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. Katz Orange

    $$$ | Mitte | Contemporary

    This lovely restaurant, hidden in a courtyard off a quiet, residential street, is both elegant enough for a special occasion and homey enough...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Renger-Patzsch

    $$ | Schöneberg | German

    Black-and-white photographs by the German landscape photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch, the restaurant's namesake, decorate the darkwood-paneled...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Fleischerei

    $$ | Prenzlauer Berg | German

    The name means "butcher shop" and that's exactly what this meat lover's restaurant used to be. The stylishly stark interior pays tribute with...Read More

  • 9. Francucci's

    $$$ | Charlottenburg | Italian

    This upscale restaurant on the far western end of Kurfürstendamm is one of the best-kept Italian secrets in Berlin. You won't find many tourists...Read More

  • 10. Gugelhof

    $ | Prenzlauer Berg | Eclectic

    Although far from Alsatian France and the Mosel and Saar regions of Germany's southwest that inspire the hearty fare here, a visit to this busy...Read More

  • 11. Habel am Reichstag

    $$$ | Mitte | German

    Under the arches of the S-bahn tracks connecting Friedrichstrasse with Hauptbahnhof, Habel am Reichstag seems unassuming from outside, but inside...Read More

  • 12. Hackescher Hof

    $$ | Mitte | German

    This beautiful, wood-paneled restaurant is spacious but almost always crowded, and usually smoke-filled as well, but it's right in the middle...Read More

  • 13. Lutter & Wegner

    $$$ | Mitte | German

    The dark-wood-panel walls, parquet floor, and multiple rooms of this bustling restaurant across from Gendarmenmarkt have an air of 19th-century...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Marqués Rene Maschkiwitz

    $$ | Kreuzberg | Spanish

    In a city where it seems as if 10 new restaurants open every day, this Spanish and Portugese tapas spot has been spared much of the hype, but...Read More

  • 16. Martha's

    $$ | Schöneberg | German

    Helmed by Manuel Schmuck, who honed his cooking style at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Reinstoff, Martha’s takes traditional German dishes...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Monsieur Vuong

    $ | Mitte | Vietnamese

    This hip Vietnamese eatery is a convenient place to meet before hitting Mitte's galleries or clubs, or for a light lunch after browsing the...Read More

  • 19. Pasternak

    $ | Prenzlauer Berg | Russian

    Russian treats such as dumplings, borscht, deviled eggs topped with salmon roe, blini with sour cream and dill, pierogi, and much more are the...Read More

  • 20. Schneeweiss

    $$ | Friedrichshain | Austrian

    Friedrichshain locals have been enjoying this corner spot for years, drawn in by the alpine-inspired new German cuisine and lively atmosphere...Read More

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