Although it lies right next to the hustling and bustling Mitte district, up-and-coming Moabit is one of Berlin’s most underrated neighbourhoods. And while its best restaurants might be a little harder to seek out than those in other areas of Berlin, do a little digging and you’re sure to be delighted by great food, charming interiors and creative flavours.
Moabit’s choice of restaurants is as diverse as its multicultural community. From traditional German dishes to Nepalese menus, there’s an impressive range of cuisines to choose from, many of which remain affordable and service-orientated. Located just a stone’s throw away from the famous Tiergarten, the Spree River and Bellevue Palace, dining in Moabit is also a fantastic opportunity to discover a lesser-known area of Berlin. Here, Berlin resident Fabienne Lang shares the best restaurants to try in Moabit.
For proper German fare, head to Arema in the heart of Moabit, on Birkenstrasse. You’ll find all the typical national comfort foods here, such as Flammkuchen (a German variation of pizza), Spätzle (similar to macaroni and cheese) and Nuremberg sausages with potatoes and sauerkraut. The team behind Arema particularly recommend the Spätzle, especially during the colder months of the year. The restaurant has maintained elements of the original 1980s decor of the building it’s housed in and stylishly blended these with Berlin’s newer vintage style: chandeliers hang over mismatched chairs and plush sofas, while tiled walls and an impressive dark wooden bar top add to the sophisticated design.
With its excellent array of plant-based eateries, no list of restaurants in Berlin is complete without a vegan venue, and one you wouldn’t want to miss is Valladares. Located on a street corner in Moabit that offers views of a leafy park, this café is the perfect place to relax with a healthy bite to eat or a cup of coffee. The falafel bowl (falafel balls, sweet potato fries, roasted vegetables, hummus, fresh herb spread and lettuce) is highly recommended, along with any of their freshly baked vegan cakes available from the counter. It’s a touch on the pricier side for Moabit, but the solid portions, not to mention the guilt-free eating, easily make up for the extra pennies.
Om is a real gem of a restaurant that’s neatly tucked away on a quiet street just around the corner from the Spree River. Offering traditional Indian and Nepalese dishes that will make your taste buds rejoice, this unassuming spot is perfect for a peaceful meal that’s full of flavour. Speaking of flavour, the team has purposefully dialled down the spiciness of their meals – something that’s quite normal in Berlin – but is more than happy to dial it back up for those who can handle it; just let them know. And the atmosphere is lovely, too: as soon as you walk through the doors, you’ll feel right at home thanks to the warm and genuine service. The team’s philosophy of ‘the body is the temple of the soul’ rings very true.
For an entirely different cultural experience, head a few doors down from Om and into Casa Matti. Pizza is the name of the game at this boisterous Italian joint, which is usually busy with families, groups of friends and couples. The team at this lively and bright spot treats customers like family, joining conversations and generally spreading the traditional Italian cheer. The pizzas are gigantic, so one is enough for two people to share. Their tartufata pizza, which is adorned with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, spicy salami, arugula, pecorino sardo and truffle oil, should definitely be a part of your order.
Enjoy a fine-dining meal basking aboard this docked boat on the Spree River. The menu boasts French-inspired delicacies such as coq au vin and beef fillet on potato mousseline, but each retains a local connection, as the ingredients hark from regional suppliers from Berlin’s surrounding area. What truly makes this venue unique, though, are its charter boats. You can book yourself and your friends a private boat tour of the Spree on one of their two smaller boats, Topaz and Riethoen. Admire the view of the sun setting over the city from the water while enjoying an apéritif or a digestif along with a small culinary surprise, depending on what time you choose to ‘sail’.
Burgers. Bagels. Hip-hop. What more could you want? This wondrously relaxed and upbeat venue is smack bang in the middle of Moabit and will see you leaving with a spring in your step, whether from listening to the incredible 1990s hip-hop classics pumping through the place or from the delectable high-quality US beef and lamb burgers. Dubbed ‘edible hymns’, each burger is named after a famous hip-hop song, such as “No Diggity” and “Gangsta’s Paradise”. Almost adding insult to injury, the team has sandwiched the meat patties between two bagel sides for an indulgent culinary delight. As the team says, it’s the “best of both worlds”!
Marjan Grill is a great place for meat lovers, offering Croatian specialties from its charcoal grill, which has been running since the restaurant opened in 1981. The traditional Balkan dish ćevapčići (minced meat rolls) and all forms of grilled meats – from rump steak and lamb cutlets to grilled pork liver – make this place a must visit. To match the hearty Croatian meals on the menu, the venue’s decor involves heavy wooden frames, tables and cushioned banquettes.
This lunch spot in Moabit has perfected the art of simplicity. In keeping with its name, which means “high noon”, the restaurant only offers lunch, opening 12pm–2.30pm on weekdays, and shutting over the weekend. Sticking to its simple, yet commendable, rule of thumb of eating well, healthily and cheaply, the fresh and short menu of homemade dishes here changes on a daily basis, so you’ll always have a new option no matter how often you visit. Zwölf uhr mittags is an ideal concept for a speedy lunch in Moabit or for those who have trouble deciding what to eat from extensive menus.
The historical Arminius Markthalle is still standing in all its stunning 1891 glory. This market hall has been serving fresh produce from its stalls and dishes from its mini-restaurants since its doors opened. In the evenings, the impressively designed hall shifts from an indoor food market into a lively space, with many restaurants from which diners can enjoy a wide variety of dishes. With so many options in one location, it’s perfect for diverse groups keen to try different cuisines. Bar- or café-hop while admiring the historical site that surrounds you.
This article is an updated version of a story originally created by Eliza Marin.
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