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Zest

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 28 reviews )
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Bornaische Strasse 54 (Sachsen), Leipzig, Germany, 04277

The menu is mostly vegan apart from cheese (marked) and cow milk in drinks. Each dish has a translation into English. Offers bi-monthly changing menu which consists of: soup and salad, starters, mains, and dessert. Sample items might be curry soup, fried tofu strips and oyster mushroom, veggie loaf, rosemary potatoes, vegan ice cream. Creative hot (non-alcoholic) punch and cocktail as well as an extensive wine list. Hip, modern decor. Reservation required for weekends. Direction: From Liepzig central train station take 11 train heading south for 15 minutes, the train will turn down Bornaische Strasse, get off at Pfeffingerstrasse, and continue on Bornaische Strasse for 2 blocks. Open Mon 11:00am-11:00pm, Wed-Sun 11:00am-11:00pm. Closed Tue.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Organic, Beer/Wine, European, German

Reviews (28)

First Review by button

Uplifting - Edit

To be fair, I must note that I was there in 2015, however, the place still is in my mind.
Cooking is my profession, interest and passion, so if I go somewhere with an aim to check out a place, my expectations are hard to meet.
Zest did it perfectly. The food is made with lots of creativity (flavors/combinations/presentation), care and delivered in a tehnically good manner.
Went there with 3 other people and tried various dishes from all courses. Made my evening. Highly recommendable to visit.

Pros: Friendly stuff, Good value, Creative, well delivered dishes


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Great upscale restaurant - Edit

We had a veg group meeting there and the food was so good! Menu changes time to time but there are menu that stays; like the steak we had.. which was very good. I don't remember the name of the other menu we had; just that it was quite tasty! The dessert was amazing and the white chocolate smoothie we had was divine. We tried to make it at home but didn't get it quite right even after many trials... hmm.

I was there once before too and one menu was amazing and the other one wasn't (a bit too salty.. some kind of savory tart/pie).

The food in general is presented nicely and great tasting but a little on the heavy side (also more "meaty" options than vegetables). But certainly a nice little place with good food if you have a occasion to celebrate!

Pros: tasty, friendly, the white chocolate smoothie!!

Cons: expensive, could be a bit heavy depending on the menu


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very fine food - Edit

i went there recently with a couple of friends. the menu is very reach and fully vegan. we had some delicious starters and very elaborated main courses. great food very interesting taste combinations. its worth paying more for this quality. the place ist very simple but warm and very friendly.

Pros: delicious , friendly, beautifully prepared

Cons: expensive


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Delicious, creative food, a little bit pricey. - Edit

I love the food at Zest, delicious very creative vegan cuisine, although a little pricey, it's usually worth every cent. (Only ONCE have I had a lower than average dining experience there). They change their menu according to the season and the food is always fresh and beautifully presented. The place itself is quite small, reservations must be made. Also, it's pretty cold, I think. Better bring a sweater. Other than that, it is the perfect place for a special occasion vegan dinner or even for lunch.

Pros: Food quality, Taste , Changing menus

Cons: Cold rooms, Limited space, Pricey


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Vegan food at it's best: Zest - Edit

A new menu every two months is worth going there regularly. Every dish I had so far was very well prepared and very delicious.
Next to the food they offer a fine selection of international beers, wines and Whiskeys and even home made lemonades.
Every time I went there it was worth every minute, every bite and every single cent.
The decent atmosphere makes a visit at Zest every time a pleasant experience for everybody.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday April 07, 2015

Pros: perfect made vegan cuisine, price-quality-ratio, nice selection of drinks

Cons: very often needs reservation


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Yummie - Edit

This is the best vegan restaurant i know. The food is so delicious. It's very hard to chose because it all sounds great and it actually tastes great as well. It's located in a really cool neighborhood with a lot of vegan/vegetarian stuff. You can also eat breakfast here. I would go there every day if i had the money.

Pros: Best food in the world, Friendly staff, Nice people


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Classy cuisine (oh, and it's mostly vegan!) - Edit

Having been here 3 times now, I have to say that it is quite possibly the best restaurant I've ever been to. The food is top class and although it comes at a price, it's still great value when you compare it to cuisine of similar cuisine in more high profile restaurants.

Their bi-monthly changing menu isn't quite 100% vegan. To give you an idea of what the food is like, between three people we had:

Starters:

- baby pak choy baked in mint soy yogurt dough, pesto out of smoked habanero and cilantro plus mango relish
- filo rolls with potato, beluga lentils, dates and parsley, quince confit and za’atar sour cream

Mains:

- sauteed wild mushrooms, baked in rosemary juniperberry dough, celery potato mash with pumpkin seed butter, salad with campari tomatoes, nocciolate olives and baby red chard
- savoy cabbage roulades filled with mograbieh couscous, lovage and caramelized shallots, fig port cream, tofu with coriander sea salt crust and kalamansi mayonaise
- grape cashew curry with cilantro and tofu croûtons, marinated shiitake with sesame seeds
- sauteed carrots and baby pakchoy with thai chili soy sauce and peanuts, tempeh crumble in ketjap manis

Dessert:

pumpkin cake with black walnuts and matcha cream, served with umeshu sorbet

Pros: Top-class cuisine at a fair price, A huge variety of imaginitive dishes


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The luxury of not being able to choose... - Edit

When looking at the menu, I was amazed by how good everything looked. The dishes are creative and refined. This type of veggie food I can't find in Belgian restaurants, except for special 'gastronomical menu's' that are more expensive and usually only once a month, but then you don't have a choice.

I started with a sherry soup with dill, celeriac spaghetti, sugar snaps and a tofu brochette. It was a little too salty for my palette, but had a nice special taste. The waitress apologized that they were out of bread, which could have helped to counter the saltiness. My boyfriend had nems with carrot puree/tarragon filling, with green asparagus and melon. He liked it very much.

As main course I took white asparagus with almond sauce, with another asparagus preparation, a purple patato gratin and a tomato/basil salad with elderflower vinaigrette. I will definitely try the asparagus/almond sauce combination at home. My boyfriend had a more Mexican inspired dish with seitan stuffed empanadas, olives, eggplant... He was again pleasantly surprised.

I didn't go to other vegetarian restaurants in Leipzig, but I spoke to a local girl, and this one is the best, and I believe her. So if you go to Leipzig, don't miss this opportunity!

Pros: creative, a lot of choice, very tasteful

Cons: sometimes short of supplies, not very hearty waitress


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Zest in Leipzig worth the trip - Edit

Just to correct some information in the main review, Zest is now closed on Tuesdays at the time we visited (December 2012). They have a simpler day-time menu from 11am to 6pm and a full, evening menu after 6pm.

We were only in Leipzig for one day and partly made the trip so we could try Zest. We were only able to visit for the day-time menu, but it was great. Lots of options that look relatively good on the menu but are fantastic and subtle when we got them. My partner and I are both vegan and really the menu is almost 100% vegan. (The website indicates that the only non-vegan items are well-marked cheeses, but I didn't see any non-vegan cheeses . . .)

I had a focaccia with seitan and a side of vegan potato salad (German-style, and a very impressive version of the tradtional), while my partner had a great burger (one of the best vegan burgers I've tried anywhere) with light, delicious curly fries. For dessert I had a soya fudge chocolate brownie (decadent and delicious) and my partner had the brazil-nut carrot cake with marzipan icing. It was a a fantastic, relaxed experience and a highlight of our time in Leipzig. I would definitely go back just to eat there and would love to try there evening menu.

It's about 4km from the city centre in a very interesting area of Leipzig with easy public transit connections (tram).

We spend a lot of time in Berlin and there are some great vegan food experiences there (Mano Verde, Lucky Leek, Vaust, etc.), but Zest is right up there I think in terms of culinary excellence (though a bit more laid back in style and atmosphere). Definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in Leipzig.

Pros: great food, diverse, creative menu, relaxed neighbourhood atmosphere

Cons: distance from city centre


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Good, but doesn't live up to the hype - Edit

I went here recently, after all of the recommendations on this site saying it was basically the best vegetarian restaurant.

I had the 'build your own burger.' It was good, but I've had much better burgers in my life.

The curly fries were something I'd never had before - very thin, but still seasoned and curly. So, I will give them points for that.

But it wasn't as good as all of the hype, and my friend didn't think so either. Good, but not the best.

I have a hard time deciding if I would have liked it more without reading the review on here first and thinking it was going to be SUPER AMAZING. Instead, it was 'pretty good.'

Pros: All-vegetarian, Good fries

Cons: Too much hype, A bit pricey


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Nice Surprise - Edit

I'd heard rumors of bad service and had trouble getting through on the phone (2 long calls with no answer), but the actual experience of eating there was very pleasant. As most everyone said, the food was excellent, but I also found the service very good. And in Leipzig, English isn't so common (none of our taxi drivers spoke it), but the staff here all seem to be fluent.

We ate outside, but when I went in to use the bathroom, I found the inside quite charming (even the bathroom, which was a bit gothy). Also, even though it was a bank holiday Monday during Wave Gothic Treffen, we were able to get a table without a reservation (as I mentioned above, I couldn't get through by phone), but I'm sure it's much harder on weekends.

p.s. The punky look of the wait-staff was mild compared to the patrons during WGT! :)

Pros: excellent food, good vegan options, charming


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One of the best meals I've ever had! - Edit

I went to this restaurant last Wednesday night in a group of 6 people from Australia and France, and we had the most incredible meal. Service was excellent - the staff spoke fluent English and were able to answer questions about which meals were gluten-free or could be altered to be gluten-free. There were so many things on the menu I wanted to try, but I started with a garden salad with sesame dressing, as well as sharing a filled potato ball (unfortunately I can't remember the exact names). With the Aussie dollar exchange rate, the meals were extremely good value, and we were able to get 3 courses and a glass of wine for less than about $40 Australian - unbelievable for the amount and quality of the food. There were so many dishes to choose from - I wish I could have returned to try more of the menu items that looked so tempting too!

My main course was a dish of crumbed and baked tofu cutlets with candied rosemary cashews and vegetables - it was so delicious. The flavour combinations were amazing and I enjoyed every bite.

Unfortunately, I was too full to be able to order a dessert, but my sister had the chocolate brownie which looked delicious. I was especially tempted by the range of homemade icecreams and the caramel sauce... but I just couldn't fit it in!

We had such a great evening here - everyone loved their food, and I will remember this meal for a very long time. If you're anywhere near Leipzig, make sure you go to Zest. (You absolutely need to make a reservation whenever you want to go - it's pretty small and very popular.)

Pros: creative dishes, flavour combinations, value for money

Cons: difficult to get in!


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Very good! - Edit

This is one of the best vegan restaurants that I have been to so far in Germany. The food is creative and very tasty! Make sure though to make reservations ahead of time as it is very small and only has a few tables.

Pros: excellent food, creative dishes

Cons: very small restaurant


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Well Worth a Trip to Leipzig - Edit

Zest must be one of the best kept secrets in the healthy and ethical dining scene. In a back street of a middle-sized German city, not in the vegan meccas of West Hollywood or Hong Kong, hidden is one of the most creative rendering of vegan cuisine. The kitchen masterfully delivers a consistent visual and culinary feast, as numerous visits here confirmed.

The processed soy protein, in the form of mock meats, may worry those who consider health in addition to ethics. But the menu, which is regularly revamped several times a year, offers wholesome choices as well.

The service has always be efficient and occasionally very friendly. An English menu is available and the staff is fluent. The popularity of Zest combined with its small capacity makes a reservation a good idea.

Overall: well worth a trip to Leipzig

Pros: Creative, Service

Cons: Location


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Beautiful and Delicious - Edit

I was really worried that we wouldn't get to eat at Zest during our short stay in Leipzig when I called to make a dinner reservation for a Saturday and found that they were completely booked, but luckily they had room for us for brunch on Sunday. We got there at 11:30 am, the time of our reservation, and there was only one other table occupied for most of the time we were there. Someone came in at one point and got turned away, even when there were lots of open tables, so make sure you make your reservations!!!

I ordered a special spring smoothie that had mint in it, which was amazing. My boyfriend's fresh juice was as one would expect. We shared a pastry-wrapped soy appetizer, which was pretty tasty. He tempura seitan with beets and avocado risotto for a main course, which had tempted me as well. It was pretty good, but I was glad that I ordered the BYO Brunch. The jalapeño whole wheat bread was incredible, and I couldn't get enough of the vegan blue cheese. I need to figure out how to make that cheese at home!! I also had the smoked paprika tofu balls, the seitan with sage and fennel, and the shiitake sesame salad, all of which were excellent. I really loved my meal, and it was too bad that my boyfriend wasn't as enthusiastic as I was.

I was tempted by all of the vegan desserts, but we decided to just share the coconut lime cake with blackberry cream cheese frosting. I was surprised at how simple and homey it looked when we got it because their other food looks so fancy, but all that mattered was how delicious it tasted.

I don't think I saw anything on the menu that wasn't vegan, so it was really hard for me to decide, but I was quite happy with what I ate and was full and happy when I finished. I definitely recommend Zest to anyone!

Pros: creative food, fresh ingredients, delicious meal

Cons: pricey


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