Jason Allen 05/09/70
The Top 25 Restaurants in Berlin
They’re so obsessed with food, they literally are donuts.
And that makes for a pretty great restaurant scene. So here are the very best places to grab a bite in the city…
Kin Dee | Tiergarten
Tucked away in the gorgeous Tiergarten, KD brings contemporary Thai to Berlin in the form of eight-course tasting menus, with the likes of fried octopus krapoa, and tamarind chicken salad. The space is simple, the flavours are bracing, and the ingredients are almost all fastidiously local.
Dóttir | Mitte
Operating out of a former apartment building used by the Stasi as a surveillance centre, this Icelandic seafood spot has a comfortably simple, unrefined Nordic feel, and serves food that matches. It’s highly seasonal, hearty, and delicious.
Grill Royal | Mitte
Unequivocally one of the cooler places in Berlin to be seen, Royal is hidden beneath a bridge in the city’s Mitte district. The place is huge, with walls decorated by everything from a life-size model of a rocket, to photos of semi-nude models. The power move is to order the steak, which is one of the best in the city.
Zenkichi | Mitte
Concealed beneath the Brooklyn-imported cafe House of Small Wonder, Zenkichi is a small wonder itself; labyrinthine corridors of gorgeous Japanese-style rooms set the scene for some of the finest food in the city. Expect sake-paired omokase, housemate tofu with mushroom sauce, and frozen black sesame mousse.
Das Lokal | Mitte
Most of the restaurants on this list owe a debt to Lokal. First opened in 2011, it’s become a Berlin institution thanks to its early embrace of the nose-to-tail philosophy, ever-changing seasonal menus, and local ingredients. It may not seem innovative anymore, but it’s still head and shoulders above its imitators.
CORDO | Mitte
In 1978, Austria beat defending world champions West Germany in the World Cup in a match held in Cordoba, Spain. Cut to three and a half decades later, and an Austrian wine bar opens in Berlin to remind them of that fact. Thankfully, everyone takes it in very good humour, mostly thanks to the fact that the food is some of the best in the city (globally inspired and Michelin recommended, no less), and there are over 1k bottles of Austrian/German wines to drown any sorrows with.
Nobelhart & Schmutzig | Kreuzberg
This modern Nordic diner serves only 10-course tasting menus, and uses “brutally local” ingredients – that means if it doesn’t come from the surrounding area, they don’t don’t serve it. No pepper. No bottled water. No chocolate. No tuna. So what do they serve? Well, the likes of chicken smoked in hay, and blackcurrants with cherry plum blossoms. Food which has won them a Michelin Star.
Engelberg | Prenzlauer Berg
If you want breakfast in Berlin, you want to go to Engleberg. They’re not a cafe, they’re a breakfast restaurant, and they serve up traditional German treats like sourdough rolls, charcuterie, cheeses, eggs, bacon, muesli, and all the things that make starting the day worth it.
The Bird | Prenzlauer Berg
This steakhouse isn’t just US-style – they import all of their beef directly from Iowa, before dry-aging it themselves for 30 days. Not only has this produced one of the most booked-out spots in the city, but also one of its finest burgers. Two facts which are not unrelated to echother.
The Store Kitchen | Mitte
Its not just a name. The Store Kitchen is a kitchen housed with The Store, a vast fashion, furniture, and design store spanning two floors of the Soho House building. The restaurant itself punches far above its weight as a simple canteen, serving some of the city’s best vegetarian food during the week, and some of the best food full stop on weekends.
Adana Grillhaus | Kreuzberg
On the outside, Adana grill house looks like a kebab shop. And, to be fair, it looks like one on the inside too, only one that serves up far-better-than-average-or-even-good kebabs. Opened by Turkish immigrants, it’s become a local icon thanks to its tasty meat skewers – mostly lamb in every different incarnation possible – cooked over an open charcoal fire.
Lode & Stijn | Kreuzberg
Opened by a pair of Dutch chefs (named Lode & Stijn), this restaurant is the result of several immensely successful popups of the years, finally manifesting in a brick & mortar spot last year. The menu is classic Dutch, with modern touches in dishes like beef chicken with celeriac and salted lemon, or strawberries with sorrel and milk ice cream.
Industry Standard | Neukölln
It’s honestly difficult to describe Industry Standard as anything other than, well, the industry standard for what it is: a French-style bistro, serving small plates in a beautiful space. The food is excellent, the wine list is biodynamic, and the atmosphere is welcoming and warm.
Lavanderia Vecchia | Neukölln
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Lavanderia Vecchia was running a combined laundry service/restaurant when you first walk in there; it’s literally located in former laundromat, and they’ve kept the decor much the same. The food is Italian, served on long tables, and best enjoyed feasting-style with friends.
Panama | Tiergarten
Unequivocally cool, Panama is filled with verdant plants, neon wall art, tropical wicker chairs, and delicious Latin American food. You’ll find everything from char tacos with chipotle, to seabass ceviche, to lamb with lentils and oregano to be washed down with equally excellent cocktails from their attached Tiger Bar.
Fraulein Kimchi | Prenzlauer Berg
This place is, without doubt, the preeminent German-Korean-American fusion restaurant in the whole of Berlin. Sure, that’s partly because it’s the only one in Berlin, but also because their ramen burgers, and kimchi käsespätzle are just so damn good.
Shiori | Mitte
One of the smallest, best, restaurants in the city, Shiori is simple. There’s space for 10 diners each night, sat around a bar, behind which a chef puts together a dozen-course omokase menu of modern Japanese food. They don’t shy away from incorporating local ingredients, and trying out new things. The result is a ‘very difficult to book, but totally worth it’ restaurant.
Fes | Kreuzberg
While the vast majority of Turkish restaurants in the city have ended up being classic kebab shops that looked like classic kebab shops, Fes has taken a leaf out of the hipsters book, and created a genuinely cool looking space, with bare brick walls, exposed piping, and high ceilings. Luckily, the food lives up to the decor, with delicious grilled meat to go with glasses of raki.
Chicha Berlin | Kreuzberg
Serving up classic Peruvian food in a not-so classic Peruvian space, Chica has white walls and minimalist furnishings punctuated by spaces of vibrant colour, and designer-chic furnishings. The food (everything from ceviche, to fried pork belly, to BBQ shrimp) is matched perfectly by their extensive Pisco selection, and the sours they make from the stuff.
Tim Raue | Kreuzberg
Settled in comfortably at no.34 on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Tim Raue has become the darling of the Berlin dining scene, and for good reason. He uses Asian ingredients and flavours to create creative fusion dishes, while his wife pairs it all with some perfectly chosen wines.
Hugos | Tiergarten
Slapped on the 14th floor of the Intercontinental hotel right in the heart of town (and understandably boasting a stunning view), Hugos is a sleek, modern Franco-Mediterranean restaurant with grand aspirations for its creative menu. And the people at Michelin seem to agree, having given them a Star for their trouble.
Bar Raval | Kreuzberg
Opened by actor Daniel Brühl (you may recognise him from Captain America:Civil War, Inglorious Bastards, The Bourne Ultimatum, etc.) and a Spanish buddy, this low-lit, moody, and classically Spanish spot was designed to fill the void of quality tapas restaurants in Berlin. And it seems they’ve gotten it off to a good start. The food is deeply authentic, simple, and delicious. You can’t ask for much more.
3 Minutes Sur Mer | Mitte
Greeting you with a bright, Riviera-evoking neon sign, 3MSM is a very French, very cool, very Art Deco space serving up classic French dishes like coq au vin, escargot, and crisp-skinned red mullet.
Mrs Robinson’s | Prenzlauer Berg
Coming to us from an Israeli chef and his British girlfriend, Mrs Robinson’s takes Western ideas, and fuses them neatly with Asian flavours. Save room for dessert though; the thing everyone comes here for is the deep fried bao bun filled with 70% dark chocolate ice cream.
Katerschmaus | Friedrichshain
Stretching along the banks of the river Spree, this space was once used as the venue for legendary nightclub Bar 25. Now, it makes use of the light spectacularly well with huge open windows, and serves up vegetable-centric German cuisine with the occasional classic thrown in for good measure.
You look thirsty. Here are the best bars in Berlin to help cure that…
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