A mecca of artists, bohemians and Europe’s creative class, Berlin is an old, historic city made new again thanks to a torn-down wall, a reunified country, and an influx of young people from around the world. Whether for world-class nightlife, new tech start-ups, unique fashion, cutting-edge art, or international food, visitors often fall in love with Berlin’s unique vibe, staying longer than expected and returning frequently.
Berlin may not be known as a typical foodie city, but over the years I’ve lived here, I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in the quality and quantity of good places to eat. Last year, Berlin was famously declared the vegetarian capital of the world…not something you’d typically identify with the capital of Germany. But that’s the food scene here: always surprising and surprisingly delicious!
I’ve put together a downloadable PDF foodie guide to Berlin – you can get it free HERE by entering this week’s foodie Berlin contest. But, in the meantime, let me share some of my favorite foodie Berlin tips…
Berlin’s Best Foodie Neighborhoods
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Kreuzberg is the hipster epicenter of Berlin, so it’s no wonder that the neighborhood has become one of the city’s premiere foodie hotspots. But while most of the tourists and hipsters flock to Oranienstrasse bars and cheap eats, the real foodies find comfort in the tasty and affordable restaurants of Bergmannkiez. The neighborhood, or kiez, has it’s foodie center in the Marheineke market hall at the end of Bergmannstrasse. The surrounding streets of Mehringdamm and Gneisenaustraße offer a huge range of international restaurants and cozy bars. Plus you’ll even find vegan currywurst here!
Foodie hotspots in Bergmannkiez:
- Knoffi – A popular middle-eastern restaurant with huge plates of mezze great for sharing between a group. Popular for brunches and for their vegan options.
- Bergmann Curry – This imbiss (snack) stand doesn’t have any indoor seating, but that’s okay because the food is quick. Though they have regular currywurst, they also serve vegan varieties.
- Marheineke Market Hall – Nearly 50 merchants have shops in this food market hall. Worth wandering through to find what smells good to you – great for fresh groceries, too!
- Bergmannkiez Food Tour – Try the self-guided food tour from Bitemojo for a taste of the Bergmannkiez’s best restaurants and eateries. The 25€ tour includes six bites from six different eateries, including wine!
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I’ve got a lot of love for the Hackescher Markt area in the center of Berlin. Even with its throngs of tourists, there are still a lot of hidden local gems to be found in this area. The area has a history of attracting alternative and subculture scenes. One of my favorite cafés in the area, Café Cinema has a small patio in one hof (courtyard) where you can enjoy good coffee in a pretty cool setting. The entire courtyard is covered from floor to ceiling with graffiti and street art. A little further afield and closer to Rosa-Luxembourg Platz, you’ll find lots of cheap eateries (Dolores is a local favorite for those craving burritos).
Foodie hotspots in & near Hackescher Markt:
- Father Carpenter – Famous for their coffee, this beautifully-designed café is set inside one of the inner courtyards providing it with a quiet and cozy atmosphere. Brunch options are good, too!
- Shiso Burger – A popular lunchtime restaurant with a great variety of burgers – including salmon and vegetarian options. It’s just next to a favorite shop of mine where you can buy any number of trendy/artsy/indie magazines, Do You Read Me?.
- Coco Bahn Mi – Another popular lunchtime spot, this small restaurant serves a great Vietnamese sandwich – the Bahn Mi. I tend to go for the classic, but they have a lot of varieties, too.
- Mitte Food Tour – This self-guided food tour from Bitemojo includes six food tastings at some of these restaurants (including one of my favorite cupcakes in Berlin!) for just 25€, plus a great introduction to this area’s best (and surprisingly hidden) tourist attractions.
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Neukölln, even though it’s in the south of Berlin and a little less well-connected than other neighborhoods, still is one of my favorite parts of Berlin. In the area where Neukölln meets the Kreuzberg neighborhood (lovingly referred to as Kreuzkölln), there are many great restaurants, bars and cafés, however if you go even a bit further south, south of Hermannplatz, you’ll find even more foodie hotspots – and far fewer tourists.
Foodie hotspots in Neukölln:
- Prachtwerk – A place for music, art and food, Prachtwerk is a popular hangout day and night with local, craft beers, good coffee (from Five Elephant) and an über-cool space for artists, DJs and musicians.
- Twinpigs – Neukölln has its wide pick of bars, but Twinpigs with its great, classic cocktails and cozy interior (candlelit tables) is a local favorite.
- MAMA KALO – Just a few blocks from Templehof park, this neighborhood restaurant features an innovative, top-quality cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. Try their flammkuchen!
- Neukölln Vegetarian Food Tour – I took this food tour with Bitemojo recently and purposefully wanted a vegetarian food tour so I could try some different restaurants than I might normally visit. Neukölln is a huge hipster hotspot, so it’s no surprise that there are so many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the neighborhood – and the tour with Bitemojo was a great introduction to Neukölln’s burgeoning food scene. Try the tour for just 25€ with six food tastings and make sure to mention TRAVELSOFADAM when booking!
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FREE FOODIE GUIDE!
Get a free foodie guide to Berlin, adapted from the Berlin Hipster City Guide, in a handy, downloadable PDF – Details here. Cover photo by Kfir Harbi for Bitemojo.