The best food in Berlin (and where to find it)
Published on March 24, 2023
Sure, Berlin has an abundance of art, history and culture to explore. But did you know that Germany’s capital city is also the birthplace of many traditional German dishes? Berlin has lots to offer fans of potatoes and sausages, from traditional Bockwurst to Kartoffelpuffer topped with applesauce and sour cream. But Berlin-based cuisine encompasses many tastes and preferences, and we’re here to celebrate them all. In this article, we’ve collected the best traditional food in Berlin — along with our recommendations for where to eat it.
Meat lovers, gather around. This list is kicking off strong with a typical dish that translates literally to “ice bone.”
Pork is one of the staple foods of German cuisine. As a result, lots of traditional dishes in and around Berlin are pork-based. Take Eisbein, for example. This generous cut of pig leg is cured with salts and spices before it’s finally cooked. In Berlin, the dish is usually served with mashed peas and potatoes.
You can find the best Eisbein in Berlin at the restaurant Zur Haxe.
Yes, we know — kebab is originally from Turkey, and it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Berlin. But the immigration of Turkish workers to Germany in the 1950s resulted in an explosion of döner kebab stands across the country — and particularly in Berlin. Today, Berlin’s take on the popular street food dish is so ubiquitous that it’s practically considered a German-originated dish. As opposed to the Turkish version, Berlin döner is made with different vegetables and cabbage, as well as a yogurt-based sauce.
You can find the best döner kebab in Berlin at Tadim Lahmacun.
A simple yet tasty Berliner dish, Senfeier literally translates to “mustard eggs.” As the name implies, the dish consists of eggs topped with a spicy, creamy mustard sauce. As you may have guessed from your experience with other German foods, Senfeier is traditionally eaten with potatoes. A classic snack for vegetarians and meat enthusiasts alike!
You can find the best Senfeier in Berlin at Restaurant Jäger & Lustig.
With meat being a staple in German cuisine, it’s no surprise that organs are considered a delicacy. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in Berlin, where cow liver is prepared with apples and onions and baked in butter. The dish is traditionally served with mashed potatoes and green beans.
You can find the best Liver in Berlin at Restaurant Dicke Wirtin.
Although Bavarians like to claim Bockwurst as their own invention, the tale goes that it was actually invented in 1889 in Berlin. A local restaurant owner served the then-unknown sausage together with traditional Bockbier and the rest is history. Bockwurst has since been a staple snack at local food booths.
You can find the best Bockwurst in Berlin at Treffpunkt Berlin.
Yet another sausage invented in Berlin is Currywurst. Currywurst was first made by the Charlottenburg-based restaurant owner Herta Heuwer in the years following World War II. The dish consists of a grilled sausage cut into small pieces and served with curry-flavored ketchup and curry spices (though Herta consistently claimed that she would always make her sauce by hand and never used ketchup).
Currywurst is now such a popular street food in Berlin that there used to be a museum dedicated to it! Unfortunately, the attraction has been permanently closed, but you can still enjoy the best Currywurst in Berlin at Curry36.
Hoppelpoppel is a typical Berlin breakfast food consisting of potatoes, ham, bacon and eggs, all pan-fried and served with cream and pickles. Similar versions exist all around Germany, where the dish is usually known as Bauernfrühstück (farmer’s breakfast).
You can find the best Hoppelpoppel in Berlin at Restaurant Kartoffelkeller.
You can say many things about German cuisine, but one is always true: Germans do the most with potatoes! Kartoffelpuffer, made from grated potatoes fried in butter or oil, is the German answer to pancakes. Kartoffelpuffer can be eaten with salty or sweet sauces, and it works equally well as a side or main dish. Try it with applesauce and sour cream!
You can find the best Kartoffelpuffer in Berlin at Restaurant Kartoffelkeller.
Berliner Luft — which shares its name with a common brand of liquor — is a fluffy and creamy egg-based dessert. Fitting, then, that its name translates to “Berlin air.” The cream is often made with lemon zest, gelatine and white wine, then topped with sweet raspberry sauce. It all adds up to a culinary experience you won’t soon forget!
You can find the best Berliner Luft in Berlin at Restaurant Quarré.
Berliner Pfannkuchen is simply known as Berliner in other parts of Germany. These delicious donuts are made from sweet yeast dough, which is fried and filled with marmalade. Legend has it that Pfannkuchen was invented by a Berlin baker who created the dish specifically for King Frederick the Great.
You can find the best Pfannkuchen in Berlin at Sugarclan.
Our list of the top ten Berlin dishes is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring cuisine in Germany’s capital city. These days, most places also offer vegan and vegetarian versions of traditional dishes, so make sure to check the menus if you have any dietary restrictions! Guten Appetit!