“I learned this little architectural trick from building squats,” Nick Kater tells me as we climb up to a raised platform in the back of the shop. On top, there’s a faded vintage couch and a few black-and-white framed photos leaning against the wall. It’s not quite a second story, but it’s close, with a similar platform across the room performing the same function. How long did he live in Berlin squats exactly? “Oh, about a decade.” With his full-sleeve tattoos, Kater doesn’t look like your typical deli co-owner, but then, Schlomo’s Bagels isn’t your typical deli. To start with, its mere existence in Berlin is something of an anomaly. Though a number of local bakeries have started carrying “bagels”[…]

Traditionally, Germany is a nation of carnivores. Sure, there have been acts of internal vegetarian dissidence recently, like that time last year when a vegan restaurant opening in Berlin got so out of hand that it required police intervention, or earlier this week when German Environment Minister Barbara Henricks announced that meat and fish would be banned from official government functions because of their environmental burden. Political posturing and overzealous Environment Ministers aside, we all know that schnitzel, doner, venison currywurst, and Tomahawk steaks from the Black Forest are not going anywhere. In fact, some local governments are wielding their power in the opposite direction. If you happen to be in the city of Kassel on April 23 for their vegetarian[…]