I spent my New Years in Cologne, Germany with my boyfriend and came across Falafel Habibi Schawarma. Words cannot express how much I fell in love with this place!
First of all, I was having all sorts of problems making sure the food I was eating in the supermarkets and restaurants was actually veggy. Apart from going to the expensive bio-markt to get veggy food (with the most AMAZING sausages and tofu creations available….more on this later in another post), you have to meticulously read the back of German cheese packets. I am a self-confessed cheese hound, and spent ages looking for the magic phrase ‘Mikrobiologisches’, indicating that the rennet isn’t animal derived. Once you’ve done that, it makes eating in more bearable, but it’s pretty much lost on most restaurants that vegetarians exist and that cheese might actually contain animal ingredients. Thankfully my boyfriend who is basically German, tried to find out for me, but not with great success – you kinda just have to choose food you know is going to be suitable, so avoid cheese!
Anyways, back to Habibi’s! This little slice of the Middle East in Cologne is definitely worth a visit for veggies. The falafels are cooked in their own little pot – that’s right, not with meat, so you don’t have to worry about your food having flesh in it. You go in to the little café, and you can see where all the food is prepared behind the counter, where the salad and stuff is laid out. I therefore saw with my own beady eyes, that the falafels were indeed cooked all by themselves. Every time I went there, my boyfriend and I got the falafel wrap for €1.90, that’s about £1.50. This was stuffed with falafels, cucumber, tomatoes and grated carrot, drizzled with fresh yoghurt that eliminated any dryness that falafels can bring about.
The wrap was huge! They also gave customers free cinnamon tea that they regularly placed on the counter top for anyone to take. This place is not only healthy, veggy, but it was mega cheap as you can already gather. They also offered a variety of plates you could choose, with falafels, halloumi and salads, again all at a reasonable price.
We once feasted on two falafel wraps each, two bottles of water and two coffees for only €11.90, coming to around £9.80, not even £5 each. Unbelievable! The place is really authentic and cute – little tables and a mosaic floor, and a real sense of the Middle East when you’re in there. If you’re ever in Cologne, you must visit this place. It’s won several awards for its food, and has been rated highly by tripadvisor too (sorry, it’s in German, but google will translate!)…and now, it has the Veg Revvers stamp of approval! Sehr lecker!