Berlin’s first vegan and zero waste restaurant Frea has opened shop on a bright corner in Mitte, with a simple mission: to change the way we eat. This sustainable restaurant uses organic regional produce, delivered unpackaged to them, to create delicious fare that is available from lunch until dinner time.
From kefir, kombucha and kohlrabi, to sourdough and hazelnut spread, everything you consume they make in house—and everything you leave on your plate, they compost and return to their suppliers. The ethos of sustainability extends beyond dining, encompassing the decoration of the restaurant space itself. Large windows, lofty ceilings and lots of plants give Frea a feeling of calm despite its tables being full. The bright and light space is furnished in a way that is reminiscent of Scandinavian restaurants and cafes; but a close inspection reveals all sorts of surprises. The lamps illuminating the countertop are made of mushrooms. Designed by innovative Cardiff design studio, tŷ syml, these mycelium lamps are part of a wider shift towards sustainable new materials that can replace those that harm our world. The compost machine stands tucked away behind a forest of pot plants; this is where the food scraps—that aren’t taken home by customers in mason jars—are transformed into a soil replacement given to the farmers whose produce the restaurant uses.