The Hans im Glück guys have very little to worry about from this review. Situated where they are, next door to the Admiralspalast on Friedrichstrasse and 30 metres away from one of Berlin’s busiest S-Bahn stations, business isn’t likely to falter off the back of one review. Instead, they’re likely to continue enduring the daily rush of tables packed-out with suit-clad Friedrichstrasse regulars and single-service tourist traffic alike. But is busyness a bad thing? Surely it means the burgers are pretty good? Perhaps, for Hans im Glück, it’s more a case of location, location, location.
You step into Hans im Glück and you can’t see the forest through the trees. Literally. Birch trees. Everywhere. You know how seeing whole animal carcasses can make some people reflect on the morality of eating meat? Well, this graveyard for trees, cut down in their prime, literally made me consider the ethics of deforestation. I had to engage some dormant primal hunting urges just to spot our table, so dense was the thicket.
The place is big. 400-capacity big. It’s also fancy, with an almost formal feeling. It’s obvious that a lot of money has been spent on the design and appearance of the restaurant – and when you learn that Hans im Glück is a chain (born out of München), with around 20 branches in Deutschland so far, the expense spent seems to make sense.
There’s a stylised, German folk feel to Hans im Glück; from its fairytale name, to the font used in the menu, to the Red Riding Hood forest they’ve created inside the restaurant. Unfortunately, there’s a big disconnect between this branding and the San Miguel and Carlsberg beers offered at the bar, the Mediterranean-themed burger toppings, and the chic, polished party atmosphere inside the restaurant.
The staff at Hans im Glück are warm, welcoming and attentive. Within a minute of being seated we were served. Though the menu boasts a wide variety of cheeses, hams and other interesting-sounding burger fillings, we opted for the Käse & Speck. Hey, it’s a classic.
Curiously, you don’t get to choose how your burger is cooked. Plus, our meals arrived within a minute of ordering. These two conundrums were solved upon looking inside our burgers. Nestled inside our burger buns were patties simply too thin to cook in any other way than ‘cooked’. If they’re not well-done, they’re still raw. Visions of one of those conveyor-belt broilers come to mind.
The burgers are, however, very tasty. The sourdough buns are heavenly soft, the bacon smoky and full-flavoured, the cheese a gooey mess. The inclusion of a big chunk of iceberg lettuce in the base of the burger seemed like burgers-by-numbers, but on the whole it was a great little lunch. The fries (in their superfluous bowl-upon-plate) taste clean, crispy and well-seasoned, and Hans im Glück produce their own line of table sauces (BBQ sauce, lime mayo and orange-mustard sauce) which are delicious – especially the BBQ sauce which tastes of brown-sugary caramel.
After finishing, we still had room for dessert. A brownie and caramel cheesecake later, we were full. A worthy note: they’re generous with the cream served with their desserts. There’s nothing worse than running out of cream mid-slice and, at Hans im Glück, we had plenty left at the end.
BLY’s top tips for eating at Hans im Glück
- On a hot day, take advantage of their outdoor terrace area in the back of the restaurant.
- They do a great selection of twists on the classic mojito… try the waldhimbeere one.
- At lunchtime, add €4.50 onto your burger price to add fries, a drink AND a coffee.
Andy says: “Burgers by numbers and somewhat corporate, but perfectly pleasant if you want a bite to eat before the show. For an authentic burger experience, there are better places to go.”
Phil says: “Great atmosphere, great music (feels like walking into a club), great bacon, great sourdough bread, great service, and great sauces. But hey guys, where’s the beef at?! Please fill your burgers with a decent piece of fine juicy beef otherwise I’ll just come back for the lunchtime salad!”
Berlin Loves You Rating: 6/10
This review is part of our series on Berlin’s best burger joints. Read our opinion on what makes a good burger.
Hans im Glück
+49 (0)30 20679063