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Frankfurt prides itself on its meat dishes — pork loin ribs, bratwurst, schnitzel and more — so eating out as a vegetarian or vegan can be a challenge.
The landscape is shifting, however. Germany now has one of the highest proportions of non-meat-eaters in the west, at some 11 per cent of the population. Berlin is heralded as one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, and Frankfurt is starting to catch up.
From cheap and cheerful eateries to Michelin-starred venues, the city is home to a range of places offering plant-based menus. Below is a selection of some of the best.
Neue Mainzer Straße 20, 60311 Frankfurt am Main
- Good for: the health-conscious
- Not so good for: walk-ins — limited capacity means it’s better to call ahead for a table
- FYI: payment is strictly cash-only
“Vevay” stands for “vegetarian, vegan and yummy”, and was one of the first all-vegan restaurants in the city. When it opened its doors in 2015, simple meat-free food was hard to come by in Frankfurt.
Ingredients are organically produced and sourced from nearby farms, put together with an emphasis on low-cholesterol and low-fat cooking. Popular dishes include the barbecue falafel burger and the udon noodles topped with fresh vegetables.
Vevay’s relaxed ethos is apparent through its minimal decor, and a large communal table at the top of the spiral staircase. Private tables are limited, so guests tend to sit close together, making it a suitable place for an informal meal with colleagues.
2. Seven Swans
Mainkai 4, 60311 Frankfurt am Main
- Good for: a gastronomic experience that’s exclusively vegetarian
- Not so good for: anyone in a rush — you’ll want to pace yourself and enjoy a tasting menu
- FYI: there are only set menus — no à la carte
Nestled inside Frankfurt’s narrowest building, Seven Swans is one of only two vegetarian restaurants in Germany with a Michelin star. Its set menus feature seasonal and regional ingredients, such as fennel, pumpkin and black cabbage, which are grown in the restaurant’s own permaculture garden.
On the ground floor, a little bar, The Tiny Cup, offers space for up to 16 guests to enjoy a choice of craft cocktails, including variants of the classic Old Fashioned, which change monthly.
The soothing ambience and views through broad windows over the river Main make Seven Swans an unpretentious setting for anyone who values fuss-free fine dining. This is, though, something you only have a limited time to experience, as the restaurant announced in December that it plans to close down at the end of 2020.
3. dean & david
Mainzer Landstraße 36, 60325 Frankfurt am Main
- Good for: a quick bite or food to grab and go
- Not so good for: ambience — the ultra-modern set-up is somewhat sterile
- FYI: don’t leave without having a fresh juice or smoothie
After two years of developing his salad-bar concept, David Baumgartner launched the chain (which has four branches in central Frankfurt) in 2007 with the slogan “fresh to eat”. His kitchens use no artificial colourings, preservatives or flavour enhancers.
Expect a range of salads and sandwiches, as well as hot food in the form of curries and soups. It is an accessible eatery for quick, healthy meals before you have to rush off to complete the rest of the day’s tasks.
4. Restaurant Lafleur
Palmengartenstraße 11, 60325 Frankfurt am Main
- Good for: vegans dining with non-vegans — there are set menus to satisfy everyone’s dietary preferences
- Not so good for: last-minute bookings, so book well in advance
- FYI: since 2018, Lafleur has been an official supporter of Slow Food, a non-profit organisation championing locally sourced products and traditional cooking. Some plates are made using ingredients grown in house by Michelin two-starred chef Andreas Krolik
Lafleur takes its name from the Château Lafleur wine estate in Pomerol, Bordeaux. Krolik is the only Michelin-starred chef in Germany who offers an entirely plant-based menu, with his six-course vegan option.
Restaurant Lafleur is nothing short of lavish and would be perfect for a celebratory meal with clients.
When dining here, expect to find contemporary classics with Mediterranean and regional influences. Highlights include the black salsify with truffle gravy, and the gourmet mushrooms and porcini ravioli. It is worth noting, however, that most dishes on the vegan menu contain soy and gluten.
What is your favourite meat-free venue in Frankfurt? Let us know in the comments
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