The greatest, goodest vegan cafe around
I am thoroughly enjoying life, sunshine, and post-sandwich bliss at a vegan cafe on Eberswalder Straße. It’s across from Mauerpark, and thereby hopelessly crowded on Sundays, but on a weekday afternoon, Fast Rabbit Food suits me perfectly. It opened at around the same time that I arrived in Berlin, and I’ve developed quite a fondness for the establishment. I will readily tell anyone who asks for restaurant recommendations that it is the tastiest vegan spot in the city.
Berlin is the vegan capital of Europe. There are several vegan grocery stores, vegan shoe stores, and in addition to the many vegetarian and vegan restaurants, plenty of non-veg restaurants have vegan sections of their menu. Sadly, many of the veg restaurants serve up greasy (albeit, tasty) burgers or imitation meat. In emphasizing on fresh, minimally processed ingredients, Fast Rabbit is pretty special. The food is well-plated and the menu items cleverly named: wraps become “Dirty Rolls,” the best fries on the planet are dubbed “Potato Gang Bang,” and the cauliflower-coconut soup which has actually made appearances in my dreams is called “Snow White.” Even their slogan, stamped on the wraps and often painted in huge, fluorescent colors on the front window, is endearing: “Delicious As Fuck.” And, while I’m not a huge fan of relying on expletives as descriptors, I can’t exactly argue. Because in this case, “delicious as fuck” is completely accurate.
Best of all, I can park myself at a table with my laptop and write write write all day, or until I get tired enough to cycle home, and no one asks me to leave or even to buy anything more than the Berlin’s Best Mix (“BBM”) wrap which I purchased for lunch several hours ago, though I sometimes indulge in a Club Mate or a piece of cake as a gesture of goodwill, and to keep me going. As I type this, the owner comes outside to make a phone call, sees me and mouths “HEY!” with a wave; consequently, I feel a bit bad for not having spent more money today, but it’s the end of the month and I am low on cash. I resolve to visit more frequently. And to buy lots of food next time.
Inside, the music ranges from minimal to Motown to the Black Keys, and is always welcome background rather than an annoyance, as music in bars and restaurants so often becomes. Outside, the ambient soundtrack is provided by cars, bikes, and trams rushing by – so fast, in fact, that I witness a very near accident between a banana-colored muscle car and a bewildered cyclist. The sound and smell of burning rubber suddenly becomes too prominent to ignore, and I briefly consider moving inside to avoid these distractions, but that would mean missing the sparrow which hops near my feet; and the couple who strikes me as slightly too old to be riding skateboards – on the bike path, no less – (but good for them!); and the wasp which has flown to its death inside a bottle of apfelschörle at the table next to mine; and the car bumping a Spanish-language disco track.
No, it would be a waste to be anywhere but outdoors on a day like today. I’m just glad to have had such a tasty sandwich alongside this much-needed dose of vitamin D.