade strawberry-rhubarb compote and fresh fruit”) and the Vegan Dream (“roasted aubergine & courgette on sourdough bread with homemade hummus, crispy salad and vegetable chutney”).
Lunch / Dinner
This was the perfect lunch place across from the Feldstrasse Bunker in the buzzing Karolinenviertel. We came, we saw and we devoured fantastic sandwiches that I would go back for in a heartbeat. The grilled cheeze sandwich my friend ordered was stunningly delicious and I was a more than happy with my impressive tempeh club sandwich!
In the mood for ramen, we picked this place because of the good reviews and the vegan section of the menu. I went for the spicy miso ramen, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Consider making a reservation if you’re planning on coming here. We were lucky to bag a spot late on a Saturday night.
We came here for our last meal (it’s only open for weekday lunch and Saturday brunch). I’d discovered it on my HappyCow app and the fact that it was absolutely packed seemed like a good sign. The weekly changing menu only had four (vegan and vegetarian) options, but it was a tough choice nevertheless. I went for the Italian bolo (without the parmesan), which was absolutely gorgeous to behold and wonderfully satisfying. In hindsight it would also have been a great place for a Saturday brunch – the vegan blueberry pancakes with homemade cashew caramel sauce sound too good!
Further things to consider: They only accepted cash, so be sure to have some ahead of time (or end up going to find an ATM, as we had to). As it seems to be such a popular spot for locals on their lunch break, try and get there a bit before or after peak lunch time. We ended up having to wait quite a while for drinks in particular, but we had time and the staff was super friendly.
A lovely (non-vegetarian) place for very flavorful Indian food and clearly labeled vegan options. We loved the cauliflower popcorn (crispy fried cauliflower with sesame in a sweet and sour marinade). The Palak Tofu, Kala Chana Chaat and Daal we shared in addition were also delicious. Overall great food in a nice ambience. Ideally I would have liked to see vegan naan and at least one vegan dessert (sorbet doesn’t count) on the menu though!
On the hunt for something warm and filling on our first evening in Hamburg, we came to Chay Vegan, as it wasn’t too far. I was super excited by the menu, which includes interesting bowl, rolls, dumplings and more. I ended up going for the Buddha Bowl (braised tofu and aubergine, pickled vegetables and brown rice) and we shared the summer rolls.
While it was a nice meal, it was the one that stands out the least in hindsight. The food was pretty good, but definitely not as memorable as the rest. Feel free to give it a go if you’re in the area and like the look of the menu, but I wouldn’t plan a trip specifically to this place. If I went back to Hamburg, I’d be more tempted to give TA Vegan (which we didn’t make it to) a go, for example, for some vegan Vietnamese food.
Dessert & Snacks
Definitely check this place out for a fantastic array of vegan desserts! From donuts and cupcakes to chocolate chip cookie dough brownies and enormous snickers bars, this place is a must to satisfy dessert cravings. We went to the one at Sternschanze and got some goodies to take away and enjoy on our boat tour of the port.
This grocery store (we checked out the one at Ballindamm 40) has lots of vegan snacks, treats and more. We were also very excited to finally get our hands on a vegan Franzbrötchen (a sweet pastry with butter and cinnamon traditional to Hamburg). We had a chocolate one, which was super delicious. I’m sure an artisanal bakery would have even better ones, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to treck down the best vegan Franzbrötchten of Hamburg.
We came here on our first day for some sustenance for our walking tour between brunch and dinner. I had an açai bowl which, while not the best açai bowl I’ve ever had, was refreshing and nourishing. A decent option if you’re looking for a smoothie or juice on the go.
I hope you enjoyed reading about these places. Let me know if you go to any of these and what your favorite places for vegan food are in Hamburg!