10 German food you must eat in Berlin (and how to pronounce them!)

10 German food you must eat in Berlin (and how to pronounce them!)

German food may not be on top of your list when listing down yummy international cuisine. You might think all they eat are sausages, sauerkraut, pork and drink beer. While you’re not wrong, there’s so much more to German food than these three things. Just like any big countries, German cuisine is made up of different regional cuisines. For instance, the area around Hamburg in the north is known for fresh fish dishes while in the south around Bavaria, you’ll find more pork-based dishes. 

Germany’s capital Berlin is the most visited city and it’s easy to see why. The mix of old and new is apparent in its architecture and culture, and the culinary scene reflects this. Read on below for a list of German food you must eat when you visit Berlin and where to find them. Auf gehts!

Döner kebap

Yes, yes we know… You don’t go all the way to Berlin to eat a döner. But it’s a sin to go to Berlin and not eat one as you can’t walk a block without bumping into a kebab stall. With a large Turkish community, you’ll find plenty of delicious Turkish food here (good news for our Muslim friends!). Seasoned chicken are cut into thin strips and then placed in a Turkish bread with a generous helping of vegetables and sauces. The serving is quite huge and you can even probably save half for dinner!

Where to find it:

Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap 

Mehringdamm 32, Kreuzberg

Opening hours: 10am – 2am (Sunday to Thursday), 11am – 5am (Friday and Saturday)

 

Currywurst 

Just like how we often associate Hainanese chicken rice with Ipoh, the currywurst is Berlin’s invention. It’s so iconic that there’s even a museum dedicated to it! The fried pork or beef sausage (vegetarians, fret not, there’s usually a vegetarian option), is smothered in ketchup and sprinkled with a combo of curry and paprika powder. Order the currywurst mit pommes, which comes with a side order of fries, served with either ketchup, mayonnaise, or both. It’s perfect for an afternoon snack or supper!

Where to find it:

Curry 36

Mehringdamm 36, Kreuzberg

Opening hours: 9am – 5am (Daily)

 

Berliner Pfannkuche

Infamously known for the gaffe by John F. Kennedy when he said “Ich bin ein Berliner”, the doughnut is actually known as pfannkuchen (pronounced “fhan-koo-khen”) in Berlin. People outside of Berlin would call it Berliner. Confused? Us too. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying one of life’s simplest pleasures. Deep-fried and coated in powdered sugar, it’s typically filled with sweet jam, usually raspberry, strawberry or cherry. Enjoy it with a cup of hot coffee, and you’ll have the perfect day in Berlin.

Where to find it:

Mostly at any bäckerei (bakery), but try a classic one at Bäckerei Siebert

Schönfließer Str. 12

Opening hours: 6am – 6.30pm (Tuesday to Friday), 6am – 12.30pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday and Monday

 

German bread

You haven’t really lived until you tried German bread. Germany bakes over 300 varieties of bread and you’ll be spoilt for choice! Try the popular pretzel (get one with sprinkled salt), vollkornbrot (whole grain bread), pumpernickel (dark brown bread made of rye) and sonnenblumenbrot (sunflower seed bread) with a side of cheese, jams and cold cuts. Berlin is also fond of brunch — perfect if you’ve had a long night of partying at Berghain — so you’ll never run out of cafes to try German bread.

Where to find it:

Zeit für Brot

Alte Schoenhauser Str. 4

Opening hours:  7am – 8pm (Monday to Friday), 8am – 8pm (Saturday), 8am – 6pm (Sunday)

 

Käsespätzle 

Käsespätzle (pronounced: kay-suh-speh-tzele) is Germany’s version of mac and cheese. While the dish is traditionally from the south of Germany, it has found its way all the way up to Berlin. It’s easy to see why. Made from fluffy noodles and grated cheese, topped with fried onions, this dish is the ultimate comfort food when it’s cold and rainy outside. 

Where to find it:

Lebensmittel Mitte 

Rochstrasse 2

Opening hours: 12pm – 12am (Saturday to Monday), closed on Sunday

 

Kartoffelpuffer

Potatoes are a German staple. Whether in soup, mashed, fried, or served as French fries or chips, an average of roughly 60-65 kilograms of potatoes are eaten per person per year in Germany. That’s a lot of potatoes! While visiting Berlin, try out the vegetarian-friendly kartoffelpuffer, a.k.a German potato cakes. It is made out of grated potatoes, flour, eggs and onions, then deep-fried to golden perfection. This is one versatile dish as it and can be savory when paired with meat or garlic sauce, or sweet when dipped in applesauce. Sometimes  you can find it served with blueberries, powdered sugar and cinnamon. When in Berlin, try both versions!

Where to find it:

Pufferimbiss

Hasenheide 1

Opening hours: 9am – 5pm (Monday to Saturday), closed on Sunday

 

Königsberger Klopse

Pronounced: koe-nigs-ber-ger klop-se, this dish is a definite tongue twister, but a delicious one! Klopse is German for meatball (usually made of veal) which is mixed with anchovies and served in a creamy mixture of capers and lemon. This dish also usually includes boiled potatoes and sometimes a slice of pickled beet. It’s truly a tasty and satisfying meal to sit down to!

Where to find it:

Max und Moritz

Oranien Strasse 162

Opening hours: 5pm – 12am (Daily)

 

Spargel

Springtime in Berlin is Spargel time. From March until mid-June every year, the white asparagus will be served in every restaurant at all times. It’s on such a high demand that the county has to import the vegetables from Spain! From the classic asparagus with ham and potatoes to asparagus as soup, casseroles and salad, the Germans have indeed figured out delicious ways to enjoy this king of vegetables. So, if you’re visiting Berlin during this period, make sure to try it out!

Where to find it:

Der alte Krug

Königin-Luise-Straße 52

When: 10am – 11pm (Daily)

 

Senfeier 

A classic favorite among the Germans, Senfeier (pronounced: zen-fai-yer) are hard-boiled eggs served with boiled potatoes and covered in a creamy mustard sauce. While it may sound simple, they’re robust with flavor and you’ll be wanting more! It’s usually served as a side dish, so it’s the perfect companion to a traditional German dish.

Where to find it:

Schoneberger Weltlaterne 

Motzstrasse 61

Opening hours: 5pm – 12am (Daily)

 

Wiener Schnitzel 

A list of German food is not complete without mentioning the schnitzel. Here’s a fun fact: Wiener Schnitzel (meaning “Viennese cutlet”), is a type of schnitzel veal cutlet, while Schnitzel Wiener Art are non-veal versions, which are usually made of pork or chicken. Despite gaining popularity in Germany, Wiener schnitzel actually originated from Austria. Now you can easily find the best schnitzel right here in Berlin! The veal escalope is hammered to a perfectly even 5mm thickness (Germans and their precision!), coated with flour, eggs and bread crumbs before fried in butter until golden and crispy. The result is crunchy and juicy!

Where to find it:

Restaurant Schneeweiß 

Simplonstraße 16

Opening hours: 5.30pm – 12am (Monday to Friday), 10am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 12am (Saturday and Sunday)

 

Mmm… our tummies are rumbling now! While some of the dishes contain pork and other types of meat, Berlin is a mecca for vegetarians, so there are always vegetarian-friendly options. No worries if you have a strict diet, be it for religious or health reasons. As they say in German, Guten Appetit!

 


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