Berlin is vast and there are many places to try typical German dishes or sample the local beer. Here are our thoughts on some good places to eat and drink in Berlin, and what to try.
Eating in Berlin
No Berlin food list would be complete without a currywurst recommendation. The German sausage dish consists of pork sausage that has been steamed and then fried, and is served sliced with a curry flavoured tomato ketchup and a side of chips. Whilst we do recommend trying the dish, it certainly wasn’t the best thing we ate in Berlin. If you’re going to go for it, try one of the best. Konnopke’s Imbiß and Curry 36 are renowned for being the best in the city and have queues to reflect this. If you’re not staying near either of these places, this article recommends six other Currywursts in the city.
We tried Curry 36 and found it to be a reasonably priced lunch that ticked the currywurst box. If you’re a fan of currywurst you can buy the sauce in jars in most stores to take back home with you.
Address: Mehringdamm 36, 10961
Kebabs in Berlin and not like in the UK. The crispy pittas are deliciously jam packed full with meat, vegetables and potatoes, with minty salad. Our favourite evening meal was getting a chicken donor kebab after an evening sampling the interesting bars and abundance of beers.
The queue at Mustafa’s Gemüse (renowned for serving one of the best kebabs in the city) can be up to an hour long. The kebabs were great and at only 5 Euros each make for a cheap lunch. As its situated next to the equally long queue at Curry 36 we split up, queued separately at each venue and shared our lunches of chicken kebab and currywurst. The mouth-watering kebab was a clear winner.
Although we found the kebabs at Mustafas worth the long wait, we didn’t have a bad kebab in the city so if you haven’t got time to queue try any of the plentiful kebab shops and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Address: Mehringdamm 32, 10961
Markthalle Neun – Thursday night food market
On Thursday nights, Markthalle Neun turns into a street food market serving up hot dishes of food from all over the world. If you’re a foodie and you’re in Berlin on a Thursday, this is a lovely spot to share a few dishes for dinner, at around 5 Euros each, and some local beer or wine. The veal ribs were delicious with a tangy barbeque sauce and the comforting Käsespätzle (cheesy pasta topped with crunchy onions) was lovely, washed down with local beer.
The perfect end to our evening here was sharing a small cheese plate from one of the cheese vendors with a glass of fruity Riesling.
In the daytime, this market sells food ingredients and it’s where a lot of the local chefs go for produce. Saturday offers a farmers’ market and Sundays offer a breakfast and vinyl session, check out the Facebook page for upcoming food events.
Zur Letzten Instanz
Established in 1621, the oldest restaurant in Berlin – Zur Letzten Instanz, has fed the likes of Napoleon, Beethoven and Angela Merkel. The name translates to “In the Last Instance”, and was so called when two farmers in the early 1900s took their long dispute from the nearby courthouse to the tavern and finally ended up settling their differences “in the last instance” with the help of some good booze. Steeped in old Berlin charm and serving excellent German cuisine, this is a lovely cosy spot for a warming lunch or hearty dinner in winter. The dinner menu is a little pricey (dishes cost around 20 EUR) but lunches are much more reasonably priced and range from 5.50 EUR to 10.50. We found the service a little slow but the atmosphere was charming and we weren’t in a hurry to leave. It’s located not far from the TV tower and close to museum island. The Ochenschwangragout (oxtail ragout with fried potatoes and a fried egg) was delicious, as was the cow’s udder schnitzel from the evening menu.
Address: Waisenstraße 14-16
Phone: +49 30 242 55 28
Europe’s largest gourmet department at KaDeWe is situated on the sixth floor of this department store and is a foodie’s heaven. The department store, which has been there since the 1920s, sells around 35,000 different food and drink products from around the world. We found the choice of fine chocolates alone almost overwhelming. In addition to the food products, 150 chefs at over 30 gourmet bars serve up an abundance of dishes.
It’s the best place in the city to get oysters and a glass of Riesling. You can mix and match foods from the different food bars. We dined at a seafood bar but bought some chips to have as a side dish from the chicken stall. The bread served at the food bars is hand crafted in their traditional in-house bakery, prepared four times a day and distributed to the gourmet bars. This is a lovely place to come for lunch (although it won’t be a cheap lunch) and buy a few foodie souvenirs to take home.
Address: Kaufhaus des Westens, Tauentzienstraße 21-24, 10789
Phone: +49 30 2121 0
Zsa Zsa burger
For incredible burgers Zsa Zsa in Schöneberg is the place to go. It ranks in the top 30 of all 6,500 restaurants in Berlin so it’s pretty popular, with its buzzing atmosphere and great-quality food. We tried ‘the Philli burger’ with jalapenos, cheese sauce and caramelized onions and also the The Mexican Heat. Both were cooked expertly to our liking and the quality of the ingredients was clearly high. Like many places in Berlin they only accept cash, which is worth bearing in mind before you order and it’s a good idea to come very hungry as the portions are extremely generous.
Address: Motzstr. 28, 10777
Phone: +49 30 21913470
Drinking in Berlin
We found most of the bars we tried charming but, as with any city, those bars closest to the tourist attractions were less interesting and had slow, less attentive service. Try to avoid these places and poke around some of the more quaint out-of-the-way bars instead for a nicer experience. Typical beers served up is the Berliner Kindl lager and the Weizbeer, which can come flavoured with refreshing raspberry or herby woodruff.
By far our favourite bar in Berlin (possibly the world) was the wonderfully quaint and charming E&M Leydicke. One of the oldest pubs in Berlin, the unchanged interior originates primarily from the 1880s and entering the dark, smoky bar is like stepping back in time. The ceiling was never been painted and the walls are adorned with movie posters from the 1950s and LPs from the 1960s.
Founded in 1877, E&M Leydicke was originally more of a home brewery than a pub. Emil and Max distilled their own specialities and it became increasingly popular with students and tourists. Former landlady Luzie Leydicke became legendary as a landlady who was particularly tough on guests who did not drink enough.
Today the bar serves fruit wines (raspberry, gooseberry, blackberry, to name a few) and strong liquors to drink as a chaser to your beer. We found the drinks reasonably priced and the venue mesmerising, with bartender Raimon providing real entertainment with his good humour. You can see a short documentary film featuring Raimon and the bar here (in German)
At the top of the television tower (Fernsehturm building) is Bar 203, which offers panoramic views of the city and a reasonably-priced drinks menu. After queuing to get into the attraction it’s the perfect place to stop and watch the world go by with a large German beer.
The Green Door
Recognised as being one of the best cocktail bars in the city, The Green Door speakeasy bar is located in the Schöneberg district. This bar, which is hidden away from the world behind closed curtains, is to be entered by ringing the doorbell on the unmarked door. The cocktail list is very impressive and the kitsch 70s décor is endearing. It’s one of the best ‘hidden’ bars in the city and well worth a visit if you take your cocktails seriously.
Address: Winterfeldtstraße 50, 10781
Phone: +49 30 2152515
Where do you recommend in Berlin?
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