A lot of people who come to Berlin ask me what they should eat. Where „the real German“ goes to eat and what would be considered typically Berlin-esque that one has to eat when you come to this city. Well, if you do not want to end up in a gory and greasy currywurst bude (shack), you should initally refrain from jumping into any restaurant or eatery that claims to be „German“. Because, German food is not that good. The largest portion of the Germanic cuisine is taken up by meat, fatty and greasy sauces and more meat. Nowadays, meat is still one of the cheapest and easy-to-get-by ingredients in any German supermarket and many contemporary German youngsters still desire at least one element of meat in their daily meal.
One the first things I would advice anyone who comes to Berlin for a brief period of time and wants to experience good food: do not get too caught up in the whole idea of having to eat German food per se. One of the things one should always enjoy about a capital city is that is an international place where you can eat food from all over the world. Enjoy that. But of course, I will sum up some good German food items and where you should eat them.
Flammkuchen is one of my personal favourites that is generally enjoyed by anyone visiting Berlin. A Flammkuchen is kind of like a pizza. It really is not like a pizza at all, but it does look like one. A Flammkuchen (Flamepie) is a lot thinner than a pizza and made out of a different kind of dough. On top of this base, the classical topping of a Flammkuchen is bacon, sour cream and onions. A fantastically flavoursome combination of classical ingredients. If you are into enjoying typical German foods, this is a great dish to try out at least once. Perfect for a hearty lunch, or an easy-going start to a dinner.
Where to eat Flammkuchen?
- On a christmas market, if they are in season. The market on Gendarmenmarkt does a yearly home-made Flammkuchen that comes directly out of an old-fashioned stove. The best Flammkuchen you will have eat!
- At Datscha (a Russian restaurant in Friedrichshain) or at Oranium (a German restaurant in Mitte). Datscha would be my personal recommendation though, as they do a hell of a Flammkuchen that is a bit more edgy than your run of the mill Flammkuchen. Plus, the atmosphere is simply beautiful and relaxed.
Currywurst/ Bratwurst/ Any Kind of Wurst
The wurst is hot in Berlin and if you like sausages and meat, you cannot let the opportunity of eating a sausage go by. A few classical spots for gnawing on German sausage include the Alexanderplatz, where you will see men and women carrying large pieces of equipment on which they grill sausages. These special Berlin sausage carriers are mostly known as „Grillwalkers“, and for 1 to 2 euros you can get a Bratwurst in a Brötchen (with or without ketchup and mustard). Whereas some horror stories haunt Berlin regarding imminent death after eating one of these Wursts, I personally always recommend fans of the meat to enjoy an authentic sausage here. And I have survived until this day – so do not let the silly look or the scary stories scare you off. If you like meat and you hang out on Alexanderplatz, just give it a try.
- Another interesting (and popular) spot for eating sausage is Konnopke’s Imbiss on the Eberswalder Straße. They recently renovated the little shack underneath the U-Bahn and you can sit inside or stand outside while enjoying your currywurst and pommes. A classical location for a quick currywurst bite.
But if you are into meat and you want something more than a sausage, there are a few nice meat restaurants that I enjoy eating at.
One of my most beloved restaurants in Berlin is without a doubt Cape-Town in Prenzlauer Berg, a South-African restaurant that does the best exotic meats. A bit more fancy and slightly more pricey than your average restaurant, but seriously a fabulous place for scrumptious dining.
Another fabulous food to eat in Berlin is sushi. There are a lot of really great sushi places where you do not have to worry one second about your wallet – for ten to twenty euros you can fill up your hungry tummy with as much sushi, soups and salads as you can imagine. A small selection of our favourite sushi spots:
In the end, it is fun and funky to eat some German-themed food, but Berlin has so much more to offer. With its more than 3 million citizens this brimming capital has thousands of restaurants with fabulous international cuisine. Therefore I would recommend: definitely eat out of the German box and try something else than ‚just‘ sausage. One of the most enticing and yummy things to do in Berlin is experience an elaborate brunch or lunch at one of the most pretty spots in the city: for more information on brunching in Berlin.