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The 38 Essential Berlin Restaurants

Where to find springy biang biang noodles, flaky börek, peanut sauce-covered Sudanese falafel, and decadent whiskey cornflake ice cream in the German capital

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Despite its formidable cultural scene (particularly when it comes to music and art), the German capital has never really been seen as a serious food city. The city isn’t loaded with glamorous dining destinations with international name recognition, especially compared to other powerhouse destinations in Europe — but that comparison is exactly the problem. Berlin isn’t trying to be Paris or Barcelona.

Berlin’s best spots tend to be low-key neighborhood haunts and candlelit bars that feel like living rooms. You can dine well at the fine-yet-fun Otto on a meal prepared by Berlin native and Noma alum Vadim Otto Ursus, and follow it up with an equally compelling meal at lovingly graffitied kebab shop Rüyam. Meanwhile, Berlin’s location at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe has made it a hub for transplants, who serve an array of khachapuri, ceviche, and curry. And while the city doesn’t have as many specialty dishes to its name as some other capitals, it leans into prized signatures like currywurst (fried sausage doused with curry-infused ketchup and served with fries) and doner kebab.

Note: Many Berlin restaurants still only accept cash payment, and service at many places can be almost aggressively inattentive. Chasing down servers to take your order or pay is a regular part of dining out here — embrace it.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

Prices per person:

$ = Less than 15 euros (Less than $17 USD)

$$ = 16 - 39 euros ($17 - $44 USD)

$$$ = 40 - 65 euros ($44 - $72 USD)

$$$$ = 66 euros and up ($73 USD and up)

Tim Forster is a freelance writer and editor based in Berlin, covering food, culture, and technology. He is the former editor of Eater Montreal.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Örnek

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Prinzenallee 80-82
13357 Berlin, Germany

With Berlin’s huge Turkish population, it’s not hard to find lahmacun around town. But Örnek, in the Gesundbrunnen section of Wedding, merits a detour. Behind the counter, a whole team stretches out circles of dough, topping them with ground meat, tomato, onion, and herbs, and cooking them fresh to order. The flatbreads go for under 2 euros a pop, so you can grab a few and save some for a snack later. The kebabs of chargrilled lamb or chicken, served in fresh bread with supremely tangy garlic sauce, are also worth your time. Örnek can get pretty busy, so be prepared to lurk around out front waiting for your order. [$]

2. Curry Baude

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Badstraße 1-5
13357 Berlin, Germany

Visitors in the market for currywurst are often directed to big names like Curry 36 or Konnopke’s Imbiss. But locals prefer Curry Baude, little more than a window tacked on the side of the Gesundbrunnen U-Bahn station. The sausage attains the perfect equilibrium of crispy yet juicy, the ketchup-to-curry ratio is near-perfect, and the pommes are perfectly portioned to balance out the meat. Sure, the service may be especially gruff, even by German standards, but that’s part of the charm. [$]

3. Wen Cheng Handpulled Noodles

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Schönhauser Allee 65
10437 Berlin, Germany

In summer 2021, Berlin’s hottest line wasn’t to get into Berghain, but for this casual eatery in Prenzlauer Berg dishing up spicy bowls of hand-pulled Shaanxi-style biang biang noodles. The brief menu centers around the silky wheat flour noodles, pulled into satisfyingly thick ribbons with the perfect amount of spring to the bite. Start with the beef noodles, sauced with soy, vinegar, and Sichuan peppers; they’re a staple, and the meat just melts in your mouth. Beyond that, it’s impossible to go wrong with options like lamb cumin noodles or any of the vegan choices. If you don’t want to wait, consider jumping in the typically shorter takeout line. [$ - $$]

A bowl of thick noodles in spicy chili sauce with tofu and stir fried vegetables
Biang biang noodles
Sissi Chen

4. Sarajevo Berlin

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Triftstraße 8
13353 Berlin, Germany

This casual Bosnian counter in Wedding dishes up the best börek in the city. For 3 euros, servers hack off a hefty quarter from one of the large circular specimens behind the counter. The flaky dough delivers just the right combo of grease and crunch, and comes filled with perfectly herbed potatoes, deliciously spiced ground meat, or cheese with spinach. True to the restaurant’s Balkan roots, the small menu also features some succulent (and similarly cheap) cevapcici. [$]

5. Salt n Bone

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Schliemannstraße 31
10437 Berlin, Germany

Germany is low-key obsessed with American food, particularly burgers, though quality varies. Salt n Bone delivers with a supremely juicy burger, succulent fried chicken with a shatteringly crispy exterior, and a host of creative takes on bar food in a cozy, wood-paneled setting. The libations — boozy lemonade, bourbon cocktails, and IPAs — all fit the scene perfectly. [$$]

The burger at Salt n Bone
Salt n Bone/Facebook

6. Mamida

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Dunckerstraße 80A
10437 Berlin, Germany

Berlin is a hot market for trendy yet casual Neapolitan-ish sourdough pizza. Mamida stands above competitors like Gazzo and Estelle thanks to a funky menu that mixes classic margherita with options like the Farmer, with blue cheese fondue, radicchio, and pickled pear. The creative toppings shine on the fluffy but crisp dough, and the small beverage program of craft beer and bright Italian wines complements it all fantastically. [$$]

A server holds a full pizza, dyed green with toppings and splotched with cheese
A creative pizza at Mamida
Mamida

7. Otto

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Oderberger Str. 56
10435 Berlin, Germany

Courtesy of his experience with Danish superstar René Redzepi at Noma, chef and Berliner Vadim Otto Ursus applies his formidable expertise on fermentation with aplomb. The result is out-of-the-box, bright, and imaginative takes on German cuisine, served up in a stylish, brutalist space. The restaurant is small, so book ahead or go for a more casual lunch, when it’s less crowded. [$$$]

Hands lay a bounty of sprigs and flowers on a whole roasted fish
Whole brook trout
Robert Rieger

8. Du Bonheur

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Brunnenstr. 39, Berlin
Berlin 10115, Germany
+49 30 56591955
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If you have even a hint of a sweet tooth, there is no way around a trip to northern Mitte (right by the Berlin Wall memorial) for superb specimens of French baking, courtesy of pastry pros Anna Plagens and Stephan Zuber. Du Bonheur’s pastries are exquisite in terms of texture and flavor. The mille-feuille is a highlight, but you can’t go wrong with anything, from the eclairs to the macarons. [$]

From above, rows of ornate eclairs topped with slices of rhubarb and raspberries
Raspberry-rhubarb eclair
Du Bonheur/Facebook

9. Banh Xeo Saigon

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Greifswalder Str. 41
10405 Berlin, Germany

Among the 5-euro lattes of gentrified Prenzlauer Berg, stop by Banh Xeo Saigon for some of the best Vietnamese dishes in town. The titular banh xeo, perfectly crispy and stuffed with shrimp and pork, makes an excellent appetizer before digging into pho and bun bo hue. Vegans will love the extremely impressive mock duck dishes too; they’re uncannily close to the real thing. [$]

10. Yarok

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Torstraße 195
10115 Berlin, Germany

A quintessential cheap-eats destination in a part of town that typically leans more into fine dining, Yarok offers affordable platters of Syrian treats, including crispy falafel, well-spiced kebab, garlicky hummus, and much more. Vegan and vegetarian options abound; try the fried zucchini if you’re looking for a change from the usual Berlin veggie trio of haloumi, falafel, and makali (grilled vegetables). You’ll find another, slightly larger location on Wilhelmstraße, near Checkpoint Charlie. [$]

Sun-bathed picnic tables under an awning outside an open storefront, where more tables and a counter are visible within
Outdor tables at Yarok
Yarok

11. Zeit für Brot

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Alte Schönhauser Str. 4, Berlin
Berlin 10119, Germany
+49 30 28046780
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Although this bakery chainlet is almost off-puttingly trendy in its aesthetic, there’s a good reason Berliners line up here for cinnamon buns, loaded focaccia, and hearty German-style loaves with plenty of grain. It now boasts two locations apiece in Mitte and Charlottenburg, and another in Prenzlauer Berg. [$]

A bakery interior with plain gray walls and exposed beam ceiling. Behind a pastry counter is a large wooden shelf with various kinds of bread
Inside Zeit für Brot
Zeit für Brot

12. Lokal

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Linienstr. 160, Berlin
Berlin 10115, Germany
+49 30 28449500
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A Berlin institution, Lokal was the first place in the city to embrace nose-to-tail cooking and heavy use of regional ingredients. A refreshingly simple restaurant with an unpretentious, seasonal menu and a casual vibe, it’s still an exemplar of modern, terroir-focused German cooking after a decade on the scene. [$$$]

A restaurant interior bathed in pink, including a large floral display, illustrations of people on the wall, and tables set for dinner with candles
The dining room at Lokal
Lokal/Facebook

13. Mogg

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Auguststr. 11-13, Berlin
Berlin 10117, Germany
+49 30 330060770
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Hidden in an impressive building that formerly housed a Jewish girls school, Jewish deli Mogg has been knighted by the New York Times as a contender equal to New York for quality pastrami. You won’t be disappointed by the rest of the menu either, including dishes like brioche with truffled mushrooms and eggs. [$$]

A chef carves slices of pastrami
Mogg’s pastrami
Mogg

14. Zur letzten Instanz

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Waisenstraße 14-16, Berlin
Berlin 10179, Germany
+49 30 2425528
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Records show Zur letzten Instanz has been in the same location since 1621, making it Berlin’s oldest restaurant. Over the years, this iconic two-story eatery has purportedly hosted countless famous faces, including Napoleon and Charlie Chaplin. The modern incarnation of the restaurant opened its doors in 1924, serving classic dishes, such as the pork knuckle Eisbein, that have made it one of the best places for traditional Berlin cuisine. [$$$]

A corner building on a sunny cobblestone street with bright yellow shutters and foliage all around
Outside Zur letzten Instanz
Zur letzten Instanz

15. Rogacki

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Wilmersdorfer Str.145-146, Berlin
Berlin 10585, Germany
+49 30 3438250
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This legendary deli, which dates back to the 1930s, sells some of the finest meats, charcuterie, and smoked seafood in West Berlin. The pro move is picking up a quick lunch of German sausage. Otherwise, try the smoked freshwater trout and eel, which are both pulled fresh from the lakes surrounding the city. [$ - $$]

A platter with whole fish, fish steaks, and skewers of seafood items ready for the grill
An array of fresh seafood
Rogacki/Facebook

16. Liu Chengdu Weidao Nudelhaus

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Kronenstraße 72
10117 Berlin, Germany

A true gem among the corporate and chain restaurants that dominate this office-heavy part of town, Liu is Berlin’s go-to for sharp bowls of Sichuan-style noodles in a range of varieties. The hand-made tianshui noodles, laden with sesame, are a standout, but top-notch chile oil, soy sauce, and Sichuan peppercorns make all options a good bet, from meat to mushrooms. [$]

17. Khao Taan

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Gryphiusstraße 10
10245 Berlin, Germany

Since opening the doors to this cozy spot in 2019, chef-owner Gaan Kitkoson might just be the reigning monarch of Berlin’s small-but-mighty Thai food scene. Gaan’s set menus rotate regularly, typically touching on a broad range of Thai dishes and cuisines, from creamy and spicy curries to delicious dessert dumplings. Dishes are made to be shared, they’re delivered with some of the warmest service in town, and all pair well with a tidy natural-leaning wine selection to boot. [$$$]

Two bowls of curry on a textured tabletop, topped with herbs and chiles
Curries at Khao Taan
Khao Taan

18. 893 Ryōtei

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Kantstraße 135/136
10625 Berlin, Germany

Don’t mind the dingy, graffiti-riddled facade. 893 Ryotei is the Berlin epicenter for sushi. Owner Duc Ngo made his name with popular ramen spot Cocolo, but things are fancier here, befitting the location in bourgeois Charlottenburg. Expect ridiculously fresh fish and a menu that oscillates among traditional sashimi, maki, and Nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese) influences. An extensive sake list and seriously seductive interior make it even more memorable. [$$$ - $$$$]

A textured tray with various pieces of nigiri, on a patterned tabletop
Nigiri at 893 Ryōtei
893 Ryōtei/Facebook

19. Nobelhart & Schmutzig

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Friedrichstr. 218, Berlin
Berlin 10969, Germany
+49 30 25940610
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The counter bar that wraps around chef Micha Schäfer’s kitchen is a stunner, and an effective stage for his 10-course tasting menu. The chef forgoes unsustainable imports from afar to focus on ingredients from the Berlin and Brandenburg region. The food, with ample modern Nordic influences, is deftly paired with contemporary wines by owner and host Billy Wagner, who is widely regarded as one of the best sommeliers in the city. [$$$$]

An ornate dish, with a root vegetable sliced in half in a pool of yellow sauce, on a geometric background
A dish from the Soil to Soul tasting menu
Nobelhart & Schmutzig/Facebook

20. Alt Berliner Wirtshaus Henne

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Leuschnerdamm 25
10999 Berlin, Germany

Better known as Die Henne, this traditional German spot, in business since 1908, doesn’t serve a particularly broad menu — in fact, there’s just one main course: fried half-chicken, sensationally seasoned, checking all the right boxes of juicy and crispy. Pair it with some potato salad or coleslaw (the extent of the rest of the menu, apart from a couple of sausage options) for a simple yet delectable meal. The kitschy interior and leafy outdoor beer garden only enhance the vibe. [$$]

A restaurant interior with high ceilings, wood paneling, small wooden beer kegs lining shelves, a bar, ornate pendant lights, and tables with checkered tablecloths
Inside Alt Berliner Wirtshaus Henne
Alt Berliner Wirtshaus Henne/Facebook

21. Salhino

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Waitzstraße 1
10629 Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s small Georgian food scene punches above its weight. While you can count on pretty much any place focusing on the cuisine, Charlottenburg’s Salhino might have the edge, offering saucy stews loaded with fresh herbs and a Georgian barbecue special. The classics, like khachapuri and fat khinkali filled with meat or cheese, also stand strong. Don’t skip a cake or pastry laden with nuts and honey for dessert. [$$$]

A restaurant exterior with diners seated at small picnic tables on a cobblestone street
Seating outside of Salhino
Salhino

22. Adana Grillhaus

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Manteuffelstr. 86, Berlin
Berlin 10997, Germany
+49 30 6127790
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Adana is the most iconic Turkish grill at the heart of Berlin’s largest Turkish neighborhood, making it the go-to choice. Grab a seat so you can watch the chefs grill spectacular lamb chops and minced adana (lamb) skewers over sizzling hot charcoals on an open fire. The trick to digesting all of the meat is to order cold mezze to start, followed by plenty of raki with ice and water. [$$]

Skewers of meat on a smoky grill
Skewers on the grill
Adana Grillhaus

23. Kumpel & Keule Speisewirtschaft

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Skalitzer Str. 97
10997 Berlin, Germany

Born as a butcher shop focused on German meat, Kumpel und Keule have branched out to a sit-down restaurant. From a dry-aged burger to tartare with grass-fed beef, the delectable meat dishes will keep you dreaming for days. You can also stop by the butcher shop in nearby Markthalle Neun, which grills up sausages and other bites most afternoons. [$$$]

A server carries a burger on a plate against his forearm with another plate in hand. The burger is in a paper wrapper, topped with bacon, cheese, and greens
The dry-aged burger
Kumpel & Keule Speisewirtschaft

24. Izmir Köftecisi Konak Grill

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Reichenberger Str. 10, Berlin
Berlin 10999, Germany
+49 30 6159266
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The kofte sandwich is a sublime creation of grilled minced meat sausages layered with fresh herbs, sauces, and radishes. The bread, a hybrid between Turkish flatbread and a baguette, is a bit thicker here than at comparable places, helping it stand up to the fillings. While many doner spots offer serviceable kofte, Konak Izmir is a specialist worth seeking out, as many customers do to devour sandwiches from lunch until at least 3 in the morning. [$]

25. Khartoum Imbiss

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Wiener Straße 69
10999 Berlin, Germany

Falafel is ubiquitous in Berlin, but Turkish iterations tend to dominate. To change things up, seek out the Sudanese version (sometimes called tamiya), not at the local chain Sahara but at Khartoum Imbiss, where it’s stuffed in a flatbread and doused in spicy peanut sauce. The menu is a mix-and-match affair, and you can’t go wrong with a sandwich or platter with foul (spiced beans). [$]

26. Bantabaa Food Dealer

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Wrangelstraße 82
10997 Berlin, Germany

This Kreuzberg restaurant started out in 2015 as part of a project to integrate West African refugees into the city. Years later, it’s a success story, dishing up Gambian dishes that are rich, earthy, and spicy; think peanut stew, mustardy yassa chicken, and cassava fries with onion sauce. Don’t skip the drinks, with options like tamarind or baobab lemonade that are exquisitely refreshing on a sweaty Berlin summer day. [$ - $$]

A colorful restaurant exterior, with large bans of red, green, and blue paint beneath an awning, with a few outdoor tables and chairs
Outside Bantabaa
Bantabaa Food Dealer

27. Lode & Stijn

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Lausitzer Straße 25, Berlin
Berlin 10999, Germany
+49 30 65214507
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The eponymous pair of Dutch chefs, Lode van Zuylen and Stijn Remi, built a dedicated fan base through pop-ups before opening this humble dining space just off the canal in Kreuzberg. The 100-euro degustation is money well spent. The simple, bistro-ish dishes may not be flashy on paper, but they come built with top-notch ingredients, from wild boar meat to halibut and oysters. It’s all helped along by wine pairings from sommelier Ole Ortmann. [$$$$]

A dining room with a large red semicircle decorating a large white wall above a wooden banquette and tables set for lunch and modern pendant lights
Inside Lode & Stijn
Lode & Stijn

28. Da Jia Le

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Goebenstraße 23
10783 Berlin, Germany

Bring a crew to this unassuming Chinese restaurant in Schöneberg, where you could pick a meal off the menu blindfolded and walk away impressed. Soulful northeastern (Dongbei) cuisine is the name of the game, including spicy, tangy whole fish and salted, fried pork ribs. A few Sichuan touches like cucumber salad also slide into the menu (and are equally delicious). Note: Da Jia Le may get pushed out of its current space, but the team is committed to relocating and staying open. [$$]

A plate piled high with sliced cucumbers in red sauce
Cucumber salad
Da Jia Le

29. Chicha

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Friedelstraße 34
12047 Berlin, Germany

Despite Berlin’s ever-diversifying restaurant scene, most South American cuisines are woefully underrepresented. Yet what’s lacking in quantity is made up in quality at Neukölln’s Chicha, under the tasteful eye of Peruvian-German chef Simón Castro Mendoza. The tight menu is typically studded with star dishes from Peru, from vibrant ceviches to fried yuca and beautifully textured seafood and rice options. Plenty of pisco adorns the menu, and a funky interior — upscale without verging on pretentious — makes Chicha the whole package. [$$ - $$$]

Skewers of heart meat topped with green sauce on a plate beside wedges of roasted potato
Anticuchos de corazon
Chicha/Facebook

30. Thaipark

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Fehrbelliner Pl.
10707 Berlin, Germany

Every Friday to Sunday from April to October (weather permitting), many Thai vendors congregate under colorful umbrellas in a Wilmersdorf park to sell a sublime selection of homemade noodle soups, curries, desserts, and drinks. This massive picnic of dishes from throughout Thailand — especially the region of Isan — draws crowds from all over Berlin. In recent years, Thaipark has become more formalized, with plans to give it an official building in the park, but the food is still as good as ever. [$]

A vendor hands an item over the top of the glass case at a makeshift food stall in a sunny park to a customer waiting on the other side
One of Thai Park’s many vendors
Thai Park

31. Jones

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Goltzstraße 3
10781 Berlin, Germany
+ 49 163 421 58 65
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French pastry chef Gabrielle Jones turned her attention to dairy with this enormously popular Jones ice cream truck in Schöneberg. The idiosyncratic mobile outfit serves scoops of ice cream on large, American-style cookies, like open-face ice cream sandwiches. Flavors rotate regularly, but look out for Jones’ whiskey cornflake ice cream, among other signature creations. The cookie choices vary from classic chocolate chip to the more outré lemon-poppy-white chocolate. [$]

A hand holds a small cup of ice cream swirled with purple streaks and studded with cookie pieces, with a small plastic spoon sticking out
Blueberry cheesecake ice cream
Jones/Facebook

32. Fes

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Hasenheide 58
10967 Berlin, Germany

A standout among Berlin’s newer Turkish dining options, Fes shakes things up by offering Korean-style in-table grills and excellently seasoned kofte, skewers, and more to slap down on them. But don’t get too entranced by the barbecue: The mezze platters are stars in their own right, with silky smooth hummus, tangy cacik, and much more. [$$$]

From above, a table with a grill embedded in the center where meat cooks. Around the grill are many small dishes with colorful items. A diner in a black hat sits at one end of the table
A full spread at Fes
Fes

33. Eins44

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Elbestraße 28/29
12045 Berlin, Germany

Even before you pick up a fork, drink in the impressive dining room at Eins44, a former distillery with white-tiled walls and cavernous ceilings. Fortunately, chef Daniel Achilles and team don’t rely on just looks. A small, seasonal menu strikes the perfect balance between casual and fine dining, coming off eminently refined without crossing the line into fussy. The menu shifts regularly, but diners can expect dishes that capture foraged and farmed flavors of Germany and central Europe. The venison is more tender than any you’ve ever bitten into, and the intriguing take on raclette, almost the consistency of fondue, is served in a bowl with tangy pickled vegetables. [$$$]

A tall, light-filled dining room, with large photos on the wall, wood tables set for lunch, pendant lights, and subway tile walls
Inside Eins44
Eins44

34. Azzam

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Sonnenallee 54, Berlin
Berlin 12045, Germany
+49 30 60977541
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Famous for their extraordinarily tasty fatteh and musabbaha (a well-spiced hummus variant), the Palestinian owners of Azzam, led by chef Hussam Azzam, have created a true melting pot for hungry diners of all stripes to experience the cultural and culinary diversity of Neukölln. As is the norm in Berlin, many menu items are available both in sandwich format or as hearty platters. [$]

35. Rüyam Gemüse Kebap

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Hauptstr. 133, Berlin
Berlin 10825, Germany

Don’t waste 45 minutes of your life queuing with the tourists at Mustafa’s, home of Berlin’s most famous chicken doner kebab (it’s now a chain with locations across Europe, anyway). Instead, hit up the less-touristy Rüyam, where you’ll get a crispy flatbread filled with tender chicken doner, grilled vegetables, and a fistful of fresh herbs. There’s another location in Prenzlauer Berg. [$]

A flatbread sandwich, with slices of grilled meat topped with mountains of greens, tomato, herbs, onions, and sauce
Doner stacked high on crispy flatbread
Rüya Gemüse Kebap

36. Piri's Chicken Burgers

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Boddinstraße 61
12053 Berlin, Germany

This fast spot brings the Portuguese-Australian piri piri burger (a spiced, breaded chicken sandwich) to Berlin. Formerly a pop-up, Piri’s Chicken has now found a permanent home, where  owner Julian Boyce is expanding the menu to offer specials like fish and chips and boozy slushies. But start with the classic: spicy breaded chicken cutlets on a sesame-laden bun with lettuce, cheese, and aioli. Add extra-hot “trauma sauce” if you dare. It might be the best meat-in-bread menu item in the city. [$$]

A hand holds a messy sandwich dripping sauce onto their wrist. The sandwich consists of breaded chicken, cheese, vegetables, and sauce
The piri-piri burger
Piri’s Chicken Burgers

37. Jemenitisches Restaurant

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Karl-Marx-Straße 172
12043 Berlin, Germany

In a part of the city loaded with Turkish and Syrian eats, give some love to one of Berlin’s very few Yemeni restaurants. The cuisine here mixes influences from the Middle East, India, and the Horn of Africa into a uniquely hearty selection of dishes. Try the cheese- or meat-stuffed sambosa and the saucy lamb stews, best soaked up with flaky malawah. [$$]

A red brick dining room with skylights, ornate woodwork, and long trailing plants
The dining room at Jemenitisches
Jemenitisches

38. Krasselt's Imbiss

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Steglitzer Damm 22, Berlin
Berlin 12169, Germany
+49 30 7969147
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What began as a cart in a Berlin market in 1959 is now ground zero for the definitive version of currywurst, Berlin’s uniquely funky sausage dish. This should come as little surprise, given that the snack bar’s founder was nicknamed the “curry professor.” Don’t pass on the ketchup: Krasselt’s makes its own house version, and it’s part of why this imbiss soars above much of its competition. Plus, Krasselt’s doesn’t draw the long lines of tourists that stream out of other, more mediocre spots. [$]

Two long sauce-covered sausages on skewers in a paper boat beside a roll on a red table
Krasselt’s impeccable currywurst
Krasselt’s Imbiss / Facebook

1. Örnek

Prinzenallee 80-82, 13357 Berlin, Germany

With Berlin’s huge Turkish population, it’s not hard to find lahmacun around town. But Örnek, in the Gesundbrunnen section of Wedding, merits a detour. Behind the counter, a whole team stretches out circles of dough, topping them with ground meat, tomato, onion, and herbs, and cooking them fresh to order. The flatbreads go for under 2 euros a pop, so you can grab a few and save some for a snack later. The kebabs of chargrilled lamb or chicken, served in fresh bread with supremely tangy garlic sauce, are also worth your time. Örnek can get pretty busy, so be prepared to lurk around out front waiting for your order. [$]

Prinzenallee 80-82
13357 Berlin, Germany

2. Curry Baude

Badstraße 1-5, 13357 Berlin, Germany

Visitors in the market for currywurst are often directed to big names like Curry 36 or Konnopke’s Imbiss. But locals prefer Curry Baude, little more than a window tacked on the side of the Gesundbrunnen U-Bahn station. The sausage attains the perfect equilibrium of crispy yet juicy, the ketchup-to-curry ratio is near-perfect, and the pommes are perfectly portioned to balance out the meat. Sure, the service may be especially gruff, even by German standards, but that’s part of the charm. [$]

Badstraße 1-5
13357 Berlin, Germany

3. Wen Cheng Handpulled Noodles

Schönhauser Allee 65, 10437 Berlin, Germany
A bowl of thick noodles in spicy chili sauce with tofu and stir fried vegetables
Biang biang noodles
Sissi Chen

In summer 2021, Berlin’s hottest line wasn’t to get into Berghain, but for this casual eatery in Prenzlauer Berg dishing up spicy bowls of hand-pulled Shaanxi-style biang biang noodles. The brief menu centers around the silky wheat flour noodles, pulled into satisfyingly thick ribbons with the perfect amount of spring to the bite. Start with the beef noodles, sauced with soy, vinegar, and Sichuan peppers; they’re a staple, and the meat just melts in your mouth. Beyond that, it’s impossible to go wrong with options like lamb cumin noodles or any of the vegan choices. If you don’t want to wait, consider jumping in the typically shorter takeout line. [$ - $$]

Schönhauser Allee 65
10437 Berlin, Germany

4. Sarajevo Berlin

Triftstraße 8, 13353 Berlin, Germany

This casual Bosnian counter in Wedding dishes up the best börek in the city. For 3 euros, servers hack off a hefty quarter from one of the large circular specimens behind the counter. The flaky dough delivers just the right combo of grease and crunch, and comes filled with perfectly herbed potatoes, deliciously spiced ground meat, or cheese with spinach. True to the restaurant’s Balkan roots, the small menu also features some succulent (and similarly cheap) cevapcici. [$]

Triftstraße 8
13353 Berlin, Germany

5. Salt n Bone

Schliemannstraße 31, 10437 Berlin, Germany
The burger at Salt n Bone
Salt n Bone/Facebook

Germany is low-key obsessed with American food, particularly burgers, though quality varies. Salt n Bone delivers with a supremely juicy burger, succulent fried chicken with a shatteringly crispy exterior, and a host of creative takes on bar food in a cozy, wood-paneled setting. The libations — boozy lemonade, bourbon cocktails, and IPAs — all fit the scene perfectly. [$$]

Schliemannstraße 31
10437 Berlin, Germany

6. Mamida

Dunckerstraße 80A, 10437 Berlin, Germany
A server holds a full pizza, dyed green with toppings and splotched with cheese
A creative pizza at Mamida
Mamida

Berlin is a hot market for trendy yet casual Neapolitan-ish sourdough pizza. Mamida stands above competitors like Gazzo and Estelle thanks to a funky menu that mixes classic margherita with options like the Farmer, with blue cheese fondue, radicchio, and pickled pear. The creative toppings shine on the fluffy but crisp dough, and the small beverage program of craft beer and bright Italian wines complements it all fantastically. [$$]

Dunckerstraße 80A
10437 Berlin, Germany

7. Otto

Oderberger Str. 56, 10435 Berlin, Germany
Hands lay a bounty of sprigs and flowers on a whole roasted fish
Whole brook trout
Robert Rieger

Courtesy of his experience with Danish superstar René Redzepi at Noma, chef and Berliner Vadim Otto Ursus applies his formidable expertise on fermentation with aplomb. The result is out-of-the-box, bright, and imaginative takes on German cuisine, served up in a stylish, brutalist space. The restaurant is small, so book ahead or go for a more casual lunch, when it’s less crowded. [$$$]

Oderberger Str. 56
10435 Berlin, Germany

8. Du Bonheur

Brunnenstr. 39, Berlin, Berlin 10115, Germany
From above, rows of ornate eclairs topped with slices of rhubarb and raspberries
Raspberry-rhubarb eclair
Du Bonheur/Facebook

If you have even a hint of a sweet tooth, there is no way around a trip to northern Mitte (right by the Berlin Wall memorial) for superb specimens of French baking, courtesy of pastry pros Anna Plagens and Stephan Zuber. Du Bonheur’s pastries are exquisite in terms of texture and flavor. The mille-feuille is a highlight, but you can’t go wrong with anything, from the eclairs to the macarons. [$]

Brunnenstr. 39, Berlin
Berlin 10115, Germany

9. Banh Xeo Saigon

Greifswalder Str. 41, 10405 Berlin, Germany

Among the 5-euro lattes of gentrified Prenzlauer Berg, stop by Banh Xeo Saigon for some of the best Vietnamese dishes in town. The titular banh xeo, perfectly crispy and stuffed with shrimp and pork, makes an excellent appetizer before digging into pho and bun bo hue. Vegans will love the extremely impressive mock duck dishes too; they’re uncannily close to the real thing. [$]

Greifswalder Str. 41
10405 Berlin, Germany

10. Yarok

Torstraße 195, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Sun-bathed picnic tables under an awning outside an open storefront, where more tables and a counter are visible within
Outdor tables at Yarok
Yarok

A quintessential cheap-eats destination in a part of town that typically leans more into fine dining, Yarok offers affordable platters of Syrian treats, including crispy falafel, well-spiced kebab, garlicky hummus, and much more. Vegan and vegetarian options abound; try the fried zucchini if you’re looking for a change from the usual Berlin veggie trio of haloumi, falafel, and makali (grilled vegetables). You’ll find another, slightly larger location on Wilhelmstraße, near Checkpoint Charlie. [$]

Torstraße 195
10115 Berlin, Germany

11. Zeit für Brot

Alte Schönhauser Str. 4, Berlin, Berlin 10119, Germany
A bakery interior with plain gray walls and exposed beam ceiling. Behind a pastry counter is a large wooden shelf with various kinds of bread
Inside Zeit für Brot
Zeit für Brot

Although this bakery chainlet is almost off-puttingly trendy in its aesthetic, there’s a good reason Berliners line up here for cinnamon buns, loaded focaccia, and hearty German-style loaves with plenty of grain. It now boasts two locations apiece in Mitte and Charlottenburg, and another in Prenzlauer Berg. [$]

Alte Schönhauser Str. 4, Berlin
Berlin 10119, Germany

12. Lokal

Linienstr. 160, Berlin, Berlin 10115, Germany
A restaurant interior bathed in pink, including a large floral display, illustrations of people on the wall, and tables set for dinner with candles
The dining room at Lokal
Lokal/Facebook

A Berlin institution, Lokal was the first place in the city to embrace nose-to-tail cooking and heavy use of regional ingredients. A refreshingly simple restaurant with an unpretentious, seasonal menu and a casual vibe, it’s still an exemplar of modern, terroir-focused German cooking after a decade on the scene. [$$$]

Linienstr. 160, Berlin
Berlin 10115, Germany

13. Mogg

Auguststr. 11-13, Berlin, Berlin 10117, Germany
A chef carves slices of pastrami
Mogg’s pastrami
Mogg

Hidden in an impressive building that formerly housed a Jewish girls school, Jewish deli Mogg has been knighted by the New York Times as a contender equal to New York for quality pastrami. You won’t be disappointed by the rest of the menu either, including dishes like brioche with truffled mushrooms and eggs. [$$]

Auguststr. 11-13, Berlin
Berlin 10117, Germany

14. Zur letzten Instanz

Waisenstraße 14-16, Berlin, Berlin 10179, Germany
A corner building on a sunny cobblestone street with bright yellow shutters and foliage all around
Outside Zur letzten Instanz
Zur letzten Instanz

Records show Zur letzten Instanz has been in the same location since 1621, making it Berlin’s oldest restaurant. Over the years, this iconic two-story eatery has purportedly hosted countless famous faces, including Napoleon and Charlie Chaplin. The modern incarnation of the restaurant opened its doors in 1924, serving classic dishes, such as the pork knuckle Eisbein, that have made it one of the best places for traditional Berlin cuisine. [$$$]

Waisenstraße 14-16, Berlin
Berlin 10179, Germany

15. Rogacki

Wilmersdorfer Str.145-146, Berlin, Berlin 10585, Germany