Eating out in Cologne – restaurant recommendations for vegetarians
Interest in vegetarian cuisine is on the rise in Germany and almost one tenth of the population doesn’t eat meat. When I became a vegetarian 22 years ago, I was still very much the exception and there were hardly any restaurants that served vegetarian dishes. Fortunately, things have changed quite a bit since then. But you do have to know where to go. So I’ve put together this selection of Cologne restaurants that have lots of vegetarian dishes on the menu or are completely vegetarian. Join me on a culinary tour of Cologne, taking in veggie burgers, Arabic specialities, traditional regional cuisine and other mouth-watering meals!
Mataim – Gourmet falafels
Rumour has it that this falafel restaurant in the Nippes district of Cologne has the city’s best falafels. And, after my visit there, I can only say, “Rumour confirmed!”. The chickpea balls come in three different flavours (parsley and coriander, for instance) with a variety of side dishes to choose from. Even their fermented soya is yummy! With big portions at fair prices, a full tummy is guaranteed – as is a great atmosphere.
Where: Neusser Straße 339, 50733 Cologne
+++ Unfortunately, the Mataim is temporarily closed +++
Located right in the heart of the city, between the central station (“Hauptbahnhof”) and Ebertplatz, this lunchery serves up a varied menu every weekday, with different dishes every day. Not all of them are vegetarian but there is always something for the non-carnivores. Heimatsünde also uses fair-trade and regional products. This bright, cosy eatery is a great place to enjoy lunch and the welcoming staff are always happy to answer any questions you might have. Add a fresh, organic soft drink and, hey presto, you have the perfect lunch!
Where: Unter Kahlenhausen 27, 50668 Cologne
Osho’s Garden is very close to Friesenplatz and the Belgian Quarter and has a vegetarian-only menu. Its location makes it the perfect place to get an energy boost before you head off for a bit of shopping – or on the way back! There’s a variety of vegetarian dishes on offer, including some vegan ones, plus a salad bar and a range of breads and pastries, of which many are gluten-free. On a fine day, this is also a good place to sit outside, either in front of the restaurant, where you’re ideally placed for people-watching, or in the calm of the courtyard at the rear.
Where: Venloer Straße 5-7, 50672 Cologne
Burger restaurants are the latest big thing but where are vegetarian and vegan burger fans supposed to go in Cologne? The obvious answer is Bunte Burger in the trendy district of Ehrenfeld. It’s an organic restaurant with burgers made from ecological, local ingredients, no additives and also available in gluten-free. And it’s all halal. Whether you go for the “Bob Marley Karibik Burger” or the “Alibaba Persia Burger”, there’s loads to choose from, they’re all delicious and each of them is a culinary experience in its own right!
Where: Hospeltstraße 1, 50825 Cologne