Culinary Delights of Berlin

Berlin is a great city and I can’t really compare it to anywhere I’ve been before. It’s got an abundance of history, art, and culture; great outdoor spaces; more Weihnachtsmärkte at Christmas time than you can shake a stick at; and a grungy and unfinished quality, especially in parts of east Berlin, which it embraces and makes its own. It’s the latter which I find most fascinating. Art galleries in old train stations and bunkers, as well as a flea market in an old pasta factory. Warehouses which looks like the most foreboding, abandoned, and dangerous places imaginable during the day, turn into some of the most popular clubs in the city as soon as the clock strikes midnight. The Cinderella story turned on its head.

You can spend 15-20€ on a ticket to the Berlin Konzerthaus or spend the same amount on a cocktail in a hidden-away cabaret bar (I know, a bit pricy, but worth it once for the experience).

You can spend 12€ on entry to the Neues Museum to see the bust of Nefertiti or spend the same amount to get into a club with tree houses.

You can book three months in advance for a tour of the exclusive Sammlung Boros collection or you can queue up to gain entry to the elite Berghain club and be turned away at midday on a Sunday (true story).

Berlin has it all.

Which, by definition, also means it has good, affordable food. I haven’t been living in the Berlin area for long so obviously, I haven’t been able to try everything, but I’ve listed some of my favourites below. If you’re reading this and you have any other recommendations, please, let me know in the comments! I am always looking for new haunts. I love food, and I love cheap stuff.

Fam. Dang: delicious pho for about 6/7€

  • Torstraße 125, 10119 Berlin (Mitte)
  • Closest U-Bahn: Rosenthaler Platz
  • Other things to do nearby:
    • Clärchens Ballhaus: in operation since 1913 and an amazing spot for live music, dance lessons, and a good time
    • B-Flat Jazz Club: free jazz, Wednesdays 9pm
    • Neue Synagogue
    • Hackescher Hof: home of the original Ampelmann shop, a cool cinema, and a delicious ice cream place (,Waffeln oder Becher?’)
    • Street Art Alley just next door is worth a look and often hosts live music and temporary exhibitions, and I hear there’s also a MonsterKabinett full of mechanical monsters in the basement…

Cocolo Ramen for great ramen starting from 7.50€

  • img_5420Gipsstraße 3, 10119 Berlin (Mitte)
  • Don’t try and work out where it is from their website, it’s really confusing. You want the one with the ‘Next to…’ written above the door, but not the one called ‘Next to KUCHI’ on their website…
  • It opens at 6pm but get there by at least 5.40pm. I guarantee that there will already be a queue
  • Closest U-Bahn: Weinmeisterstraße
    Closest S-Bahn: Hackescher Markt
  • Other things to do nearby:
    • A lot of the same things as for Fam. Dang
    • Museum Insel

Currywurst Express

  • Alexanderplatz Station (Mitte)
  • I couldn’t write a blog post about food in Berlin without mentioning currywurst. I mean, they love it so much they have a museum dedicated to it. This place, in Alexanderplatz Station, I had to put in because it’s where I had my first ever currywurst. And for a fastfood place in a train station, it’s not half bad. They even have a ‘British special’ of currywurst with baked beans!
  • Closest U-Bahn/S-Bahn: Alexanderplatz
  • Other things to do nearby:
    • Fernsehturm
    • Museum Insel
    • Hackescher Hof

Kauf Dich Glücklich

  • All over Berlin but I went to the one at Oderberger Straße 44, 10435 Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg)
  • I enjoyed a waffle with warm blueberries there for 3€. It’s a lovely venue but it can get very busy
  • Closest U-Bahn: Eberswalder Straße
  • Other things to do nearby:
    • Mauerpark: famous for the Flöhmarkt (flea market) on a Sunday
    • Kulturbrauerei: originally opened as a brewery and now a cultural centre – there’s usually something going on, and there’s also a museum, cinema, a couple of clubs and a Sunday street food market
    • Prater Biergarten: Berlin’s oldest beer garden, 1837 (only open between April and September, although the restaurant is open all year round)
    • Wasserturm: Berlin’s oldest water tower and an adjacent machine hall (now demolished) was home to Nazi Germany’s first concentration camp
    • Jüdischer Friedhof: Jewish cemetery founded in 1827

Santa Maria

  • Oranienstraße 170, 10999 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
  • Recommended by a friend of a friend who said it was the best Mexican food she’d ever had outside of Mexico. I’ve never been to Mexico, but I can confirm that it’s pretty delicious food.
    1,50€ tacos on Tuesdays from 4pm, and 5€ Margaritas every evening from 7-9pm. Need I say more?
  • Closest U-Bahn: Kottbusser Tor, Görlitzer Bahnhof, Moritzplatz
  • Other things to do nearby:
    • Prinzipal Kreuzberg: a cabaret bar hidden behind an unmarked door with a buzzer
    • Prinzessinnengärten: small site transformed from wasteland to beautiful garden and local allotment
    • Museum der Dinge (Museum of Things): dedicated to industrial production of the 20th and 21st centuries and the human capacity to endlessly collect stuff

Markthalle 9: Street Food Thursday (5-10pm)

  • Eisenbahnstraße 42/43, 10997 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
  • Amazing array of delicious food (seriously, it’s fantastic), but it’s incredibly busy by 7pm and apparently a lot of the food is gone by 9pm, so get there early
  • There’s also a breakfast market on the third Sunday of every month
  • Closest U-Bahn: Schlesisches Tor, Görlitzer Bahnhof
  • Other things to do nearby:
    • Vögelchen bar – cute, hipster bar with an eclectic collection of furniture and an aquarium in a TV
    • Edelweiss bar – just started live jazz performances every Tuesday at 10pm

img_5527

Eis Frau

  • Rudolf-Breitscheid-Straße 42, 14482 Potsdam
  • If you find yourself in Potsdam, Eis Frau is amazing, cheap, homemade ice cream. We’re talking 1,50 euro a scoop
  • It closes for a pretty long winter break though so always best to check it’s open
  • Closest S-Bahn: Babelsberg
  • Other things to do nearby:

img_5681

Bit more expensive for what they are:

Fine Bagels in Shakespeare and Sons

  • Warschauer Straße 74, 10243 Berlin (Friedrichshain)
  • Books and bagels – who could ask for more?
  • Pretty damn expensive, but great onion chutney
  • Closest U-Bahn: Frankfurter Tor, Warschauer Straße, Weberwiese
  • Other things to do nearby:

Two and Two

  • Pannierstraße 6, 12047 Berlin (Neuköln)
  • A sweet little Franco-Japanese inspired cafe which also sells a small range of Japanese stationery – for someone who loves a decent cup of tea and a nifty notebook, it’s a match made in heaven 
  • Closest U-Bahn: Hermannplatz
  • Other things to do nearby:
    • Sonnenallee: the Turkish heart of Berlin, split by the Berlin Wall and the setting of a film of the same name about 1970s life in the GDR. I’ve also been recommended Azzam and Al Andalos for food on Sonnenallee, both within about a three minute walk from Two and Two

Between the affordable wontons, the secret bars, and the art gallery bunker, I’m surprised you’re not busy online now, booking your flights.

And I believe that now is the time to be visiting Berlin. The city is in that grace period at the moment, where it’s the cool, interesting and affordable ‘place to be’, but it hasn’t yet been overtaken by the inevitable gentrification and development which seems to follow close behind any new trend. And I’ve heard plenty of grumbles and complaints that it’s started already. It’s pretty much what’s already happened in London.

There’s so much to enjoy in Berlin and I’ve only just scratched the surface. Obviously, it has its flaws, just like anywhere, but I think it’s a great city.

Where else can you buy a litre of Glühwein for 99 cents?

***

All information at the time of publication was accurate, but unfortunately places close, prices fluctuate, venues move, and opening hours change, so please don’t judge me if I’m wrong. I can’t know everything (just most things).

Also, I promise I wasn’t sponsored to write this. I just really like Berlin.

 


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