Eating out in Berlin, Germany.

Eating Out in Berlin – from Currywurst to Pork Knuckle

We’ve tried to eat ‘local’ wherever we’ve stayed on our grand tour this year. In places like Venice that meant eating distinctly Venetian cuisine made from local produce from the Veneto region and Venice’s lagoon. In multicultural cities like New York that meant eating everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to Ukrainian and Korean.

In Berlin, our dining fell somewhere in between. Berlin is a multicultural city, where it’s not uncommon to find Turkish, Vietnamese, and Indian restaurants on the one street, and yet there are plenty of opportunities for sampling German cuisine too.

And while German cuisine has a reputation for being a tad dull – an idea that many Berliners we spoke to agreed with – there’s something about eating hearty, home-style food in the middle of winter that makes perfect sense.

If you’re going to mix it up when eating out in Berlin, as most visitors do, by all means try some of the excellent Asian restaurants around, such as the casual Vietnamese eatery Si An, and Sasaya, a typical Japanese Izayaka, both in Prenzlauer Berg. But make sure you also try these three German eateries:

Oderquelle
Oderberger Strasse 27
www.oderquelle.de
We love this casual pub-cum-casual restaurant as much for its cosy atmosphere, wooden interior, and front bar, as for its hearty German food. The soups are scrumptious – I loved the broth with Swabian ravioli stuffed with poultry. The mains are also warming and filling. A highlight was the prime boiled veal beef served with grated horseradish, braised white cabbage and small potatoes.

Konnopke
Shonhauser Allee 44a
www.konnopke-imbiss.de
Ask a Berliner what the quintessential Berlin dish is and they’ll say doner kebab or currywurst. Save the doner kebab for your next visit to Turkey, but try the currywurst in Berlin. Many Berliners claim that Konnopke’s does the best currywurst. To be honest, we don’t quite ‘get’ currywurst – sausage doused with tomato sauce and sprinkled with curry powder – and much preferred the Bratwurst that Terence had here, but our friends swear that if you’re going to try currywurst anywhere this is the place to try it.

Gugelhof
Kellwitzplatz/Ecke Knaackstrasse 37
www.gugelhof.de
This is another inviting, traditional-looking restaurant with rustic wooden furniture and a welcoming bar, but equally appealing is the friendly staff and excellent service. The food, from Germany’s Alsatian region, is wonderful. A must-try is the specialty Tarte Flambee, a delicious German-style ‘pizza’ with bacon, onions and cream cheese. Also worth trying are the hearty, meaty Pork Knuckle and the Choucroute Gugelhof. If you’re not staying close by, best get a taxi, as you’ll want to sleep immediately afterwards. A perfect place to dine on cold winter nights.




There are 10 comments

Add yours
  1. Lauren

    I would strongly argue NOT to skip the Döner. Though it has Turkish origins, the Döner Kebab sandwich as we know it was developed in Germany! Yes, you can get Döner anywhere in Germany, but in Berlin it is hands down the best. I look forward to it every trip.

  2. Keith

    Oh, dear! Curry sauce!

    I’ve had to threaten GBH so they *wouldn’t* put it on my food! German mustard, though; that’s the thing! They did make a sausage; I don’t remember the name, but it translated as ‘mustard sausage’ … I haven’t seen it for a long time, though; maybe it’s a local speciality around Dusseldorf?

  3. Terence Carter

    As someone who has lived in the Middle East for more than a dozen years and travelled all over Turkey and Europe, I have to say if someone asks you what sauce you want with a kebab, even if it’s a doner kebab, then they’re doing it wrong. The only question you should be asked when ordering a kebab is ‘meat or chicken?’ but call me a purist. Mayonaise does NOT belong on any kind of kebab.

  4. Lara Dunston

    We totally agree! Much prefer mustard on our German sausages, but we had to try it.

    I did get to Dusseldorf for a film festival around 10 yrs ago but don’t remember what the sausages were called, though did eat a few. We loved the sausages in Munich. Yum!

  5. World Traveller

    Currywurst was invented by Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949 as an affordable but filling meal for the people of Berlin at a time when food was in short supply.

    When you order your Currywurst you can ask for it skin on “Currywurst mit Darm” or without skin “Currywurst ohne Darm”. Sausage casings were in short supply in the Soviet-controlled side of the city. If you grew up in East Berlin, you like sausage without skin; if you grew up in West Berlin, you probably prefer sausage with skin.

    I’m not from Berlin, I prefer Currywurst without skin and in my opinion the best place to get it is from Fritz & Co (a Currywurst stall) on Wittenberg Platz in the Schöneberg area of Berlin.

  6. Terence Carter

    Kostas, not strange at all as we didn’t call them ‘don’t miss’ for the entire city of Berlin, these were our favourites in the area that we stayed in while in Berlin. The entire one year trip was about getting to know a neighbourhood in different destinations around the world, not to write top ten lists for each destination. Read more on the site and you’ll see that’s generally what we’re into – in cities like Paris and New York we tried to eat within walking distance of our apartment.
    Thanks for your comment.


Post a new comment