Berlin is a beautiful city with a myriad of landmarks and attractions scattered throughout. To make the most of your time in Berlin and cover the must-see points in the city, check out my uber-efficient itinerary here. But no culture trip is complete (at least in my book) without also experiencing your destination through your palates. And a good thing too, as all that sightseeing will surely leave you hankering for a great meal. Fortunately, Berlin has much to offer, and below is a list of the best eats in Berlin. Mahlzeit!
There are a couple locations in Berlin of this burger “chain”, but the most frequented and most reviewed location is the one at the Schlesisches Tor underpass (also conveniently at the subway stop by the same name). As the name might suggest, the place offers one mean burger – and allow you to customize the hell out of it too from meat patty counts and various gourmet cheese options to even adding chili on your burger. Fries get the same treatment too, and best of all, they have craft German beers to go with your meal. There may be a bit of a wait, but totally worth it.
House of Small Wonder (website)
This is a bit of a unique restaurant, that got its start in Brooklyn, NY, and opened its Berlin branch in 2014. It offers an eclectic menu for breakfast/brunch, but with an interesting Japanese twist. Portions are generous, and its coffee (like a lot of coffee shops in Berlin) is perfectly brewed and on point. Trust me, you don’t need to be a hipster to enjoy House of Small Wonder’s avocado croissant sando with the most delightfully whipped scrambled eggs!
Restaurant Tim Raue (website)
If you’ve read my other post on Lima, you may have figured out that I try to indulge myself in a fancy meal or two on my travels (my guilty pleasure, and where my savings go). Berlin was no exception, and I ended up making a reservation at Tim Raue, which was a German chef’s take on various Asian cuisine. The ambiance is upscale, but not too pretentious. In fact, the chairs used even seemed a bit… IKEA-like? A bit strange in some ways, but we were more interested in the food and wine. The service was top-notch, and all servers and the sommelier that came by our table was extremely knowledgeable and accommodating. The food, in my opinion, was good, but nothing amazing. Maybe it was the fact that the restaurant was ranked #37 in the world, and I had high expectations, but none of it was all that memorable, and the choices of pairing on the sauces and the protein were confusing at times. The menu is seasonal, however, so by now I am sure the dishes have changed, so worth a visit if you feel so inclined, but tough for me to give a strong recommendation unfortunately.
Markthalle Neun (website)
This indoor food market / vendor stalls is near the Berlin Wall, and definitely worth a visit. Once you enter the market, there’s quite a lot of activity (steins of beers all around) and an eclectic set of food options for the hungry soul. You have stall selling the traditional German sausages and chilliwursts, but there are others selling Xiao Long Baos, a German take on Mac-N-Cheese, and Tapioca Crepes (both sweet and savory options!)
Rüyam Gemüse Kebab (website)
Full disclosure, this restaurant is a bit of a trek from the city center (although there are two locations now, and I went to the one in – Schönhauser Allee 44A, 10435). But please trust me when I say it is worth the journey. Rüyam has been serving up doner kebabs for decades, and is considered an institution in its own right. It’s a fast food setting, don’t get me wrong, but my god these people know how to season their meat and place it betwixt an unbelievably fluffy yet crispy pita bread. The condiments and picked vegetables accompanying your choice of meat is in perfect ratio and there’s just nothing quite like it. I’ve lived in NYC for 3 years and haven’t had donor kebabs done quite like this before.
Zeit für Brot (website) – if you braved the long trek up to the Ruyam location I mentioned above, then you’re in luck, as across the busy intersection, on the other side of the underpass is this bakery known for its various “roll pastries” mixed with cinnamon, chocolate, blueberries, etc. There are tons of other options too, with fresh milk available!
Kanaan Berlin (website) – for the vegetarians out there, Kanaan is worth the trek away from the city center. The restaurant has a unique take on hummus dishes, and uses freshly ground chickpeas to make them too! The neighborhood around Kanaan is also quite beautiful and has a great vibe, so doesn’t hurt to walk around on a nice day.