A Food Tour of Berlin: What to Eat and Where to Eat It
Berlin’s food scene is picking up pace faster than a Berghain techno beat. Are you ready for it?
Berlin is a beast of a city. 350 square miles of sprawling parks, gleaming skyscrapers, fashionably scuffed neighbourhoods and monumental sites, to be exact. And while it’s true that locals have been fuelled by kebabs and ham-centric breakfasts for some time, the picture has been changing over the last few years. Thanks to a feverish set of bright-eyed chefs and a wealth of international influences, Berlin’s food scene is picking up pace faster than a Berghain techno beat. Nowadays, while you explore Berlin’s fascinatingly historic landscape, you might just be in for a life-changing meal along the way - if you know where to find it. Luckily you have us here at Plum Guide to help with that. We're the experts determined to provide you with the very best advice and accommodation, so you don't have to worry about a thing.
Consider this your pocket guide to eating on your culinary holiday in Berlin - an indispensable list of what to eat, and where to eat it. So get yourself a strong coffee (preferably from a third-wave cafe) and prepare to feast on Middle Eastern soul food, cockle-warming German classics, wine-sloshed bistro cooking and a smattering of Michelin-starred delights. Prost!
Order the currywurst at Curry 36
If you’re a Berlinner and you’re reading this, you may be rolling your eyes. But let’s be honest, no food tour of Berlin is complete without this iconic little morsel. Curry 36 claims to serve ‘Das Currywurst-Original’, and who are we to argue with a place that is perpetually swarmed with locals and tourists alike? Prop yourself at one of the metal tables to enjoy this steamed (then fried) chopped sausage smothered in curried ketchup. If this is wrong, we don’t want to be right.
Enjoy hummus with Turkish garlic sausage at Osmans Töchter
Ask any food-loving local for their pick of the best Turkish food in Berlin, and this ragingly popular spot is sure to come up. They recently opened their second branch, but we recommend heading to the Prenzlauer Berg site. Embrace slow travel and spend an afternoon wandering the leafy streets of this well-heeled neighbourhood before settling in at warm, bricky Osmans. Be sure to take up every inch of your table with Turkish ceviche, cinnamon-warmed octopus, fish kofta, fennel salad and this dangerously delicious hummus with garlic sausage - all served with ‘Fatma’s housemade bread’. Osman’s daughters, we thank you.
Dive into the six-course tasting menu at Eins44
This is fine dining, Berlin style. Eins44 serves high-end food in a former Schnapps factory in dishevelled (and oh-so stylish) Neukölln. Expect soaring arched windows, subway-tiled walls and hefty wooden tables (reclaimed, naturally), along with three or six-course menus of seasonal, experimental yet comforting dishes and a meticulous wine selection to go with. Six courses it is, then…
Get oysters and German sausage at KaDeWe
We admit that including a luxury shopping mall in a food tour of Berlin feels a little uncouth, but stay with us. Once you’ve sailed past 60000 square metres of jewellery, couture and perfume, you’ll find yourself in the food hall, a shimmering village of culinary decadence. There’s a lot to take in here, from blousy cakes and sticky pastries to fresh organic veg. But we highly recommend making a beeline for Austernbar to slurp some of the freshest, juiciest oysters around. And on your way out, be sure to stop by the sausage bar for a sizzling something on your way out.
Try the parmesan dumpling & artichoke at Cookies Cream
Ah, Berlin. Only here would you find a Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant hidden behind a chandelier-lit doorway in a Mitte alley. After passing through the red-and-plushy bar area, you’ll be led up to the elegant dining room - all concrete ceilings and white linen. Beside a heady list of natural wines, the food menu shifts according to the seasons. But we suggest diving into a three or four-course tasting menu for the full taste of their genius. Plus some signature dishes like the silky parmesan dumplings with Périgord truffle stock. Bratwurst who?
Eat the Candy on Bone at Katz Orange
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about a giant Jelly Baby lodged on an animal bone. Rather, this is the signature dish at one of Berlin’s most celebrated contemporary restaurants. A holistic farm-to-table menu is served in this glowing, multilevel space, including international fare made with local, seasonal produce. But if you want to really dig in, order Candy on Bone, Duroc pork or Spreewald lamb roasted low and slow for 12 hours before landing on your table with a side of juicy gravy and lemon garlic yogurt. They tell us it’s for ‘two people or more’, but we think even two people’s a push when it’s this good…
Enjoy classic cheeseburgers at Burgermeister
While the idea of tucking into a cheeseburger in a repurposed public toilet beneath the creaky Kreuzberg subway tracks may sound far from glamorous, this iconic burger joint is an absolute must for any food lover worth their salt. It’s amazing what a lick of emerald green paint and a working kitchen can do for an abandoned bathroom. On a sunny day, join locals at the wobbly tables for juicy, fresh-off-the-griddle burgers and icy beers as the trains rattle above.
Order the offal at Lokal
If you’re the kind of diner that skims right past the offal on the menu, this place might just change your mind during your food tour of Berlin. Tucked away in historic Mitte, this low-key, high-end restaurant has had critics hot under the collar since it moved from a pop-up to a permanent fixture. Lokal serves reimagined German classics with locally-foraged, seasonal ingredients. As well as the wood for the dining room’s hand-whittled furniture, Berlin’s surrounding forests abound with offal and game - and the chefs here know precisely what to do with it.