Best German Food (savory) and the Berliner restaurants to try them.
On this article about traditional German Food and restaurants in Berlin, we will cover some of the most iconic “German/Austrian dishes” and the best restaurants to get them. Mind you, “German food” has evolved and changed over time. Berlin’s multi-cultural makeup ads a complete new twist to it. In this article we will only focus on what is regarded as “old school” and traditional Germanic food items. We also wrote an article about typical Berliner foods, in case you are interested.
Let’s start by explaining what the dishes are. Below each dish you will find at least one suggestion of a good restaurant to get them. We hope you enjoy them and as always, please feel free to write us with your favorites. We promise to try them!
Schnitzel – The most famous version (and our favorite) is the Wiener Schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel is a dish consisting of a thin slice of veal (or sometimes pork) that is breaded, fried, and garnished.
Wurst – Sausages, all types of sausages
Need to know: There are 3 main groups of sausage types that can be differentiated by the way they are cooked. They can be scalded, smoked or cooked/grilled. For more on German sausages, check our this article on the 6 most famous German sausage varieties.
When in doubt on whether to order Blutwurst (blood sausage), Frankfurter (Bockwurst), Knackwurst, Leberwurst, Leberkäse, Weisswurst (white sausage), etc…we advise trying them all (make sure to go in a group!).
Best restaurants for Wurst in Berlin: Kumpel & Keule (Kreuzberg), Das Meisterstück (Mitte & Charlottenburg), The Michelberger Hotel (Friedrichshain), and at our favorite Beer Gardens around town (during the warmer months).
*Also, not properly a restaurant, “The Sausage Man Never Sleeps” has been sourcing some of the best sausages in town. You can find their sausages at most of the restaurants on this list and at Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg. You can also order their sausages online.
Maultaschen – Swabian style “ravioli”
Pasta dough which encloses a filling traditionally made of minced meat, smoked meat, spinach, bread crumbs and onions and flavoured with various herbs and spices.
Spätzle – Traditional Egg Noodles (often Käsespätzle – with cheese)
The Italians aren’t the only pasta-lovers. The German answer to pasta is Spätzle. Compared to Italian pasta, the Spätzle dough is moister and softer. A crowd pleaser, these “German noodles” are often served with tons of cheese and various toppings.
Schweinshaxe – Pork knuckle
It is basically the end of the pig’s leg, just above the ankle and below the ham portion. A variation of this dish is known in parts of Germany as Eisbein, in which the ham hock is pickled and usually slightly boiled. Don’t go for the Eisbein, get the Schweinshaxe!
Himmel & Erde – Black pudding, fried onions and mashed potato with apple sauce
This is one of our favorite German dishes. It consists of black pudding, fried onions and mashed potatoes with apple sause.
“The name of the dish originates from the name of two of the main ingredients: the apples coming from the trees, i.e. from up in the sky, and the potatoes coming from the ground. (A dialect word in German for potato is Erdapfel (English: earth apple), or Äädappel in the Rhineland, so there are two kinds of “apples” in the dish)”.
Gulasch – Paprika spiced stew/soup of meat
Although Gulasch originated from Hungary, it is quite popular in Germany. It is a stew/soup of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices. It is quite rich and comforting! We love it when it is served with Spätlze!
*Of course there are many other traditional dishes you should try while in Berlin. Another special place that does not fall into any of the above categories is Rogacki in Charlottenburg (the best place for cheese and cured and smoked fish).
**For additional typical Berliner foods, check this article we wrote!