For the most part when people are planning their German vacations they’re probably not wondering about how good the vegan restaurants in Dresden are. They’re thinking; "I’ve heard that Dresden is a true wonder of human history, architecture, and perseverance" – and both Franca and I fully understand that.
When we visited the former-UNESCO listed city during our Eurail trip last year we’d also intended to see how the city that was once so heavily fire-bombed during World War 2 had transformed and rebuilt itself over the following decades. We too wanted to experience the "Florence of the Elbe" as so many thousands of tourists have done, to walk along the river, past the reconstruction of Dresden Frauenkirche, and the outrageously beautiful Fürstenzug.
It’s truly an astounding feat that has been accomplished. To go to such lengths to return the former beauty of the city by rebuilding so many of the lost historical buildings brick-by-brick; however as ever the most interesting aspect of Dresden for the both of us wasn’t the state or the age of the architecture – it was the food.
Across the river is Neustadt, the city that was built following the end of the second war that engulfed central Europe during the 20th century. Built rapidly by the German Democratic Republic around the few buildings that remained on that side of the river, the area doesn’t hold the same splendor of the buildings you’ve probably seen on Pinterest, in countless travel guides, and on postcards (are they still a thing?).
What Neustadt does have to count in its favour is an endless amount of charm.
Oh, and loads of vegan food.
Vegan Restaurants in Dresden
Of the few days we spent in Dresden most of our time was spent walking around the streets and alleyways of Neustadt. It’s an incredibly relaxed and liberal part of the city where – on the surface – everyone felt more interested in the elements of life that tend to bring the brightest smiles to people’s faces – food, drink, and shopping.
There are fashionable clothing shops that sell only ethically sourced materials, little independent music and book shops, several outlets selling a variety of bespoken and high quality interior design items, plus more shops selling locally-brewed beer than I could possibly remember.
Throughout it all are the restaurants and cafes – and the number of them that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly are beyond measure.
Whilst we were walking around the streets trying to find a few more pieces of street art to photograph for our ever-growing collection, the number of menus mentioning vegetarian and vegan food was astounding. Some of them we’d heard and read about before arriving, however there were a number that we’d known nothing about before accidentally walking past.
Due to our limited time in Dresden there weren’t enough meals in the day for us to try every vegan restaurant we wanted too, but we promised ourselves we wouldn’t leave without trying a couple, of which you’ll find a few below.
Curry & Co
Lovers of the currywurst rejoice! Before going vegan we’d tried the ever-popular snack that you’ll find almost everywhere in Berlin; however after going vegan we’d tried one vegan attempt of the classic only to leave highly disappointed.
Curry & Co deliver the complete opposite.
Not only are their vegan wursts (kind of like a sausage, but not) absolutely delicious and the perfect texture, they also come topped with the deliciously tangy sauces that you’ve probably read about. We opted for a thick peanut sauce that definitely didn’t disappoint.
Whilst it might not look so delicious to the naked eye (and in our picture), you’ll have to believe me when I say that it’s truly worthy of your vegan food bucket list.
Not too far away from Curry & Co is a Vietnamese restaurant that we happened to walk past on the way to another location.
Chay Viet may be small, but the vegetarian and vegan menu is large enough to keep you coming back day after day to try a different dish.
Whilst the name of the plate of noodles we ordered escapes the both of us, the food was really quite nice and better than any noodle dish we ever create at home.
Cafe V Cake
Cake. No vegan trip anywhere is complete without it – and this fly-by visit to Dresden was no exception.
Knowledge of this small vegan cafe came via some searching on Instagram (still the best way to find vegan food!). We’d been scrolling through every hashtag we could find and by chance found one lovely person sharing a picture of their delicious-looking bakery snack via #vegandresden.
We stopped by following a walk around the centre of the city to treat ourselves before catching the last train back to our airbnb apartment. From the outside we saw a couple of dogs sitting on the carpet and immediately we knew we’d love it.
There were vegan sandwiches and other choices for lunch, but the important matter at hand were the cakes. We both wanted something different to each other so chose to take the middle ground by opting for a tofu cheesecake with cherries. It hit the spot.
Der Dicke Schmidt
Der Dicke Schmidt had a challenge ahead of them, although they didn’t know anything about it.
We’re already deeply in love with the vegan faux meat kebab we buy religiously from Voner, so trying the same product at Dicke Schmidt was difficult in a way because there’s always that competition at the back of our minds.
We opted for the usual open pita stuffed with salad and that spiced vegan doner meat that we adore so much, and it didn’t disappoint.
It was really quite delicious and we’d both encourage every vegan visiting Dresden to leave some room for it if they’re in the mood for something that leans more towards the fast food side of vegan eating.
More Vegan Treats in Dresden
We’d happily have spent longer in Dresden, even if it was just to walk from vegan cafe to vegan restaurant, eating over-generously at every stop along the way. There were simply far too much for us to try, and there were a number of vegan-friendly and vegetarian restaurants we didn’t have the time to visit, including:
Hopefully one day we’ll be able to return and explore the alternative side to Dresden a little more and try out every restaurant we missed, and the restaurants yet to come.
Would you love to visit Dresden?