Berlin’s 30 best restaurants and cafés

Discover the best places to eat in Germany’s capital – from fine dining to munching on Berlin's classic döner

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© Frederic Urban

Berlin's dining scene has evolved in leaps and bounds these last few years, and there's a multitude of excellent place, both old and new, jostling for this lowdown of the best restaurants and cafés.


Known for a somewhat brisk mentality, Berliners are true to form when it comes to food on-the-go. Berlin is a contender for best kebab in the world, and with good reason, being the birthplace of the glorious Döner, but beyond that there's a host of fast, hearty and cheap street food options. Attracting many worshipers is the unholy trinity of sausages, Currywurst, Bockwurst and Bratwurst, but add to this the flavours of Berlin's diverse ethnic communities - Turkish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, Slavic - and eating here is an exciting experience. But waves are also being made at the more flash end of the scale with high-profile openings such as Glass and Les Solistes and with the accrual of a fair share of the coveted Michelin stars: Tim Raue has picked up a second star and Hörvath a first. Contemporary mores for sustainable and locally sourced produce are flourishing too at places like Lokal and while home-grown contenders are beating the best of them, the New York Times' food critic recently describing his pastrami on rye experience at Mogg & Melzer which 'only a handful of delis in New York can match'. No longer are tourists relegated to traps like the Hard Rock Café; Berlin is truly a gastro-destination. Whether it's cooking of the molecular variety or a Schnitzel the size of an entire plate, the city is dishing it out with the best of them.


Fine dining

Les Solistes

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

French chef Pierre Gagnaire has enough Michelin stars to his name to have a small constellation named after him, and Les Solistes is his latest effort at the new Waldorf-Astoria in Charlottenburg. An anodyne luxury hotel interior is quickly forgotten once the splendid

  1. Waldorf Astoria, Hardenbergstrasse 28, 10623
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Tim Raue

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Local Kreuzberg lad done extremely well, Tim Raue has been extremely busy of late: his flagship picked up a second star from the bods at Michelin, he curated the Thai concept restaurant at the Adlon Kempinski hotel as well as opening La Soupe Populaire, an upmarket

  1. Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 26, 10969
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Glass

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Inside a brutalist apartment building at the top end of Uhlandstrasse, Gal Ben-Moshe has been spinning straw into culinary gold. The Israeli-born chef cut his chops under two of molecular gastronomy’s leading lights, Claudi Bosi at Hibiscus and Grant Achatz of

  1. Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 26, 10623
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Hugos

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Probably Berlin's best restaurant right now, and with the awards to prove it. Chef Thomas Kammeier juxtaposes classic haute cuisine with an avant-garde new German style. Dishes such as cheek of ox with beluga lentils and filled calamares bring out the best of a mature

  1. Hotel Intercontinental, Budapester Strasse 2
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More fine dining

Moderately priced

3 Minutes sur Mer

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

On a slightly less trodden stretch of Torstrasse – a little past Rosenthaler Platz – a splendid sequence of restaurants are flying the flag for French cooking. One of the first to open was the expensive brasserie Bandol sur Mer, which in typically French fashion

  1. Torstrasse 166, 10115
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Der Goldene Hahn

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This local’s stalwart combines the prevailing Kreuzberg taste for zany vintage with the more typical cosy trattoria look, and inside you’ll find a solid wine list and Italian favourites. The dining room veers between the twee (an antique apothecary with hundreds of

  1. Pücklerstraße 20
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Das Lokal

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Das Lokal comes from fine heritage: formerly Kantine, a cult pop-up of sorts which had occupied a space earmarked for demolition in David Chipperfield’s architectural office. Their relocation to a permanent location on Linienstrasse sees the restaurant decorated with

  1. Linienstraße 160, 10115
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Bar Raval

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The economic struggles of many European countries has seen a steady stream of young migrants coming to Berlin in recent years – and the upside is a palpable surge of energy in the local culinary landscape. Nowhere is this more visible than in the ‘New Spanish

  1. Lübbener Straße 1, Ecke Görlitzer Strasse, 10997
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Sasaya

  • Critics choice

One of the city’s greatest culinary gripes is the poor availability of fresh fish, something blamed on geography but more likely to do with local tastes traditionally running to the freshwater varieties or smoked and pickled preserves. This poses a challenge for

  1. Lychener Straße 50, 10437
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Jolesch

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Some of the greatest spots for Germanic food in Berlin are actually Austrian: classic dishes such as Wiener Schnitzel (which is with veal) and Tafelspitz (braised beef) originate in Vienna, the ancient Imperial centre of Europe. One of the best-loved restaurants for

  1. Muskauer Straße 1, 10997
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The Bird

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Head to The Bird up in Prenzlauer Berg (now opening a second branch in Kreuzberg) for a dip into that emotional, American relationship with beef. A dip, in the literal sense, as the menu hectors diners to ditch the ‘uptight’ knife and fork (rolls of kitchen towel

  1. Am Falkplatz 5
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Da Baffi

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Many of what people consider the most ‘classic’ of Italian dishes hails from Emilia Romagna and an Italo-Dutch couple of have been serving up the real deal at this Wedding favourite since 2011. Low-hanging lamps, vintage furniture and charming flowers adorn each

  1. Nazarethkirchstraße 41, 13347
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Gasthaus Figl

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Eckekneipe (corner pub), has always been part of the Berlin fabric, but much like London’s original pubs, is suffering. You’ll still see them dotted around back streets, bearded men in sleeveless denim jackets propping up the smoky bar. Figl occupies a former

  1. Urbanstrasse 47, 10967
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More affordable dining

Budget food

Aroma

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

You’ll find Berlin’s little Chinatown in Charlottenburg’s Kantstrasse, where a number of Chinese supermarkets, cafes and restaurants serve up various Asian cuisines. If hankering for a dim sum fix, head to Aroma, easily the best in town, where you can have it in

  1. Kantstrasse 58, 10625
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Mogg & Melzer

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Mitte’s gallery scene has been swelled by the regeneration of the Ehemalige Jüdische Mädchenschule (former Jewish girl’s school), built in 1930 and whose walls have borne out the turbulent history of the city. The impressive New Objectivity building houses

  1. Auguststrasse 11-13, 10117
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Volta

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Wedding is Berlin’s second major Turkish area after Kreuzberg. Touted for years as the next happening spot, signs of gentrification are beginning to be visible. Volta opened to much fanfare, especially as it is part-owned by the chef behind Cookies and Cream, the

  1. Brunnenstrasse 73, 13355
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Fischerhutte am Schlachtensee

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Berlin can seem sprawling, with its large GDR housing estates and empty old factories, but it is easy to escape to its surrounding network of beautiful lakes, which have crystal-clear water running through them. Berliners love nothing more than the short trip to lakes

  1. Fischerhüttenstrasse 136
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Cocolo

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Authentic Japanese-style ramen is booming everywhere. Originally imported from China into Japan, the dish consists of three key constituent parts: the base broth (usually made from pork stock), the noodles (varying wildly in size but made with alkaline water giving

  1. Gipsstrasse 3, 10119
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Masaniello

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

In Berlin, the Turkish have adapted the formula of the Italian pizza al taglio to dominate the take-away pizza stück (piece) vendors; stück comes pre-prepared on a thicker base and is heated on demand. For something altogether more authentic, head down to Masaniello

  1. Hasenheide 20, 10967
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Ixthys

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Right across from the charming square which hosts Schoeneberg’s excellent Winterfeldtplatz Market, is the excellent Korean eatery Ixthys. Named after the Greek word for fish, a traditional Christian symbol, the two Korean ladies who own the place do more than wear

  1. Pallasstrasse 21
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Monsieur Vuong

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

There are many pseudo-Vietnamese restaurants in Berlin on the China-pfanne end of the scale, filling boxes of MSG-laden fried noodles or rice for dirt-cheap prices. Higher-grade places serve restorative noodle soups and curried meats on rice, still in a street-food

  1. Alte Schönhauser Straße 46, 10119
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More budget food

Fast food

Imren Grill

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A trip to Berlin isn’t complete without sampling the city’s most popular fast food – the Döner kebab. As legend has it, in 1971 one Kadir Nurman decided to adapt the traditional Iskender-style kebab from north-western Turkey to more local tastes by putting it in

  1. Boppstrasse 4, 10967
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Krasselts

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

As with many trademark dishes around the world, various German cities claim to have invented the wildly popular Currywurst. Berliners know this is nonsense, and there’s a commemorative plaque on the corner of Kantstrasse and Kaiser-Friedrich-Strasse in Charlottenburg

  1. Steglitzer Damm 22
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Azzam

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

In the city that claims to have invented the Döner Kebab, Turkish cuisine reigns supreme, their community by far making up the largest minority, especially around the areas of Kreuzberg and Wedding. There is however, a visible Arab enclave situated mostly along the

  1. Sonnenallee 54, 12045
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Pic Nic 34

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Overlooking Kreuzberg’s alternative hangout park of choice Görlitzer Park, this micro Italian café boasts some of the best salumi (cured meats) in town. The affable owner Gianni opened it in response to pleas from the city’s sizable population of Italian

  1. Wiener Strasse 34, 10999
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CôCô

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

In the last few years, hungry office workers from New York to London have been rushing for banh mi, a Franco-Vietnamese sandwich and a novel lunchtime option. It combines fatty pâté and roast pork slices, offset by coriander and the zing of pickled daikon and carrot,

  1. Rosenthalerstraße 2, 10119
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More budget food

Cafés

Bonanza

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Acolytes of the so-called ‘Third Wave’ of coffee production, Bonanza serves some of the best cups in Berlin. Its proprietors are fastidiously involved at every step of the process, from relationships with suppliers to roasting the beans in-house for freshness and

  1. Oderberger Straße 35, 10435
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Café Einstein Stammhaus

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

For a taste of Old World decadence visit this Nollendorfplatz institution set in a neo-Renaissance villa built in the 1870s by a wealthy industrialist. Its heyday saw it used as a gambling den for Weimar-era high society but it’s Jewish owners were soon arrested by

  1. Kurfürstenstrasse 58, 10785
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5 Elephant

  • Critics choice

Run by a charming Austro-American couple – she bakes the cakes, he roasts the beans – you can feel the love in this café. Kris learned the coffee trade in New York and brought over a shiny, new Dietrich roaster from the legendary Idaho artisan factory, renowned

  1. ReichenbergerStraße 101
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Bullys Bakery

  • Critics choice

Countless column inches have been devoted to the city’s battle with accelerated gentrification and one place to witness it first-hand is over breakfast at Bullys Bakery in hipster mecca, Kreuzkölln. Hysterical news coverage aside, there’s no debating that Daniel,

  1. Friedelstrasse 7
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The Barn

  • Critics choice

Both The Barn and The Barn Roastery are shrines to the black bean. Owner Ralf Kueller has even made headlines for his serious approach: the original Mitte location is certainly cosy enough, but when he opened a second, more spacious roastery in Prenzlauer Berg,

  1. Auguststrasse 58, 10119
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