In Berlin, the really special German food is hard to find… especially when everyone’s chasing the next Kimchi bar.
Here are our secret tips. This is German food you won’t regret later on. And it’s tastier than it looks.
1. Zur kleinen Markthalle
Open since 1888, Zur Kleinen Markthalle is a Berlin restaurant with a remarkable story. It does the best half chicken (Halbeshähnchen) in the world. This fried half chicken’s skin is so crispy that it cracks like pork rind. Inside, the chicken is mouthwateringly juicy and tender. Add a beer and you have the best meal in Berlin. They do serve other dishes, but no one buys them – people queue for the chicken. Ironically, the second-best half chicken is found directly across the road at Die Henne. The two restaurants were once separated by the Berlin Wall.
U-bahn Kottbusser Tor
2. Gaststätte Tiergarten-Quelle
Quelle’s rustic wooden interior and moody candle lighting is a wintery evening dream. Situated in an old storage room underneath the rumbling Tiergarten S-bahn, this restaurant is 100 percent old Berlin charm. Their crispy pork knuckle (schweinshaxe) is the best in Berlin. Go hungry – it’s a rich, crackling monster that’s perfectly tender underneath. Wash it down with one of the restaurant’s homemade beers and you’ll leave feeling like a real German.
3. Kindl Stuben
Sonnenallee’s Kindl Stuben might look like a typical Berliner kneipe (pub), but instead of stale bar snacks on the menu, they offer something far superior. The kitchen specialises in Southern German classics, including käsespätzle and maultaschen. But it’s their wiener schnitzel that keeps me coming back for more. It’s huge, hogging the whole plate, has a breadcrumb crust of butter-fried gold, and comes served with cranberry jelly and potato salad. On a street famous for its international cuisine, here German food rules supreme.
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U-bahn Rathaus Neukölln
4. Fleischer Domke
Fleischerei Domke is probably the only thing that hasn’t changed in Friedrichshain in the last 30 years. It’s the taste of East Germany, the taste of meaty German classics hastily lumped onto a plate, covered in rich gravy and for €5. This butcher’s-turned-cantine daily serves every worker in a 10-mile radius their lunches, plus everyone else enticed by the delicious smells wafting from their tiny kitchen.
S/U-bahn Warschauer Strasse
Warschauer Str. 64
5. Eulenspiegel Privat Restaurant
Part museum, part restaurant, Eulenspiegel gives guests a look (and a taste) into a different time. It’s the decadence of 1920s Weimar Berlin, all faded photographs and elegant decor. This is a ‘private restaurant’, with the concept that there’s no menu – this small restaurant will cook whatever YOU want to eat. Phone ahead before going to reserve a place. The flammkuchen (a type of German pizza) simply blew me away.
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Tasty flammkuchen – not from Eulenspiegel though!
Originally written for Localeur