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MANA Food
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MANA Food

20/08/2021Emily EricksonEmily Erickson

Honest, nutritious, accessible and satisfying - four values at the core of MANA Food’s approach to plant-based dining.

One glance at their VEGCRAVER menu and you’ll see founders Tina and Magdalena’s commitment to creating fresh, vibrant, and downright drool-worthy dishes. Who knew simple meals could look so darn pretty?

Co-founder Magdalena Norkauer chats with VEGCRAVER about being in the right place at the right time, making plant-based food accessible to everyone, and the importance of community.

What inspired you to launch MANA Food?

As it often is, it was just the right timing. I had the dream of opening up a plant-based restaurant, made for everybody to enjoy every day - something I felt was missing in Berlin and especially in the area I was living in.

I wanted to create a place that doesn’t scream ‘vegan’, but that is inviting and healthy for everyone. While I was working in other fields, I met the right people with similar visions and we made it happen.

How long have you been vegan and what inspired you to make the transition?

Working in the food industry and seeing (and smelling) with my own eyes (and nose) how meat gets processed and what chemicals are needed to create a ‘safe’ product - shocked me.

Many small and bigger events then led to me being more conscious of what I eat. Once your eyes are open up, it can’t be undone. That led to choosing more and more plant-based options over animal products. There was no fixed date, but it was a process.

Where do you get your menu inspiration from?

The perks of owning two restaurants are that I choose what will be on the menu at the end of the day. Therefore, inspiration is my own taste but also a scientific approach in terms of nutrients. We have lots of regulars who come almost every day and they often order the same dish.

I love creating a space where everyone can find something, every day, at any time.

Especially for the bowls and our burgers we were looking for delicious recipes with lots of protein so everyone is satisfied by the taste as well as the nutrients. The seasonal dishes give me the chance to give the chefs lots of freedom in creating the dishes and bring in more seasonal veggies and fruits, as well as newly interpreted or combined regional products.

What are your thoughts on the current vegan landscape in Berlin and Germany in general?

I am very happy to see that the vegan scene has opened up. It has become more and more mainstream. People who don’t live a fully vegan lifestyle choose to go out with their friends and family once in a while to a plant-based restaurant, just because they like the food and realize there is nothing missing or crazy about it.

Any big plans for the future of MANA Food?

We opened up this year our second location in Berlin Moabit. Many customers approach us saying they want us to open in more locations. Some even offer us help in finding stores to rent!

This is really charming and we will see where that leads us. We are also brainstorming ideas about how we can be more involved in our neighborhood. The plan is to organically grow but to keep the focus on quality and community.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That is a hard one! I would probably go for shakshuka (a classic North African and Middle Eastern dish) with pita bread. Our chef makes some amazing hummus, and the combination with parsley tahini and some spicy paprika and tomato is just to die for. I could eat it every day and every season.

So don't miss out! You can also request through their VEGCRAVER profile to book the location, which is super cozy and one of our favs!

MANA Food

MANA Food

Schöneberg

MANA offers 100 % plantbased food, with no need of meat-substitutes or chemistry. We are celebrating the fruits & vegetables as the most important ingredients in our modern-bistro-kitchen.

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Emily Erickson

Emily Erickson

CONTENT WRITER

Amateur latte artist, bookworm, and stationary-lover with an (unhealthy?) addiction to true-crime podcasts.




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