A Tasty Tour of Berlin's Neighbourhoods

Take a culinary tour of some of Berlin's diverse neighbourhoods, such as Kreuzberg
Take a culinary tour of some of Berlin's diverse neighbourhoods, such as Kreuzberg | © Arco Images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of alice-welton
5 October 2020

It used to be all about currywurst and döner kebabs, but the Berlin foodie scene is now an explosive, constantly evolving mix of tradition, innovation and style. Discover the unique appeal of Berlin’s eclectic neighbourhoods, from Friedrichshain to Kreuzberg, through their cafés and restaurants.

Friedrichshain: Böse Buben Bar

Bar, German, Pub Grub, $$$
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Tucked away down a quiet side street in Friedrichshain, Böse Buben Bar is a cosy spot where you can happily spend a whole afternoon. Its design favours book-lined walls and slouchy leather sofas, while its food is served on mismatched china. Everything smells amazing, but the feta cheese and honey omelette is a house speciality and a must-order. Make sure you leave space for one of the many home-made cakes too.

Mitte: Hummus and Friends

Restaurant, Israeli, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
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Tap into the vegan, vegetarian and healthy-eating ethos that is taking over Berlin at this Israeli restaurant, which has a philosophy of eating with “bare hands and pleasure”. At Hummus and Friends, the hummus is, unsurprisingly, the dish the menu is built around. Drizzled with tahini and topped with parsley and fava beans, it’s the perfect complement to the various tapas dishes on offer, such as the oven-roasted beetroot and sweet potato and the crispy cauliflower. The food here is excellently priced, so you can justify sampling it all.

Friedrichshain: Dachkammer

Bar, Cafe, German, Coffee, $$$
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Cafe Dachkammer. Bar & restaurant with people sitting at outdoor tables in Simon Dach Strasse, Friedrichshain Berlin.
© Eden Breitz / Alamy Stock Photo
Although predominantly a bar, Dachkammer also has a small menu to complement the array of cocktails available. Choose from generously portioned plates of nachos or wafer-thin flammkuchen, an Alpine-esque version of a pizza topped with either feta cheese or onion and bacon. This local hangout has a wonderfully laid-back atmosphere; it’s arty and bohemian while also being very welcoming.

Kreuzberg: Schöne’s Café

Cafe, Restaurant, European, German
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Berlin winters can be brutal, and sometimes you need a bit of comfort food to warm you up. Schönes Café, nestled in one of the quieter streets of Kreuzberg, serves up delicious home-made cakes and mouth-watering Dutch-style pancakes, which are thick, pan-sized and stuffed with all kinds of toppings from camembert and cranberry sauce to crispy bacon and maple syrup. Coupled with the excellent hot chocolate and coffee, a brief brunch here could easily turn into an hours-long feast.

Schoeneberg: Rüya

Cafe, Restaurant, Soup, German
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In Berlin, döner kebabs are the highest-quality fast food around, so forget any preconceived notions you have about kebabs until you’ve tried one from Rüya. The succulent chicken doner is layered with spices and comes topped with chargrilled vegetables, fresh herbs and a spoonful of Turkish white cheese. Tucked away in Schoeneberg, this unassuming little café is the kind of place real Berliners visit frequently.

Kreuzberg: Street Food Thursday at Markthalle IX

Food Truck, Market, Food Stall, Food Stand, Street Food
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Berlin, Germany. 11th Apr, 2019. Numerous people stroll or sit at the Streetfood-Thursday in the Markthalle Neun in the district Kreuzberg. Credit: Paul Zinken/dpa/Alamy Live News
© dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

For a totally different foodie experience, brace yourself for the frenetic energy of the Street Food Thursday fair. Located in the old Markthalle 9, an unrenovated market hall near Gorlitzer Bahnhof, it’s a whirlwind of sights, smells and nearly every kind of cuisine imaginable, from Thai tapioca dumplings to Nigerian fufu and New York cheesecake. Vendors change every week, so who knows what you’ll find — but rest assured you won’t be disappointed.

These recommendations were updated on October 5, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.