Berlin Restaurants

Berlin has plenty of unassuming neighborhood restaurants serving old-fashioned German food but happily, the dining scene in this thriving city has expanded to incorporate all sorts of international cuisine, as well as healthier, more contemporary versions of the German classics.

As in many other destinations around the world, eating locally sourced and organic food is more and more the rage in Berlin. Restaurants now understand that although they could import ingredients from other European countries, there are plenty of fresh farm resources closer to home. Look for the name Brandenburg, for instance, before Ente (duck) or Schwein (pork) on a menu–-it's the rural area just outside of Berlin. In spring, definitely look for the weisser Spargel, white asparagus from nearby Beelitz, which is all the rage, showing up as a main course with a variety of sauces, in pastas, soups, and even desserts.

When it comes to international cuisine, Berlin options run the gamut. Italian food is abundant, from relatively mundane pizza and pasta establishments to restaurants offering specific regional Italian delicacies. Asian restaurants, in particular, are popular, as is Turkish food, especially the beloved döner shops selling pressed lamb or chicken in flat-bread pockets with a variety of sauces and salads—always great for a quick meal, and a perennial late-night favorite. Wurst, especially Currywurst—curry-flavored pork sausage served with a mild curry ketchup—is also popular if you're looking for a quick meal on the go.

Old-fashioned German and especially Berlin cuisine is getting harder to find these days, as most restaurants aim to attract customers by reinventing the classics in the so-called Neue Deutsche Küche (new German cuisine) movement. But real, old Berlin classics are still lurking around town if you know where to look. Berlin's most traditional four-part meal is Eisbein (pork knuckle), always served with sauerkraut, pureed peas, and boiled potatoes. Other old-fashioned Berlin dishes include Rouladen (rolled, stuffed beef), Spanferkel (suckling pig), Berliner Schüsselsülze (potted meat in aspic), Hackepeter (ground beef), and Berliner Leber (calves' liver with cooked apples and onions).

Weekend brunch buffets are popular in Berlin and restaurants all over the city get crowded with patrons lingering over the meals.

It's worth noting that Berlin is known for its curt, slow service, except at high-end restaurants. Also keep in mind that many of the top restaurants are closed Sunday, and sometimes Monday as well.

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  • 1. Clärchens Ballhaus

    $$ | Mitte

    Opened in 1913, this former club has a new life as a trendy restaurant serving well-prepared German classics; dine inside amidst the soaring ceilings and...Read More

  • 2. Cookies Cream

    $$$$ | Mitte

    The name might have you thinking something different, but this is actually a vegetarian fine-dining restaurant that serves fantastic food (it's above what used to...Read More

  • 3. Distrikt Coffee

    $ | Mitte

    Known for having one of the best breakfasts in Berlin (think avocado toast and toasted brioche with berry preserves), the filtered coffee at Distrikt is...Read More

  • 4. Einsunternull

    $$$$ | Mitte

    In a clean and modern Scandinavian-styled space done up in woods and light colors, chef Silvio Pfeufer combines local German dishes with global influences (think...Read More

  • 5. Katz Orange

    $$ | Mitte

    This lovely restaurant, hidden in a courtyard off a quiet residential street, is both elegant enough for a special occasion and homey enough to be...Read More

  • 6. Mädchenitaliener

    $ | Mitte

    This cozy Mitte spot has two different spaces: the bustling and sometimes drafty front room with high tables where walk-ins are seated, and a darker,...Read More

  • 7. Mogg

    $ | Mitte

    In the renovated Ehemalige Jüdische Mädchenschule (Old Jewish Girls' School), this deli-style café serves delicious versions of Jewish deli standards along with regularly changing vegetable-based...Read More

  • 8. Nobelhart und Schmutzig

    $$$$ | Mitte

    The locavore obsession is taken seriously at this trendy spot that uses only the most local ingredients in the simple but sublime preparations that come...Read More

  • 9. Pauly Saal

    $$$$ | Mitte

    With an airy, high-windowed space in what used to be the school gym of the converted Ehemalige Jüdische Mädchenschule (Old Jewish Girls' School), and outdoor...Read More

  • 10. Restaurant Reinstoff

    $$$$ | Mitte | German

    The perfectly crafted and creative haute cuisine at the Michelin-starred Reinstoff, prepared by renowned chef Daniel Achilles, focuses on both...Read More

  • 11. Rutz Restaurant and Weinbar

    $$$$ | Mitte

    The narrow, unassuming facade of the only three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Berlin, tucked away on a sleepy stretch of Chausseestrasse, belies the elegant interior and stellar...Read More

  • 12. Shiori

    $$$$ | Mitte

    Sparsely decorated, with a collection of handmade bowls behind the counter, the focus at this Japanese izakaya is solely on the food; there are just...Read More

  • 13. The Barn Café

    $ | Mitte

    One of Berlin's original third-wave coffee joints, this tiny café in the heart of Mitte’s gallery district serves up superlative hand-brewed coffees (always served black)...Read More

  • 14. Altes Europa

    $ | Mitte

    By day, this is a quiet café reminiscent of a classic Viennese coffeehouse (the name means "Old Europe"), with shabby but trendy decor, and fashionable...Read More

  • 15. Bandol sur Mer

    $$$$ | Mitte

    This tiny and hip 20-seat eatery serves inspired French cuisine in rotating seven-course menus (with two optional additions) celebrating a mix of seasonal regional and...Read More

  • 16. Borchardt

    $$ | Mitte

    The menu changes daily at this celebrity meeting place—the location near Gendarmenmarkt makes it a popular power lunch spot for politicians and influential people, though...Read More

  • 17. Chén Chè

    $ | Mitte

    Tucked into a courtyard behind the bflat jazz club, this elegant restaurant benefits from fresh ingredients, expert cooking, and an enticing exotic tea list. It...Read More

  • 18. Cocolo Ramen

    $ | Mitte

    The narrow, blink-and-you-miss-it ramen joint Cocolo has had it right for years; the noodle kitchen is packed almost every night of the week and has...Read More

  • 19. Habel am Reichstag

    $$$ | Mitte

    Under the arches of the S-bahn tracks connecting Friedrichstrasse with Hauptbahnhof, Habel am Reichstag seems unassuming from outside, but inside you'll find old Berlin elegance...Read More

  • 20. Hackescher Hof

    $$$ | Mitte

    This beautiful, wood-paneled restaurant is spacious but almost always crowded. It's located right in the middle of the action at bustling Hackesche Höfe, and a...Read More

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