Berlin’s former mayor Klaus Wowereit once described the German capital as “poor, but sexy”, and although the number of high-end eateries has increased in the city in recent years, there are still plenty of great places to grab a bite to eat without breaking the bank. Here are some of our favourites.
Try the famous currywurst at Konnopke’s Imbiss
Underneath the railway tracks in Prenzlauer Berg, Konnopke’s Imbiss is a Berlin fast-food favourite, serving grilled delights to hungry working Berliners since the 1930s. It remains popular with locals and visitors alike, and is a great place to try classics like Bratwurst, Boulette (a kind of meatball) and, of course, currywurst, which comes in the classic pork but also vegan varieties. Konnopke’s is open Monday to Friday 1000–2000, and on Saturdays 1130–2000.
U-Bahn: Eberswalder Straße
Kebabs may be on offer all over the city, but not all kebabs are created equal. Arguably the best in Berlin are the chicken kebabs from Mustafa’s in Kreuzberg, where it is not uncommon to see a long queue at any time of the day or night. The imbiss, located on Mehringdamm, is open Sunday to Thursday 1000-0200, and Friday and Saturday 1000–0500.
At the friendly and welcoming Stranero, they have perfected the art of pizza, with a thin crust that is chewy and blistered at the edges, and a straightforward selection of traditional toppings. In keeping with its informed but down-to-earth character, the wine is of a high quality but reasonably priced. It’s no surprise then that this has become something of an insider tip in the city. Open Sunday and Tuesday to Thursday 1705–2300, and Friday and Saturday 1705–2400.
U-Bahn: Nauener Platz
Line up for the perfect pizza at Stranero
For more than 10 years, the good folks at Dolores have been serving their excellent California burritos on Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße. As their popularity has grown their menu of Cali-Mex cuisine has expanded to include quesadillas, soft tacos, salads and soups. As well as the original Dolores in Berlin-Mitte, there is another branch on Wittenbergplatz in Berlin-Schöneberg. Open Monday to Saturday 1130–2200, and Sunday 1300-2200.
At Henne it’s all about the crispy fried chicken. The eatery has been successfully frying its signature dish since 1908, and its secret recipe, served with potato salad and coleslaw, is as popular today as it ever was. Henne is located in an atmospheric old Berlin tavern, but, in the warmer months, you can enjoy your chicken and cold beers in the leafy beer garden. Open Tuesday to Saturday 1800–2400, and Sunday 1700–2400.
U-Bahn: Kottbusser Tor
In recent years there has been something of a burger boom in Berlin, and one of those leading the way has been the Icelander Tommi Tomasson who, not satisfied with seeing off the American big boys in his own land, decided to bring his burgers to the German capital. Made with Scottish Angus beef and served on a seedless bun, those who have tried Tommi’s burgers can testify that this man is a master of the art. Tommi’s is open daily 1200–2200.
U-Bahn: Rosenthaler Platz
Tommi’s Burger Joint is a mecca for burger lovers
Currywurst was invented in Berlin after the Second World War, and although you can find the mix of chopped sausages and a tangy, spicy sauce throughout the city, the queues leading out from Curry 36 suggest that there is something special going on in Kreuzberg. This may be fast food but the quality of the meat is high, as is the sauce (made to a secret recipe). This perfect mix is good enough to keep you coming back for more. Curry 36 is open Thursday to Tuesday 0900–0500, and Wednesday 0900–0200.
A West Berlin institution, Rogacki has been serving food for Berliners to eat in or takeaway since the 1930s. The historic delicatessen serves all manner of artisan cheeses, meats, breads and more, but it’s the fish counter that has made Rogacki legendary. Don’t miss the eel and other fish smoked in-house. Rogacki is open Monday to Wednesday 0900–1800, Thursday 0900–1900, Friday 0800–1900, and Saturday 0800–1600.
One of Berlin’s few surviving market halls – built in the 19th century to feed an ever-growing city – Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg has reinvented itself to become half traditional market hall and half hipster street food hangout. Either way, there is a great range of reasonably priced eating and drinking options underneath the roof, especially during ‘Street Food Thursday’ which brings together a mix of culinary specialties from around the world. The market is open Thursday 1700–2200, and Friday and Saturday 1200–1800.
U-Bahn: Görlitzer Bahnhof