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This comprehensive guide includes our personal favorites in Berlin. These are our top choices to soak up the culture and feel of the German capital.
It is by no means final.
Check out our other Berlin Quick Guides:
GlobetrotterGirls Quick Guide to Berlin: An overview of the German capital
GlobetrotterGirls Quick Guide to Berlin: Neighborhoods of Berlin
GlobetrotterGirls Quick Guide to Berlin: Parks, lakes and outdoor Berlin
There are hundreds of thousands of restaurants in Berlin, and we have only managed to eat and drink at some of the ones on our loooong list of restaurants / cafes / bars to try in Berlin. We’ll be updating this list every time we return to Berlin – and if you have a place we should try to add, please share in the comments below.
Brunch in Berlin
Brunch is a ‘thing’ all over Germany but nowhere is it celebrated like in Berlin, stretching on long into the late afternoon on any day of the week, not just weekends. This usually involves a big plate filled with cheese, cold cuts, fruit, a boiled egg, jams and honey, salad, plus enough rolls to keep you full until dinner. For a beautiful breakfast étagère (to share between either two or four people) head to Anna Blume (Kollwitzstraße 83) in Prenzlauer Berg. In Kreuzberg, A.horn (Carl-Herz-Ufer 6) makes good breakfast right by the Landwehr Canal, including homemade bagels and muesli and Das Edelweiss (Görlitzer Straße 1) in Görlitzer Park has a nice terrace and serves up several delicious breakfast options, including the 36er Kiez which includes a beer or Prosecco and pickled herring for adventurous eaters. Another good breakfast spot in Kreuzberg is Morgenland (Skalitzer Straße 35).
Certain Turkish foods have been entirely adopted into German cuisine the way that Americans eat ‘Tex-Mex’ or the British love their ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’. The most beloved of all Turkish cuisine is the Doner Kebab, probably the most popular food in Berlin. Cheap, quick and filling (usually €2.50 – €3.50), they make for a good lunch or dinner without having to sit down in a restaurant.
Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, famous for its long lines, is well worth the wait and lives up to the hype – they really do make some of the best doners in Berlin! They have a vegetarian option, too, and you’ll meet people from all over the world while waiting in line here. If you head to their main branch on Mehringdamm , you can also try a Currywurst, the typical Berlin sausage with curry sauce, at Curry 36, right opposite from Mustafa’s and supposedly the best Currywurst in Berlin (they have another branch at Bahnhof Zoo).
Berlin is filled with ethnic restaurants, it’s actually more difficult to find German cuisine in many neighborhoods. Most of the Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Lebanese, Turkish, Italian or Japanese places you even just happen to stumble across are great, but if in doubt, check Foursquare for recommendations in your neighborhood.
Some of our favorites included:
- Sushi at Cube (Zossener Straße 18) and Aiko (Brunnenstraße 193)
- Lebanese in Kreuzberg at Maroush (Adalbertstraße 93)
- A very interesting (Canadian) kind of pizza at Ron Telesky’s (Dieffenbachstraße 62) and Naan pizzas at W-Imbiss (Kastanienallee 49)
- Mexican at Maria Bonita (Danziger Straße 33)
- Thai at Thai Inside (Dircksenstraße 37) in Mitte or Mao Thai in Prenzlauer Berg (Wörther Straße 30)
- Vietnamese at Hamy Café (Hasenheide 10) in Neukölln
- Vietnamese at Via He Hai (Dieffenbachstraße 58a) in Kreuzberg
- Vietnamese in Mitte at Good Morning Vietnam (Alte Schönhauser Straße 60). There are several Vietnamese restaurants in Mitte; avoid District Mot though – even their décor feels like you’re right in Saigon, it is overpriced and the quality is mediocre)
- Middle Eastern at Knofi (Bergmannstraße 98) or Weinblatt (Dieffenbachstraße 59); Middle Eastern-style bread for only €1 at Tandur Lasan (Kottbusser Damm 6)
- Sudanese food at Sahara (Reuterstraße 56) – the peanut sauce is to die for!
- Turkish breakfast and lunch at La Femme (Kottbusser Damm 77)
- Napoli-style pizza at Pizzeria Papa Pane di Sorrento (Ackerstraße 23)
- Indian at Khushi (Kollwitzstraße 37) in Prenzlauer Berg; Agni (Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 1) in Moabit
- Turkish sweets (baklava) at Kılıçoğlu Baklavaci (Adalbertstraße 9)
Bergmannstrasse in Kreuzberg has a selection of Indian and Middle Eastern places – many of them offer the popular lunch menus that offer a starter, a main and sometimes also dessert for around €5. Restaurants offering these cheap lunch menus can be found all over town and they’re usually excellent value for money.
For an authentic German beer garden experience, head to Café am Neuen See in Tiergarten park. Another good beer garden is the Prater Garten in Prenzlauer Berg, which gets very busy in the evening on warm summer nights.
If you crave something sweet, head to our favorite brunch spot Anna Blume (Kollwitzstraße 83) and try some of their fabulous cake, or to Princess Cheesecake (Tucholskystraße 37) or the above-mentioned Alpenstueck (Gartenstraße 9) in Mitte for decadent cheesecake. An interesting German dessert option is the quark stall in Mauerpark flea market (sometimes also in Maybachufer Market), which is basically served like frozen yogurts (different flavors of your choice with several toppings). Kunefe is a delicious Turkish dessert you can try at Hasir (Adalbertstraße 12) or at Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci (Kottbusser Damm 80).
Coffee culture is huge in Berlin, and there are new coffee shops popping up around town all the time. Some of our favorites included St. Oberholz at Rosenthaler Straße 72a; great for people watching right at Rosenthaler Platz, The Barn in Mitte at Auguststraße 58 for best Flat White we’ve had in Berlin so far, Bonanza Coffee Roasters on Oderberger Straße 35 in Prenzlauer Berg for truly excellent coffee, Milchschaum on Bergmannstraße 3 in Kreuzberg for a cute café with a good cake selection, Milch & Zucker at Core Tex Records 37, Café am Engelbecken on Michaelkirchplatz, for one of the most scenic (outdoor) cafes in Kreuzberg.
- Mein Haus am See (Brunnenstraße 197-198) in Rosenthaler Platz is a good place for a This-is-so-Berlin experience
- Weinstein (Lychener Strasse 33) in Prenzlauer Berg has a great and inexpensive wine selection
- Klunkerkranich (Karl-Marx-Str. 66) in Neukölln on the rooftop of a shopping mall makes for the best views (head there for sunset, and good luck finding it)
- Sisyphos (Hauptstraße 15, 10317 Berlin-Lichtenberg) bar and club with different dance floors located in an old dog cookie factory)
For digital nomads: The best places to work
BetaHaus (Prinzessinnenstraße 19-20) in Kreuzberg is our absolute favorite place to work. A designated co-working space, BetaHaus serves up good coffee and inexpensive lunches, plus a variety of sandwiches and sweet snacks throughout the day. This is where you’ll see most of Berlin’s start-up and freelance scene congregate every day. With plugs at every table and long hours, this was the ideal place to get work done.
St Oberholz (see above) has definitely the best work space in Mitte, with an entire upstairs area filled with Mac users (you might feel slightly out of place if you don’t have a Mac) that take advantage of the ample space and the dozens of extension cords for the whole place to plug in and get to work. Food options are decent, and the coffee is good.
Have something to add?
This is our ever-growing list of our personal Berlin favorites, and we would love to add your own comments or advice to this list! Please help this guide be as comprehensive as possible – and leave your suggestions in the comments below.