One of my favourite things about working on in Mayfair, London was that I was a stone’s throw from amazing health food shops and cafes. I loved popping out on my lunch break to pick up a sweet potato, pomegranate, and feta salad, or working my way through various ranges of dehydrated vegetable crisps. Yes, I’m a complete sucker for that sort of thing – and always happy to indulge my predilection for obscure but yummy green juices.
Since moving to Berlin, I’ve never quite found anything that could compare. Yes, most cafes sell sandwiches and salads. Yes, the range of organic supermarkets and products is pretty much unbeatable in this part of the world. But, nothing quite to the easy-access health food extreme I had been enjoying in London. Bread and cheese were hard to avoid. Why would you want to, you may well legitimately ask, but sometimes, just sometimes, you fancy something not quite so heavy. Until recently that is, when I made the joyful discovery of three new places all in Mitte, which is conveniently close enough to work and to home. So, if you’re similarly a health-food nut like me, here are three recommendations for when you come to the Hauptstadt.
Daluma launched in October 2014 with the motto “Pure, raw, superfoods”. And, serving a range of delicious salads and fresh juices, they match up to this too. The cafe, though stylish, is possibly a bit too full of Berlin Mitte hipsters who have come straight fro a yoga class to rehydrate themselves with coconut water and spirulina, but if you can get over that you’re guaranteed to have a good lunch. The best thing about Daluma is that you can mix and match your own salad – choosing from a range of bases (from the hearty pasta to the least hearty spinach) and then add what you like on top. The only downside for those with big appetites is that the portions err on the small side and it’s not exactly cheap.
Yes, I admit, the name is pretty awful, but the food is so great and the staff super friendly and helpful – even to the point that they will explain to you how to drink your “oregano oil and ginger shot” (slowly and with water!). The concept here are salads, soups, juices, smoothies, muesli bowls, and a range of “clean” baked goods (so lots of almond flour, coconut butter, and natural sweeteners). What’s wonderful here is that you can satisfy even those a little suspicious of health-food – who can say no to a creamy tomato soup or a full-to-the-brim goats cheese sandwich. I took my five-year-old twins the other day and even they liked it.
The store is not an actual cafe but part of a concept store within Soho House (the international private members club for media types, though you don’t have to be a member to shop or eat the food!). The location is amazing. Soho House resides within a grade II-listed building, built in the 1920s by Georg Bauer and Siegfried Friedlander, which is worth looking at if you have even the faintest interest in architecture. The food is simply divine – soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, all of it. In summer, I enjoyed the best cold avocado, cucumber and nori soup imaginable. My only word of warning would be don’t let yourself get distracted by the clothes and other things on sale – they are very expensive but so beautiful they become rather tempting.
Happy health-food eating – or should I say, Guten Appetit!