Restaurants in Berlin
A melting pot of cultures and culinary delights, restaurants in Berlin stir together some of the most exotic flavours from the four corners of the globe and it is easy to find almost any kind of food.
The city's flagship dish is the simple, yet satisfying 'boulette', a combination of fried meatball and hamburger, which is often accompanied by 'Berliner Weiße', a traditional mix of beer and juice which is well-known even beyond the city's boundaries. The highly popular Doner Kebab, originally developed in Berlin but made famous by the Turkish, is one the most popular fast food dishes. Simple German staples like beer and pretzels are also fun to sample.
Berlin's culinary traditions have been immensely influenced over the years by its vibrant immigrant community and worldwide favourites such as spaghetti and pizza now have a firm place on the city's restaurant menus. Indian, Chinese, Greek and Thai cuisine are becoming increasingly popular with new eateries springing up at a rapid rate.
Brimming with a wide variety of restaurants, Oranienburger Street is one of the best places to eat out when visiting Berlin; many of the city's most popular restaurants can be found here and there is a great atmosphere to be enjoyed.
Nocti Vagus Dark Restaurant
This unique restaurant serves food in completely dark rooms by blind waiters. The idea is that diners will concentrate more on the taste of the food if other senses are deprived and strangely, it seems they are right. The unseen food is delicious and the quirky way to sit through a meal is usually accompanied by the sound of giggles.
Address: Saarbrücker Str. 36-38
Telephone: 030 74 74 91 23
One of the latest 'in' places to dine in Berlin is the Dachgarten in the rooftop dome of the new futuristic Parliament building (the Reichstag). From the dome, in the historic centre of Berlin, there are amazing views across the city. The menu is delightful too, including healthy traditional cuisine like the light fish and venison dishes. Reservations are vital unless you wish to join a long queue, and your best bet of getting a table is at breakfast.
Address: Platz de Republik 1
Telephone: (0)30 2262 9933
The renowned chef at the Bamberger Reiter, one of Berlin's leading restaurants, insists on using only fresh market produce to create his masterpieces of Austrian and new German cuisine, for a menu that changes daily. The restaurant is known for having the freshest fish in town and set menus of between five and eight courses are recommended daily, besides a range of à la carte choices. Typical dishes are roulade of quail, rack of lamb, bass with Riesling sauce, and the like. The décor is understated 'old Germany', resplendent with fresh flowers. The restaurant does not serve lunch and is closed Sundays and Mondays. Bookings are essential.
Address: Regensburgerstrasse 7, Schöneberg
Telephone: (0)30 2196 6355
To experience some old-fashioned, warm Berlin hospitality, not to mention some great rib-sticking traditional dishes, dive into the dark depths of the cellar restaurant Grossbeerenkeller. With dark oak furniture and antlers adorning the walls, the setting is original to complement wholesome meals of diced pork with fries and herb sauce, or boiled salt pork and green cabbage. Owner/bartender Ingebork Zinn-Baier's fried potatoes are said to be the best in the city. The cellar is closed Sundays and does not accept credit cards.
Address: Grossbeerenstrasse 90, Kreuzberg
Telephone: (0)30 251 3064
Diekmann im Weinhaus Huth
Emulating a Paris bistro the Weinhaus Huth is an interesting dining venue not because of its décor or a particularly outstanding menu, but because the building which houses it is the only original standing building left on the Potsdamer Platz, having survived the ravages of war and the demolition of the Berlin Wall. It is now surrounded by the shining new Sony centre and draws tourist interest. Highlights on the menu include tarte flambee and fresh oysters.
Address: Alte Potsdamer Strasse 5, Tiergarten
Telephone: (0)30 883 3321
You cannot beat the thin base pizzas that keep customers flocking to this lively restaurant in Charlottenberg. The XII Apostel is trendy and popular because of its novel idea of offering 12 pizza varieties, one named for each apostle of Jesus Christ. The biggest and tastiest is reputedly the Judas. The décor is flashy Italian Renaissance and the atmosphere is usually busy and bustling.
Address: Bleibtreustrasse 49
Telephone: (0)30 312 1433
Zur Letzten Instanz
This historic establishment off Alexanderplatz should be on any visitor's sightseeing list not only for its hearty German comfort food (like Eisbein, potato dumplings, suckling pig and red cabbage) and tankards of beer, but also because it is the oldest restaurant in Berlin, documented as far back as 1525. The name, Zur Letzten Instanz, was inspired by a nearby courthouse and means 'without further appeal'. Napoleon is said to have dined here. The restaurant is open Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 1am.
Address: Waisenstrase 14-16, Mitte
Telephone: (0)30 242 5528
For more than 20 years Florian has been regarded as one of the top restaurants in the popular Savignyplatz, offering a daily changing menu based on Swabian (ancient German) cuisine with a French touch. The restaurant's legendary dish is Nurnberg grilled sausages and sauerkraut. The relaxed, friendly ambience draws a clientele of writers, artists and filmmakers who arrive late and stay till the small hours. Reservations are essential. Florian is open daily 6pm to 3am.
Address: Grolmanstrasse 52
Telephone: (0)30 313 9184
Traditionally a popular if not fashionable spot to dine after the theatre, Ganymed has been around for decades serving good food in generous portions, gamely continuing to do business in East Berlin throughout the Cold War years. There are two formal dining rooms, one overlooking the Spree. Examples of menu highlights are goose liver terrine, Eisbein, schnitzels, mussels in Choron sauce and pheasant breast wrapped in Black Forest ham.
Address: Schiffbauerdamm 5, Berlin-Mitte
Telephone: (030) 2859 9046
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