Berlin is loaded with amazing restaurants everywhere you turn - coffee shops, kebab stands, Mexican, Indian and American food and everything in between. You want it, chances are, Berlin has it. But what if you’re looking for more authentic German food or even more specifically, Berlin food. Well, this article has you covered. But, note: this is not the article to read if you’re looking for healthy options!
Currywurst found its beginnings in 1949, with Herta Heuwar. In post-war Berlin, she was able to obtain ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers. Mixing these ingredients, with some other spices, was the perfect compliment to the already popular grilled pork sausage. A cheap snack and a tasty one, Currywurst remains incredibly popular all over Germany, today. It is most often sold as a takeaway meal, with fries or a roll.
Where to find Currywurst:
Address: Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin, Germany
Hours: everyday, 9am - 5pm
Phone: +49 30 2517368
Website: Curry 36 (in German)
Address: Steglitzer Damm 22, 12169 Berlin, Germany
Hours: everyday, 11am - 11pm
Phone: +49 30 7969147
Website: Krasselt’s Imbiss (in German)
2. Berliner Pfannkuche
This treat is like a classic, hole-less doughnut, that dates all the way back to the late 1400s. They are most often deep fried, coated in sugar, and filled with jam. Pfannkuche can also be found with other fillings such as chocolate or whipped cream, or no filling at all. They go by different names in different places, but are best known as Pfannkuchen in Berlin. In west Germany, they call this sweet treat, a Berliner. The history of this name is not entirely clear, but there is a German anecdote that tells the story of a Berlin baker who was declared unfit for Prussian military service in the 1700s. He was permitted to remain as a baker, where he fried doughnuts over an open fire. The soldiers thus began calling these pastries “Berliners” after the bakers home city. In the early stages, these doughnuts were packed full of meat and cheese and other savory things, but in the 16th-century sugar prices dropped, and they made the transformation into the sweet, tasty treats they are today.
They soar in popularity during Carnival and New Year’s Eve, but you will find them in just about any bakery (bäkerei), anytime.
Address: Schönfliesser Strasse 12, 10439 (Prenzlauer Berg)
Phone: +49 30 4457576
Address: Oppelner Strasse 4-5, 10997 (Kreuzberg)
Phone: +49 30 6125509
Website: Bäckerei Ladewig (in German)
Eisbein is pork knuckle or ham hock, generally boiled or grilled. This dish is often accompanied by peas, sauerkraut and potatoes. The pale pink meat does not always look appetizing, but its tenderness, with the mix of sides, combines for a rich, salty flavor. The name Eisbein actually means ice leg, named because this part of the pig was used to make ice skates back in the day, when iron was too expensive.
Where you can find Eisbein:
Address: Wilhelmstraße 77, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 22488205
Hours: everyday, 11am - 11pm
Website: Alt-Berliner Wirtshaus (in German)
Address: Meinekestraße 4, 10719 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 8818602
Hours: everyday, 9am - 11:30pm
Website: Gasthaus Krombach (in German)
Zur Letzten Instanz
Address: Waisenstraße 14-16, 10179 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 2425528
Hours: Sunday, 12pm - 10pm; Monday, 5pm - 1am; Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm - 1am
Website: Zur Letzten Instanz
This dish is vegetarian-friendly! Kartoffelpuffer are more or less German potato pancakes, made out of grated potatoes, flour, eggs and onions. This dish can be savory, paired with meat or garlic sauce or it can be sweet, dipped in applesauce. Sometimes you will find it paired with blueberries, sugar, and cinnamon, as well. While visiting Berlin, you should make an effort to try it both as a sweet treat and a savory side. Kartoffelpuffer can be found all over the city: street food stalls, cafes, or just about any restaurant. It is especially popular at Christmas markets or festivals, during the colder seasons.
Here are some places you can try Kartoffelpuffer:
Address: 4, Hasenheide 1, 10967 Berlin, Germany
Hours: 9am - 5pm, closed Sundays
Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 13, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 4930 30878989
Website: Brauhaus Mitte - in German
Obviously, beer is a big deal in Germany. One the most beautiful “biergartens” in Berlin, is located in Tiergarten, called the Café am Neuen See, where you can sit out by the water and relax in nature. It is best enjoyed when the weather is nice, but even if it is not, you can sit in their indoor restaurant. It may be a good place to sample the unique Dju Dju beer of Berlin. The name Dju Dju comes from the West African mystic cult from which the idea of Dju Dju beer comes from. The priests and priestesses in that culture brewed fruity drinks for special celebrations, good luck, and prosperity. These special fruit beers are brewed in big clay pots and offer unique fruity flavors such as mango, passionfruit or banana. Berliner Weisse is another beer that you should sample, while in Berlin. A cloudy, sour, white beer, it was the most popular alcoholic beverage, in Berlin, in the late 19th century. It has a refreshing tart flavor, with a hint of lemon and very little hop bitterness. It is popular to add fruit flavor syrups such as raspberry (Berliner Weisse mit Schuss: Himbeere).
Cafe am Neuen See
Address: Lichtensteinallee 2, 10787 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 2544930
Website: Cafe am Neuen See (in German)
Eat till your stomach's content
So, next time you’re in Berlin, make sure to hunt down these tasty dishes for an authentic German culinary experience. You’re sure to find a favorite among them!
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