The first settlements of Turkish immigrants in Germany began in the 16th century, but the most notable influx came in the 1960s with West Germany’s labor recruitment agreement. As a result, Berlin boasts some of the most authentic and mouth-watering Turkish cuisine, far beyond the beloved twilight-hour kebab known to many who have blazed through a night out in Berlin.
What better place to get great Turkish food than the Turkish market? The various stands offer vibrant and seasonal fruits and vegetables. It’s as pleasing to the eyes as it is the stomach. Butchers are also dotted along the street selling their Halal meat. Here, it’s easy to gather the ingredients for creating the perfect Turkish dish. There are also the prepared food stalls that offer everything from Gözleme to Backlava in case hunger immediately takes hold. The bold do both, that is, shop and eat; after all, multi-tasking is the way of the future. It’s open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11am-6:30pm.
Çiğ Köfte Evi
Be careful not to walk right by this little gem – the furtive storefront blends right into the façade of the building. A very small and unassuming interior is the perfect ambiance in which to enjoy a meal, because the simple, fresh food speaks for itself. The Çiğ Köfte durum is only 2.50 and is an absolute must.
Mercan is a great place to come and sit down and enjoy a homemade Turkish meal at an affordable price. A main dish with bulgar or rice accompanied by a tomato salad or cake for only 6€ really can’t be beaten. The food carries an aromatic scent of native Turkish spices and is enveloped in delicious flavors. A rustic environment makes this a cozy place to enjoy real Turkish food while feeling right at home.
Hasir is another successful cluster of restaurants springing from its flagship location in Kreuzberg. This also hails as a Berlin institution, with rave reviews about the döner kebab, which, incidentally, was invented by the founder in 1971. The exquisite taste doesn’t end there; try one of their authentic soups or the creamy hummus, just to name a few tasty menu items. The place is often crowded, and the location is more concerned with the food than the décor. Come in and sit down for a well-seasoned meal, or grab some hot and delectable food to go.
Turkish food doesn’t just always cater to the dead-animal-loving crowd of homo sapiens, and this place proves it. For non-German speakers, gemuse means vegetable. This place doesn’t serve only vegetable kebabs, but that is what it’s known for. Bona fide carnivores will question their nomenclature after eating a freshly prepared veggie kebab. It also has up to ten different sauces, so choose wisely. The quick service and friendly staff give this kebab stand extra points.
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