Despite its formidable cultural scene (especially when it comes to music and art), the German capital has never really been considered a serious gastronomic city. The city isn’t brimming with glamorous foodie destinations with international acclaim, especially compared to other top destinations in Europe – but that comparison is exactly the point. Berlin is not trying to be Paris or Barcelona.
Berlin’s best spots tend to be low-key neighborhood haunts and candlelit bars that look like lounges. You can dine well at the refined yet fun Otto with a meal prepared by Berlin native and Noma alum Vadim Otto Ursus, and follow it up with an equally compelling meal at the beautifully graffitied Rüyam kebab shop. Meanwhile, Berlin’s location at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe has made it a hub for transplants, which serve a range of khachapuri, ceviche and curry. And while the city doesn’t have as many specialty dishes to its name as some other capitals, it leans on prized signatures like currywurst (fried sausage doused in curry-infused ketchup and served with chips) and doner kebab.
Note: Many restaurants in Berlin still only accept cash, and service in many places can be almost aggressively inattentive. Chasing waiters to take your order or pay is an integral part of dining here – embrace it.
Health experts consider eating out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; this may pose a risk to vaccinees, especially in areas with high COVID transmission.
Prices per person:
$ = Less than 15 euros (Less than US$17)
$$ = 16 – 39 euros ($17 – $44 USD)
$$$ = 40 – 65 Euro ($44 – $72 USD)
$$$$ = 66 euros and more (73 USD and more)
Tim Forster is a Berlin-based freelance writer and editor, covering food, culture and technology. He is the former editor of Eater Montreal.
To note: The restaurants on this map are listed geographically.