The very first vegan canteen for students in Berlin, Germany, is now open due to high demand for vegan options.
The new vegan canteen, Veggie 2.0, is an experimental initiative of student support association Studierendenwerk Berlin at the Technical University of Berlin following a growing trend toward plant-based food in the country.
The vegan dishes served in the vegan canteen will be prepared by vegan chef Nicole Graf and will feature pumpkin chia seed patties and lentil and spelt grain curry.
There will be at least 2 starters, 4 main dishes, a variety of side dishes, and 3 desserts on the canteen’s menu every day.
According to Graf, all ingredients are sourced from responsible, sustainable farms except the pasta, which is made onsite.
“The exciting thing about vegan cooking is that there’s such a lot to discover, I’m learning all the time and here we can try new things out,” she told Berliner Zeitung.
Jana Judisch, a spokeswoman for Studierendenwerk Berlin, said in a statement that the vegan canteen is an experiment and does not intend to force the public to go vegan.
However, Studierendenwerk Berlin still expects that interest in plant-based food will spread as the vegan canteen, commonly known in German as “mensa,” is also open to the public.
“We’re hoping for 500 customers a day,” said Judisch. “The need for a mensa like this was certainly there.”
“Here we have the opportunity to try out recipes and to develop the range. It’s like we have a research assignment. After all it’s a new field for the entire gastronomical world, and we’re in a good place to practice and experiment with new ideas.”
Prices of Veggie 2.0 meals for students start from €1.45 (£1.25) per dish up to €3.80. They can be paid with a chip card.
A second group with slightly higher prices applies to university staff, while those who are not connected to the university at all may pay the third category, which is still affordable.