The jolly vegan guide to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (central railway station)

updated August 2015
With “Frankfurt” I’m referring to the Frankfurt, i.e. Frankfurt am Main, Germany (there’s another Frankfurt in eastern Germany).
Hauptbahnhof = Hbf =  central railway station

Everyone at the food stalls and in the shops should be able speak some English and the German word for “vegan” is “vegan” (pronounced: veh-gahn).

Bakery: Kamps 
Opposite platform 4 you’ll find a sort of food pavilion called “Frankfurter Markthalle”. The “Kamps” bakery is the very first shop on the right hand side. Any kind of bread or bread roll that’s not sweet (or has cheese or meat) should be vegan. The “Brezels” at “Kamps” are vegan, which is special because most of the time “Brezels” are not vegan (as lard or margarine is added to the wider part of the “Brezel” to keep it soft). So buy a “Brezel” here and feel like a real German.

“Kamps” (which is a chain of bakeries) actually has a list of vegan items, although I don’t think all of them are available at their Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof outlet. 

Brezeln and Brezl like edibles (all vegan)

My Indigo
“My Indigo” is a “combine your own meal” place, not a serve yourself buffet, in the “Frankfurter Markthalle” – the very first shop on the left (see photo). All vegan items are marked with a green Vegan Society V-flower looking vegan symbol (see photo). I haven’t tried this place yet, but I love any menu that explicitly identifies vegan items.

There are three “Cuccis” tiny sandwich shops at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. They are on the platforms, between the train tracks: Platforms 6/7, 8/9, and 12/13.

They offer a sandwich called “Rustino [I think] Antipasti” that is vegan. They also offer soya milk with their coffees at no extra charge.

The "[Rustino An]tipasti" sign is covered, sorry!

Le Crobag
Directly next to platforms 12/13, right in front of the DB info counter, there’s “Le Crobag”.

They offer a sandwich with tomato, basil-tofu, and basil – and also another sandwich with cucumber and herbed pâté.

If you don’t see these in the on display, ask for them, and they will make the fresh for you – say the magic word “vegan” [“veh-gaahn” in German].
The vegan sandwiches normally are in the top right corner of the "display".

The vegan sandwiches are hidden behind the "vegan" sign.
vegan sandwiches

Traffic Snack

I saw this at Traffic Snack, but I didn't see any vegan snacks (didn't ask). It says they have coffee with soya milk and more vegan delicious snacks (whatever that means).

It's not actually this dark in Frankfurt Hbf.

The Starbucks in the Hauptbahnhof is directly next to the central exit/entrance. They offer a vegan “ciabatta with avocado paste”. If you do not see it on display, they should be able to make it fresh for you. 

Just next to Kamps, a sausage vendor. They sell French fries. I assume the French fries are made from potatoes only and fried in plant oil - French fries are never fried in lard in Germany (as far as I know).

Burger King 
Yes, you can also go to Burger King and order the veggie burger without cheese and without sauce.

(To the best of my knowledge the Burger King (BK) "Country Burger" in Germany is vegan IF ordered WITHOUT cheese and WITHOUT the sauce. You can instead ask to have it with ketchup/barbecue sauce/mild curry sauce. But I haven't seen the "Country Burger" advertised at the Frankfurt Hbf Burger King, so they might not have it.)

I will only go to Burger King the day they make a completely vegan burger and explicitly call it vegan burger, and I will probably go just once in my life. But I look forward to that day, may it come soon.

Asia Gourmet 
NOTE: I once asked about the "vegetarian" (it says "vegetarian") Tom Yum soup with coconut milk. And they told me it contains chicken stock.
Opposite platform 22 you’ll find “Asia Gourmet”. I haven’t tried this one either. But they have some vegetarian stir fried rice/noodle /soup dishes and you can add extras like [animal parts] or tofu.

Tchibo Point 
Just opposite Kamps. Note that everything in this shop is more or less double the normal price.

The following types of “ice cream“ are vegan: CAPRI, Flutschfinger, Dolomiti, Calippo. Note: These consist of water, sugar, and colourings, and are not creamy. They also sell vegan chocolate like Ritter Sport Marzipan, and Mon Cherie.   

A fancy chocolate shop. None of the small handmade chocolates (which Germans call “Pralinen”) are vegan, they all contain dairy. But surprisingly A LOT of the luxurious looking chocolate bars ARE vegan (price: 4.35 Euros each), for example the following: wasabi, pink pepper, chili, orange, lemon, cardamom, sea salt, ginger, with pistachios, with almonds, with macadamias, with berries,… Check the ingredients, or ask for “without milk” (German: “ohne Milch”). The only other thing that was vegan that I saw was a dark chocolate covered marzipan “log” (also around 4 Euros). Note: The “lactose free” (“laktosefrei”) ones aren’t vegan. 

Vending machines 
Almost every vending machine I’ve seen in Germany sells “Mr. Tom’s” a vegan peanut and sugar syrup bar (red letters on yellow packing; 50 Euro cents). Most of the other things in vending machines are usually not vegan. There usually also are coffee vending machines from which you can buy black coffee (not suitable for coffee snobs, of course, but good for in the middle of the night hour long waits during cold German nights – every night in Germany is cold, unless it’s late July/early August maybe).

There might be more options, but I haven’t investigated them yet. There are also fruit/juice/smoothie stalls. Not all smoothies are vegan, and they add colourings. You can buy vegan chocolate in the little snack shops, but of course prices are very high at the central train station.

German vegan books and vegan magazines 
The larger of the two (I think) book shops currently sells quite a few German vegan (and more vegetarian) cookbooks, and also some vegan magazines (see photo).
“Kochen ohne Knochen” (= cooking without bones) is a vegan magazine.
“Natürlich vegetarisch” is the magazine of Germany’s Vegetarian Society (= vebu), which leans towards veganism and prints only vegan recipes (I think).
There’s also a new vegan magazine called “das vegan magazin”, but it’s not available at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof yet - it might be by now.

two different magazine days

Frankfurt Main Station, oil on canvas, 1942
Max Beckmann (Leipzig 1884 – New York 1950)
Beckmann painted this from memory 10 years after leaving Frankfurt, while living in Amsterdam, Holland, hiding from the Nazis. 

Frankfurt main station surroundings, aka close-by
Seoul Food (Korean)
Very small restaurant. Vegan options marked on the menu. I recommend the Seoul Tofu (top).
(Weserstraße 17, 60329 Frankfurt)

Saravanaa Bhavan (South Indian vegetarian)
The menu is very long, but really they're all just slightly different versions of dosas ("pancakes"). And they have "Thali" which means meal and is a typical (and authentic tasting) South Indian meal. This is a vegan option. Normally two of the little metal containers will contain something with dairy - so we got some fruit and sliced raw tomato and raw onion (!) instead. Make sure you say that you want it to be vegan at least 20 times when ordering and again when it arrives.
There's also a vegan option masala dosa - the filling is very little.
(Kaiserstr.66, 60329 Frankfurt)

Vegan Thali

That's what it looks like from outside, believe me.

What The Food
There's a new place on Kaiserstrasse called "What the food". The vegan options are marked on the menu.
You can download the current menu from their website 
(Kaiserstr. 49, 60329 Frankfurt)

Burrito Bande (inside Frankfurt Hbf) and their vegan burrito don't exist anymore!

I only took a photo of the wrapped burrito – yes, I know.

Walk into the food court (“Frankfurter Markthalle”) and you’ll get to a burrito place called “Burrito Bande” (= burrito gang). They have a vegetarian burrito on the menu called “Greenhorn Jack”, which is available as a vegan option. So you order the “Greenhorn Jack” but vegan. The “Greenhorn Jack” is made with vegan soya mince Bolognese style sauce (the kind you would expect to find on spaghetti), but it’s quite good (according to me, who doesn’t know much about burritos), nutritious and filling.
It costs 5.90 Euros, but they will ask you if you want guacamole (about the amount of a teaspoon or two, which costs 90 Euro cents extra). 

You can eat there (chairs at the counter) or have it as a take away.

“Burrito Bande” is a nice place, and you can also “buy a burrito for a homeless person” (they’ll give it to a Christian charity that serves food to the homeless), but I doubt you can specify that you want to donate a vegan burrito, though I haven’t asked (yet).