Take A Bite Of Berlin
Hope you’re hungry – Hilda Hoy narrowed down the tastiest, most interesting Berlin dishes every visitor should try, from every facet of the local culinary scene. So loosen your belt buckle a notch and prepare to feast, nibble, and snack your way through t
Gorge your way throughv the diverse and delectable flavors of the city.
A DESSERT FROM CODA
It's for good reason that Coda Dessert Bar (Friedelstr. 47, www.coda-berlin.com) was considered one of Berlin's most exciting recent restaurant openings. The menu concept is dessert and cocktail pairings, with sweet-savory dishes that will challenge you to broaden your culinary horizons. Think poached apricots paired with the unlikely companions of kalamata olive and whisper-thin crisps of sourdough bread. To sip with it, rare vermouth refined by a hint of raspberry vinegar. The chef, a pâtissier with years of Michelin Star-caliber experience, turns every creation into a work of art and a delight for the senses.
SABICH FROM NENI
The food offerings around the Bahnhof Zoo station were once lackluster, but then along came NENI (Budapester Str. 40, www.25hourshotels.com ). The penthouse eatery atop the 25hours Hotel specializes in Israeliand Mediteranneaninspired fusion, and is one of the few places in the city to get sabich, an addictive Tel Aviv street food specialty that sounds simple – pita, roasted eggplant, hummus, luscious tahini, soft egg, and a cuminspiced mango sauce called amba – but is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Perfect sabich accompaniment: NENI's soaring views over Tiergarten park.
CAPPELLETTI FROM SALA DA MANGIARE
Though Berlin has plenty of Italian restaurants, Neukölln's cozy little Sala da Mangiare (Mainzer Str. 23, www.saladamangiare.de) stands out for its irresistible pastas, made fresh and by hand in house daily in accordance with Slow Food principles. The star of the menu is stuffed pasta from the famed gastronomy region of Emilia-Romagna, like cappelletti, aka. "little hats." Sala da Mangiare's signature dish, the "hats" are filled with meat and cheese and then topped with a rich ragù sauce. To ensure the proper taste of home, even the flour for the dough is imported directly from Emilia-Romagna.
CARAMELIZED APPLE TART WITH DULCE DE LECHE FROM WEINBAR SCHWEIN
In just 1.5 years since its opening, Weinbar Schwein (Elisabethkirchstraße 2. www.schwein.onlin) has managed to climb Berlin's gourmet ladder, offering a fine dining experience in an informal and relaxed setting. Think dishes like beef tartare with egg yolk paste and pickled vegetables, or slow-cooked aburi salmon with vinegar potato crumble and dill emulsion, all accompanied by a curated list of wine and liquor labels. And do not make the mistake of leaving before trying their caramelized almond-based apple tart with dulce de leche and sea buckthorn (pictured below and on the cover), a creation of young chef Christopher Kümper.
VAARA COCKTAIL FROM FRAGRANCES
There's no other bar in Berlin that can match the creative concept of Fragrances (Potsdamer Platz 3, www.ritzcarlton.com), the chic and classy cocktail spot tucked into the back of the lobby at The Ritz-Carlton. Each drink is inspired by a luxury perfume, and the "menu" is a row of perfume bottles to sniff through. From the mixology down to the presentation, every detail is fine-tuned. The best-selling Vaara cocktail is an utterly enchanting blend of pear puree, saffron rum, bourbon, rosewater, and magnolia syrup, served in a wee wooden sauna house that lets out a puff of sandalwood smoke as it's opened.
PAPAYA SALAD FROM THE "THAI PARK"
Every weekend, the Wilmersdorf district becomes one of the city’s liveliest Asian food destinations. Rain or shine, Berlin’s sizeable Thai community flocks to Preussenpark, a.k.a. “the Thai Park,” to cook fresh and tasty Thai delicacies right on the grass. The vast selection includes everything from fried chicken wings to hot noodle soups, but make sure to try a fresh papaya salad, a zesty concoction made from shredded green papaya, garlic, dried shrimp, and peanuts, pounded up in a big mortar with lots of lime juice and fish sauce. Tip: Sunny Sunday afternoons deliver the best Thai Park experience.
SMOKED FISH FROM ROGACKI
The northern regions of Germany are famed for their fish delicacies, and there’s no better place to sample the whole range than at Rogacki (Wilmersdorfer Str. 145–146, www.rogacki.de). A family-run deli dating back to 1928, today’s Rogacki is famed for fishy housemade specialties like matjes, little herring soused in vinegar, onion, and herbs, as well as whole trout, char, salmon, and eel that are freshly smoked on site. Get your fish packed up to go, or join the crowds at the busy lunch counters and get in some peoplewatching while enjoying your feast.
GEMÜSE KEBAB FROM MUSTAFA'S
Urban legend has it that the döner kebab was invented in Kreuzberg by a Turkish immigrant, so trying one of these sandwiches of spit-roasted meat stuffed into flatbread is, needless to say, a Berlin must. Though döner shops are abundant in pretty much every neighborhood, quality varies wildly, so it's worth seeking out one of the most famous kebab stands of all,
Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap (Mehringdamm 32, www.mustafas.de). Their incredibly popular kebab is a delicious mess of spit-roasted chicken and fried vegetables with the added zip of crumbled feta and a squeeze of fresh lemon. It's so good that the line usually snakes halfway down the block, but everyone should try it at least once!
SCHNITZEL FROM SCHNEEWEISS
The Austrians among us would probably argue that schnitzel is their invention, but nevertheless, those golden fillets of breaded fried pork (or veal, if you’re a Viennese purist) are one of the most popular dishes on the menus of local German restaurants, served, as tradition dictates, with warm potato salad. The most tender, light, and crispy schnitzels can be found at Schneeweiß in Friedrichshain (Simplonstr. 16, www.schneeweiss-berlin.de), a cool Alpine-themed restaurant with an all-white interior. The elegant Jolesch restaurant in Kreuzberg (Muskauer Str. 1, www.jolesch. de) is another contender for the best schnitzel in town. You'll just have to try them both to judge who comes out on top.
MANGO ICE CREAM FROM VANILLE & MARILLE
Berliners really, really love their ice cream, and the summer season is gladly used as an excuse to indulge in a scoop or two at every possible opportunity. And the most beloved ice cream flavor of all? Mango. Believe it or not, Berliners are crazy for this vivid tropical fruit, and pretty much every ice cream shop has it on offer. Try the intensely flavorful, homemade scoops at Vanille & Marille (multiple locations incl. Reichenberger Str. 118, www.vanille-marille.de) or Eismanufaktur (multiple locations incl. Auguststr. 63 and Graefestr. 7, www.eismanufaktur-berlin.de). The Rosa Canina ice cream counter inside Kreuzberg’s Markthalle Neun (Eisenbahnstr. 42, www.rosacanina. eu) makes theirs using organic mangoes.
Above: Wilmersdorf's classic deli Rogacki is famed for its house-smoked fish. Below: the popular chicken kebab from Mustafa's.