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.Read More