Where to eat in Berlin?
March 8, 2005 7:57 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I will be in Berlin for a week starting tomorrow, and we love to eat good, interesting food. Unfortunately our budget will be pretty tight. Any restaurant or cuisine recommendations?

To give you an idea of what we are accustomed to, we live in New Orleans, and have spent a little time in Russia & China, but not in Western Europe.

Also, can anyone recommend activities that might not show up in our guide books?
posted by hartsell to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Mitte is my favorite section of Berlin, I think. It wa just over the wall on the Eastern side, and when Germany reunited it became "trendy". There's lots of cool restaraunts around there. As far as things that aren't in guidebooks, there's this one club I went to... I have no idea what it was called and I have only a vague recollection of where it was, but it was great. From what I gathered, it was basically a complex of abandoned buildings that squatters took over after the wall fell, and they'd been there so long that they now owned it and turned it into a hang-out spot. There was a stage and bar at the bottom, and walking out in the back there was a big courtyard type thing with half of a plane. Going to the upper levels there were tons of rooms with weird sculptures and people having sex and stuff. There's also balcony type thing where they somehow dragged a tap, a stereo system, couches and a Nintendo up.

I'm sure I could figure out where it is if you're interested, my email is in my profile.
posted by borkingchikapa at 8:58 AM on March 8, 2005

XII Apostel (Die Zwölf Apostel) [scroll to bottom] Pizzaria was really good when I was there last. Not the place to go if you are offended by religious humor though.
posted by trox at 9:18 AM on March 8, 2005

Prenzlauerberg, just east of Mitte, is the old Ossie alternativo ghetto. Some of the best felafels in the world grow there. Pretty good asian food, mostly cheap. Konnopke’s Imbiss (under the U-Bahn tracks at Danziger Strasse/Schönhauser Allee) is the defining berlin Bratwurst stand - the local specialty is curry-wurst, which is a bratwurst with ketchup and curry powder - very Berlin.

Although Berlin offers a lot of "New German Cooking" it is still being cooked by New Germans, and you maight not be very impressed. Really - when my band tours Germany we eat Italian or Turkish food - it's in our contract rider "No German Cuisine." Which is why most of my happy buddies in Berlin are Italian born chefs.
posted by zaelic at 9:56 AM on March 8, 2005

There are a few recommendations for Berlin on the Chowhound international page; I find Chowhound a useful first port of call.
posted by suleikacasilda at 10:00 AM on March 8, 2005

Found this on the egullet boards with Berlin recomendations. If you can pick up a copy of the Time Out! Berlin City guide, the restaurant reviews are extensive and good - a buddy of mine did them.

But don't feel like you are somehow missing some subtle cuisine in Berlin just because you are eating cheaply. The doner kebabs are among the world's best - as is a lot of Berlin's turkish food - and I say that as one who travels to Istanbul a lot. The street eats in Berlin are among Europe's best while the sit-down restaurants are a pity....
posted by zaelic at 10:16 AM on March 8, 2005

I recommend a restaurant called Mirchi in Oranienburger Strasse, close to the new synagogue. They offer really great Chinese/Indian/Indonesian/Malaysian fusion cuisine (or something like that). The food is excellent and well worth the price, which is quite reasonable during lunch hour (Mittagsmenü), but a bit more expensive in the evenings. You can check their prices here (in German).
posted by amf at 11:45 AM on March 8, 2005

BTW, I enjoyed some cheap and tasty Mexican at Viva Mexico a couple of times.
posted by suleikacasilda at 12:26 PM on March 8, 2005

If my memory is jogged correctly by what little is available online at Timeout.com... Honigmond (Borsigstrasse 28, +493028445512). And don't leave town without doing the following food-wise: eat breakfast from 2-3 pm. Eat a huge piece of cake at 11:00 am. Eat a curry-wurst across the street from KaDeWe. Eat a sausage "on-the-go" from a market. And buy me some Dickmanns, if you would please.
posted by Dick Paris at 3:49 PM on March 8, 2005

Take advantage of the international cuisine available in Berlin...and by that I mean döner kebap (and I've already been beaten to mentioning it, but I'll second the recommendation). It tends to be really cheap in Berlin (I've seen some for €2 each, whereas they tend to be about twice that in Frankfurt). The only place I got one in Berlin was near the corner of Torstraße and Novalisstraße (I think this is in Mitte), but they are generally good.

I'm sort of interested in the old communist bloc, and probably the most bizarre thing I did was head down to the memorial park that the Soviets built to commemorate their losses in World War II. It basically has a bunch of Soviet-style artwork depicting the hardship during the Great Patriotic War and quotes from Stalin in German and Russian. It's rather telling, though, that you can stand next to the statue of the soldier, look in the direction of Mother Russia mourning her dead, and see a post-1989 tall building with a corporate logo (I forget what the logo is). If you're into this sort of thing, take the S-Bahn to Treptower Park.

And make sure to validate your tickets before getting on the train. They do check.
posted by oaf at 4:39 PM on March 8, 2005

Oh oh, this probably won't be in any guidebook. If I remember correctly, walking south on Friedrichstrasse turn right onto Unter den Linden (This is in the general vicinity of the Brandenburg Gate). On that side of the road (don't cross Unter den Linden), there should be this little clothes shop called "Little Red Ridinghood" that is the most bizarre retail outlet I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. All the walls and floors are completely white, and they pipe creepy music out the front. When you walk in, there's stairs that lead down to the main store, and all the mannequins are wearing camel masks... well, you'll see if you go there. It's definitely an experience.
posted by borkingchikapa at 6:17 PM on March 8, 2005

Was over there in October for the KaDeWe festival - superb city. Second the suggestion of the XII Apostle for a meal.

We also did a bike tour round the city, gives a good overall feel of the city without too much detail. Use it as a pointer for what to do next.
posted by lloyder at 4:03 AM on March 9, 2005

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