When it comes to places to eat, Berlin has it all, and to the relief of anyone travelling on a budget, eating well in the German capital doesn’t need to cost the earth.
A vibrant and cosmopolitan city, Berlin is packed with food options as diverse as its population. From vegan bites to Italian, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, the German capital’s restaurants will fulfil any craving.
Cafe, Soup, Salad Bar, German$$
The team at Cadadia are passionate about making the most delectable, healthy soups possible: enjoy a hearty potato soup with croutons in winter or a lighter white asparagus soup in spring. Every week sees new soup recipes on the menu, along with salads, snacks and sweets. The flavour combinations cater to a number of special diets, with plentiful gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options on offer, and the menu – based on seasonal ingredients – takes inspiration from traditional dishes and international cuisines. All soups cost less than €5, and the quiches and salads less than €6. Cadadia is set in Berlinz’s Schöneberg district, an area that is known for its shopping, especially the labyrinthine Kaufhaus des Westens department store. Stop by Cadadia for some mid-shopping sustenance or before a visit to the nearby zoo, aquarium or Tiergarten park.
Set just off Friedrichstraße, Flamingo is known for its freshly prepared, locally sourced food. It serves great coffee and sweets alongside the flavoursome savoury creations, and the meals and snacks on offer here are nearly all organic. The soups and main courses change daily, while there are always at least 12 delicious sandwich combinations available – try out the moreish roast beef and cheddar sandwich with honey and wasabi cream. Prices range from roughly €6 to €10 for a thoroughly satisfying meal. If you’re in the mood for lunch al fresco, take your sandwich to go and pick up a bike from nearby rental company Take a Bike to cycle the short distance to Tiergarten.
A laid-back atmosphere, great coffee, fine wine and friendly staff: m|a – feine Kost is a prime place to refuel after a walk through Tempelhofer Feld. The classic Italian lasagne is rich and made to a traditional family recipe, while the seasonal risotto and the French savoury tarts – all priced at under €8 – are ever-changing in terms of ingredients, but always a pleasure to eat. The café also imports French and Italian products, which it sells in its deli section, along with fresh bread – all the ingredients for the perfect picnic at Tempelhofer Feld.
La Bolognina serves uncomplicated, inexpensive food that is lovingly prepared by hand. Pasta, piadina and wine form the core of the menu, while the daily specials often include innovative salads. Although the vegetarian piadinas start at just €4, for a more filling pasta dish you can expect to pay roughly €6-€8. The atmosphere is relaxed and there’s a real focus on the quality of the products and the beauty of Italian food. With its location in the heart of hip, vibrant Neukölln, La Bolognina is a great place to start a night out. Follow your dinner with drinks at Nathanja & Heinrich or jazz at Donau115.
In 2013, Matthew Minch dreamed of “bestowing the gift of the almighty pie on the German people”. And thank goodness he did – his creation, helloGoodPie, has become a firm favourite among Kreuzberg’s hipster crowd. There are sweet pies, meat pies and vegetarian pies that change with the seasons; recent recipes have included the Popeye (spinach, feta and walnuts), the Juan Carlos (pulled pork with smoked paprika and red pepper) and a lemon meringue pie. Far from breaking the bank, a meal here usually comes in at under €10. Head to helloGoodPie after an invigorating swim at the Badeschiff, Berlin’s floating public pool on the River Spree.
Momos specialises in organic vegetarian and vegan dumplings, and the focus is on quality and environmental sustainability. There is much to admire about the philosophy and the food – everything, down to the sauces, is completely home-made. The lunch special costs €7.90 for 14 pieces, enough to satisfy a very healthy appetite; or there’s a snack portion of eight dumplings plus a side dish for around €9.50. Combine lunch here with a visit to the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) up the road. For after-dinner shisha and cocktails, visit the Kleopatra Shisha Bar on the next corner.
Sadhu 2 is the kind of place that puts a smile on your face. Serving up an extensive menu of Pakistani and Indian cuisine, this relaxed restaurant has colourful decor, welcoming staff and wallet-friendly prices. Start off with the mixed vegetable pakora plate before trying the ever-popular butter chicken and garlic or peshwari naan, washed down with a sweet mango lassi. Vegetarian options are also plentiful; the paneer jalfrezi is a runaway hit. On summer evenings, customers can sit under the awning at Sadhu 2’s pavement tables. For the perfect evening out, combine dinner here with a screening at the open-air cinema in Hasenheide park, just a 10-minute walk away.
Looking for a good breakfast in Kreuzberg? Le Bon’s menu is full of mouthwatering options. Whether it’s the signature shakshuka, Italian scramble or toasted banana bread, you can expect to enjoy a great gastronomic start to the morning for under €10. Start off with a coffee or freshly squeezed juice to accompany your meal, before moving on to a breakfast martini or a Cold Fashioned coffee cocktail. Although Le Bon is primarily a player on the Berlin brunch scene, the eatery offers a changing menu of lunch and dinner dishes, too. Any history buffs, or those simply wanting to try out the catchy combination of ‘brunch and bunkers’, can pay a visit to the Fichtebunker, a gasometer turned World War II air-raid shelter that is now open for tours.
This Middle Eastern restaurant is (perhaps unsurprisingly) known for its eponymous dish, the falafel. It’s served with fresh salad and pita bread and garnished with a generous helping of hummus, the all-important yoghurt sauce, a fruity chutney and a spicy chilli sauce that isn’t for the faint-hearted, all for only €5.50. The baba ganoush, tabbouleh and beef shawarma are also much-loved and reasonably priced. Anyone in the mood for a cocktail should try the house mojito, best consumed outside on the terrace on a balmy summer night. Stroll down Linienstraße before or after your meal to be rewarded with an art lover’s delight: the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and HVW8 Berlin are just a stone’s throw away.