Bonn is in the German state North Rhine-Westphalia and is the former capital of West Germany, before the capital got moved back to Berlin. It’s about 5 hours from Berlin, or, in my case, a 50 minute Ryanair flight. I was in Bonn in late September to visit some friends and, weirdly enough, got sent back there for a training for my new job three weeks later in October. Thus, I got two chances to check out all the vegan eats in Bonn.
Bonn was not new to me, as I had been there to visit another friend during my 5 month Euro-trip back in 2010. It was interesting to see how my 22 year old memories lined up with my current experience. It’s crazy how far away 22 seems these days!
Bonn has a distinctly different feel than Berlin. It’s cleaner, smaller, overall less edgy. You see men and women with suits wandering the streets and lots of boutiques selling their best business casual, when I can’t remember the last time I even say someone wearing a suit in Berlin. I like it though, especially the Südstadt, which is the hipster area about a 15-20 minute walk from the center. The buildings are shorter and trees line the streets here.x
Now let’s talk about where I ate.
Address: Maximilianstraße 28 d (center)
Cassius Garten is a vegetarian buffet and cafe right near the main train station. I snuck in real quick on the war back to the airport.
Vegan carrot cake and walnut ice cream from the cafe side of the restaurant.
Dinner from the pay-by-weight buffet section of the restaurant in the back (about €12)
Address: Königstraße 78 (Südstadt)
Mae’s is a cute all vegan cafe in the Südstadt area of Bonn. They also have outdoor seating in the warmer weather and do a vegan brunch. We stopped by for some coffee and cake. The cakes looked amazing and were good, but I felt they could use a pinch of salt and some almond extract to bring them to the next level. I’d definitely go back to try the savory food too.
First Flush Tea Room
Address: Markt 6 (central square)
We stopped at Mae’s for some tea and sat outside on the sunny October day. It’s super super cute inside as well and good outside for people watching since it’s on a major market square. They also have food, and I spotted 1-2 vegan-looking things on the menu, though I didn’t try any of the food myself.
Address: Sterntorbrücke 11
Makiman isn’t vegan, but they are a Japanese sushi/Korean BBQ with a clearly labeled vegetarian menu. They do a veg ramen soup and I checked that it was also vegan. I also got some vegan sushi. Was super nice on the slightly chilly day, I even went back here a second time when I was back for my work trip.
Address: Bonner Talweg 77 (Südstadt)
This is a super cute and cozy, also in the charming Südstadt of Bonn. They had a separate vegan menu, which I ordered this vegan cheese and spinach pizza from. They did not go light on the cheese and that was awesome. They also had some vegan casseroles and a vegan cheese and pasta bake. It’d also be a great place to drink wine by candlelight and I believe they also do a brunch with vegan options.
Address: Kölner Str. 285,
This is just a little stand near a bus hub and the main train station. It’s a chain that also exists in Berlin and they do sort of döner wraps with this specific filling. They are vegan, but don’t advertise themselves that way. If I remember they sell yogurt drinks though. I just stopped in really quick for this little fried potato-y thing for less than €1. Good when you’re hungry, but need to save room for a meal later.
Address: Münsterplatz at the entrance to Galeria Kaufhof (stand) and Kaiserhütten am Wilhelmsplatz (restaurant)
I had never had Kaiserschmarrn before and in my head it was something savory, but it seems I was wrong! It’s sorta like thin crepe/pancake with roasted almonds and raisins sliced and fried up then covered in powdered sugar. I ordered the kaiserschmarrn (€5,80) with some homemade applesauce, because Germans seem to put applesauce on everything I would normally put maple syrup on.
They also do some sandwiches and savory stuff. You can see their menu on their website here.
Markets and Grocery Stores
In late September the market square near First Flush Tea Room above was filled with yummy looking cheap strawberries. Bonn definitely had a wider range of fruits and vegetables than Berlin for some reason.
The vegetarian/vegan section at Rewe, one of Germany’s chain grocery stores. The Rewe in Bonn was so much fancier than the ones in Berlin! They had nutritional yeast, vegan sweets and chocolates, vegan cheese and meats, impressive.
Rewe also had a ready-made sushi section, which is something I have never seen in a supermarket outside of the US. I got some avocado sushi and it was actually quite good.
Where to Stay
I stayed at the City Hotel Garni Mozart the night I was there for work. It was about €80 per night including breakfast (not much vegan except for rolls, jam and coffee but better than nothing). I booked through Booking.com. Good location near the main train station, reliable wifi. Would stay again!
There’s a vegan fast food truck called Bi-Bu on the main square in Bonn and as we were walking by I noticed the vegfest was happening while I was in town, so we took a spontaneous trip to this random vegfest in some random small town. Why not! That is how I ended up at Solingen Vegfest.
Wilmersburger, a German vegan cheese company, had a stand where I tried all the varieties of cheese and bought some of their vegan cheese ravioli. Unfortunately I didn’t like the ravioli, but do love their cheese for sandwiches and melting on stuff.
There was also some artisan vegan cheese there, happy the trend is slowly spreading in Germany!
My friends told me there was a Japantown in Düsseldorf, a fact of which I was totally unaware. How awesome is that?! We had to go.
Address: Immermannstraße 28
Takumi Ramen is apparently the place to go in Japantown for ramen. There was only one vegan option, but holy f*ck was it good. I’ve been obsessed with ramen ever since.