We are not particularly fond of German food- there I said it!
German food usually comprises meat and potatoes – it is appealing at first, but has the tendency to be unusually stodgy and heavy. We discovered this while driving through the Bavarian Alps last year – while we spent the first two days exulting over the variety of pretzels and sausages in restaurants, by the third we were bored, by the fourth we did not want to look at another plate of sausages. We spent the rest of our trip searching for a side-dish other than sauerkraut (in vain, might I add).
So we were very surprised when we enjoyed food in Berlin. Like any other bustling cosmopolitan, Berlin’s food-culture is characterised by variety. However what struck us was not the variety, but the authenticity of the food we had. Read on to find out more about the restaurants that made it to our top 6:
#1 Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci
Did you know Berlin is the largest Turkish settlement outside of Turkey? Neither did we- till we tasted Turkish food in Berlin. One bite and we were sold.
Turkish food in Berlin is definitely the best we’ve had outside Turkey itself. First up, Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci. Order one of their delicious baguettes- it comes laden with aromatic kebabs, topped with rocket leaves, sumac, tomatoes, and their signature sauces (yellow herb sauce, garlic yogurt, and spicy red-pepper sauce). The charcoal-grilled kebabs and fresh salad are delicious, but it is the freshly-baked bread that steals the show. Have it with Turkish ayran (yogurt drink) or local beer. A near-perfect meal for less than €5.
If you have a sweet tooth, you MUST try the Künefe here. Künefe is a kind of pastry made of shredded phyllo dough with a centre of fresh, stringy cheese – it is smothered in sugar syrup, and topped with whipped cream and crushed pistachios. It’s a calorie buster, but you must have it (we insist) – you can always work it off with a run the next day. We know we get a tad too carried away while talking about food, but we are just stating facts when we say Gel Gör’s Künefe was better than any we had in Turkey.
Nearest Metro Stations: The restaurant is a 5-minute walk from Schönleinstraße and Hermannplatz stations.
Baguette at Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci
Baguette and Ayran at Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci
Künefe at Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci
#2 Tadim Lahmacun
Have you ever had Lahmacun? If not, you’re at the right place. The Lahmacun is a Turkish flatbread, which is topped with curried minced-meat and then baked. Once it’s out of the oven, it’s topped with fresh salad and doner meat (optional) and rolled up à la burrito. To call it scrumptious would be a gross understatement – Tadim Lahmacun sure know how to do Lahmacun right – it’s a right steal for €3.
If you’re craving something sweet, their Baklava is pretty special too.
Nearest Metro Station: Tadim Lahmacun is right outside the Kottbusser Tor station
Flatbread being topped with aromatic minced meat
Lahmacun being topped with salad before being rolled à la burrito
Baklava at Tadim Lahmacun
Berlin, especially Kreuzberg, is full of unusual and quirky places to eat. But this one takes the cake – it is situated under a busy metro station, and has beer crates for seats. There’s a reason it is so popular with the locals- it serves the most mind-numbingly delicious burgers. Munch on this bundle of goodness as you watch the world go by. If you want to throw calorie-counting to the wind, order their special cheese-fries to go with your burger. Yum! Yum! Yum!
Nearest Metro Station: Burgermeister is located under the Schlesisches Tor station
Burgermeister- a local secret?
Menu at Burgermeister
Quirky stools made from beer-crates
THE burger at Burgermeister
#4 Sausages at the Mauerpark Flea Market
Sausages are to Germans what tea is to the English. Everywhere you go, you’ll see at least a dozen varieties on offer- there’s Bratwürste, Rindswürste, Knackwürste, Bockwürste and Curywurst. But the tastiest ones we had were at the Sunday Flea Market in Mauerpark. We’ve spoken of our fondness for the Mauerpark Flea market before – it’s lively, chaotic, and so much fun. You’ll find everything from vintage cameras to pyrex dishes here.
For lunch, grab a beer and hotdog from one of the food stalls- steer clear of the mustard, and opt for a topping of German sauerkraut. Stick around till 3 p.m.- join the locals for public karaoke at the stone amphitheatre in Mauerpark.
Nearest Metro Station: Mauerpark is a 10-minute walk from Bernauer Straße
Yaam was introduced to us by a Berliner (Hey Sebastian, if you’re reading) – he called it a ‘piece of Jamaica in Germany’ and that’s exactly what it is. It’s next to the Ostbahnhof end of the East-side gallery- go there if you enjoy afro-caribbean food, cheap drinks, and reggae music. They even have a faux ‘beach’, complete with sand and sunbeds. Yaam is a real gem- the perfect place to relax in Berlin.
Nearest Metro Station: Yaam is opposite the Ostbahnhof station.
#6 Tiergarten Quelle
The best for the last- always. Tiergarten Quelle is special not just because of the food but due to the people we met there. Don’t get us wrong- the food is amazing, but it is the communal tables that make it special.
We went for a quick drink and some good ol’ German grub, but ended up spending a long evening at the restaurant because we met the friendliest locals there (hey Tanja and Matthias- we love you guys). They made sure we had our best evening in Berlin at Tiergarten Quelle.
If you’re there to drink, their beer on tap is fabulous. We had a lot of it, which explains the hazy pictures from the evening ;-). If you’re there for the food, order the goulash or pork knuckle. Tanja recommended that Berlin style meatballs to us and they were delectable.Expect huge portions of German comfort food- almost everything comes with a side of fried potatoes and fried eggs.
Nearest Metro Station:Tiergarten Quelle is located under the Tiergarten station
The quality of photos deteriorated as the evening progressed 🙂
Hungry? Book your tickets to Berlin NOW. We planned our weekend getaway to Berlin from London using the multi-mode travel platform at GoEuro which gave us plenty of travel options to choose from.
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