Berlin Restaurants

Berlin has plenty of unassuming neighborhood restaurants serving old-fashioned German food but happily, the dining scene in this thriving city has expanded to incorporate all sorts of international cuisine, as well as healthier, more contemporary versions of the German classics.

As in many other destinations around the world, eating locally sourced and organic food is more and more the rage in Berlin. Restaurants now understand that although they could import ingredients from other European countries, there are plenty of fresh farm resources closer to home. Look for the name Brandenburg, for instance, before Ente (duck) or Schwein (pork) on a menu–-it's the rural area just outside of Berlin. In spring, definitely look for the weisser Spargel, white asparagus from nearby Beelitz, which is all the rage, showing up as a main course with a variety of sauces, in pastas, soups, and even desserts.

When it comes to international cuisine, Berlin options run the gamut. Italian food is abundant, from relatively mundane pizza and pasta establishments to restaurants offering specific regional Italian delicacies. Asian restaurants, in particular, are popular, as is Turkish food, especially the beloved döner shops selling pressed lamb or chicken in flat-bread pockets with a variety of sauces and salads—always great for a quick meal, and a perennial late-night favorite. Wurst, especially Currywurst—curry-flavored pork sausage served with a mild curry ketchup—is also popular if you're looking for a quick meal on the go.

Old-fashioned German and especially Berlin cuisine is getting harder to find these days, as most restaurants aim to attract customers by reinventing the classics in the so-called Neue Deutsche Küche (new German cuisine) movement. But real, old Berlin classics are still lurking around town if you know where to look. Berlin's most traditional four-part meal is Eisbein (pork knuckle), always served with sauerkraut, pureed peas, and boiled potatoes. Other old-fashioned Berlin dishes include Rouladen (rolled, stuffed beef), Spanferkel (suckling pig), Berliner Schüsselsülze (potted meat in aspic), Hackepeter (ground beef), and Berliner Leber (calves' liver with cooked apples and onions).

Weekend brunch buffets are popular in Berlin and restaurants all over the city get crowded with patrons lingering over the meals.

It's worth noting that Berlin is known for its curt, slow service, except at high-end restaurants. Also keep in mind that many of the top restaurants are closed Sunday, and sometimes Monday as well.

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  • 1. Café Guam

    $ | Café

    Tucked into a small street of antiques shops and boutiques in the Dutch Quarter, Café Guam is a charming bakeshop that offers visitors a taste...Read More

  • 2. Café Heider

    $ | European

    Just across from the Nauener Tor, Café Heider has been serving coffee in this Viennese-style café since 1878. In warmer weather, the outdoor...Read More

  • 3. Der Butt

    $$ | German

    Potsdam is surrounded by lakes and rivers so the fish served here is almost always local–-try the rainbow trout or the eel, fresh from the Havel...Read More

  • 4. Maison Charlotte

    $$ | French

    This Dutch Quarter restaurant captures the essence of old-world France with its rustic decor and bistro classics, including Breton-style fish...Read More

  • 5. Meierei im Neuen Garten

    $ | German

    At the tip of the Neuer Garten, Meierei brewery serves classic German beer and local cuisine, with hearty dishes like schnitzel and roast pork...Read More

  • 6. Restaurant Fiore

    $$$ | European

    For a taste of Potsdam’s finer side, enjoy a meal at Hotel am Jägertor’s restaurant. Chef Rene Tinz highlights regional products and local recipes...Read More

  • 7. Restaurant Juliette

    $$ | French

    Potsdam is proud of its past French influences, and the highly praised French food at this intimate restaurant on the edge of the Dutch Quarter...Read More

  • 8. Speckers Landhaus

    $$$ | German

    This restored Tudor-style cottage is a 10-minute walk from the town center, and well worth a visit for its charming historic architecture and...Read More

  • 9. Wiener Restaurant

    $ | German

    Fine coffee blends and rich cakes are available at Wiener Restaurant, an old-style European coffeehouse on Luisenplatz, steps from the Grünes...Read More

  • 10. Ma Cuisine

    $$$ | French

    In this charming Dutch Quarter space, chef Tim Cumming shares his love of French cuisine. Inside the traditional dining room, you’ll find a...Read More

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