Ahoy friends, Mr J-M and I have very recently returned from a splendid few days in Deutschland, in the delightful maritime city of Hamburg, stag-do destination extraordinaire. I’m thrilled to say we avoided 98% of ~stags and enjoyed much culture, sunshine, sea air, and FOOD. Hamburg’s St Pauli district is apparently famous for its red light district but personally I was much more titillated in the taste-buds by the culinary offerings therein; the quarter’s rep as a punky/anti-fa hotbed means there are plenty of vegan options.
We paid a wee bit extra and rented a super nice studio apartment with kitchenette, which I’d highly recommend. Most days we hired bikes using the Donkey Republic app (I HAD ONE WITH MY NAME ON IT NEARLY) though we switched to hotel bikes that were in marginally better repair on the final day. We found this to be a perfectly acceptable and sensible way of getting about and would highly recommend that too. We otherwise didn’t use any other city transit options, aside from travelling to and from the airport, and taking a pleasant harbour cruise.
Bikes bikes bikes! Behold Mr J-M in his happy place…
BUT WHAT OF THE GRUB? Fronds, Germany is doing amazing things with vegan food and I want to show some of it here, if I may.
Our first stop for breakfast on the morning after we arrived was Cafe Miller, a super cool corner cafe in St Pauli with plenty of vegan options. Mr J-M and I both went for a breakfast plate complete with various breads, which were filling and delicious.
Our next stop was a local 100% vegan supermarket, Twelve Monkeys, in which I lusted intensely over the various sausage and cheeze options. Here we stocked up on some apartment food.
After we safely returned our goodies to our apartment’s fridge, we set off to find a fun harbour cruise. This was all conducted in German but it was good fun nonetheless; it did start out a bit worryingly as a tour of the rear of various harbour-side businesses but progressed to more fun stuff. Mr J-M is a German-English translator so he filled in a few gaps for me.
After the tour we decided to check out the underwater tunnel linking two sides of the harbour, and on the opposite side I grabbed a big fat fresh salty pretzel and a nice refreshing beer. Fun fact: due to strict brewing purity regulations, German-made beer is 99.9% vegan friendly. Woohoo!
Dinner on our first night was at Vabiou’s, a small all-vegan cafe serving burgers and bowls. I went for a hearty gyros bowl with lots of delicious salads, and Mr J-M went for a big ol’ burger. Though it was sad that Vabiou’s was still awaiting its liquor licence, the owner of the mini organic supermarket next door sold Mr J-M a bottle of ale for €0.98 on the condition he drink it out of a paper bag. Classy times!
We had a delicious apartment breakfast on our second day, and so we enjoyed a lunch out at the rarest of rare things, a traditional Breton restaurant selling buckwheat galettes WITH VEGAN OPTIONS! Be still the beating heart of my memories of summers en Bretagne! Ok, there are only two options, but it is a rare enough treat that I was absolutely thrilled to taste my first buckwheat galette in approximately 20 years at Ti Breizh Haus der Bretagne. Sadly there are no vegan crepe options on the menu, but if you wish you can ask for a vegan topping on a galette for dessert.
May we take a doggo interval, dear readers?
We also made a visit to a more bogstandard supermarket on the second day, wherein I found so many delightful vegan things that I could barely cope.
The next day, Sunday, which was my birthday, we had a bit of a museum day. We visited a rather curious coffee museum and experienced rather a curious “tour” and coffee-tasting session, all of which was in German and a complete mystery to me, but I did manage to buy some splendid coffees while we were there. I learned that coffee all began in Ethiopia with dancing goats. That’s about all I learned.
I requested that we have my birthday dinner at the hopelessly ill-named Grilly Idol, a burger joint in St Pauli with great vegan options.
And for dessert we visited ice cream seller Luicella’s, also in St Pauli, for the second time during our trip. Luicella’s had a queue snaking out the door on both of our visits, and has very tasty marked vegan options that are not all sorbet. (The almond ice cream was absolutely top notch delicious.)
On our final day, I’d also snacked on some delicious candied almonds from a street seller near to the maritime museum, which were VERY delicious, and confirmed vegan (not cooked in butter).
I believe that is all the edible content I can provide, friends. We visited other museums and pottered around Hamburg on our bikes and it was all splendid fun.
How about you, friends? Have you been to Hamburg? Would you recommend anywhere else for next time? Do you also love what Europe is doing with vegan grub? I do! Sadly the chances of delicious vegan imports are dwindling with each disastrous day that goes by at the moment, as Mr J-M has recently discussed over on his own bloggo. Sad times. But nevertheless we had much fun in Hamburg and I’m sure we’ll be back in Germany (Mr J-M’s part-spiritual-home) before too long. Ende der Durchsage! Tschüss!
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