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Currywurst & beyond: Our 10 favourite places to eat real Berlin food

Let’s be honest — German cuisine doesn’t have the best reputation. And Berlin’s local fare, in particular, isn’t typically regarded as the height of culinary sophistication. But Berlin has always been a poor city, and its food reflects simplicity, frugality and an absence of pretence. And who doesn’t like good, simple food?

Currywurst: the famous Berliner delicacy (Photo: Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum)

1. Lausebengel

Trad Berlin food done very well: Lausebengel (Photo: Lausebengel)

Lausebengel: that’s German for ‘rascal’. And that’s kind of the deal with this restaurant which offers a contemporary take on Berlin’s classic dishes. They work with some of Berlin’s best producers: Blutwurstmanufaktur, a butcher and blood sausage manufacturer in Neukölln, the bakeries Albatross and Bread Station, as well as cheesemonger Peppikäse. Our recommendation: order a few of their small bites, and explore their beer menu — they have a dedicated beer sommelier!

Address: Grimmstraße 21, Kreuzberg | Tue-Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12-5pm

Directions: U-Bahn station Schönleinstraße

2. Max und Moritz

Dine like a Berliner: cheap, hearty and without any pretence at Max und Moritz (Ruben Vique/flickr/CC BY 2.0).

If you ask us, Max und Moritz is the OG of all Berliner restaurants. While not the oldest in town, it certainly boasts a long and tumultuous history: opened in 1902, its Jewish founder Felix Fournier was forced to sell the restaurant in 1935 and survived the Nazi regime hidden in Berlin — to take it over again after the war. Political parties were founded in Max und Moritz’s halls, tourists mingle with old-school Berliners, and everyone tucks into their Berliner dishes such as Bollenfleisch (lamb and beer stew) and Eisbein (pork knuckle), or Schnitzel and Prussian meatballs. Not to be missed!

Address: Oranienstrasse 162, Kreuzberg | daily from 5pm

Directions: U-Bahn station Moritzplatz

3. Zur letzten Instanz

The oldest Pub in Berlin is also a proper good restaurant — who knew? (Photo: imago images / Rolf Kremming).

Fancy taking a bite out of history? Then visit Zur letzten Instanz. The restaurant was founded in 1621(!) — but the building itself is even older. Everyone from women’s rights activist Clara Zetkin to Charlie Chaplin and even Napoleon dined here and feasted on veal liver with apples and stuffed cabbage. The lunch is particularly affordable.

Address: Waisenstrasse 14-16, Mitte | Tue-Sat 12pm-1am

Directions: U-Bahn station Klosterstraße

4. Konnopke

Konnopke’s currywurst is a true Berlin legend (Photo: Pedelecs by Wikivoyage and Wikipedia/ CC BY-SA 3.0).

What would Berlin be without its Currywurst? For a few years, the city even boasted a museum dedicated to the humble sausage topped with spicy(-ish) tomato sauce. And one of the most popular shacks from which to get your ‘curry’ fix is without doubt Konnopke in Prenzlauer Berg. For the true Berliner experience, order your wurst ‘ohne Darm’, without skin. The vegan wurst, however, is also very Berlin — and very tasty, too.

Address: Schönhauser Allee 44B (under the U-Bahn), Prenzlauer Berg | Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 12am-8pm

Directions: U-Bahn station Eberswalder Straße

5. Schöneberger Weltlaterne

This Schöneberg hangout claims to dish up ‘long-forgotten German cuisine’, and showcases the diversity of Berlin’s traditional fare in a cosy atmosphere. Think potato soup, eggs in mustard sauce, and much, much more. They also offer one of the simplest, yet most delicious local dishes: sour cream, linseed oil, and potatoes — but only from April to September!

Address: Motzstraße 61, Schöneberg | Tue-Sun 5pm-12am

Directions: U-Bahn station Victoria-Luise-Platz

6. Imren

Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap is one of Berlin’s premiere döner spots (Photo: Alana Harris)

Did you know that Döner was invented in Berlin? Well, now you know. Which makes it possibly the most precious gift Berlin has bestowed upon international gastronomy. And while the first döner wasn’t filled at Imren, their Rathaus Neukölln outlet in particular offers the very best kebab in town. The secret lies in the quality of meat and their homemade sauces. Other strong contenders are the ever-so-famous Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap and Doyum. There’s even a fancy döner shop now in Mitte, Kebap With Attitude, if you want to make it a date.

Address: Imren, Karl-Marx-Straße 75, Neukölln | Mon-Sat 9am-3am, Sun 9am-12am

Directions: U-Bahn station Rathaus Neukölln

7. Tisk

Tisk does a mean roast chicken (Photo: Tisk).

Traditional food, elevated: Tisk was the first restaurant to give local fare a fine-dining twist. The very stylish interior feels a bit out of place in Neukölln’s Boddinkiez neighbourhood, but makes it all the more suitable to take your parents here on their trip to Berlin. It’s not all late-night döner and clubs here, mum! Affordable lunch options, but we recommend the set menu when you’re feeling flush and want to impress — or the roast chicken to share.

Address: Neckarstraße 12, Neukölln | Tue-Sat 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm

Directions: U-Bahn station Rathaus Neukölln

8. Henne

Kreuzberg at its truest: Henne (Photo: imago/Günter Schneider).

Craving fried chicken, but don’t fancy KFC? Try Henne’s half chicken — ideally with both potato salad and coleslaw on the side. If you’re not into chicken, they also have sausages, currywurst and hamburger steaks on offer — and don’t miss their exquisite selection of traditional schnapps and liqueurs.

Address: Leuschnerdamm 25, Kreuzberg | Tue-Sun from 5pm

Directions: U-Bahn station Moritzplatz

9. Schildkröte

Since 1936, the Schildkröte (‘turtle’ in German) has been serving German politicians, artists and circus performers. The cosy spot just off Kurfürstendamm offers local classics, southern German specialities, as well as burgers and snacks.

Address: Kurfürstendamm 212, Charlottenburg | daily 11.30am-12pm

Directions: U-Bahn station Uhlandstraße

10. Markthallen Restaurant

German classics with seasonal and regional ingredients (Photo: Markthallen Restaurant).

What’s local cuisine, anyway? Markthallen Restaurant’s interpretation of local fare focuses on local ingredients, while incorporating Austrian — and both northern and southern German — dishes into their menu. Don’t miss out on their luxe, vegetable-rich offerings.

Address: Pücklerstraße 34, Kreuzberg

Directions: U-Bahn station Görlitzer Bahnhof


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