We almost felt like Alice in Wonderland when we entered the graffiti-covered door of Café Botanico. After going down some steps, we landed in a fairytale-like 1000 m2 “forest garden” on the other side of the restaurant. More than 200 plant species are growing in the middle of busy Berlin-Neukölln – all of them ready to get turned into amazing, seasonal dishes by Botanico’s cooks.
Café Botanico – sustainability in practice
Café Botanico has an amazing concept: they only serve organic produce from their huge garden, supplemented by specialties from Italy (p.e. legumes and meat products). To support the teams low waste policy, it’s useful to do a reservation as they just pick as many veggies as needed for all visitors on this day. Like that, the meals Botanico serves are incredibly fresh and tasty. Most of the ingredients just got picked the same day!
During our visit, Tabea and I sat at one of the little tables under the huge trees in the backyard. Dishes on the menu are mostly inspired by traditional Italian cuisine. The regular dishes are complemented by monthly special ones.
I was choosing a big plate of antipasti (aubergine, zucchini, and mushrooms) with bread, chickpea mayo, radish chutney and fresh herbs from the garden (vegan). Tabea went for the Pasta Botanico with seasonal veggies (like carrots, fresh herbs from the garden, leek, mushrooms and chickpeas) topped with chopped nuts (vegan – option with Parmigiano available). The best thing in my eyes was the herb salad with edible flowers. It had so many herbs in it that I never tasted before, for real, it was exciting to taste every single leaf. Tabea was amazed by the fact that even her noodles were homemade. We enjoyed our meals a lot.
A place to relax
After finishing our plates, dipping the last drops of sauce with the bread, we went on a little excursion to the garden. It is a permaculture garden which means that edible plants grow there all year and the plants don’t get removed after harvesting. The rotten plants are the breeding ground for new ones. It is a system that regulates itself and requires just a few interventions of humans. We really didn’t expect such a beautiful and primordial garden in the middle of Berlin.
After our small tour, I was going for a homemade tiramisu and Tabea for a cappuccino with homemade cashew milk. Knowing that the little brambleberries that topped my dessert were from the bush I have seen a few minutes before even made it more delicious. Being not so sweet, but more tart through the coffee, the tiramisu was totally hitting my taste.
To sum up, I can say that it was a really amazing experience to have lunch at Café Botanico. It just felt like a little short trip to an Italian village. We are definitely going to come back soon!
ON THE MENU: Beautiful veggies fresh from the garden combined with produce from Italy.
PRICES: Main dishes between 9.00€ and 13.00€.
VIBES: A true oasis in the middle of big B.
DOWNER: Weekdays, Botanico opens at 5 pm – so, unfortunately, no lunch! But at the weekend, they are open from 12 am.
PICKY NOTES: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free options on the menu, also fish and meat.
Café Botanico, Richardstraße 100, 12043 Berlin. Website.
You are in Neukölln and in the mood for something totally new? Try Sushi Burgers at CocoLiebe!
Katrin has been addicted to good food since forever. Even her first handwritten letter from a school trip was mainly about the food she had and about its quality. Her baking career – a passionate one – started at age 8 and is still flourishing. She is a vegetarian, part-time vegan and is always looking for new tastes.