So you are in Berlin and you obviously would like to try typical German food. Personally I think that eating a people’s food is one of the most fun ways to get acquainted with its culture.
Typical German/Austrian food classics are great, but I think you should consider starting with the true local dishes. That said, it is sometimes hard to decide what and where to get certain foods. Often, visitors and locals end up trying poorly prepared versions of local delicacies.
We are in the business of helping you get the best experience out of Berlin. So read on as I give you tips on local foods you should try in Berlin and where to find them. Go beyond the “typical” German food items!
Our list starts with Berliner classics. I will soon publish another list with a few German/Austrian classics that will enrich your experience of trying the best local food!
A local lady called Herta Heuwer put together a mixture of tomato sauce, Worcester sauce and curry power back in 1949, and the famous currywurst was born. This is Berlin’s most iconic street food item. There is even a museum dedicated to it! This local classic is often served with French fries (Pommes) or bread rolls (Brötchen). Go all in and add Mayo to your fries! Ask for your Currywurst “Ohne Darm” (without the sausage skin) and you might be taken for a local! Eat your currywurst at Konnopke’s Imbiss (Prenzlauer Berg) or for a spicy version head to Curry & Chili (Wedding). For a more upscale and delicious version of this dish, stop by Das Meisterstück in Mitte (they have some of the best sausages in town and a great beer selection).
DÖNER KEBAB and DÜRÜM
Similar to the Currywurst, the Döner Kebap is said to have been invented in Berlin. Apparently, in the 1970s, a Turkish immigrant named Kadir Nurman came up with this delicious combo of meat and salad stuffed inside a fluffy Turkish bread. The Döner Kebab is the most common food item for a late night meal. That said, one can also have it for lunch/dinner. There is pretty much a Döner stand on every street/corner in Berlin, but for a better experience try and head to IMREN GRILL (Neukölln Location) or MUSTAFA’S (Kreuzberg). By the way, at Mustafa’s, expect long lines…always. Or check out the awesome list of the best ones in town by Berlin Food Stories. As a variation on the theme, try a Dürum. A wrap usually filled with typical döner kebab ingredients. The wrap is made from lavash or yufka flatbreads. Get your Dürüm at the places mentioned above.
Senfeier is a delicious comfort food dish. Something from a grandmother’s kitchen. These “mustard eggs” are a relatively simple concotion but they taste GREAT. Basically the dish is composed of hard boiled or poached eggs served with mashed potatoes and covered with a creamy mustard sauce. The secret is in the sauce, folks! You can find it in many Berliner canteens and lunch places but none of them will ever compare to my favorites: La Soupe Populaire (Prenzlauer Berg – closed for renovations until Dec. 2017), Prater Biergarten, Chipperfield Kantine and Chipp’s.
At first glance most people ignore this dish. No wonder, its description does not do it justice. Again, the secret of great Königsberger Klopse is in the sauce (a creamy mixture of capers and lemon). Basically, this dish comes with meatballs and mashed or boiled potatoes. AND of course, the amazing sauce. My favorite version in town is BY FAR the one concocted by famed Chef Tim Raue at his La Soupe Populaire (Prenzlauer Berg – closed for renovations until Dec. 2017). Since this restaurant is currently closed for renovations, try eating the Klopse at Britzer Seeterrassen or Zuhause Delikatessen. If you decide to go for Britzer Seeterrassen, make sure to read THIS before you go, the restaurant is located in the middle of a most wonderful garden.
The Berliner Pfannkuchen or just Pfannkuchen is a traditional German pastry similar to a doughnut filled with marmelade or jam. Usually with icing or powedered sugar on top. Locals do refer to it as just “Pfannkuchen” so if you ask for a Berliner you might be left hanging. Legend has it that on New Year’s Eve, locals will put one mustard-filled doughnut in the pile and the lucky person that finds it gets good luck for the year. Get great Pfannkuchen at either Bäckerei & Konditorei W. Balzer or Bäckerei Siebert. For hipster vegan versions of the Pfannkuchen (doughnuts) try Brammibal’s.
You know Berlin has a huge Turkish population, right? And here you can get some of the most delicious versions of Turkish classics. The Künefe is a great Turkish dessert. Actually we cannot leave a Turkish restaurant without having one of these babies. The Künefe is a Levantine cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup and topped with pistachio bits. Trust me, it is de-li-cious! It is also a dessert that needs to be prepared à la minute (don’t go for the pre-made ones!!) and therefore you will have to wait about 20 minutes to get to savor it. It is totally worth the wait. For the best Künefe in town head to either HASIR(Kreuzberg) or IMREN GRILL (Neukölln Location).