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New in town? Hungry? Vokü for you!

in Food/My Leipzig by

There are lots of places to eat in Leipzig, but did you know there are Voküs? That’s short for “people’s kitchen”, and there are lots of them in town.

Basically a group of people get together and make a huge pot of something and other people come and eat it. Sometimes it’s on a donation basis. Sometimes it’s 3-5€.

It’s always non-profit.

The food ranges in quality and flavour and is usually vegetarian, if not vegan. Usually there is a super interesting and friendly crowd to mix with and meet.

Sometimes, like Küche für Alle at Japanische Haus, there’s a movie or some kind of entertainment. That’s probably the best part. They have them on Thursdays and Saturdays. They start cooking at 4 and serving at 7.

Sometimes they are for special occasions, like Helmut‘s Kohldampf // Herbst 16 November. Helmut is a bit different because it is run by a group of 30 people, mainly students, and many of them bring a dish. It’s super super yummy, and on a donation basis. Anything left over after expenses goes to their community programs aimed at ending racism, sexism and homophobia and empowering the arts.

Voküs started in the 90s in squats.

They were the leftist counterpart to soup kitchens. Today many are in housing or social projects.

These vokü’s are either found on a flyer for October or have asked to be included:

Casablanca (Bäckerei), Josephstr 12
Atari, Kippenbergerstr 20 / corner Täubchenweg

KulthuM, Demmering str. 74 with film in German (usually with English subs)

Manfred, Stockartstr 3
KulthuM, Demmering str. 74
Liwi, Stockartstr 11
Plaque, Industriestr 101

Japanisches Haus, Eisenbahnstr 113b
Plaque, Industriestr 101
Manfred, Stockartstr 3

Hinz & Kunz, Georg-Schwarzstr 9
Japanisches Haus, Eisenbahnstr 113b
Sublab, Karl Heine 93
Libelle, Kolonnadenstr 19

Liwi, Stockartstr 11

Maeshelle West-Davies gleans her varied life experiences to expose a personal perspective through a multitude of mediums. Sound, video, photography, dance, performance and public art are the tools she uses to convey her message. Her work is a response not only to a physical journey, but an emotional one, as with all of us who walk along or beside our individual paths.


  1. I am disgusted….the “superfriendly” crowd does not depend on your hipster lifestyle bullsh*t you present here, in most cases. We are not interested in “insiders”, talking about things that are hard fought and not easy to keep and it won’t get easier if someone like you is talking about it as if it would be something touristic or “must see” crap. How come you can talk as a self-styled “insider” has no idea, about what a “Vokü” actually is? The network in Leipzig is working well, even without your hip recommendations. Thanks for nothing and stay out.

    • hi tobias. thanks for your input- part of what we try to do is make it easier for international people who move here to find ways to feel more included. i’ve lived here for 14 years, am an artist and i know it can be a daunting process. i have been to lots of voküs and have found the people very nice. many of our readers are students or creatives, like me, and are looking for ways to interact and meet new people on a budget. perhaps that’s not what you feel a vokü is about. if you feel like newcomers are not welcome to the voküs or events you frequent, please let us know which ones to avoid.

      • Hi maeshelle,

        I think you misunderstood the 1st comment.

        Voküs are not about providing cheap food for artists, students or other privileged people swarming into town.
        They are left-winged places, run in the spirit of diy.
        It’s blatantly clear, that by posting this article in your lifestyle blog (or whatever you think it is) you don’t care about voküs, diy in general or even know anything about them.
        Some of the vokues you are mentioning here are running illegalized (maybe the hipster helmut bullshit not).

        They do not welcome publicity in the establishment (who you and your community are part of).
        There are reasons why these places are not represented in the net.
        Please respect that.

        You haven’t asked any of the places if they want to be mentioned here, haven’t you?

        • hi heinz

          perhaps i have misunderstood the first comment, but i’m not sure you have cleared it up. i don’t think any of these have permits from the city or even need them. they are people sharing food with other people and being reimbursed for expenses.

          i got the list from a flyer and only included the ones that had addresses. surely if they wanted to be hidden, they would not have been on a flyer. i have added ones i knew about and others have been added to the list because they saw the piece and contacted us. obviously some voküs are about inclusion rather than about being far left and excluding the rest of the world.

          i find it amusing that you think artists are privileged. i can assure you i am not. in fact, i can’t even afford to go to the voküs myself.

          naturally if the vokü organisers would like to be taken off, we have no problem in doing so. if they don’t want to comment here, they can email us. contact@leipglo.com.

          and, again, if there are any specific places that exclude people who you prejudge to be other than you, please let us know so we can stay away.

          • Hi again!

            The existence of a flyer doesn’t mean this subculture wants to be exposed in the public.
            There is a reason the flyer (it’s existing for over a decade!) is not publicized in the net, or do you think the people making are too stupid to publish it?

            And you are totally wrong about permissions to cook food for others or sell drinks. Of course you need them, pay taxes and so.

            Your ideas of food sharing sound very naive.
            So you asked any of the cooking staff if they want to be mentioned here?

  2. you forgot to mention what the concept of “vokü” really means: cooking honorary (!) for other people, not just a cheap possibility for dinner and socialising -.- (even though some guests don’t know that) it’s a non-commercial, political and social tool e.g. for helping each other. so please invite other people to do so and ask the diy-places if they want to be recommended on your website. i think that would be helpful and also respectful towards the persons who organize all that. your article just sounds commercial for me – and also for others as we can see in the other comments…

    • Maeshelle simply spotted a flyer with the names and addresses of the Voküs listed and wanted to tell people the option was available if they needed it. A flyer means they want to reach people, no? There’s nothing commercial about it – “commercial” would imply we are getting paid to run this, which is not the case, and it would be a paradox to your argument if the Voküs were indeed paying for us to run this. (Then you’d probably be upset with the Voküs.) We didn’t think Voküs were such an exclusive club – we thought they were the opposite, about inclusion. Maybe some only accept one type of people, with one political conviction and a certain social station, but I’d rather believe the Vokü community is more plural and open than that.

      • What are you talking about? Nobody is interested whether this blog is commercial or not.

        The vokus are non-commercial and under constant legal threat by local authorities to be shut down and they have been in the past.

        So many vokus don’t want to be widespread via net. If you can’t get infos about anything outside the net, it’s your problem.

        • thank you for your concern. obviously the last thing i would want to do is to damage this wonderful act of giving and sharing. one group did ask to be removed and i did it immediately. the others are already on the net and most are non-profit organisations (e.V.).

    • hi kate

      thank you for being civil.

      after reading your comment i have added a line about the history of vokü to help with the misunderstandings. i have been to several and enjoyed them very much. they appeared to have the goal of including people of all types. germans and non-germans were interacting. that’s why i thought some of our readers would be interested. i thought they were germans who were interested in welcoming refugees and other foreigners.

      i did say in bold type that they are “non-profit”. that means they are not commercial.

      • “after reading your comment i have added a line about the history of vokü to help with the misunderstandings.”

        The voküs mentioned in the zoro flyer are still far left, so maybe you should start to respect that and ask the guys running them if it’s okay for them to copy&paste their stuff before you do it, or indeed, stay away.

  3. haha ok. maybe i did the opposite of a “bildzeitungsleser”: just reading headlines… not 😉
    and thanks for adding some more lines!

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