Don’t be fooled by my smile in this photo. It’s all just a show. Currywurst—that abomination of sausage—is one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks. But is it really that special? No! It’s the worst…

What the eff is currywurst?

Curry 36, Kreuzberg

Currywurst is boring.

In basic terms it’s a hot dog cut up into pieces and slathered in ketchup and curry powder. If you order it at a food stand (or imbiss), it’s the exact same thing: a hot dog cut up into pieces and slathered in ketchup and curry powder.

It’s nothing extraordinary. In fact, I’m pretty sure I used to eat the same thing when I was 7 years old—sans the curry powder. Now that I’m 27, eating currywurst feels childish and even embarrassing. That’s probably why most people eat it after a night of heavy drinking—you’re less likely to remember it the next day.

If my description of currywurst isn’t suitable enough for you, I can change the words around to make it sound more appealing—but it’s the same thing: bratwurst with curry-ketchup. One thing I will say, though, is that the type of wurst has a big impact on the quality of the meal. The better the sausage, the better the currywurst! I’ll still never understand why it’s acceptable to use curry powder—a rather mild spice—instead of something with a bit more bite. The Germans have never really liked spicy, though…

German food, hey

I’m no foodie, but I do like good food when I find it. Stereotypical German food staples are meats and potatoes—and if you ask me, they’re not really known for being some of the best meats & potatoes either. Sure, German sausage is a “thing” but even if Germany is to sausage what Italy is to pizza, I think the Italians win.

But hey, currywurst is that unique German (and very Berlin) thing. It’s just a shame more imbiss shops don’t do something special with it. Though I suppose they’ve already improved a hot dog vastly by adding ketchup and some curry powder, pile on some decent fries and the whole meal’s fairly disgusting taste is hidden behind condiments and fried things. Now that’s a winning solution, am I right?

Currywurst is nothing special. And yet somehow currywurst has even been exported to Los Angeles!

I mean, come on. Who calls a food by a negative superlative? That’s just silly.

Please note some posts do make me some money but I never sacrifice my integrity in exchange for a favorable review. Read the full disclosure policy.

25 comments

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  5. OMG I absolutely enjoyed currywurst while I was in Berlin! I tried it in different spots and they all almost, almost taste the same, but the famous one by the park (I can’t quite remember the name, and Im sure you’re probably like “there’s a lot by the park!”) was the one I liked the most.

  6. They have these here in Budapest and was going to try one tonight actually. Maybe its not worth it haha.

  7. It may not be as special as brats but currywurst still has its place in the world of wieners.

  8. LOL! I never try the currywurst when in Germany. I usually opt for other types of sausages. I’ll be in Germany at the end of October and now I kind of want to try it just to see if it’s as bad as you say. I mean I like curry and I like wurstel, so in theory I should like a curry flavored wurstel, right?

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  10. “Ohne oder mit Darm?”
    “Komm schon: *MIT*, aber natürlich …”

    Dagnabit, I’m gonna do that currywurst “tour” when I’m back in the Hauptstadt.

  11. Emily

    I suppose currywurst is an aquired taste. My mom is German and made currywurst all the time as a snack for me when I was little. I love it.

  12. Haha yeah I went to Berlin with 2 friends and we were desperate to try the famed German wursts, I had bockwurst (nice), one of them had Bratwurst (nicer) and the other had Currywurst and spent the next ten minutes complaining she’d paid a euro extra to have my meal chopped up and sprinkled with cheap orange curry powder! Not sure why it gained such popularity, I mean it tastes okay but culinary masterpiece? I think not…

    • Adam

      Couldn’t say it better myself, Chris!

      Germany can do sausage/bratwurst really well…not sure why they’d try to ruin their reputation with currywurst!

      • ping wong

        Currywurst has been around since 1949, it has its own museum in Berlin, and you are very wrong that it is like hot-dog, because currywurst is a pork sausage with some other herbs and spices in it, I hope you can research more about this before you posted online, read the story Adam,

  13. Hey Adam,
    How dare you! The German Currywurst is an Icon of good taste! :D What else, if not currywurst could Berliners be proud of? the new airport? nope. the old airports? nope. the tv-tower? naaa. the goldelse? hardly. It is the wurst!
    I actually dont eat it (it is awefully unhealthy) BUT it makes a very funny companion on travelling! I had the luck to be a messanger of the Currywurst Museum and took its mascott Qwoo around the world to some countries. We had so much fun!
    http://www.claudiumdiewelt.de/tag/qwoo
    So, if you dont like the taste, take the fun of it.
    CU claudia

    • Adam

      Hahhaha – Hi Claudia,
      Yeah – I remember you taking Qwoo with you to South America. I’m sure he’s very adorable and all, but him and his brothers are so very unhealthy, unphotogenic and just not very tasty! But you’re right, currywurst (and Qwoo) is a pretty fun meal—if you’re into that sort of thing…

      :-P

  14. I’m sure so much of the sales are because people want to know just how unspecial it is :)

  15. I have to disagree with you. Curryworst is the best.

  16. I for one love the currywurst – however I haven’t had an authentic one in/from Germany, I have had it at a Christmas German market in the UK

  17. Yeah, I see noting special about that food, just by the looks on the photo. Simply overrated you think?

  18. BLASPHEMY!!!

    PS I’m thinking about moving to Berlin for a couple of months in 2013. Will you still be around?

  19. Hahaha… once again you’re killing it, Adam! Love to see you speaking out against that most overrated of German dishes… Curry-Worst. I mean, Currywurst. I actually love German food, as long as it’s veg. Which admittedly, a lot of it isn’t.

    Currywurst is one of those fine examples of the lack of creativity and spice-awareness / appreciation rampant in these parts. I think one of the key clues to how unexciting currywurst is — by contrast to so many much more interesting German dishes, meaty or not — is that it never looks good it photos! It does look fun illustrated on your tshirt though. :)

    • Adam

      So true that the fact currywurst doesn’t look good in photos is a bad sign. Best when illustrated and never consumed!

  20. Actually curry wurst is different from bratwurst in that the skin is removed (not every place does this, but it’s the traditional way) and the ‘naked’ sausage is then deep fried, to make sure not one single healthy thing remains on your plate.

    While it’s about as bad for you as a food can be, I actually really like curry wurst and look forward to having one whenever I get back to Germany.

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