A student pays with the MensaCard for his meal in the vegan Mensa on the campus of the TU.
Since the end of March, Berlin's first and Germany's largest purely vegan refectory has been in test mode. Officially, the facility has opened on the TU Berlin campus on Tuesday after Easter (23 April 2019). The former cafeteria on the ground floor of Hardenbergstraße 34 was converted for this purpose.
Vegan food and hip furnishings
Apart from vegan food, students will also get lots of glass, hip lamps, armchairs. The lounge area, where students sit in front of their laptops, is furnished like an expensive coffee bar. It needs a different aesthetic nowadays, says Jana Judisch, spokesperson of Studierendenwerk Berlin. "Otherwise, the students won't come."
Plant-based food is in demand
It goes without saying that the Studierendenwerk must also keep up with one of the biggest food trends of recent years among health- and environmentally conscious young city dwellers: plant-based nutrition, sometimes even gluten-free. This is in demand, according to Judisch.
Not only vegans welcome
The students now have a literally colourful range of products on offer: for example pumpkin chia seed fried plums, Asian dishes straight from the wok, lentil green seed curry, salads and sweets. All without meat, cheese, egg, milk and other animal ingredients. The target group are not only pure vegans, but also vegetarians and people who don't want to eat pork, says cook Nicole Graf. "We don't want to convert anyone."
500 visitors a day at Veggie 2.0
In principle everybody with a Mensa card for cashless payment can eat in the city's university cafeterias - to a somewhat more expensive price. Primarily, however, the facilities are there to supply the students. 500 or more visitors are targeted every day. Compared to its meat-serving counterpart on the upper floor, where more than 4500 meals are served daily, it is still a niche offering.