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What to Eat in Berlin | 13 Berlin Food Favorites

Are you wondering what to eat in Berlin during your first trip to Germany’s cosmopolitan capital city? Read on to discover thirteen must-eat Berlin food favorites that you don’t want to miss during your trip to the booming German metropolis.

Pretzel with Checkered Napkin at Hofpfisterei in Berlin

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Berlin is an exciting city in Germany that demands exploration. Sites like the Brandenburg Gate, Charlottenburg Palace, the Reichstag and the Berlin Cathedral are a must for travelers who want to dig deep into the city’s storied past that spans the centuries.

Parts of Berlin’s past aren’t pretty. A Nazi hub during World War II, the city was physically and spiritually split in half by a wall for 28 years starting in 1961.

East Side Gallery Selfie at the Berlin Wall
Visiting and touching this remnant of the Berlin Wall was a personal highlight during our first trip to Berlin.

Though the east and west sides of the city are now reunified, Checkpoint Charlie and the East Side Gallery remain as physical reminders of the infamous Berlin Wall and what it represented. Travelers could and should visit both attractions independently or as part of a Berlin city tour.

But history is just one aspect of Berlin to explore. This is a city that pulses with energy fueled by specialty coffee and craft beer. Artists and web developers have brought new life to Berlin while immigrants from Asia and the Middle East have made its food scene more diverse.

Berlin Food Favorites

Doner Kebab and Fries at Rosenthaler Grill in Berlin
If you visit Berlin and don’t eat a Döner Kebab, did you really visit Berlin? The Turkish dish is a late-night food staple in the German capital.

Leave your impressions of German food behind when you visit Berlin. While you could easily eat Wurst (sausage) and Kartoffelpuffer (potato dumplings) at every meal, that would boring. Plus, you’d be missing out on huge portions of the current Berlin food scene.

This is a city teeming with both Michelin starred restaurants and food trucks. Some Berlin restaurants are temples to sausage while others omit all forms of meat from their menus. And it’s just as easy to find tasty food from half-way around the world as it is to chow down on traditional German dishes.

Feeling overwhelmed with all of the food choices in Berlin? One option is to get a quick introduction via a fun food tour. Otherwise, we recommend starting your culinary exploration with the following Berlin food favorites:

1. Currywurst

Currywurst Platter at Curry 61 in Berlin
Currywurst is the first thing to eat in Berlin. We ate this Currywurst at Curry 61 in the center of the city.

If Berlin were to have one signature food, that food would be Currywurst. Kiosks, stands and stalls serve the iconic Berlin snack food from dawn until dawn. Yes, you can easily find Currywurst at all hours of the day and night in Berlin. But what is Currywurst?

For the uninitiated, Currywurst is a Berlin street food typically served on a paper plate. Cooks smother sliced wurst (sausage) with tangy curried tomato sauce and sprinkle a generous amount of spicy curry powder on top. Most vendors also serve a meat-free version for people who are vegetarian, kosher or halal.

Expect to eat your Currywurst with a pile of french fries, making this dish the perfect snack food or late night treat. It’s also the Berlin food that best exemplifies the city’s global approach to cuisine with elements from Germany (wurst), the USA (ketchup) and India (curry).

Where to Eat Currywurst in Berlin

Bergmann Curry, Curry 36, Curry 61, Curry Mitte and Konnopke’s Imbiss

2. Bratwurst

Bratwurst at Curry 61 in Berlin
Our bun runneth over when we ate this tasty Bratwurst sandwich at Curry 61 in Berlin.

Eating Bratwurst in Germany is as important as eating Pho in Vietnam or Souvlaki in Greece. Although Germans have literally been grilling sausage for centuries, Bratwurst stands are as popular now as ever.

You can find Bratwurst sandwiches at many of the same kiosks that serve Currywurst, making it easy knock these two foods off your Berlin food bucket list at the same time. Be sure to add a healthy amount of yellow senf (mustard) for the full Berlin Bratwurst experience.

Where to Eat Bratwurst in Berlin

Curry 36, Curry 61 and Kumpel & Keule

3. Schnitzel

Schnitzel at Alpenstück Restaurant in Berlin
Schnitzel is the star of the show at Alpenstük, an upscale Berlin restaurant that specializes in traditional South German food.

Although its origin can be traced to Austria, Schnitzel is a classic German food enjoyed throughout Deutschland. Berlin is no exception.

German Schnitzel is similar to Austrian Schnitzel. Cooks traditionally prepare both versions by coating pounded veal escalope with a mixture of breadcrumbs, eggs and flour before frying the coated meat until it achieves a crunchy, crispy exterior.

Plan to eat Schnitzel along with potato salad and pickled cucumbers at a sit-down restaurant in Berlin. Pair the dish with a glass of German white wine for maximum Schnitzel satisfaction.

Where to Eat Schnitzel in Berlin

Alpenstück, Borchardt, Jolesch, Schnitzelei Mitte and Spätzle und Knödel

4. Königsberger Klopse (Meatballs with Sauce and Capers)

Meatballs at Berlin Beef Balls in Berlin
These protein-rich meatballs from Berlin Beef Balls gave us a jolt of energy when we ate them at Markthalle Neun in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood.

Similar to Schnitzel, the meatball dish called Königsberger Klopse is another Berlin food favorite with ties to another country. In this case, those ties are to Prussia (currently part of Russia) where cooks first covered meatballs with capers and white sauce.

You won’t have any trouble finding Königsberger Klopse on menus at traditional restaurants. You can also eat naked meatballs at food stands and food markets if you’re not in the mood for the dish’s rich white sauce.

Where to Eat Königsberger Klopse in Berlin

Berlin Beef Balls, Max & Moritz and Restaurant am Steinplatz

5. Döner Kebabs

Doner Kebab at Rosenthaler Grill in Berlin
We had to open wide to eat this Döner Kebab at Rosenthaler Grill und Schlemmerbuffet. The tasty sandwich was jam packed with grilled meat, vegetables and a tangy sauce.

Since the Turks and Germans have a history of cooperation that dates back to the 18th century, it makes sense that one of the most popular foods in Germany hails from Turkey. That food is the Döner Kebab.

Introduced by Turkish immigrants in the 1970s, the Döner Kebab has attained cult status in Berlin and the rest of Germany over the decades. And why not? The Middle Eastern sandwich is as filling as it is tasty.

Follow your nose and join the queue when you crave a Döner Kebab in Berlin after a late-night drinking session at one of the city’s many bars. Once your bread is filled with thinly sliced meat carved from a rotating spit, you can choose from ingredients like cabbage, cucumbers, onion and tomatoes. Don’t forget to add spicy sauce for an extra burst of flavor.

6. Asian Food

Pho with Spoon at Kotti Dang in Berlin
We temporarily satisfied our never-ending desire for Pho when we slurped this authentic bowl at Kotti Dang in Berlin.

Berlin’s physical location in the center of Germany doesn’t stop it from being a European epicenter for Asian food. The city is home to a diverse variety of Asian restaurants ranging from frill-free joints serving one food genre to trendy restaurants fusing different cuisines.

You can virtually travel around Asia when you visit Berlin by eating food typically enjoyed in China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. Berlin restaurants serve these Asian cuisines and more throughout the city.

Where to Eat Asian Food in Berlin

Cocolo Ramen (Japanese), Kin Dee (Thai), Kotti Dang (Vietnamese), Madame Ngo (Vietnamese), Monsieur Vuong (Vietnamese), Nihombashi (Japanese) and The Tree (Chinese)

7. Vegetarian + Vegan Food

Porridge at Allans Breakfast Club in Berlin
Vegetarian and vegan dishes are available throughout Berlin. We ate this vegetarian Korean porridge at Allan’s Breakfast Club.

From donuts to Michelin starred cuisine, Berlin has it all when it comes to meat-free food. The city is a mecca for people who choose to omit proteins like beef, chicken and even cheese from their diet. Surprisingly, this is not a new trend since vegetarian societies in Germany date all the way back to the 19th century.

Give the Berlin vegan culinary scene a chance even if you’re a carnivore. If you take a vegan food tour, you can taste a range of vegan foods representing different styles and price points . Worst case scenario, you can grab a wurst or döner kebab later if you’re not satisfied.

8. Pfannkuchen (Berliner Donuts)

Berliner Donut at Hofpfisterei in Berlin
This Pfannkuchen from Hofpfisterei was a sweet treat during a busy day touring Berlin.

While JFK wasn’t claiming to be a donut when he famously stated “Ich bin ein Berliner,” we can understand any potential confusion on the matter. After all, Pfannkuchen are called Berliner Donuts outside of Berlin.

Similar to jelly donuts eaten around the world, Berlin’s Pfannkuchen are yeasty pastries filled with jam, fried in oil and sprinkled with powdered sugar. You can eat one for breakfast with coffee or as an afternoon snack

9. Brunch

Eggs Benedict Sandwich at Allans Breakfast Club in Berlin
We got our brunch on with this Eggs Benny sandwich featuring two poached eggs and cured salmon at Allan’s Breakfast Club.

Brunch become a thing in New York before hopping the pond to cities like Amsterdam and Lisbon. Berlin restaurants have not only embraced the festive midday meal, but they’ve have added their own twists.

Incorporating Berlin food trends like plant-based food and specialty coffee, Berlin brunches are a weekly event that you don’t want to miss when you spend a weekend in Berlin. Pick a spot and spend a leisurely meal with friends as a precursor to an afternoon of touring or a night out on the town.

10. Brezels (Pretzels)

Pretzel at Hofpfisterei in Berlin
Pretzel fans will want to eat Brezels in Germany where the knotted snack was invented.

Germans have been baking and eating salted Brezels for centuries. They can even take credit for introducing the knotted Bavarian snack to America when German immigrants introduced the knotted snack to cities like Philadelphia.

You won’t have to look hard to find a Brezel in Berlin since the carbalicious treat is sold at markets, train stations and bakeries throughout the city. Depending on your mood and hunger level, you can chooses a traditional Brezel, a sweet dessert version or a Brezel sandwich .

11. Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)

Apple Strudel at Alpenstück Restaurant in Berlin
There’s no need to travel from Berlin to Vienna to eat an Apfelstrudel. We ate this Apfelstrudel at Alpenstück Bäckerei.

Apfelstrudel is another German food with Austrian heritage. Popular in Bavaria and readily available in Berlin, the dessert was invented by Austrian bakers at the tail end of the 17th century before traveling to cities like Italy’s Trento and Berlin.

Unless you’re lucky enough to be invited to a home dinner, you can eat Apfelstrudel at a Berlin restaurant after a hearty meal of traditional German dishes like Schnitzel (see above) and Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle). Pour vanilla sauce over your slice of Apfelstrudel to ramp up the sweetness one delicious notch.

Where to Eat Apfelstrudel in Berlin

Alpenstück Bäckerei, Café Einstein and Meierei

12. Specialty Coffee

Coffee and Cake at The Barn in Berlin
We drank this flat white at The Barn on our first morning in Berlin. The Black Forest muffin with cream cheese icing was the cherry on top, both literally and figuratively.

Berlin claimed its stake in the specialty coffee zeitgeist in 2010 when The Barn opened and started distributing its beans to European cities like Lisbon, Lyon and Paris. Dozens of roasters and cafes have since sprung up all over the city, caffeinating Berliners all day every day.

Start your Berlin coffee exploration at The Barn but don’t stop there. With a little planning and the Google maps app loaded on your smartphone, you can easily visit numerous third wave coffee shops located in the Kreuzberg and Mitte neighborhoods.

13. Craft Beer

Craft Beer at Hopfenreich in Berlin
This tasty brew at Hopfenreich was a satisfying nightcap after our dinner at Kotti Dang.

Berlin’s beer scene has transcended the days when Reinheitsgebot purity standards only permitted three ingredients in the production of mass-marketed beer. Thanks to hipsters and hopheads, craft beer is now popular at Berlin bars, brewpubs and beer gardens.

Quench your thirst by taking a Berlin beer crawl if you’re limited on time. Otherwise, stake your claim on a barstool and leisurely sample different craft beers each night during your visit.

Berlin Quick Facts

Curry Sauce at Curry 61 in Berlin
These bottles of Currywurst sauce double as edible souvenirs.
  • Country – Germany
  • Continent – Europe
  • Currency – Euro
  • Language – German
  • Restaurant Tipping – Service Typically Included.*

* You can leave a ‘little something extra’ (no more than 5-10%) for excellent service.

Hungry for More in Germany?

Check out our restaurant and coffee guides for Hamburg. Berlin and Hamburg are just a two-hour train ride apart.

Plan Your Berlin Stay

Save Water Drink Beer in Berlin
You can follow the sign’s instructions to ‘Save Water Drink Beer’ when you stay overnight in Berlin.

Click here to research the best rates for hotels in Berlin.

If you prefer to stay in an apartment with a kitchen, click here to find an awesome Airbnb apartment.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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