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 Einstein Stammhaus

    $$ | Schöneberg | Austrian

    In the historic grand villa of silent movie star Henny Porten, the Einstein is one of the leading coffeehouses in town and it charmingly recalls...Read More

  • 2. Cookies Cream

    $$ | Mitte | Vegetarian

    The name might have you thinking something different, but this is actually a vegetarian fine-dining restaurant that serves some of the best...Read More

  • 3. Das Lokal

    $$ | Mitte | German

    This popular restaurant, located on the corner of one of Berlin's prettiest streets, serves locally sourced dishes like Brandenburg wild boar...Read More

  • 4. La Soupe Populaire

    $$ | Prenzlauer Berg | German

    Berliners love glamorous ruins, and Bötzow Brauerei, the old brewery complex that houses this restaurant, is one of the most evocative settings...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. Borchardt

    $$ | Mitte | German

    The menu changes daily at this celebrity meeting place—the location near Gendarmenmarkt makes it a popular power lunch spot for politicians...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Engelbecken

    $$ | Charlottenburg | German

    The beer coasters are trading cards of the Wittelsbach dynasty at this relaxed, seemingly always busy restaurant that focuses on food from Bavaria...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Florian

    $$ | Charlottenburg | German

    The handwritten menu is just one page, but everything on it is fresh and delicious at this popular restaurant in the heart of the buzzing nightlife...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Jolesch

    $$ | Kreuzberg | Austrian

    The front bar area and a cozy dining room are usually filled with chattering locals and the occasional dog peeking out from under the table...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Nansen

    $$ | Neukölln | German

    This comfortable, unassuming corner restaurant has a secret: it serves some of the best food in the neighborhood. The unremarkable wooden tables...Read More

  • 17. Ottenthal

    $$ | Charlottenburg | Austrian

    This intimate restaurant with white tablecloths is owned by Austrians from the small village of Ottenthal, and serves as an homage to their...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. 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

  • 20. ULA

    $$ | Mitte | Japanese

    For those who equate Japanese food with sushi, ULA is an eye opener, since raw fish is just a small part of the menu at this inventive Japanese...Read More

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