Expert recommendations for the best places to eat in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)
“Berlin’s best Currywurst (a sliced spicy sausage topped with tomato sauce and curry powder) and, especially at night, a highly interesting clientele of hipsters, cab drivers, and shift workers.”—Andrea Steichele-Biskup, travel editor, ADAC Motorwelt. Sausage kitchen with cult status; stand-up outside tables only; cash only; open to 4 a.m. Mehringdamm 36, Kreuzberg; tel. 49 30 251 7368.
“The healthiest fast food in town!”—Nadja Vancauwenberghe, editor-in-chief, Ex-Berliner magazine. Scrumptious California-style burritos, soups and salads made to order with fresh, quality ingredients; popular lunch spot draws locals and visitors; closed Sunday. Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 7, Mitte; tel. 49 30 2809 9597. www.dolores-online.de
Café Wintergarten im Literaturhaus
One of Berlin’s great literary cafés, this is a sophisticated art nouveau salon serving delicious cakes and light meals; idyllic garden with blooming roses and shady trees; great for a break from shopping on nearby Kurfürstendamm. Fasanenstrasse 23, Charlottenburg; tel. 49 30 882 5414. www.literaturhaus-berlin.de
“Authentic Russian food, beer, and vodka—Nastarovje!”—Henrik Tidefjärd, owner, Berlinagenten custom tours and travel services. Retro bar decorated in memory of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin; fun yet intellectual clientele and famous Sunday brunch buffet. Knaackstrasse 22-24, Prenzlauer Berg; tel. 49 30 442 8807.
“The best chicken in Germany in a charming old Berlin ambience—reservations essential.”—Chris Sandeman, publisher, New Berlin magazine. Classic family-run Berlin gastro pub; simple menu consists of roast chicken and various side dishes; eat on terrace or amid woodsy, original interior from 1907. Leuschnerdamm 25, Kreuzberg; tel. 49 30 614 7730. www.henne-berlin.de
“One of Berlin's best Spanish restaurants; never mind that it’s tucked under an unsightly concrete tower just off Alexanderplatz.”—Jeremy Gray, co-author, National Geographic Traveler: Berlin. A spot for romantics with dim lighting and cozy tables lined with flowers and palm trees; fragrant, sweating hams dangle above a long tapas bar; authentic flamenco music. Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 29, Mitte; tel. 49 30 241 5472. www.las-olas.de
Unfussy woodsy restaurant draws a steady stable of local patrons; creative spins on German cuisine prepared with regionally sourced ingredients; small but daily changing menu; superior, friendly service; dinner only, reservations strongly advised. Oderberger Strasse 27, Prenzlauer Berg; tel. 49 30 440 8080. www.oderquelle.de
“The best Franco-German culinary alliance.”—Nadja Vancauwenberghe. Unpretentious corner brasserie; polished wooden tables, hearty Alsatian cuisine, friendly service; Bill Clinton enjoyed a meal (and Cuban cigar) here when he was president. Knaackstrasse 37, Prenzlauer Berg; tel. 49 30 442 9229. www.gugelhof.de
“I can’t think of a place in Berlin that celebrates French cuisine with more skill.”—Jeremy Gray. Original 19th-century French brasserie reassembled piece by piece at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in urban Potsdamer Platz district; great raw bar and lunch specials. Potsdamer Platz 3, Tiergarten; tel. 49 30 337 777 6340. www.desbrosses.de
“Top cuisine right on Kreuzberg’s trendy canalside restaurant row.”—Andrea Steichele-Biskup. Funky neighborhood, fancy food by local star chef Wolfgang Müller; seasonal menu inspired by Asian, German, and Mediterranean flavors; off the tourist track; dinner Tuesday-Sunday. Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44a, Kreuzberg; tel. 49-30-6128 9992. www.restaurant-horvath.de
Le Cochon Bourgeois
“Rustically elegant French cuisine—but don’t show up without a reservation.”—Andrea Steichele-Biskup. Local favorite on quiet side street; candlelight; fresh flowers and soft piano music create romantic backdrop for Hannes Behrmann’s inspired cooking; no credit cards, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Fichtestrasse 24, Kreuzberg; tel. 49 30 693 0101.
Alpine food in a snow-white setting reminiscent of the inside of an ice cave yet anything but chilly; draws a sophisticated but youthful crowd; specialties include schnitzel with warm potato salad and wild pork ragout with raspberry coulis. Simplonstrasse 16, Friedrichshain; tel. 49 30 2904 9704. www.schneeweiss-berlin.de
Feinkost Käfer Reichstag
“Top-notch German food and wine; excellent service, too.”—Tom Bross, co-author, Thomas Cook Travellers Berlin. Fine dining atop the Reichstag parliament building adjoining Lord Norman Foster’s glass dome; terrific views of Pariser Platz and central Berlin. Platz der Republik 1, Tiergarten; tel. 49 30 2262 990. www.feinkost-kaefer.de
“Imaginative culinary creations in a simple but elegant basement restaurant with excellent German wines.”—Andrea Steichele-Biskup. Romantic neighborhood eatery helmed by an ambitious young chef; menu mixes updated German classics and sophisticated Mediterranean fare. Fichtestrasse 31, Kreuzberg; tel. 49 30 6120 1003. www.hartmanns-restaurant.de
“Refined, creative continental cuisine in perfect setting; for foodies in the know.”—Nadja Vancauwenberghe. Seasonal dishes made with regional ingredients; dine in an ambience-laden half-timbered house or idyllic garden; near the government quarter; no credit cards. Alt-Moabit 141, Tiergarten; tel. 49 30 394 2081. www.paris-moskau.de
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