Berlin is among the most attractive European cities for food tourism, one hardly can find such a mixture of cuisines, cultures, authentic emigrant dishes and modern trends in street food. So what is Berlin cuisine like? To begin with, we offer you forget for a while about notorious German dishes, since you can find them in any other city and immerse into our Food Guide to the German capital.
Street Food Icons
Each city has small restaurants, caffs, eateries, which have passed the test of time and ascended to the rank of canon. Sometimes they become the domain of tourists, and sometimes they remain on the lips of only local residents, the Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebab (Mehringdamm 32) has become almost the most famous shawerma in the country, but this did not cause any harm to it. How to eat budgetary in Berlin? The answer will usually be the same. It’s a doner.
This is a local shawerma analog, but instead of lahvash, they put meat and vegetables in fluffy, airy cake. Turkish emigrants invented such a serving of a world-famous dish in the 70s, but it is Mustafa’s kebab that is considered to be the best (or most popular) among others. However, do not be afraid to try doner anywhere, as they are really tasty almost everywhere. By the way, literally a couple of meters from Mustafa you will find another gastronomic treasure of the capital. It is Curry 36. Carrywurst is another local and very successful invention; sausage in tomato sauce with curry was invented in the postwar years, and at one time in its honor was even made a museum (now closed). The last obligatory point of the gastronomic tour will be the legendary Burgermeister kiosk, which is located under the Schlesisches Tor underground station. At the place where an old public toilet was located, today today they make some of the best burgers in the capital, for which there is a queue at any time of the day.
Food in Berlin is sold at every turn but the most authentic places for familiarization with all the culinary variety are markets. For instance, the Street Food Thursday at EisenbahnstraBe 42/43. At the weekends, the pavilion works as a common market where one can buy sea products, meat, vines, vegetables, cottage cheese or olives. However, on Thursdays, one can find here dishes from the cuisines of the world: Uruguayan pastries, bao sandwiches, Turkish manti, oysters and much more, but the main star is the burgers with pulled pork, barbecue sauce and grated apple that melt in your mouth. Besides, very warm and friendly atmosphere prevails here.
A visit to the Thai Park will be of no less interest. It is a real city legend. In 90ies, Thai emigrants came to the park to share each other with their favorite dishes and have a dinner together. As time passed, rumor about these meetings dispersed in the Thai diaspora and more and more people took part in them, later it became clear that not only Thais but also Germans were interested in such dinners. Besides, they were ready to pay for it. Real Thai food has been sold at Preussenpark for more than twenty years. One can only get here in the summer in fine weather, but it is definitely worth it.
Alternative Berlin cuisine
Coming back to the conversation on the traditional German cuisine, it does not enjoy such popularity in the capital of Germany as for example in Bavaria. However, Berlin food is very versatile and there are alternative local delicacies. For instance, the whole city is teeming with Vietnamese restaurants that tend to be family-owned and cook the way they would in Vietnam.
In general, Asian cuisine is on very high demand, the fusion-restaurant UMAMI is especially worth noticing, where they serve brilliant Indonesian food. Turkish cuisine is also worthy of special attention, be sure to try the Menemen Turkish breakfast or go to Kottbusser Tor to the Tadim restaurant, where simita sesame bagels are baked all day long.
Finally, where else but in Berlin it is worth to make the more intimate acquaintance of the fusion cuisine, prone to mixture of anything and everything. The W-Der Imbiss are proud of the fact that they mix Indian, Mexican, Californian and Italian cuisines. We know it sounds strange, but in fact, mixing all these things in the output you get an incredible mix of tastes. Neapolitan pizza is one more local treasure, try it at the advanced Zola or at the Standard Serious Pizza. It a masterpiece!
Pastry, desserts, coffee
We can talk about it for hours. All those with a sweet tooth will be delighted with the gastronomic Berlin. Do you prefer a classic French bakery? Then visit the Du Bonheur at Mitte, they bake incredibly airy croissants, macarons melting in your mouth and the softest tarts.
Baklava lovers will be able to amuse themselves in Pasam Baklava, this small bakery does not sell anything else, but it is itself family run and everything in this small shop is nourished with love. Or you can try Baumkuchen, a traditional German dessert looking like a cross section of a tree. At the Konditorei und Cafe Buchwald the Buchwald family bake a national cake for more than 150 years.
Berlin is also famous for its coffee shops and the most interesting of them are located as a rule in the most advanced district, the Kreuzberg. One of them is Five Elephant, a vintage coffee shop where one will find not only delicious coffee made from Brazilian, Ethiopian and Colombian beans, but also a cozy atmosphere with caring staff. If you find your way into the Mitte, don’t miss the opportunity to visit THE BARN; the coffee shop is easy to find due to the queue, it will have one of the most extensive and varied coffee menus in the city.