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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Bandol sur Mer

    $$$$ | Mitte | French

    This tiny, 20-seat eatery serves inspired French cuisine in rotating five-course (or more) menus celebrating what's regional and seasonal–-you...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Dottir

    $$$$ | Mitte | Scandinavian

    The new Nordic movement has arrived in Berlin, and although the decor hits the classic Berlin notes–-high ceilings, big windows, wood floors...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Glass

    $$$$ | Charlottenburg | Eclectic

    This is one of the few Berlin restaurants tackling the world of molecular gastronomy, and Israeli chef Gal Ben Moshe has the perfect pedigree...Read More

  • 9. Lavanderia Vecchia

    $$$$ | Neukölln | Italian

    Hidden away in a courtyard off a busy Neukölln street, in a space that used to contain an old laundrette (hence the name, which means "old laundrette...Read More

  • 10. Lubitsch

    $ | Charlottenburg | German

    One of the few traditional, artsy restaurants left in bohemian Charlottenburg, the Lubitsch—named after the famous Berlin film director Ernst...Read More

  • 11. Pauly Saal

    $$$$ | Mitte | German

    With an airy, high-windowed space in what used to be the school gym of the converted Ehemalige Jüdische Mädchenschule (Old Jewish Girls' School...Read More

  • 12. Volta

    $ | Wedding | Burger

    For proof that Wedding is on the rise, look no further than this tiny, trendy restaurant, which serves high-end, beautifully presented bar food...Read More

  • 13. Da Baffi

    $ | Wedding | Italian

    At the quieter end of bustling Leopoldplatz, Da Baffi is a bright Italian light in Berlin. The interior is charming and casual, with white-painted...Read More

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