Berlin is ideal for a healthy life style: there are plenty of wonderful parks, a convenient system of bike paths and bike rentals, almost every corner has a vegetarian shop or a store with bio products. On the weekend, in the farmers market you can find vegetables and fruits of any form and color. In addition, Berlin has amazing cultural life, which you can experience in any district of the city. No one would argue that Mitte is the heart of Berlin. This route is dedicated to half secret places.
Jivamukti Yoga Berlin
Set in Berlin's Mitte district, Jivamukti is a yoga studio opened by David Life and his wife Sharon Gannon, the famous gurus and founders of a unique yoga method. Jivamukti has branches in many countries, including the US, Canada and England. By the way, their NY studio is thought to be one of the most popular yoga centres in the whole world. Mondays and Tuesdays the Berlin studio hosts 60-minute open classes in English for beginners, as well as experienced yogis. The classes cost 12 euro each, and are given by Sasha Scott, David and Sharon's follower. A typical class includes 14 asanas, followed by meditation and singing mantras. After that visit the studio's cafe and enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed juice or smoothie.
Chipps serves one of the best breakkies ever. Omelet, pancakes, waffles/toasts and a cappuccino will cost you 10 euros. Vegetarian dishes are cooked with products grown in Brandenburg bio farms, and picked by the chef himself. Chipps is a pretty democratic outlet: despite that one of its founders is a committed vegetarian for over 25 years, the menu still offers a few meat and fish dishes (they are cooked and served separately though). In good weather you can enjoy your meal in the patio area. Otherwise choose a table closer to the open kitchen to watch the chefs cook.
This green oasis called Prinzessinnengarten is set in the industrial district of Kreuzberg, right by Moritzplatz metro station. Nowadays 'The Princess' Gardens' is one of the most famous public vegetable gardens in the world. It attracts the press from all over the globe to this Berlin neighbourhood mainly inhabited by immigrants. Journalists from The New York Times, La Repubblica, the Norwegian Aftenposten and even CNN have already been there.
It all started when Marko Klausen and Robert Shaw came up with an idea to plant a public vegetable garden among the concrete jungle. In fact, Shaw had borrowed the idea of mobile garden when he lived and studied in Cuba. At present the garden can boast over 400 sorts and species of various vegetables, herbs and other plants. People come here to chat with fellow thinkers and unwind surrounded by potato, tomato, carrot plants. You can take a stroll, listen to a lecture, take part in a discussion or listen to a concert here. Certainly, you'll be able to buy bio seeds, books on urban gardening, as well as have a snack at a vegetarian cafe with reasonable prices.
If when thinking of vegetarians you imagine subtle teenagers, you should immediately go to Kopps for a proof that you’re wrong. Since 2011 Bjorn Moschinski, a vegan and a famous chef, who takes part in cooking shows, publishes books and saves animals in his spare time, has been surprising the audience with his ingenuity. And despite truly haute cuisine and matching flair (for instance, soup here is poured from special teapots), Bjorn manages to keep the prices low and maintain warm and cozy atmosphere of the place. A large soup from seasonal veggies with a large basket of home-baked bread will cost you around €8.
Do You Read Me?!
One of the best bookshops in Berlin tempting you to leave all the salary there. Two small halls of DYRM?! house the latest editions on fashion, art, design and urban studies. If you can’t find the book you are looking for, the shop owners will personally order it and keep it for you for one week. Do You Read Me?! is more than a mere bookshop, it is a place where regular meetings with interesting authors are held and urgent cultural and local matters are discussed.
Geer Pouls, the founder of Brutto Gusto, never expected his flower & ceramics store to last more than 6 months. Yet his flower gallery in Mitte exists for more than 40 years. Geer Pouls collaborates with 25 artists worldwide, including the famous Jeff Koons, Lawrence Weiner and Daan van Golden. A certain magazine described its concept as 'a place where plants and plastic art meet to reach perfection'. Geer's store offers seasonal flowers, the finest specimen of West German ceramics and fancy vases. It hosts regular exhibitions and projects involving artists and nature.
The unremarkable Rosenthaler Platz went down in history thanks to the guerilla action of the Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh. He used 500 liters of eco paint to turn the boring crossroads into painted reality in 2010. Unaware drivers drove over the paint leaving colourful lines on the road behind. The police failed to catch Rubingh and his team, and the square looked joyous for another couple of days.
Bless Studio Apartment
The Bless Home is more a contemporary art exhibition or a tea-party spot with friends than an ordinary shop. Its founders, iconic avant-gardists Ines Kaag and Desiree Heiss, create interior items, clothing and accessories, skillfully combining fashion and art. At this half-secret apartment in Oderberger Straße you will find furniture and accessories, including classic pieces with wildlife prints, wire knitted shoes, fur hammocks, and ice cream bowl styled rings. Bear in mind though that these items are pricey, like most of designer stuff. If you're planning to drop by Bless Studio at the beginning of the week, make sure to discuss it with Mira the store manager. Also you can come on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Cookies Cream is another project of the Chipps crew. Today, it is thought to be the hippest vegetarian spot in Berlin or may be in all the Europe. You won't see random customers there as even if you know the address, it'll be a challenge to find the place. Stefan Henstel, the restaurant's chef loves experiments and is really passionate about what he does. He knows all the local mushrooms, herbs and roots which he uses to create his culinary masterpieces. The menu does not offer any pasta, tofu or rice typical of any other vegetarian spot. The dishes are made with local seasonal vegetables, wild herbs and cereals only. When going to Cookies Cream, be ready to shell out but the experience will be totally worth it. You won't find an empty table in the dining hall, so better book it in advance.