Historic and rich in culture - it’s hard not to fall in love with Berlin. However, when it comes to food the city isn’t usually regarded as a gourmet capital. But times have changed and there’s much more to the city than sausages and schnitzel. Nowadays, thanks to enterprising young guns and an increasingly multicultural population, you can eat your way around the world - and sample local fare - at the same time. From brunches and street eats, to historic dishes and reimagined snacks; tickle your tastebuds like a local and read on for 9 Berlin food experiences that your stomach will thank you for.
If there’s one thing Berliners do right it’s beer. Brewed as far back as the 12th century, beer in Berlin is ingrained in local culture and - just as it is elsewhere in the western world - the trend is firmly craft-focussed. Fuelled by a passion for hops, Berlin’s newest foodie hotspot BRLO Brwhouse (brlo-brwhouse.de) has developed a menu around their beer selection, rather than the other way around. Beginning as a pop up last summer, the brewery-meets-restaurant has now morphed into a seriously cool cavernous space with communal tables and a large bar area. Built entirely from shipping containers, the quirky nightspot is now a go-to for cool Berliners and those in the know. Food-wise, expect plenty of meat (lots of it smoked for upwards of 10-hours) and fresh, local produce.
Brunch as we know it is still a relatively new concept in Berlin, but it’s growing rapidly. And spearheading the Aussie eggs and avo revolution are a handful of awesome cafes.
Antipodean-style hangout Commonground (commonground.de) brings together specialty coffee, great classic brunch options and crafted cocktails. The all-day breakfast menu and pretty outdoor garden area has turned it into a favourite with local hipsters. Silo Coffee (silo-coffee.com) is THE place to go for a killer flat white in the city - in fact, it’s regarded as serving some of the best coffee around. Food-wise, there’s all the usual brunch staples, but regulars opt for their signature baked eggs in a housemade tomato sauce with feta.
Though obviously not German, the massive Turkish community in Berlin (Turks came here through the country’s guest worker program after the Second World War) has led to the doner kebab becoming one of the most popular takeaway foods in town.
Consisting of meat (veal, chicken or lamb) shaved from a large rotating rotisserie and served with salad, roasted veg and fries, and lashings of sauce, all served in a pita bread pocket or roll of flatbread; you’ll find the dish all over the city, but the highest concentration is in Kreuzberg, which is the city’s Turkish community heartland.
For the best kebab joint in town, head to Mustafas. As equally popular with the Turkish populous as it is with late night revellers, the queues here are long day and night, but it’s well worth the wait.
There are few folk that don’t love an all-day brekkie and one eatery in Berlin has taken their passion for breakfast one step further.
An export from Tel Aviv Benedict (benedict-breakfast.de) is the first of its branches outside of Israel. Here, not only can you get your favourite meal of the day 24/7 - yep, 24 hours daily - but you can also choose from one of the most diverse breakfast menus in existence, from Israeli specialities and German favourites, to full English and smashed avocado on toast.
Yep, you read right. Ever wondered what happens when Michelin-star expertise meets the humble french fry? At Goldies (goldies-berlin.de) you can find out.
Helmed by three young chefs boasting Michelin star pedigree from some of the country’s top restaurants, the talented kitchen superstars have decades between them perfecting the art of potato frying. Covered with a mind boggling array of toppings, the Russian-esque dill, beetroot and horseradish (paired with a vodka shot) or the Korean-style kimchi, are both winners.
Synonymous with Germany, wursts (sausages) come in every possible combination and in Berlin a ‘wurst’ means ‘bockwurst’. Invented some 130 years ago by a local restauranteur, who added pork to the classic mix, its most popular incarnation is the currywurst. Essentially a sausage covered with a mixture of ketchup, worchester sauce and curry powder and usually paired with a portion of fries, it’s estimated that more than 70 million currywurst are sold annually. There’s even an entire museum devoted to the late night snack. And out of the countless outdoor stands serving the dish, Curry 36 (curry36.de) in West Berlin is known as one of the best. Healthy it isn’t, but tasty it definitely is.
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