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  • Writer's pictureDr Julien Drouart

Some places to eat in Berlin

It's almost time to eat. It's time to think about where to eat. Of course, you'll have to adapt to the German timetable and choose the best addresses according to the area you're visiting. Depending on your budget, your current mood and the weather, you may want to eat locally. Here are a few places to eat in Berlin.

A word of warning, however: the reception in eating places can sometimes be unsympathetic and borderline rude. Many will say that this is a typical Berlin cultural trait. Fortunately, some establishments offer a warm welcome. Depending on the establishment you choose, remember to make a reservation.

Eating lunch and dinner

Discovering diversity and plurality in Berlin

For lunch and dinner, there is a wide range of restaurants and brasseries to choose from. The norm is for lunch to be relatively frugal and dinner to be taken from 6pm. However, Berlin is a European capital and you will have no trouble finding a place to eat.

For families with children, we recommend safe terraced spaces, preferably restaurants in inner courtyards, such as those on Hackescher Markt. Other options include the Imbissstube (bistro/café) and the Biergarten.

Berlin's gastronomy may be rudimentary, but it would be a shame to ignore it. It is part of the intercultural learning process. Some curiosities may catch your eye, such as vegan, Asian, Turkish, Israeli or Syrian cuisine. One idea is to discover exotic or specialised cuisine related to current affairs, travel and history. Let yourself be surprised.

Combine dining and cultural life

The best way to discover Berlin's gastronomic sights is to take advantage of the fact that there is something to do nearby to avoid having to travel.

In Dahlem, you can visit the Brücke Museum and then go to the adjacent Café Kunsthaus. The latter is located in the original studios of the sculptor Arno Brecker, a former favourite of Adolf Hitler. Today, the cuisine here is of the highest quality. A few hundred metres away, the Châlet Suisse welcomes you to a rustic beer garden on the edge of the Grunewald forest.

In Prenzlauer-Berg, after visiting the Museum of Everyday Life in the GDR, you can visit the Masel Topf restaurant. Opposite the water tower and next to the Great Synagogue, you can enjoy delicious Israeli kosher cuisine. Nearby, the remarkable Café Seeblick offers unpretentious German cuisine with a warm welcome in a friendly atmosphere.

In Charlottenburg, you can take advantage of a visit to the Berlin Zoo to go to the Dicke Wirtin bistro. In a very brasserie atmosphere, you will eat picturesque German dishes.

In Kreuzberg, head to the Vietnamese restaurant Umami, one of the highlights of multicultural Berlin. Afterwards, you can visit the streets of a district that celebrates street art. Or continue on to the Jockel Biergarten, a huge drinking area with music and playgrounds for children.

In Mitte, discover Italian cuisine at the restaurant La Garda. Located in a beautiful inner courtyard behind the New Synagogue, it is a must before visiting the Hackesche Höfe. Nearby, you can visit the Clärchen Ballhaus, a cultural centre of the past and present. The setting is both beautiful and old-fashioned.

Eating out in Berlin is a social experience

Fast food

Berlin's fast food scene is built around two cultural staples: curry-wurst and doner kebab. The food is eaten standing up and there are no sanitary facilities. For kebab lovers, this is the way to learn about local particularities. In Friedrichshain, the Vöner establishment offers a vegan version of the doner, before heading off to party in this very lively district at the weekend.

While the kebab is internationally renowned, the curry-wurst is a traditional German dish, and some would say a typical Berlin dish. Indeed, curry-wurst is an institution in Berlin. High in calories and served with Chips, currywurst is best enjoyed in moderation. There are two notable establishments in Berlin. Firstly, Curry 36 in Kreuzberg is a legendary curry-wurst establishment. It is so successful that you may have to be patient to order. Next, check out Konnopke in Prenzlauer-Berg. Located under the underground's overhead line, it's a landmark for the East German version of curry sausage.

Some will try to add an American touch by eating at one of the burger joints in town. One such place is Kreuzburger in Kreuzberg, a party district of the city.

Finally, Berlin is known for its food trucks and covered markets. In Kreuzberg, the Markthalle Neun offers a gigantic, diverse but rather expensive covered street-food every Thursday in the early evening. In the same vein, a Street Food Markt is held every Sunday at the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer-Berg. This friendly gastronomic market takes place in a rehabilitated industrial setting.

An institution in Germany: Brunch

Staying in a hotel should not prevent you from having brunch in a choice establishment, especially on Sundays. Brunch is indeed very famous in Berlin, so much so that it is sometimes advisable to book a few days in advance. We are talking about a price range of 15 to 29€ per person.

The atmosphere varies from one establishment to another, from one district to another. In Mitte, young people gather at the House of Small Wonder, located in a former hospital in the Jewish quarter. In Kreuzberg, a more wild and popular youth meets at the Südblock café. A more muted atmosphere awaits you at 21 Gramm in Neukölln and Café Phönix in Charlottenburg. The romantic setting is the order of the day, as is the Kaffee-Kuchen or cake café.

What about alcoholic drinks?

An alternative to drinking in a bar or restaurant is to drink in the public space. There is a great deal of tolerance in the German capital, and it is common to see people wandering the streets drinking beer bought cheaply in the many grocery shops in Berlin. Don't be afraid to look at them with disapproving eyes: young and old alike do it. It is also part of intercultural learning.

Keep your drinking to a minimum and observe self-control. Do not walk through parks after dark as there are no street lights. Of course, you should avoid bad places and pick up your rubbish on your way out.

It is best to sit in busy, well-lit public areas in the party districts. In Friedrichshain, the city park at Boxhagener Platz looks like a crowd on Saturday night. In a more upscale atmosphere, the bourgeois park at Rudesheimer Platz in Friedenau welcomes wine lovers in summer. Other more unlikely places become meeting places, such as Treptow Park to watch the sunset.

Eating out in Berlin has never been easier

Once you've found your accommodation in Berlin, chances are you're now thinking about what you'll do during your stay in the German capital. Plan a programme of cultural visits and city walks. After that, you'll be able to adapt and always find a place to eat. There are many places to eat in Berlin. The main thing is to understand that the experience is social before it is gastronomic.

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