The Top Places For Authentic Turkish Food In Berlin
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.
Defne is a pleasant dining experience that goes beyond the usual offers of kebabs from a stand. The cuisine balances classic flavors and aesthetics, while the restaurant balances warmth and intimacy. From sautéed jumbo prawns to walnut stuffed figs with chocolate and vanilla sauce, Defne offers decadence without the pretentiousness. There’s an outdoor patio that faces the Landwehr Canal when it’s warm out. The food is hearty, fresh, and deliciously authentic.
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.
Carik Kuruyemis & Cafe, Berlin | Image courtesy of Fes - Turkish BBQ
At a glance, this place gives the appearance of being a Turkish candy shop. Beyond the barrels of iridescent and sugar-soaked mouth pleasures lies a modest restaurant with most of the clientele eating one thing. That one thing is Kumpir. The restaurant holds its own in terms of other Turkish cuisine, but the Kumpir is why people come back. Fresh, warm potatoes caked in various toppings that range from olives to safran salad. Show up hungry.
A newer restaurant on the Turkish food scene, this exposed-brick restaurant is changing the game. The trendy aesthetic isn’t the only thing drawing in the hungry masses; each table comes with its own grill. This idea puts the diner in charge. Plenty of food and house-made Ayran make this place a go-to locale when craving hot and tasty Turkish food.
This Berlin institution has its original location in Kreuzberg. This is a family-owned restaurant that has had much success in Berlin, as they now have five locations. It’s a favorite of many Berliners because of the fresh ingredients, homemade sauces, and great menu variety. The döner and the fresh Turkish pizza (lahmacun) are some of the menu’s highlights. The meat is always fresh and the prices are always cheap.
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.