Almost two weeks ago, I spent a long weekend in Cologne. It was my first time there and I sooooo loved it. Cologne not only has a bunch of really cool fair fashion shops, sustainable warehouses, and cute little cafés, but it also has a variety of clean eating restaurants and tons of vegan options.
I have been doing my research beforehand, like usual, so I knew where to go. I went to a few different vegan places and tried different breakfasts, dinners, and matchas. The Edelgrün restaurant in Ehrenfeld was my favorite.
By the way, I was in Cologne to attend the VeganFach trade fair. It was fun to go even though my highlight wasn’t the fair but rather Cologne itself. Have you ever been there?
When I arrived, the first thing I did was visiting the Cologne Cathedral, obviously. Afterwards I went on to explore the city center and found loads of intersting small shops, fair fashion shops and even a Funktionschnitt concept store. I walked all the way from the main station to a quarter called “Ehrenfeld”. Ehrenfeld used to be a little bit of a social flashpoint, but as with many social flashpoints, students and artists took over the quarter, and today the neighboorhood is actually pretty hip. There are loads of bars, restaurants, and cafés, and there is the Edelgrün.
The Edelgrün is not a vegan restaurant, however, it has mainly vegan options on the menu and if you want to eat something animal based, you have to order it as an extra to your otherwise vegan dish. The focus of the restaurant, however, is rather on clean eating than on serving only vegan food. In a nutshell, clean eating means to eat as few processed foods as possible. This means no refined sugars, not white flour, no alcohol, no additives, etc.
This is mainly how I eat at home and this is my preferred way of eating. Sure there are days where things go a little different and that is okay, but mainly my whole food plant based diet equals a vegan clean eating diet. And this is why clean eating restaurants are always among my favorites.
Lennart here is one of the three owners of the restaurants. The three worked for 2,5 years fulltime on planning the restaurant, writing their business plan, renovating the place they finally found in Ehrenfeld, and creating a bunch of healthy dishes, smoothies, shakes, and specials.
None of the three has a background in cooking or in entrepreneurship but all three of them had the wish to show the world (or Cologne) that healthy, nutritious food can be everything but boring. They created the most delicious recipes to proove their customers that eating healthy and yummy can go hand in hand.
I find it pretty amazing that they actually worked 2,5 years fulltime on making their dream come true. I mean 2,5 years seems like forever to me (thats how old my daughter is!). I do not think I could have been that patient. In any case, it was worth taking the time, because now the place is pretty much perfect. The interior is created with much love for details, the menu definetly reads different from what one could be used to from other restaurants, and the consistency with which the three owners run their business makes the Edelgrün a place where you want to come back and back again.
About what I had while I was there… I started off with a matcha latte (I was so tired after the six hours train trip to Cologne and the two hours walk around the city). I then had a eggplant-quinoa-soyjogurt bowl with fresh mint, dates and pomegrante (this was soooo good!!!), and finally a warm avocado-lime dessert. It wasn’t easy to choose, though. They have the funniest and more intersting things on the menu, like a charcoal latte, green bowls, yellow bowls, red bowls, sweet potatoe pasta, violet potatoes… so many things I wanted to try.
You can find their entire menu right here
I actually planned to come back the day after to try a few other dishes, but it turned out I couldn’t as there was so much more I had to explore. But I most certainly know where to go next time I am around.
Have you ever been to Cologne? How did you like the city? Do you have a favorite restaurant there? I would love to know!
Also, in case you want to know more about the Edelgrün, make sure to visit their website