Top 10 Things to eat in Berlin
Rather than boring you with yet another Top 10 Best Restaurants list, I’ve decided to let you know the Top 10 things you should eat while you’re in Berlin. You know the deal: someone suggests their favorite restaurant in Berlin (or any other place), you show up there and end up rather disappointed by the place and/or the meal. The next time you talk to the person who suggested the place, they’ll tell you ‘well of course, instead of getting ‘dish A’ you should have gone for ‘dish B”. To avoid this disappointment, I will tell you exactly what to order at which place. Also included is a price range, from budget ($) to expensive ($$$), where you can find the place, and their website. Enjoy this Top 10 list of the best things to eat in Berlin!
1. Wiener Schnitzel at KaDeWe
When it comes to Wiener Schnitzel, probably every German has a strong opinion on where you can get the best one. But believe me when I tell you that the best Wiener Schnitzel in Berlin is by far the one they serve in the food court at KaDeWe. Every time I’ve been there with anybody, after the meal they agreed that this Wiener Schnitzel is the best of the best. The chefs prepare the food right in front of your eyes, so you can see how much love and effort they put into it. The meat is thinly sliced (but not too thin) and the breadcrumbs (panade) will just blow your mind. The panade probably sets this Wiener Schnitzel apart from any other Wiener Schnitzel in Berlin – nay, in the world. They use a very special oil to cook the Wiener Schnitzel, and the side dishes, such as the fresh salad, are also spectacular.
Location: Tauentzienstraße 21-24
2. Mustafas Gemüsedöner
Don’t let this name fool you (gemüse = vegetables), 90% of people order the Gemüsedöner with chicken in it. But what sets Mustafas Gemüsedöner apart from any other Döner in the world? What is it that makes people line up for 1 hour or more just to get a Mustafas? Why make a 30 minute commute rather than just going to the next döner place around the corner? Why do you happily suffer queueing up in the cold just to hold this beauty in your hands?
The answer to all these questions is the same: Because Mustafas Döner is the best döner in the whole wide world. But how do they manage to keep quality and the buzz that high
Well, first of all, their chicken meat is thinly sliced and spiced with a secret sauce before they stuff it in your grilled döner bread, together with a mix of deep fried potatoes, peppers and carrots. On top of this, they add some fresh cabbage, onions, sheep’s cheese and a sprinkle of lemon that gives Mustafas that ultimate little touch. And even if you are on a low budget, you will always have money for a Mustafas, as they have not used their fame to cash in (although they must make a fortune with this one Döner-Bude), keeping their prices reasonably low.
Oh and have I mentioned the nice and happy staff that works their ass off day after day? They’ve even starred in an advert, showing locally at a famous cinema in Berlin before the movies. Oh Mustafas, what I would pay for a delivery service so that there would be no need for a 30 minute commute on the Ubahn plus over an hour lining up in the cold…
Location: Mehringdamm 32
3. Any Burger from The Bird
Did you ever eat a burger so big, that you could not get your mouth around it? And no matter how hard you tried – in vain, may I add – not to make a mess, half of the cheese and salad dropped on your plate? If not, then it is time to pay a visit to The Bird in Prenzlauer Berg.
Their burgers are made with freshly ground meat of the highest quality (the kind of meat you would buy for a barbeque for a very special occasion only), and then grilled to perfection, leaving the middle warm and pink (but not bloody, unless you ask for it) and crispy and hot on the outside. Their buns are very small and also grilled, so that everything in this burger is focused on the meat and not the bread. Burgers are accompanied by hand cut french fries (don’t forget to ask for their special homemade steak sauce) and a slice of lettuce.
For the bravest of people out there, they also offer very, very spicy chicken wings called ‘napalm wings’, but only try them if you are used to very hot food. Otherwise, you will not be able to taste any of the burger afterwards, which would be a shame. For even more information keep reading about The Bird in Prenzlauer Berg.
Location: Am Falkplatz 5
4. Any Breakfast at Beakers
I know I promised to give you the Top 10 things to eat in Berlin and now I’ve just thrown in the name ‘Beakers‘ and left you alone with the overwhelming choice of breakfast goodies they have on offer, but there are 2 very good reasons for that. First of all, when it comes to breakfast foods, tastes can be very different, and there isn’t only one good breakfast at Beakers. And secondly, I don’t want to take away the joy of ordering your own customized breakfast by ticking all your favorite options on their menu leaflet.
You feel a little bit like you’re at school again, sitting a multiple choice exam, but this time there are no wrong answers and each answer will be rewarded with food. I do have one special tip for you: Try their incredible Chai Lattes (also available with soja milk) instead of going for coffee. You will not regret it, these are the best Chai Lattes in town – promise!
Location: Dunckerstraße 69
5. Currywurst mit Pommes at Curry 36 or Konnopkes Imbiss
This is probably sacrilege and I hope no Berlin natives read this, but when it comes to Currywurst mit Pommes (mit Pommes = with french fries) there are 2 great options to choose from. And depending on whether you grew up in West Berlin or East Berlin, you will get two different answers on where you can get the best Currywurst with Pommes in Berlin.
Curry 36 West Berlin
Make sure to plan for a 20 minute wait in line to get this beauty of a Currywurst. The meats are of superior quality and the choices are endless when it comes to how you want your Currywurst (with skin or without), and how hot you want it. Usually Berliners go for with skin (I am not going to mention what this “skin” is made of here) and mildly spicy. Freshly prepared french fries round up this not really healthy but tasty dish, which is in the end covered with curry sauce (the base containing ketchup and some spices) to give it its distinct taste. Oh, and have I mentioned the best thing already? This is right next to Mustafas, so if the line is too long at Curry 36, you can always change your plan.
Location: Mehringdamm 36
Konnopke’s Imbiss East Berlin
Located just beneath the U2 line, close to Eberswalder Strasse, Konnopke’s Imbiss is an Eastern German institution when it comes to Currywurst. Basically, you have the same choices as you do at Curry 36. If you have the time, make sure to pay both a visit and then decide for yourself which of them is your favourite. You can be sure that with either of them you will have a great choice and you get to know Berlin’s signature dish on a very tasty level.
Location: Schönhauser Allee 44 A
6. Käsespätzle at Lebensmittel Mitte
The Swabian speciality Käsespätzle, widely loved in Germany, is a kind of pasta covered with lots and lots of smelly cheese. And as usual, the Swabian grandmas back in the South of Germany make the best homemade Käsespätzle. More locally, Lebensmittel Mitte will be your best choice for the best Käsespätzle experience in Berlin.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the tiny looking portion of Spätzle, the cheese will fill you up faster than you can eat the entire dish. Swabians usually mix the green salad with the Käsespätzle and eat it within seconds. If you want to make Käsespätzle yourself, make sure not to go cheap on the cheese (get some Bergkäse and some Limburger) and make the dough fluffier by adding either some beer or some sparkling water. But coming back to the Käsespätzle at Lebensmittel Mitte, they are usually sold out before the evening so try to sneak in around lunch hour. Oh and yes I know they are not Swabians but I have to say that they offer the best Käsespätzle prepared by non-Swabians.
Location: Rochstrasse 2
7. Rodizio at Villa Rodizio
A rodizio is the perfect way to sample the Brazilian art of barbecuing. While you are comfortably sat at your table, waiters show up with lots and lots of meats on sticks that come freshly from the grill and are sliced onto your plate. Meats usually include goodies like Picanha (best piece of meat, together with filet of course), honey dipped chicken, bacon wrapped chicken, chicken hearts (at least sometimes), spicy chorizo, lamb, pork, pork ribs, and usually one or two surprise meat selections.
And if that wasn’t enough, you can get as many side dishes as you want at the buffet, which is included in the price. So luckily you need to get up sometimes to get some sides, otherwise you would not be able to rise from your chair after a 2 hour long meat eating experience. A special tip is to get to the Villa Rodizio early as they offer cocktail happy hours before 8pm, so you can save some money on the first (of many) Caipirinhas.
Location: Milastraße 2
8. Temmener Queen Filet at Grill Royal
If you want to eat the best steak in Berlin (which comes close to the steaks in Argentina), then Grill Royal is the place to go. That being said, Grill Royal is the best choice if you love a good steak and have the hefty wallet to go with your good taste, as the Grill Royal is one of the upscale and classier restaurants in Berlin. Chances are high that at one of the tables next to yours there will be some local or international celebrity chewing on their meat and drinking some wine.
To make sure you can get a table, it’s better to make a reservation well in advance, then you can enjoy the tastiest of all meats – all grilled to perfection, as only experienced chefs are able to do. In the event that you are unlucky and they run out of the Temmener Queen Filet, don’t be sad, any other Filet they offer is spectacular and will melt in your mouth. Don’t cover the steak with any sauces or Kräuterbutter, just add some salt to it and you will have the best steak experience of your life. As for a side dish, their sweet potato fries go incredibly well with the meat masterpiece.
Location: Friedrichstraße 105b
Price: $$$$$ (I know this looks off the scales, but just to warn you, this place is quite expensive by Berlin standards)
9. Quesadillas at Maria Bonita
If you are fed up with all the fake Mexican food and Tex-Mex joints, then you have to pay Maria Bonita a visit. Incredibly tasty tacos, burritos and quesadillas are sure to fulfill all your Mexican food dreams. But don’t be loco and greedy and order all of them in one go, as they will fill you up very quickly. It’s better just to get the Quesadilla de Pollo (or without pollo if you don’t eat chicken), take two or three little cups of Maria Bonita’s spicy sauces, and don’t forget to go totally Mexican by squeezing lots of lime over your food before you enjoy some of the tastiest quesadillas outside of Mexico. For even more information keep on reading about Maria Bonita in Berlin.
Location: Danziger Straße 33
10. DaDa-Teller at DaDa Falafel
One thing I have learned about eating out is that if the signature dish has the same name as the restaurant, you should probably go for it. Same goes for the DaDa-Teller at DaDa Falafel. What’s so special about it? Well you will have a hard time finding other falafel places where they use beef for their Schawarma, mixed with Lamb bacon. Also, their falafel is just perfectly prepared and incredibly tasty, their sauces range from mild yoghurt to spicy chili, and the bread is just the right taste and texture. As you might have guessed already, the DaDa-Teller combines all of DaDa’s best dishes on just one plate. Fast, tasty and an incredibly good bargain – this is DaDa Falafel.
Location: Linienstraße 132
Berlin is all about food
Have we already mentioned that going out for dinner in Berlin is almost as cheap as buying all the stuff yourself? So why bother going shopping, wasting time cooking and being disappointed in the end, that your Schnitzel is not as good as the one you had at that other place last week.
If you now fancy some really good Schnitzel we strongly advise you to keep reading about where to get the best Schnitzel in Berlin.
Maybe reading about all this fantastic food made you crave a big, fat, juicy burger? Also no problemo, keep reading about where to find the best burgers in Berlin.
Ok, Berlin is not all about food
Even if it sounds like it but Berlin is not only about good food but also about so much more. So make sure to not eat so much that you can’t move anymore, because that would be a shame. Berlin is full of things to be discovered. That is why we also put together a list of the Top 10 things to do in Berlin.