Are you a vegetarian in Germany? Or do you have some special diets preferences like vegan or gluten free? How do you buy healthy vegan or gluten free or vegetarian food in Germany? Find out more in this post
Are you a vegetarian or vegan and worried sick about moving to Germany? You may have heard rumours that the staple German food is all meat and sausages. But have you also heard this other rumour, the one that says Germany has the highest national percentage of vegetarians in the Western hemisphere?
As of 2018, about eight million Germans are vegetarian and it is estimated that by 2020 about 20% of the country will switch to a plant-based diet. I can assure you that these millions of Germans are not malnourished and most likely enjoy at least three vegetarian meals a day.
So whether you are a vegetarian from India or a simply want to minimise meat intake, you can definitely survive on your chosen diet in Germany.
But the main question is how to eat healthy well balanced vegetarian food in Germany without going broke?
If you look at the cost of fresh veggies and fruits alone, they are not that expensive. The biggest challenge with a vegetarian and vegan diet is that it is not as protein-dense as meat. If you’ve shopped around for vegetarian or vegan protein alternatives, then you’d be familiar with the crazy costs of being a vegetarian or vegan in Germany. Any foodstuff in this country with vegetarian or vegan or bio or gluten-free label on the packaging is obscenely pricey.
Don’t believe me. Take a look at this:
As someone raised on an Indian diet, I refuse to pay such criminally expensive costs for eating healthy vegetarian food. My several years of living in Germany have taught me how and where to look for a good deal for vegetarian or vegan or gluten-free food options.
Here are some of the ways I spend less on a healthy balanced vegetarian and gluten-free diet in Germany without compromising on quality.
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Try German Vegetarian Food
Don’t look at me in shock! Like I mentioned earlier there are nearly eight million vegetarians in Germany. And they are eating something every day. If you are completely new to Germany, then let me assure you that German vegetarian food exists. It may not be as diverse as Indian or Thai veggie food, but it is there.
When you are in a German cuisine restaurant next time, watch out for one of these dishes on the menu. Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Kartoffelpfannkuchen or Reibekuchen (crispy potato pancakes), vegetarian version of Flammkuchen (a French thin crust pizza with crème fraîche), Obatzda with Laugengebäck (a Bavarian cheese and bread platter), Knödel/Klöße/ Semmelknödel (Potato and bread dumplings), Gurkensalat (Cucumber salad).
You can easily find international and German vegetarian food in the ever-growing plant-based food scene in Germany. Obviously you will have an easier time finding vegetarian or vegan restaurants in big German cities like Berlin, Nuernberg or Hamburg than in the smaller cities.
If you happen to live in a small German city with very few vegetarian restaurants or cafes then you have other options.
Order Vegetarian Food in Bulk From Amazon
Amazon pantry has some amazing deals. If you are looking for a good vegetarian or vegan protein source, then start scanning for deals on Amazon. However, avoid gimmicky food like lentil or chickpea pasta or burgers. They’re way overpriced, not worth the cost and often full of preservatives.
Instead look for whole lentils, soya mince or soya chunks in bulk quantities. They’re a great cost-friendly alternative for meat protein and can be cooked in every possible way. I regularly get my bulk supply of red lentils from Amazon. They are versatile, amazing source of protein and SO easy to cook!
Shop at Local Asian Food Stores
Check out your local Asian stores for any ongoing deals and sales. I’ve noticed that it is possible to buy lentils, soya chunks and Basmati rice in bulk at some Asian stores which reduces the cost per kilo. When you buy in large quantity you make fewer shopping trips and can plan your meals better.
If you don’t have an Asian food store nearby or don’t want to haul overflowing shopping bags then you can easily order Asian food online. Asia Food Land is one of the largest online shops for – you guessed it – Asian food in Germany.
They stock everything for Asian food lovers – from noodles and rice to lentils and beans to spices and curry pastes from Indian, Japanese, Korean or Indonesian cuisines. If you love spicy food as I do, then they have a special selection of the spicy sauces, chillies, noodles and curry pastes. All products are sorted neatly according to the hotness scale and explain scale levels.
Click here to check out their selection of Asian food.
Cook (Experimental) Vegetarian Meals at Home
Indian and vegetarian food are synonymous for many. But no matter how tasty, you cannot eat Indian food for the rest of your life. Then why not put a twist on it.
Have you ever tried lentil pasta? Or lentils and beans salad? Feel like having a BBQ? Then scale up a typical falafel recipe to cook up a vegetarian burger patty. Or make a cheese and veggies skewer. The options are endless.
If you are looking for some recipe inspiration, then here are some recommended cookbooks. 😉
Eat Out at or Take Away From Asian Restaurants
Asian restaurants are very common in Germany. Even though they offer all kinds of meat-based dishes, vegetarian and vegan curries are quite common in Asian restaurants. Most of the Asian cuisines use lentils, beans, soya or tofu as protein. They are authentic regional recipes (not just meat replacements!) and taste as delicious as any meat-based dish.
Whenever I’m craving for Indian food (and don’t want to cook it all myself), I order at least three different curries and a couple of starters and create my own thali style Indian dinner. My fiance and I usually end up getting at least two meals out of each order since the portions are quite big.
We always use Lieferando.de to order our food. Lieferando works with nearly every restaurant in our area and we have a huge selection to choose from. Besides this, you can simply pay using Paypal so it is super convenient as well.
Just add your postcode in the form below and check out your local vegetarian restaurants on Lieferando.
Be Skeptical About Gimmicky Fake-Meat Foodstuff
By this I mean food items like burgers, steaks, or sausages sold in their vegetarian avatar. Not only they’re expensive, they’re insanely processed to have the look and texture of the real meat product.
Look, let me save you money, effort and heartbreak. I’ve tried some of these products. They never taste like real meat.
These fake meat foodstuffs are targeted towards meat-eaters who are just transitioning towards vegetarian food in Germany and are not too familiar with the diversity of authentic vegetarian and vegan cuisine. So instead of buying a fake-meat burger just buy a freshly prepared falafel wrap from your local imbiss. It’s original, tasty and healthier than some processed rubbery shit. Or if you have time and motivation, then make your own lentil or bean burger patties at home – they’re much better in terms of quality and cost.
Are you a vegetarian or vegan in Germany? Do you cook your own vegetarian food in Germany? How do you buy healthy vegetarian or gluten free or vegan food in Germany? Let us know in comments below.