Ultimate Guide to Berlin Food & Drink
When Jason and I travel, we always make food a top priority. Food is life, and if you’re traveling and not experiencing the life where you are, are you even traveling? Berlin was one of the cities we’ve traveled to where we were fortunate enough to never have a bad meal. From breakfast to snacks to drinks at night, we have you covered. Here is the ultimate guide to Berlin food & drink!
The irony of going all the way to the Berlin branch of a Brooklyn based restaurant that, itself, is inspired by European cafes, is not lost on me. Tucked away in a quiet building in Mitte, this beautiful cafe is cozy, bright and delicious. You may have even recognized the lobby, it’s insanely Instagram-able and covered in plants and succulents.
Known for their breakfasts and sandwiches, and their Japanese touches to their dishes. We indulged a bit with the Homemade Biscuit Benedict, Croissant French Toast, Homemade Granola & Fresh Fruit with Greek Yogurt, Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice.
Let me tell you, none of it disappointed. The biscuits were studded with pieces of ham and chives and the hollandaise was divine. The french toast was such a no-brainer, I can’t believe i’ve never seen it before. Of COURSE you should use croissant in french toast! Im a believer.
2. Suicide Sue
We stayed in Prenzlauerberg (which I definitely recommend), and were lucky enough to have the prefect little cafe around the corner. Suicide Sue seems super hip and chic, and it is! It’s also usually pretty busy and, full disclosure, can be a bit slow. However, the coffee is perfect and they have adorable little platters of food, not to mention perfect sidewalk seating. We ate there multiple mornings during our stay in Berlin, it became our local favorite. Their homemade museli and lattes were my favorite, but just a heads up, it’s cash only.
Unfortunately, we came a couple minutes too late for their lunch service, so we didn’t get to eat here. However, I did see a couple devouring a still steaming pork knuckle, so I am going to assume it was as good as it looked. Zur Letzen Instanz is Berlin’s oldest restaurant. Established in 1621, and rebuilt in 1963, it boasts an impressive roster of famous artists and figures, like Charlie Chaplin and Otto Nagel; this charming restaurant was restored to it’s original state. I would highly recommend a reservation, and a quick check to make sure that they are still serving during the time you want to eat (facepalm).
2. Curry Mitte
After a long day of walking around Museum Island and posing for cringeworthy instagram stories, we really built up an appetite. Cue Berlin’s ubiquitous currywurst. We knew we wouldn’t be able to leave the city without trying this dish, and we were really lucky that there was one around the corner from us when we started to feel the serious hanger pains setting in. I’d read that there are some spots that are better than the others, but truthfully, I wouldn’t know the difference. What I do know, is that this simple snack is SO GOOD. It’s so simple, steamed and fried bratwurst with fries, covered in curry ketchup and a curry blend of spices. I didn’t imagine that I would find this so fulfilling, but it’s true. Hit any of these stands up after a long night out in Berlin for some truly great fast food.
Fun fact: Los Angeles (our home) doesn’t have a single Michelin Starred restaurant! Due to a lack of interest from the city and the Michelin guide, we haven’t had any of our eateries reviewed for over a decade. Not that there aren’t plenty of places that should have a star, because there definitely are. Due to this, when possible, we always try to go to a Michelin Starred restaurant when we go to new cities. We also try to find ones that allow you to deviate from a set menu and try to find the most affordable and accessible options.
Enter Katz Orange. Located in the beautiful courtyard of an old brewery building, Katz Orange is hip without feeling pretentious, chic and warm. It’s no wonder that this restaurant has been a foodie favorite for years. We wanted to try an elevated take on traditional German cuisine, which is funny, because my working knowledge of it begins and ends at Bratwurst and Black Forest Cake. Nevertheless, we ordered about 5 dishes and a couple of cocktails. Our charming waiter helped me pair my cocktails to the dishes and although I started out skeptical, he was 100% right with his suggestions.
Katz Orange, may be esteemed and awarded, but it was a very cozy place and had a laid back vibe that you wouldn’t expect. The couple at the table next to us was dinning on the Candy on Bone (Duroc Pork) and beers while watching the football game on their iphone. Our favorite dish was the Beef Tafelspitz with Miso and Pickled Cherry. It was totally an unexpected flavor combo for us plebs and our American palettes. Katz Orange is a must do, and as always in major European Cities at nicer restaurants, make a reservation if you don’t want to be disappointed.
We stumbled on this wirsthaus on our last night in Berlin. It was raining again and we were craving carbs and meat. I love a good sausage platter and beer, so this was a natural choice to close out our Berlin adventure. I must say, we had the best server, who was so sweet and doting, it really made our experience and cemented our love of Berlin and all the wonderful things in it. Yes, the food was delicious, we can’t base our opinions solely on the service; however, they gave us a parting gift of 2 ceramic steins, so obviously we can be bought, and the price cheap. I had the Sausage Platter (naturally) and the most delectable potato salad I have ever tasted. Jason and I also split the Apple Strüdel, which was so creamy and tender. A real strüdel, we discovered, isn’t the crumbly flakey kind you find in the US, it’s the warm layered dough and cooked cinnamon apples that just melt in your mouth.
This inviting little Vietnamese restaurant was right next door to our Airbnb and after almost 20 hours of traveling and braving the cold (ok, comparatively to LA), Vibes was the prefect spot to relax. I had a big bowl of chicken Pho, with this delicious, clean broth that instantly made me feel nourished after a very long day. The restaurant is very chill and has great service, not to mention a really bizarre mural of martial art greats like Donnie Yen and Jet Li but then ends with Tyga and Kylie Jenner. Never underestimate the healing power of a big warm bowl of soup on a cold fall night.
It’s not mandatory that you make reservations to every restaurant every night you are in Berlin, but, as we found out, it certainly helps. We decided to test fate and roamed around our neighborhood looking for a good Italian place. We came across Trattoria Felice and after doing the obligatory Yelp scan, we were thankful that they were able to squeeze us into a table that looked like they stuck it there for our benefit. It was completely packed on a Monday night! Regardless of the size of table (which was completely fine, really), we really enjoyed the Trattoria Felice. I got the Bolognese, which although it should be served on a broader pasta like a Papparadelle, was really delectable. Sometimes a mediocre Bolognese tastes more like a tomato sauce and can be on the more watery side, but their sauce had a nice consistency and a richness that I look for in a meat sauce. We also had some of their Margarita Pizza and it was solid. The dough was slightly chewy, and crispy on the crust with a great cheese to sauce ratio.
I am actually obsessed with cereal. Full stop. Give me a cereal cafe in any country and I will always find it. Like regional snacks, I love seeing what sugar coated concoctions other places have to offer. Flakes corner is a couple stores down from Mustafa Demir’s and within a 5 minute walk from some really great attractions like the DDR Museum. They had an array of different milks, great toppings and a fun nostalgic vibe. If you’re lucky enough, you can snag the table that has the Nintendo and play some Donkey Kong or Castlevania. Don’t worry if you can’t though, they have comic books in both English and German all over the tables to keep you busy.
Donuts are a simple, but strangely complex dessert. The best ones usually come from the cheapest little holes in the wall. If you fuss too much or get too ambitious you risk ruining a good thing. I’ve been disappointed by “fancy” donuts on more than one occasion. Brammibal’s is one of the exceptions. They have a seasonal offering and switch up the flavors every month, which means you get to try great flavors like Blood Orange or Hibiscus Sprinkles. They absolutely nail rich, indulgent flavors like Cherry Amaretto, but also don’t waver on classics like Boston Cream. Come here in the morning for your coffee and pastry fix. (Insert cop joke here)
This bar is a no-brainer. It’s Quentin Tarantino themed; well, not so much a theme as excessive Tarantino merch, but nonetheless a fun, chill homage to the iconic director (not to mention one of my top 3 all time favorites). Apparently, he patronized the bar one more than one occasion while he was filming Inglourious Basterds. The prices are moderate and this is exactly the perfect spot to have a cocktail and dissect every poster and image you see on the walls. I’ll start, let’s talk O-Ren Iishi and Lady Snowblood.
No trip to Germany is really complete without some time in a beer hall. Hofbraü is open all year round and you can get that Oktoberfest experience without having to go to Munich in October. This is the type of place that you go to when you want a laid back atmosphere that is vibrant, while kicking back stein after stein of beer. A snack will suffice here while you people watch.
Full disclosure, I didn’t actually drink at Belushi’s. I drank downstairs at their weekly comedy show, Cosmic Comedy. Jason did some stand up there one night and we were so glad that it was at Cosmic Comedy. The price of admission included pizza and free shots (very German Apple Schnäpps), and the line up was actually really funny. I’m a tough sell, believe me, i’ve seen more than my fair share of awful standup. The host was energetic and they have consistently packed houses, so if you are visiting Berlin and want to laugh to some international comedy and maybe meet some other travelers, this is the place to break the ice in Berlin. Jason’s show was our first night in the city and we had such a fun time, it set the tone for our entire stay.
A little McDonald’s in Berlin never hurt anyone…
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