African Vegan Meetup – summer picnic in Cologne


What are Vegan Meetups?

Vegan Meetups are picnics with vegan food that were brought into life by some vegan German (food) bloggers and now take place regularly in different German cities.

These meetups are usually held in a public park when the weather is enjoyable to be outdoor. No matter if you’re vegan or not – everybody is welcome to join. The only requirement is to bring something vegan to eat. There are no rules of what to bring. Whether it’s something sweet, savory or hearty. Whether it’s a cake, snacks, a salad or main course. This way we’re always having a huge buffet of various dishes. Since the ‘official’ ones don’t take place that many times in Cologne, a friend of mine and I decided to host our own meetup.

Good vibes are guaranteed

The beautiful thing about vegan meetups is that we’re all on the same wavelength. Of course our common ground is veganism but most of the time we’re all interested in yoga, a healthy lifestyle, traveling, sustainability and a positive mindset. So no matter if you come alone or with some friends, I can guarantee you that you will meet like-minded souls. From this develop beautiful conversations and a lovely atmosphere with happy vibes.
The meetups usually start at 1 p.m. and our last one (the one this post is about) lasted until even 8 p.m. Many of the participants always rave that these meetups are one of their highlight weekends of the year. And this is not even exaggerated. I can guarantee that you will feel uplifted and high on life after so many good vibes. Oftentimes it feels like a movie scene: it’s a perfect warm summer day, we’re picnicking in the shade, music is being played and everybody is just happy. Sometimes we even did yoga together or somebody was playing the guitar.


First themed picnic – African kitchen

There has never been a themed vegan meet up. The only requirement was to bring vegan food. My friend Gina and I came up with the idea to create a meetup with a certain motto: we chose the African kitchen. At first this turned out as a little challenge for some because not everyone knew what dish they could make. What is typical “African”? And is there even a dish that is typical African? Maybe you have a specific country in your mind when you think of Africa. The continent is huge and the cuisines differ. This required to deal with various African countries and their local food (and veganize it if it’s not vegan already). In the end all participants got creative and we had a large buffet with different vegan African dishes – some of Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa and more.

Why Africa?

Gina and I have been dreaming about traveling to Cape Town, South Africa for a while now. We’re fascinated by the culture, the landscape, the people and more. Wherever we go, we are seeing signs of Cape Town: no matter if we read it somewhere, if there’s a South African flag or random people talk about South Africa. It’s basically everywhere. (Remember: Where your attention goes, energy flows. 😉 We definitely manifested these signs.) And to have a little Africa feeling here in Germany, we thought it’s a nice idea to host this meetup under this specific motto. We also created a playlist with African music that we played during our picnic to have it more authentic.

“Meetups are amazing because they bring people together. At our African meetup we really good into a holiday mood, especially because of the sun, the delicious food and the music. Since many of us can’t go on holiday this year, this was the perfect alternative.”

Gina, co-host

How does typical African food look like?

Not many people knew what the typical South African Kitchen looked like – me included. After some researched I found out that they use a lot of plantains (cooking bananas), stews with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, lentils and peanuts. I made a fruity stew made out of plantains, rice, potatoes, a coconut sauce and more. Others dishes we had were taboulĂ©, a Lebanese noodle salad, chocolate peanut dates and a sweet potato brownies.

The South African Vegan Cookbook – inspiration for everybody

The South African Vegan Cookbook by Leozette Roode

My friend Jenni, who also attended the meetup, spent some time in Cape Town last year and met Leozette Roode, a vegan food blogger from South Africa. Leo has published the book “The South African Vegan Cookbook” with many vegan South African inspired dishes. Luckily, Jenni had her own copy and brought the book to the meetup, so we all had the chance to be inspired. The book contains 80 plant-based meals, from smoothies and salads to barbecue recipes, lasagne, desserts and more. It’s definitely worth a read and I can’t wait to cook the recipes for myself, too.

Wanna join the next meetup?

Especially during summer season there are multiple meetups in German cities. Of course we have to adjust the events to Covid regulations (e.g. small groups and a contacts list etc.) but we’re happy that it’s possible to make them happen in 2020. If you’re interested in joining one, you can inform yourself at the official Instagram account. There, you will find upcoming dates in the profile’s bio.
We’re looking forward to see you there.

If you understand German you can also check out my article about last year’s meet up that I published on Germany’s Vegan Online Magazine “Deutschland Is(s)t Vegan”.


Wishing you lots of love and light,


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