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. 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

  • 2. Facil

    $$$$ | Tiergarten

    One of Germany's top restaurants, Facil is also one of the more relaxed of its class: the elegant, minimalist setting—it's in the fifth-floor courtyard of...Read More

  • 3. Horváth

    $$$$ | Kreuzberg

    In a cozy wood-paneled room with a colorful mural of Berlin scenes along the wall and a sleek open kitchen, Austrian chef Sebastian Frank puts...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Restaurant Tim Raue

    $$$$ | Kreuzberg

    The conservative decor belies the artistry on offer at this Michelin-starred restaurant from Germany's most famous celebrity chef. Upscale Asian-influenced cuisine, combining Japanese, Thai, and...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Tulus Lotrek

    $$$$ | Kreuzberg

    Tucked onto a charming, leafy street, this quirky Michelin-starred restaurant decked out in green jungle wallpaper and wood floral details, with a cozy outdoor terrace,...Read More

  • 9. Villa Kellermann

    $$$$

    In a gorgeous restored 1914 villa facing Heligensee lake, renowned chef Tim Raue updates classic Brandenburg dishes. Choose from the seven-course tasting menu, or order...Read More

  • 10. 5 - Cinco by Paco Pérez

    $$$$ | Tiergarten

    Catalan chef Paco Pérez, a disciple of Ferran Adrià of Spain's legendary elBulli, offers two tasting menus of colorful and playful food, highlighting the maximum...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. ernst

    $$$$ | Wedding

    Hidden behind a metal door in a nondescript part of Wedding, this buzzy restaurant from Canadian wunderkind chef Dylan Watson-Brawn presents a series of roughly...Read More

  • 13. Prism

    $$$$ | Charlottenburg

    Chef Gal Ben Moshe creates updated Levantine cuisine—a mix of Israeli, Lebanese, Syrian, and Greek cuisine—at his sophisticated restaurant on an unassuming side street off...Read More

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