On Wednesday morning we checked out the Jewish Museum (which has architecture as interesting as its exhibits!) then wandered over to Cafe V for lunch. I gather that it can get quite lively at times but on this weekday the bistro was very quiet. In contrast to the youthful, hipster vibe of many veg*n businesses, this one had a more mature bohemian atmosphere.
Although it used to offer some fish dishes, Cafe V is now completely vegetarian, with a menu stretching to many dozens of dishes. Vegan options are well-marked but sparse. All items except the specials had English translations so we had little trouble choosing, but the day's waiter spoke little English herself and we communicated politely but clumsily.
We've been enjoying the local habit of serving complimentary bread with meals. Unfortunately in this case, it arrived with our carb-heavy meals rather than before them. Warm and stuffed with a garlicky, tomato spread, these five slices were impressive but not well-matched to the food and impossible to finish.
Michael tried the vegan pizza with chopped seitan, vegetables and rocket, missing the usual vegan cheese (6.90€ ~ AU$8.60). It was large and the seitan-vege paste was pleasant but the overall effect was too dry.
I fared better with the breaded artichoke hearts stuffed with sheep's milk cheese and herbs, served with spätzle and a mushroom-cream sauce (10.30€ ~ AU$12.80).
The artichoke hearts were almost certainly canned but boosted by the stuffing and neat crumbing. The mushroom-cream sauce was just perfect and transformed everything that I dragged through it.
Cafe V seems to have won many fans and we certainly found a few things there to admire. With its huge menu it seems inevitable that there'll be hits and misses; it'd take many repeat visits to entirely nut out their strengths and weaknesses.
Most blog accounts of Cafe V are from people passing through Berlin like us, and there's barely a negative word amongst them; see Veganfix (in Swedish), veganmage (twice, in Swedish), HOLLY'S BLOG, Choose Life!, Berlinerskan (in Swedish), The Vegetarian Diaries (in German), flickan & kakorna (in Swedish), Rockin' the Stove, Végétalien à Paris, Berlinblog (in Danish), HERBIVORE FOX and Frühstücken in Berlin (in German).
Lausitzer Platz 12, Berlin
veg appetisers and mains 3.90-11.20€ (~AU$4.90-14.00)
Accessibility: We sat outside and received full table service; here the ground was a little uneven and the tables were dense and a bit rickety.
Cafe V is also walking distance to the Berlin Wall's East Side Gallery,
which we visited afterwards