Happy New Year! I hope 2017 has started brilliantly for you, and that you’re excited for a new year of opportunities.
I’m kicking off 2017 with another travel piece (whoop whoop yay!) – this time Hamburg! Last week Luke and I made the trip to Germany to celebrate Luke turning the big 3-0. Our only experience of Germany prior to this was a quick stop at Frankfurt Airport on the way to Athens, but we loved the airport so much (trust me, it’s a great airport) that Germany immediately went on our list of places to visit.
We caught an early flight from Manchester and arrived in Hamburg first thing, which meant we had an extra whole day to explore the city. We stayed at a fabulous Airbnb in Winterhude, a lovely area about 10 minutes from the city centre. Whilst we were there we visited Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz, a really nice shopping district with German markets and general festiveness; the Schwanenwikbrücke, a bridge over the Alster Lake, which is covered with love padlocks; the Port of Hamburg and the Elb Tunnel; and the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum for Arts and Crafts). There’s a lot to see and it’s a city packed with character – my favourite kind.
We nearly always stay in Airbnbs when we go away – you get more for your money and it means we get kitchen space. Eating out three times a day gets expensive, and it can also be tricky when you’re trying to cater for a vegan and someone who prefers to avoid gluten! Luckily, there was no shortage of vegan, gluten free food in Hamburg!
The first place we went to was Fränzi. It’s in the St Georg area of Hamburg, just a short walk from Central Station. They serve exclusively vegan and vegetarian food, and it’s one of the cosiest cafes I’ve ever frequented. Fairy lights always win me over.
Luke and I ordered an Avocado Burger (with freshly made avocado cream, roasted onions, tomatoes, salad and homemade burger sauce), a BBQ Burger (with aubergine slices, roasted onions, tomatoes, salad and homemade BBQ sauce, and some sesame sweet potato fries with ketchup and vegan aioli. I kid you not, it was one of the best meals of 2016. The sweet potato fries were amazing, and it’s on my to-do list this month to try and replicate them…watch this space!
We actually went back to Fränzi a second time as we enjoyed it so much. If you go (and you must!) I recommend you try the avocado burger. Delicious doesn’t begin to cover it.
Their website is in German so you might struggle to read it, but trust me, it’s worth you going if you’re in Hamburg. Oh before I forget, they don’t take card so make sure you’ve got some cash on you.
The next place we went was Cafe Koppel, which is also in St Georg, but it’s tucked away so you have to look for it to find it. It’s got a quirky vibe, and was really busy when we visited. They had a couple of options for vegans, and we both opted for the vegetable stew. It was a warming, healthy lunch, for a reasonable price.
If you’re looking for a simple lunch that’s vegan friendly and gluten free, Cafe Koppel is a great choice. Again though, they don’t take card, so take cash.
Froindlichst – The Vegan Musketeers
The restaurant we went to on the final night of our trip was Froindlichst – The Vegan Musketeers.
It’s situated in the Winterhude area of Hamburg, and has the most chilled, cosy atmosphere. And, wait for it…they take card – hallelujah!
One of my greatest loves in life is a cosy space, and this restaurant just filled me with cosy joy. Would you just look at this? Luke and I are going to decorate our future house like this, it’s decided.
This restaurant is exclusively vegan, and they offer pizzas, burgers and burritos. I wish we were there for longer so that we could try the entire menu, but we had to make our peace with the fact that we could only choose one meal, and that was pizza. I chose the New Amsterdam (broccoli, tofu, tomato and vegan cheese and hollandaise sauce), and Luke chose the Mexavo (tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa, beefless ‘beef’, tomato and vegan cheese).
Here are our marks out of 10:
New Amsterdam (Abby): 11/10 (sorry, I can’t help it. Plus, it really was amazing. 10 didn’t seem enough).
Mexavo (Luke): 9/10
Not only were these pizzas the best pizzas in existence, Luke was able to have it with a gluten free base (as well as his beer – perfect).
One last thing to leave you with – we came across Bio Company whilst we were out exploring, and this ended up being where we got all of our groceries from. It seems to be like a German version of Whole Foods, so really great for your fresh foods, gluten free pasta, sweet potato noodles, exotic sounding tofu (black forest, anyone?), raw chocolate etc etc. Just a handy lil’ tip for you.
I hope this post serves you well! Even if you have no plans to go to Hamburg, I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at the pictures.
Now to plan the next trip! I’m currently reading ‘The Little Book of Hygge’, so now I’m trying to persuade Luke to go to Denmark…
Have you been anywhere new recently? Have you eaten in Germany as a vegan? Or do you have any tips for Denmark? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you!