Published on 8 Mar 2019
Frankfurt am Main is probably best known as Germany’s financial capital and home of the frankfurter sausage, but what’s the city like for vegans? Amy Koerner gives us the low-down…
Where to eat
It’s no secret that traditional German food is anything but vegan friendly. From schnitzels to sausages, there are a lot of meat-heavy specialities out there. Thankfully, though, it’s getting easier and easier to find vegan food in Germany, and Frankfurt is no exception. Here are a few of my favourite spots to enjoy a vegan bite in and around the city.
Savory – If you’re a bit of a burger fiend, or you’re determined not to leave Germany without trying a vegan currywurst, then this is the place to go! I particularly like their Hot Chilli Burger, which comes with avocado cream, homemade vegan mayo and jalapeños. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, try a milkshake or a slice of cake, too. It’s nice to combine a visit to Savory with a stroll or bike ride along the nearby Nidda river.
Rohkosteria – The only raw vegan restaurant in Frankfurt, Rohkosteria’s fitting green colour scheme catches your eye as you walk past. Although it’s tiny, they serve a good variety of tasty dishes, from mains such as raw vegan lasagne to smaller dishes like raw soups. You can also get cakes, energy balls, smoothies and juices. Raw food might not be for everyone, but this is certainly a great addition to the city’s vegan scene. After a meal here, consider going for a wander up nearby Berger Strasse, the bustling main street in this part of town.
Paletti Die Genuss Bar – This is a charming little restaurant in Neu-Isenburg, just south of Frankfurt. I’ve loved everything I’ve eaten at Paletti, but my favourites are the vegan schnitzel and the unbelievably good New York-style cheesecake. They also do a fantastic Sunday brunch, which, when I last went, included vegan scrambled eggs, beetroot houmous, summer rolls and so much more that I could barely walk home afterwards! My best advice? Book in advance and make sure that you arrive hungry. If you take tram 17 from the city, stop off at Oberschweinstiege and explore the city forest on your way.
Vevay – Vegan and vegetarian dishes are all you’ll find on the menu here. I love eating at Vevay – the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, the food tasty and healthy. For breakfast I like the tofu scrambled eggs and for lunch or dinner I’d recommend the lukewarm rice noodle salad – but as most of the menu is vegan, there’s lots to choose from. Located opposite the Opera House, just a few streets away from the river and less than a 15-minute walk from the main station, Vevay is a great choice if you’re out and about in the city and looking for vegan breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Wayang – This is one of my most recent discoveries – a tiny but wonderful Indonesian restaurant with lots of vegan options. From a plate of vegan satay with peanut sauce to a vegan gado-gado salad, everything I’ve tried here has been full-flavoured and entirely moreish. It’s also really nice to eat something different – as far as I know, Wayang is the only purely Indonesian restaurant in the city. Located in Frankfurt’s Bockenheim district, the restaurant is just a 20-minute walk from the Palmengarten, a beautiful botanical garden.
Picknick Café Bar – The atmosphere of this popular café is warm and welcoming. The Moroccan-inspired menu is reflected in the décor: lanterns hang from the walls and ceiling, and mint tea glasses serve as candle holders on the tables. The menu is extremely vegan-friendly – from wraps to salads, cakes to breakfasts, there’s lots for vegans to choose from. When you’ve eaten your fill, you could head up Berger Strasse to discover a quaint part of the city with half-timbered houses and a unique feel.
Im Herzen Afrikas – There are lots of African restaurants in Frankfurt, but this one stands out because of its stunning service and wonderful atmosphere. The four vegan dishes, made from either chickpeas, lentils, root vegetables or spinach, are served on injera – soft, spongy bread made from teff flour. The food is deep in flavour, especially the chickpea dish. On one side of the restaurant, the floor is covered with sand, which makes for a unique dining experience! Just an 8-minute walk from Frankfurt’s main train station, this is a great choice if you’re travelling through.
Aroma Vegetarian & More – The falafel at Aroma is hands down the best I’ve eaten in Frankfurt – and I’ve eaten a lot! I’d recommend the pitta sandwich filled with falafel, houmous and roasted aubergine. It’s stunningly good. Despite being just a small snack bar, this place is often heaving at lunchtime and it’s not hard to see why – it’s inexpensive and completely delicious. I’d recommend getting your sandwich wrapped up to go and walking to nearby Holzhausen Park where, on a dry day, you can sit and enjoy your falafel surrounded by grass and trees.
Michis Schokoatelier – There’s no better place to indulge a vegan sweet tooth than at this chocolate shop in the north-east of the city. The smell that washes over you when you walk in is rich, intense and enticing. Michi and his team make exquisitely beautiful chocolate and pralines in more flavours than you thought possible. Happily, a good number of these sweet treats are vegan-friendly. There’s even a little corner where you can relax on a sofa with a warm drink. If it’s a nice day, you could also enjoy your choccies in nearby Bethmann Park.
Frankfurt is a very international city, so in most places you’ll get by just fine using English. However, if you want to try out some German, here are a few useful words and phrases:
- Please – Bitte
- Thank you – Danke
- I am vegan – Ich bin vegan
- Do you have any vegan dishes? – Haben Sie vegane gerichte?
- Do you have soy milk/oat milk? – </spåan>Haben sie sojamilch / hafermilch?
- I would like – Ich hätte gern
Top five places to visit
While visiting Frankfurt may not be at the top of everyone’s bucket list, there’s actually a lot more to the city than meets the eye. Here are my top five places to check out…
1 Museum Embankment Within the city, the south side of the river Main is lined with numerous art galleries and museums – an area known as the museum embankment. Not only are the museums and galleries themselves worth visiting, but strolling along the river will also give you a real feel of Frankfurt life.
2 Palmengarten This beautiful botanical garden boasts greenhouses of tropical plants, a rock garden, a rose garden and so much more. Art exhibitions and outdoor concerts are held here, too.
3 Kleinmarkthalle Open Monday to Saturday, this huge indoor market is made up of over 60 stalls that sell everything from fresh produce to antipasti, spices to flowers. My favourite stand is ‘Lebe Gesund’, which means ‘live healthily’. These guys sell 100% organic vegan products, such as bread, cakes, pesto and pasta. The Kleinmarkthalle is a brilliant place for you to while away an hour or two!
4 Eiserner Steg By day or night, you can enjoy stunning views of Frankfurt’s skyline from this footbridge that spans the river Main. Thousands of ‘love locks’ line the bridge railings and street musicians are often to be found entertaining the passers-by.
5 Goethe House If you’re up for a spot of culture, head to the Goethe House, where the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in August 1749. Visit the room where he wrote many of his works, as well as the room in which he is thought to have been born.
To avoid disappointment make sure you book in advance. If you’re looking for some alternative tours, a day cruise, or a Hop-on, Hop-off bus ticket take a look at Isango! so that you can book your trip.
Getting to Frankfurt am Main
You can fly direct to Frankfurt Airport from London, Manchester and Bristol. When you land, hop on a train and you’ll be in the city in around 10 minutes. Frankfurt’s second airport, Frankfurt-Hahn, is actually around 80 miles away from the city. If you arrive there, your best bet is to get on a bus to Frankfurt, which takes around 2 hours.
Where to stay
Avoid staying near the main station (‘Bahnhofsviertel’) if you can, and instead look for accommodation in the districts of Bockenheim, Westend, Nordend or Ostend, or in the inner city (‘Innenstadt’). The centre of Frankfurt is actually not that big, so it’s easy to get about – especially if you’re near an underground station or tram stop.
Amy is a freelance writer, editor and proofreader, passionate about all things vegan. Originally from the UK, she is now based in Frankfurt am Main, where she spends most of her time writing, cooking and eating!
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