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Ataya: Chill vegan

A new and laid-back vegan-vegetarian café in Prenzlauer Berg offers delicious ravioli and great sandwiches at a decent price.

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It seems like a new vegan-vegetarian café or burger spot opens in Prenzlauer Berg or Mitte just about every day, but the latest, Ataya, stands out for its pure chill factor. It’s a funky, colourful space with bright wallpaper, African prints thrown over comfortable sofas and armchairs and Afro-jazz on the stereo. The extremely friendly Sardinian-Senegalese owners aren’t dogmatic vegans, either: milk in your cappuccino and a spot of Italian cheese are allowed.

Offerings change daily and include ciabatta sandwiches, soups and baked goods. On our last visit, we forewent the hummus plate (€9) and minestrone (€6.50) for the tofu-filled ravioli (€10). It took a while to arrive – the service is as laid-back as the setting. First, we got a canoe-shaped dish filled with some shredded lettuce drizzled with olive oil and salt, a strange idea of a side salad. The homemade ravioli arrived five minutes later and didn’t disappoint. Smothered in tomato sauce, served on some rocket and topped with Sardinian pecorino (the waitress first checked whether we were vegan), the deceptively simple dish hit the right note – albeit at a not-exactly-competitive price. 

The sandwiches, on the other hand, are a great deal. On our second visit, a massive vegan ciabatta kept us going for hours: thick toasted bread stuffed with hummus, pesto and various antipasti-style veg, a bargain at €5.