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. Cocolo

    $ | Mitte | Japanese

    The most surprising thing about this very authentic-seeming ramen joint is the fact that the owner and chef is German, not Japanese. When it...Read More

  • 2. Curry 36

    $ | Kreuzberg | Fast Food

    This currywurst stand in Kreuzberg has a cult following and just about any time of day or night you'll find yourself amid a crowd of cab drivers...Read More

  • 3. Die Henne

    $ | Kreuzberg | German

    This 100-plus-year-old Kreuzberg stalwart has survived a lot. After two world wars, it found itself quite literally with its back against the...Read More

  • 4. Konnopke's Imbiss

    $ | Prenzlauer Berg | German

    Under the tracks of the elevated U2 subway line is Berlin's most beloved sausage stand. Konnopke's is a family business that's been around for...Read More

  • 5. Mädchenitaliener

    $ | Mitte | Italian

    This cozy Mitte spot has two different spaces: the bustling and sometimes drafty front room with high tables where walk-ins are seated, and...Read More

  • 6. Markthalle Neun

    $ | Kreuzberg | International

    Thanks to the efforts of local activists, this century-old market hall (sometimes spelled Markthalle IX) was saved from becoming a chain supermarket...Read More

  • 7. Thai Park

    $ | Charlottenburg | Thai

    Every weekend in decent weather, the main lawn at Wilmersdorf park fills up with Southeast Asian families (mostly Thai, but some Vietnamese...Read More

  • 8. Altes Europa

    $ | Mitte | German

    By day, this is a quiet café reminiscent of a classic Viennese coffeehouse (the name means "Old Europe"), with shabby but trendy decor, and...Read More

  • 9. Bonanza Coffee Heroes

    $ | Prenzlauer Berg | Café

    The name isn't an exaggeration: Bonanza really was one of the first "coffee heroes" to champion artisanal roasting and brewing methods in the...Read More

  • 10. Briefmarken Weine

    $ | Friedrichshain | Italian

    In the grand Berlin tradition of reinventing historical spaces, this lovely wine bar and Italian restaurant has taken over a former stamp shop...Read More

  • 11. Café Aroma

    $ | Schöneberg | Italian

    On a small winding street in an area between Kreuzberg and Schöneberg known as Rote Insel or "red island" because of its location between...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Café Morgenland

    $ | Kreuzberg | Middle Eastern

    Within view (and earshot) of the elevated U1 line, Café Morgenland is a relatively unremarkable neighborhood haunt on weekdays but on Sundays...Read More

  • 15. Café Pförtner

    $ | Wedding | German

    There are plenty of places in Wedding for a quick falafel or döner but if you're looking for something different, head to Café Pförtner, at...Read More

  • 16. Confiserie Orientale

    $ | Mitte | Café

    If you think the döner kebab is the pinnacle of Turkish food in Berlin, a visit to this exquisite sweets boutique will make you rethink your...Read More

  • 17. Defne

    $ | Kreuzberg | Turkish

    In a city full of Turkish restaurants, Defne stands out for its exquisitely prepared food, friendly service, and pleasant setting. Beyond simple...Read More

  • 18. Five Elephant

    $ | Kreuzberg | Café

    In addition to brewing first-rate, quality coffee from beans roasted on the premises, Five Elephant serves some of the best cake in town, including...Read More

  • 19. Godshot

    $ | Prenzlauer Berg | Café

    The eclectic mix of oddly matched couches, chairs, and tables in this tiny space create a cozy setting for enjoying excellent coffee and pastries...Read More

  • 20. Golgatha

    $ | Kreuzberg | German

    This beloved local watering hole has taken up space in Viktoriapark since 1928. Open all day long and late into the night, it's the perfect...Read More

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