There’s a new burger chain that’s appearing on the high streets and thoroughfares of Berlin: Schiller Burger. Should McDonald’s be worried? Well, considering they’re indirectly responsible for the obesity and premature deaths of countless thousands of people, probably.
Schiller Burger started at Herrfurthstrasse, Neukölln, and branches have since sprouted up on Schönleinstrasse, Kreuzberg, and Wühlischstrasse, Friedrichshain. Neukölln is still very much the company’s home, with the area’s progressive attitudes providing inspiration for their business. “Fresh, fresh, fresh”, they told us, “Fresh ingredients, tasty recipes for uncommon burgers and a friendly ambiance” that matched the Neukölln that was growing up around them – “and we think we succeed in doing so.”
With buns freshly baked daily from their Neukölln bakery and delivered to their various outlets, fresh meat sourced from a trusted butcher in Neukölln, and all other ingredients bought on a daily basis, they seem to be sticking to their principals. They also make all their salsas and sauces themselves to ensure their quality.
Noble ambitions aside, the proof of a burger is in the eating. So, what’s it like?
Burgers from Schiller Burger are certainly attractive, standing tall in their puffy home-made buns laden with sesame seeds. God, they’re covered in a lot of sesame seeds. There’s a story about a guy who went to Schiller Burger with a mild sesame allergy who, on seeing their burger, had a mild heart attack by proximity.
Their menu covers the burger joint standards (cheese burger, BBQ burger, chili-cheese burger etc.) albeit giving them seemingly arbitrary names. We went for the BBQ and the chili-cheese burgers and they’re perfectly OK burgers. They taste the way a burger should do. The buns are great reproductions of the American classic bun, the freshly grilled burgers are meaty with enough juice and grease to satisfy, and the added extras are pleasant enough. If you’re hungry and you want a quick burger whilst on the go, go to Schiller Burger.
Their sweet potato pommes are a joy. Some of the best we’ve tasted. What’s particularly great is the half-and-half portions you can order – half sweet potato and half regular fries. Whilst tasty, too much saccharine sweet potato can get boring and monotonous (and soggy) when eating a whole portion, and with the half-and-half you get a far better variety of flavour which keeps both tasting great till the meal’s over.
The main gripe with Schiller burger: it’s overpriced. A burger with fries and a drink can easily pass the €10 mark and when you’re looking at mid-market takeaway burgers you can’t help but consider the under-€3 döners for sale next door. There’s a feeling of penny-pinching, that you’re getting cheated out of your hard-earned geld. 50 cents for a small portion of sauce? A €2.50 portion of chicken fingers amounts to 4 straight-from-the-freezer-into-the-fryer sticks of processed breadcrumbed chicken – is it too much to ask for at least a whole hand’s worth of fingers?
It’s our opinion that with such places, a little generosity here and there can really enamour a person to a place and make them into regulars for life. When someone’s already paid €5-€6 a burger, wouldn’t a free bit of sauce help cushion the blow?
BLY’s top tips for eating at Schiller Burger
- The “Wallenstein” chili-cheese burger is a pretty good choice. The home-made salsa is tasty and slightly spicy.
- The half-and-half fries are excellent.
- Schiller Burger sells Bayreuther bier by the bottle, which is a joy.
Andrew says: “Schiller Burger serves an excellent burger when you need that meaty fix. It isn’t in the big-league of burgers in Berlin but it doesn’t need to be. However, it is overpriced.”
Philip says: “Get the fries without the burger and save some money by getting a good Döner for €3!”
Berlin Loves You Rating: 5.5/10
This review is part of our series on Berlin’s best burger joints. Read our opinion on what makes a good burger.
Herrfurthstrasse 7, Neukölln
Schönleinstrasse 34, Kreuzberg
Wühlischstrasse 41, Friedrichshain