‘Chillies have so many health benefits. They’re anti-bacterial, are full of vitamins – they even contain more Vitamin C than oranges!’, Beißbeere’s ChiliHannes is trying to explain to us exactly why chilli peppers are so special. What he doesn’t know is that we’re already sold, ‘…And with the heat of the chilli, the capsaicin, your body releases endorphins which makes you feel happy..!’ This fact might go some way towards explaining why people leave Beißbeere with a smile on their faces. But it’s not just the happy brain-chemicals at work, they also make great burgers.
Beißbeere is a small hole-in-the-wall burger joint just seconds from the Boddinstrasse U-Bahn. If you don’t like spicy food be aware – the whole place is dedicated to the chilli pepper. There’s chilli in the beer, in the cola, on the fries, in the burger… everything on the menu contains chilli. In fact, the restaurant also sells a wide range of chilli-related products – from chilli peppers, to chilli plants, to chilli sauces, to chilli spice mixes, to chilli chocolate and chilli chutneys… literally everything you can think of that can be made using chillies (and even some you can’t think of).
It’s owned by self-styled chilli guru ChiliHannes, who, after travelling Asia and sampling spicy Asian cuisine, returned to Germany with a bad case of chilli-fever. He’s now made it his mission to spread his love of chillies to the rest of Berlin.
Inside Beißbeere there’s only seating enough for perhaps 6 people. Luckily we managed to get a table. The menu is simple but effective – the question is: how spicy do you want your burger? There’s a mild option, containing only jalapenos, a scharf option, containing jalapenos and two Thai chillies, and finally the Habaneroburger, with jalapenos and habanero chilli, for the crazies among us.
We ordered two scharf burgers with added bacon and cheese, a portion of both Chilipommes and Süßkartoffel-Chilipommes, and two of ChiliHannes’ homemade dips, Honig-Senf Chili-soße and Erdnuss Chili-soße. To wash it all down we ordered two types of Beißbeere’s chilli beers. One even had a chilli pepper floating in it.
After only a few minutes of enjoying the pleasant burn of the beer, our burgers arrived. They were accompanied on the plate by sachets of chilli flakes, just in case you needed more fire.
If the idea of all this spicy food has scared you away, we apologise. The scharf burger is not actually overly scharf – sure it’s got some bite to it, but the heat does not obscure the flavours of the burger and you can actually enjoy the chillies for their own flavour.
ChiliHannes has included two nice little features in his burgers which really help to control the heat in your mouth – the first is very thinly sliced fresh cucumber, which cools your tongue on contact, and the other is that the burger is served in a milk bun, whose slight sweetness helps to temper the heat.
The burger is juicy and the bacon is good and smoky – something we’ve not had in a while – and ChiliHannes’ homemade dips liven up the pommes. Whilst not fine dining, Beißbeere’s burger is tasty, fun and endearing, plus it will leave you feeling warm inside – especially on one of the cold nights ahead of us. The restaurant’s cute, the concept is great, and Hannes’ passion for all things chilli is infectious.
BLY’s top tips for eating at Beißbeere
- If you’re unsure about what heat level you want, just ask ChiliHannes. He seems to have a radar for knowing people’s tolerance to chilli.
- For fans of cooking with spicy food, Beißbeere sells a wide range of interesting chilli condiments and ingredients.
Andy says: “Beißbeere offers one thing and it does that one thing well. I wish many other burger places had ChiliHannes’ passion for ingredients.”
Phil says: “Beißbeere. Simple, honest and very well balanced. It’s about burgers and chilli – nothing more, nothing less.”
Berlin Loves You Rating: 7/10
This review is part of our series on Berlin’s best burger joints. Read our opinion on what makes a good burger.
Öffnungszeiten: Mo–Do 13–21 Uhr, Fr–Sa 14–22 Uhr