Berlin - Food Scene (Part I)

Berlin - Food Scene (Part I)
Photo by No Revisions / Unsplash
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This is the first part in my series about the food scene in Berlin. Since I've got a bunch of recommendations, I'm keeping it short and sweet for an easy read. Stay tuned for more! 🍔🌮🍜

When I first landed in Berlin, I was stoked to find a crazy mix of food on every corner. Different neighborhoods had their own flavor, but overall, the city had something for everyone. Whether you were craving Japanese, Korean, Mexican, or Brazilian, Berlin was like a world food tour without needing a plane ticket.

In the early days, there was a common theme in every neighbourhood—the mighty Döner Kebap. This German twist on Turkish fast food is basically the face of culinary cool in Berlin. Fun fact: a few years back, there were a whopping 4000 spots slinging Döner Kebap. Trying each one daily? That'd take you around 11 years! 🤯


Döner Kebab

Döner is typically a combo of the following

  1. Flatbread (Fladenbrot): This is the base of a Döner and serves as the vessel for the other ingredients.
  2. Grilled Meat: The main protein component is thinly sliced, seasoned, and grilled meat. Traditionally, lamb or chicken is used, but some places offer beef or a mix of meats. The meat is often cooked on a vertical rotisserie.
  3. Vegetables: Döner Kebap is loaded with fresh vegetables. Common additions include shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
  4. Sauces: A variety of sauces are used to add flavor and moisture to the Döner. Common choices include garlic sauce, yogurt-based sauces, and hot sauces. The combination of sauces can vary, and customers often have the option to customize.
  5. Extras: Depending on personal preferences, additional ingredients may be added, such as onions, pickles, or chili peppers.

Be curious and experiment with what whatever works for you. 😎

I've tried out Döner from many of the different places over the course of several years and here are some of my personal favourites

Hisar Fresh Food

© Hisar Fresh Food

Right next to the U+S Yorckstraße Station, this spot is famous for its top-notch Beef/Veal Döner and Durum. They've got two counters—one for Chicken (Hähnchen) and another for Veal/Beef (Kalb). The reason is pretty clear: their Beef Döner/Durum is the bomb and usually draws the longer queue. The meat is crazy juicy and bursting with flavors, and they kick it up a notch by grilling the veggies. It's a must-visit spot, whether you're into beef or veal. And if you're not into meat, no worries—they also dish out a mean Vegan Döner/Durum. 😉

Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap

© Fab Delare

Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap is without question the most famous food stand in Berlin. The story behind Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap is one of entrepreneurial success and the appreciation of quality ingredients. The key to their success lies in its emphasis on high-quality, fresh ingredients and a secret sauce that adds a unique and flavorful twist to the Döner.

The long lines at Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap are a testament to its reputation for serving tasty and satisfying Döners. Locals and tourists alike flock to the stand, creating a vibrant and bustling atmosphere around its location in the Kreuzberg district.

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On busy evenings, you can typically expect to spend anywhere around an hour to get your turn but it'd be worth it.

Döner Kebaps are just one side of the extensive Turkish Cuisine. There are many Turkish restaurants that you can find across all parts of the city but the following ones are some of my go-to's for proper Turkish Food


Turkish

Hasir Restaurant

© Rosario Valverde

Hasir in Berlin is an well-known establishment offering Turkish and Anatolian cuisine. "Hasir" means "plow" in Turkish, and they have been plowing through the Berlin culinary scene since the 1970s.

They're particularly known for their delicious kebabs. Whether it's Adana kebabs, Iskender kebabs, or other variations, the restaurant takes pride in using quality ingredients and traditional preparation methods.

If you enjoy eating juicy, succulent and tender kebabs with a rich taste, then head to any Hasir Restaurant in Berlin and you won't be disappointed.

Öz Adana Grillhaus

© Andrey Pimenov

One of the oldest Turkish Grill establishments serving great food. They have an extensive menu of Grilled meats and you can never go wrong with them. They usually serve Turkish Tea (Kehva) post-meal, on the house, so be ready to have a full-fledged dining experience.


Greek

Taverna To Koutouki

© Arno Nym

While walking along the stretch of Kotbusser Damm, I came across this place by accident and have never regretted visiting it. This cosy Greek place has one of the best Kotopoulo Souvlaki that I've ever had. The quality of ingredients are top-notch and the flavours are incredible.

Berkis

© David Berger

Another amazing place for Greek Food is Berkis on Nollendorfplatz. The meal size is generous and the place is usually packed in the evenings because of the tasty food they serve and a small seating place. Be ready to book a place in advance to avoid any hassle.


German

Schnitzelei

© Ina

Well we're in Germany after all, so we can't really forget about German food. As the name of the establishment sounds like, it is a schnitzel place. They do one thing and they do it really well.

Zur letzen Instanz

© Zur letzen Instanz

This is not just a place to dine but it's a cultural heritage site that provides a glimpse into Berlin's past. The combination of its historical setting, traditional cuisine, and diverse clientele contributes to its unique identity. The menu features classic dishes, including hearty German meals like sausages, schnitzels, and regional specialties. The focus is on providing guests with an authentic taste of German culinary traditions.

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They also have a charming beer garden which can enjoyed during pleasant weather

Lebanese

Al-Sultan Grill

© Al-Sultan Grill

This establishment is far from Tourist spot. It's located in Moabit and they serve the Best Lebanese Grilled food I've had in Berlin, period!

Head there to have a shawarma or an extensive platter of meat. They have extremely reasonable prices and generous portions.


In this post I've barely touched the cuisines of a few countries and there are many more to go. In the upcoming post, we will travel to Asia while still being in Berlin. ✈️

Until then, Ciao!

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