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7 Berlin Eats You Can’t Miss

Berlin is certainly known for its impressive art scene, compelling history and wild nightlife, but not as your typical foodie hotspot. Sausages, sauerkraut, potato dumplings and steins of beer are probably the first things which spring to mind when you think German food. In which case…let me help to change your mind. Looking for a Berlin restaurant that you cannot afford to miss on your next trip to the German capital… here are my top 7!

Best Food In Berlin

graffiti filled walls outside dining with benches and black tables in Berlin

I fully immersed myself in German cuisine and culture on landing, with a stein of beer.  Although not an avid beer drinker the fruity kind more than quenched my thirst. Apart from the beer swilling, my first visit to Berlin very quickly abolished all my foodie preconceptions.

Sima in black and white polka dot t-shirt and a large glass of red Berlin beer

The melting pot of Italian, Turkish and Middle Eastern immigrants in the capital has redefined the culinary scene with a range of exotic food styles. Today, the diverse and eclectic city presents a vibrant and innovative food culture which sits side by side the traditional fayre synonymous with the country.

Our gastronomic adventure included lip-smackingly tasty vegan Vietnamese, Turkish in Kreuzberg and a cool Japanese American brunch spot to name a few.

7 Berlin retaurants you can't miss

The visit also coincided with the season of Germany’s King of Vegetables – White Asparagus. This veggie couldn’t ignore that little fact!

And whilst we’re on the plant-based topic, I never expected it be the vegan capital of the world. Yes, seriously!  The city has embraced the whole veganism movement with full force, with a whooping 471 restaurants catering for vegans. It doesn’t end there either. Schivelbeiner Strasse is also the world’s first street dedicated to all things animal product-free, known locally as Vegan Avenue. That’s Berlin for you, unpredictable – just like it’s food.

From street food, to fine dining and some ultra hip joints – here are six places which seriously rocked my taste buds on our recent city break and some of the best Berlin restaurants you cannot miss:

Cookies Cream

Area: Historic Mitte

outside of cookies cream down back ally surrounded by push bikes and a unloading area for lorry

Trying to find this restaurant is an adventure in itself, particularly when you have to traverse through car park past dumpster bins! Once at the door remember to press the buzzer. You’ll head upstairs to an industrial looking dining room with white concrete pillars, soft lighting, white linen draped tables and raspberry coloured seating.

The open plan kitchen gives a glimpse of chef Stephan Hentschel creating his experimental plant-based creations which earned him a star as a Michelin Berlin restaurant owner. With the usual veggie suspects like pasta banned from the menu, you’ll find dishes such as vegetarian caviar, Parmesan dumplings and cornflakes ice cream.

I loved how the attentive trendy staff enthused over the dishes and the fabulous wine pairings. We devoured some of the most exceptional and inventive flavours and textures. It’s one of the coolest vegetarian restaurants I’ve dined in with a very reasonably priced Michelin Star menu. A four course menu is €59 and a three course €49. The camera is also banned at this establishment, so there are no photos  – just tasty memories.

cookiescream.com

House of Small Wonder

Area: Berlin Mitte

Berlin sushi restaurant

The urban greenhouse is known for being one of the most iconic cafés in Berlin, tucked away in Mitte the heart of the city. Headed by husband and wife team Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margulies, it follows in the footsteps in of its Brooklyn predecessor.  House of Small Wonder draws on the owners culinary heritage and offers an American menu with a Japanese twist, with a big emphasis on comfort food.

inside the house of small wonder with dark wooden decor and glass windows/roof

Here you can sup on a matcha cappuccino whilst chomping a Tex Mex inspired Okinawan taco rice or an apple-brie-fig mustard sandwich. You’re guaranteed to be captured by the homely feel to the place with the eclectic mix of cutlery and furniture it’s charming and quirky in equal measures.

two sunny side eggs, potato gratin and Mediterranean salad with tomatoes and cucumber

We covered both bases with our order I veered to the American with two sunny side eggs, the creamiest potato gratin and Mediterranean salad with Mr S going all Japanese with the best Sushi in Berlin.  He ordered two onigiri rice balls seasoned with purple shiso, served with vegetable side dishes and vegan miso soup.

two onigiri rice balls seasoned with purple shiso, served with vegetable side dishes and vegan miso soup

Let’s not forget the iconic winding staircase! Framed with potted greenery it’s proved to be a hit with the Instagram massive. It would have been rude not to pose.

sima on the winding staircase with potted greenery surrounding

www.houseofsmallwonder.de

Curry at the Wall

Area: Berlin Mitte

Best Currywurst Berlin

Currywurst, the famous Berlin dish which wouldn’t exist without the British! A lady called Herta Heuwer invented the fast food in 1949 when she obtained ketchup and curry from the British soldiers. She mixed these ingredients with other spices and poured it over sliced, grilled pork sausages. Currywurst recipe mastered, Herta went onto selling her spicy snack from a street stall in Charlottenburg. And the rest as they say is history.

outside the curry at the wall.  fast food with coca-cola branding colours and name and a sausage on the top of a tall tower

My quest for finding a veggie friendly version led me straight to Curry at the Wall. Where I found an incredibly tasty vegan currywurst. This local speciality is made from seitan and wheat protein, doused in a rich spicy curry sauce, a sprinkle of curry powder and served with a portion of french fries and a soft drink. All for €7.90, what’s not to like?!

Vegan currywurst in berlin doused in a rich spicy curry sauce, a sprinkle of curry powder and served with a portion of french fries

Conveniently located a few minutes from Checkpoint Charlie and directly opposite part of the original Berlin Wall, it’s the perfect spot to refuel when on the tourist trail.

www.curry-at-the-wall-berlin-mitte.com

Katz Orange

Area: Berlin Mitte

inside Katz Orange in Berlin.  Dark decor, dark tables alongside sliding doors leading out to courtyard

This modern bistro style Berlin restaurant housed in an old brewery, celebrates local organic produce. There are various rooms, a lovely outdoor courtyard and live music whilst you dine.  The brick walls and rustic wooden furniture is combined with ethnic elements of South America. Not a surprise when the owners were inspired by an orange cat for the name of the restaurant when travelling in South America.

Katz orange menu alongside bread knife and bread basket

The restaurant’s speciality is ‘candy on bone’.  The pork Duroc is left to roast for 12 hours at a low temperature and served with its own gravy. There are plenty of tasty vegetarian options to choose from too, such as this delicious crispy halloumi, tabbouleh and tomato.

crispy halloumi, tabbouleh and tomato.

And the corn bread, king oyster mushrooms and paprika.

 corn bread, king oyster mushrooms and paprika.

To perfectly cooked fish dishes, such as Mr S’s oriental style salmon.

oriental style salmon

Our fantastic sommelier lead us into our first foray in orange wine. It’s known to be bold and complex and he expertly chose the perfect bottle.

Delicious food, great wine, a fabulous atmosphere, attentive staff and a beautiful location. Katz Orange is a must for an entertaining and memorable evening.

katzorange.com

Defne

Area: Kreuzberg

In a city full of Turkish restaurants, Defne is the one you need to hunt down in Berlin’s dynamic and hip Kreuzberg. The canal-side restaurant has an outside terrace for a lovely dinner setting with river views. It serves classic Anatolian dishes using authentic ingredients from the local Turkish market, and also blends flavours from the Mediterranean.

outside lit up Defne restaurant in Berlin in the dark.

The meze style sharing plate comes with incredibly flavoursome dips – hummus, cacik, spicy hot pepper salad, garlic carrots and the walnut chilli paste is to die for! The generous portion of sigaria boregi or crispy puff pastry rolls filled with a herb cheese filling were rather large but very delicious.

hummus, cacik, spicy hot pepper salad, garlic carrots and the walnut chilli paste.  sigaria boregi or crispy puff pastry rolls filled with a herb cheese filling

The Imam Bayildi as quoted in the menu is one of their specialities. I devoured the stuffed aubergine from the oven, with fresh tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onions and pine nuts. Accompanied with a beautiful tomato sauce and bulgar wheat.

Carnivorous dishes which have the locals returning on repeat are the ali nazik, sliced lamb with puréed aubergine and yoghurt and the acili ahtapot, a spicy octopus served with mushrooms and olives in a white wine and tomato sauce.

ali nazik, sliced lamb with puréed aubergine and yoghurt and the acili ahtapot, a spicy octopus served with mushrooms and olives in a white wine and tomato sauce.

Top tip: Remember to take cash through, as they don’t accept any credit cards and you don’t want to be left scrubbing the pots!

www.defne-restaurant.de

1990 Vegan Living

Area: Friedrichshain

1990 vegan living menu

Head to Boxhagener Platz in Berlin and I promise you an extraordinary culinary vegan adventure. 1990 Vegan Living is an amazing Vietnamese restaurant in Friedrichshain.

The interiors and inspiration for the the restaurant arises from a period in 1990.   Due to the lack of meat in Vietnam, people had to come up with tasty vegan alternatives whilst still including the exotic spices of Vietnamese cuisine. This is now reflected in the dishes served in this Berlin restaurant using only seasonal organic produce.

The all vegan menu offers tapas style food in small bowls – perfect for sharing. If you’re not the sharing kind, fear not, you can also order larger versions all for yourself.

flat lay of 7 different tapas dishes in a circled tray

There are 20 different tapas dishes to choose from, ranging from the traditional to some creative versions. packed with fresh ingredients they’re all wither served with noodles, white or red rice.

I can confidently say it’s the best vegan meal I’ve ever had! Remember to order the seitan on a stick utterly divine. And again don’t forget your cash as they don’t accept cards.

www.restaurant1990.de

Neni Berlin

Area: Charlottenburg

Looking for a fabulous panoramic view over a Berlin lunch or dinner? Then, the all-day restaurant Nene Berlin is for you. Head to the trendy Charlottenburg district up to the rooftop of 25hours Bikini Berlin. and offers an eclectic mix of flavours. The sharing menu takes influence from Persian, Russian, Arabic, Moroccan, Turkish, Spanish but also German and Austrian dishes. I can guarantee it will be a tough to make a decision.

inside the Neni berlin.  Greenhouse look with greenery from ceilings and wooden tables and chairs

The interiors boast a greenhouse decor with wooden tables and colourful chairs. Incredible vistas of City West and the Berlin Zoo will have you playing spot the gorilla in between starters and mains.

We started with a simple but rather tasty beetroot and horseradish hummus served with warm pita bread.

beetroot and horseradish hummus in a white bowl served with warm pita bread.

Followed by a Sabich, a street food speciality from Tel Aviv. The baked eggplant, hummus, tomato salsa, tahini with amba and soft boiled egg is served on a laffa bread.

baked eggplant, hummus, tomato salsa, tahini with amba and soft boiled egg served on a laffa bread.

Mr S tucked into a warming dish of grilled marinated tofu, with giant couscous, black cumin, date syrup and chilli.

grilled marinated tofu, with giant couscous, black cumin, date syrup and chilli.

Once you’ve satisfied your foodie cravings; on the same floor you can head straight across the corridor to the Monkey Bar.

sima in a green dress with a cocktail in hand sat on at the Monkey Bar with lights hanging from ceiling, cushions to sit on wooden benches and green walls

With a 360 degree terrace and a decent cocktail menu to work through. You’ll probably never want to leave. We didn’t.

www.neniberlin.de/en

TRAVEL TOOLKIT TO HELP PLAN YOUR TRIP

I’d love to know about your foodie discoveries or if you know of any other restaurant in Berlin that I should visit on my next trip. Drop me a comment below.

sima

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7 Berlin restaurants you can't miss | a Berlin food guide

16 Comments

  • Kathryn 24th September 2018 at 10:51 am

    It all looks fab but the Vietnamese vegan tapas sounds particularly tempting and I’m not even vegan. I really shouldn’t have looked at this before eating lunch!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 24th September 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Haha! Kathryn I’m not vegan and even as a vegetarian turn my nose up at vegan options as I need cheese in my life. This food was incredible and by far the tastiest vegan food I have ever tasted in my life.

  • Dave, Praha 24th September 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Yesss! Curry wurst, I was sure you will include it in your list 😀 Must have it every time I visit Berlin 🙂

    Cheers,
    Dave

    btw: what camera and lens do you use? You have fantastic clear photos!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 24th September 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Even as a vegetarian I had to include currywurst into my top Berlin eats! Loved it too.
      I have a Panasonic Lumix GX7. Thank you for the compliment!

  • Bejal 25th September 2018 at 10:45 am

    You have some fab recommendations here Sima! I’ve been to Neni and Monkey Bar but I do like the sound of secret dining in a warehouse!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 25th September 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Loved the Monkey Bar. I’d definitely go back again. Cookies Cream is just impressive and different. A must for your next visit Bejal.

  • Angie Silver 27th September 2018 at 8:34 am

    Berlin is such an intriguing city isn’t it. You have to look hard to find the beauty, but it’s there!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 27th September 2018 at 9:11 am

      So true Angie, that’s exactly what I loved about.

  • Laura 10th October 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Yummy!!! These all look like great spots! I’ve never been to a vegan restaurant but I love the sound of 1990 VEGAN LIVING!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 10th October 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Laura, the Vietnamese was out of this world. The best I have ever tasted.

  • Bistro Becs 11th February 2019 at 9:50 am

    Wow some great spots here I absolutely ADORE Berlin! We enjoyed a fantastic Wiener Schnitzel at Reinhard’s am Kurfürtendamm which obviously wouldn’t appeal much to you but I’m sure the fantastic pizzas at L’Osteria. Bikini Berlin would! They were insanely good. Also we had some utterly delicious cakes at the Waldorf. Great city. Thanks for sharing!

    • the Curious Pixie 11th February 2019 at 12:24 pm

      The pizzas would definitely appeal and I’m not going to miss out on the cakes on my next visit.

  • Nathalie Piggott 7th May 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Sima I’ve booked cookies and cream, katz Orange and Neni for my trip on your recommendation, soooo excited!

    • the Curious Pixie 8th May 2019 at 9:06 am

      Amazing! You’re going to love Berlin and all three restaurants are amazing. Love to know what you think when you get back.

  • Stuart Forster 22nd August 2019 at 5:45 pm

    There are some good ideas in this listicle. I love tasting traditional German dishes such as Koenigsberger Klopse while in Berlin. I thoroughly enjoyed the Syrian cusine served at Aleppo Supper Club (Rigaerstrasse 58) while I was there in July 2019.

    • the Curious Pixie 22nd August 2019 at 11:21 pm

      Ohh the Syrian cuisine sounds interesting. Will definitely put that on the list for my next visit.

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    I'm Sima, join me as I explore, experience and eat my way around the globe. Inspiring you to escape the everyday through my adventures... Read More

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