The main challenge for a visit to Berlin’s hippest vegetarian restaurant is finding the place. It's hidden in an unglamorous backyard behind the Westin Grand Hotel; a nondescript door lit by a telltale bulb leads into a chic, loftlike interior with exposed brick walls, gentle lighting, and low ceilings. Simple white tablecloths contrast with dark red chairs and banquettes. The trendy staff are both efficient and attentive in serving food that takes vegetarian dining up a notch: Gone are the usual staples of pasta, tofu, and rice, replaced by sumptuous, imaginative ingredients such as beluga lentils, Parmesan dumplings, and wild herb salads. The wine list is also excellent, or you can head next door for a cocktail at Crackers, a restaurant and bar.
You’d expect nothing less in edgy Berlin: to reach the city’s premier vegetarian restaurant, you need to venture down a nondescript alley off Behrenstrasse and find Cookies Cream’s industrial black door (it’s locked, and you need to buzz to get in). Inside, a moody, candlelit room sets the stage for the ever-evolving menu, which might include seaweed caviar with ricotta cheese, bergamot, dill, and buckwheat; celeriac root baked in salt dough with sesame spinach and onion; and for dessert, white bubble chocolate and pistachio accompanied by homemade cassis ice cream and mascarpone.