Restaurants & Cafés

The best places to eat in Berlin – reviewed anonymously by experts

The best street food in Berlin
Restaurants

The best street food in Berlin

Your ultimate guide to the city's kerbside dining scene, including the stalls you'd be mad to miss

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The 30 best Berlin restaurants and cafés
Restaurants

The 30 best Berlin restaurants and cafés

From fine dining to Berlin’s trademark döner kebab, discover the capital’s culinary highlights

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Bonanza
Restaurants

Bonanza

The ‘Third Wave’ of coffee is here – and this Berlin café is where to catch it

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Eat like a local
Restaurants

Eat like a local

Döners, schnitzel, currywurst and doughnuts – where to go for quintessential Berlin morsels…

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Restaurants and cafés in Neukölln
Restaurants

Restaurants and cafés in Neukölln

Neukölln's best breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, nibbles and more

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The best Berlin restaurants

Dóttir
Restaurants

Dóttir

With chef Victoria Eliasdóttir - sister of Berlin-based artist Olafur Eliasson - as head chef and the team behind such legendary Berlin eateries as Grill Royal and the Michelin-starred Pauly Saal at the helm, this Icelandic-themed kitchen in Mitte would have had to make an extraordinary effort to be anything less than wonderful. A tiny, charmingly ramshackle dining room, Eliasdóttir's menu shimmers with Icelandically-inspired clean, herby flavours infusing the fresh vegetables, meat and fish with wholesome, organic character. Having grown up on an island where the only thing in abundance is fish, the chef's menu naturally favours our piscine friends, with inspired and imaginative treatments. But it's Eliasdóttir's tendency to experiment and blend new juxtapositions of flavour and texture that lead to frequently surprising (and very delicious) results. Book ahead.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Masaniello
Restaurants

Masaniello

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 – fans keep it a closely guarded secret. With its kitschy trattoria interior, outdoor decking and domed, wood-fired pizza oven, it is run by a family of true Neapolitans, whose regional pride is plastered all over the walls. They operate a menu of excellent pizzas, pastas and daily meat specials, options including lamb cutlets, Italian sausage and the occasional offal cut. They also boast a fantastic selection of freshly made antipasti – freshly sliced salumi (cold cuts), grilled and marinated vegetables and cheeses. But best of all, they offer the three true Neapolitan pizzas, as protected and guaranteed by the EU-wide ‘Tradition Specialty Guaranteed (TSG)’ status. These are the classic Marinara, Margharita and Margharita extra, which, at a slightly higher price, comes with the only true buffalo mozzarella from the DOC-protected marshlands of Campania. For these three beauties, the dough must be made from strictly controlled ingredients and it must be hand-kneaded, with no mechanical input. For those accustomed to the wafer-like base of Roman pizzas, a word of warning: the Neapolitan pizza is slightly thicker. It is flash baked in an oven at exactly 485°C for just over a minute, producing the deliciously soupy mé

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The Bird
Restaurants

The Bird

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 are supplied on each table for those wishing to get elbow-deep). Get stuck at one of the large chunky tables for a long-haul meaty experience. Staff stick to the hard-bitten New Yorker stereotype and the restaurant gets rowdy: ‘angry hour’ runs from 6-8pm every day, with a two-for-one offer on Schneider Weisse draught beer and 25 cent spicy chicken wings. The Bird’s burgers (starting at €9.50) are mighty: 250g of freshly minced meat is smothered in molten cheese and caramelised onions, with a toasted English muffin perched jauntily atop the sloppy pile. Alongside this glistening beauty lies an enormous pile of hand-cut fries, one of the restaurant’s highlights. Options for burger variants include blue cheese, guacamole, bacon, and so on, but any addition here seems like overkill. Don’t plan on doing much after tackling one of these gut-busters; you should roll out virtually prostrate.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Gasthaus Figl
Restaurants

Gasthaus Figl

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 kneipe in Neukölln, and has maintained its beautiful original fittings, a giant ceramic coal heater in the corner, the dark wood bar and best of all, a two-lane skittles alley in the basement. The menu is based around their beefed-up Flammkuchen: Alsatian flatbreads usually topped with crème fraiche, smoked bacon and red onion. Here they utilise the stone oven to full effect, putting Tyrolean flavours such as blood sausage, ham, apple and Bergkäse on more of a pizza base, as well as offering Italian toppings of artichoke, anchovies, taleggio or plain Marinara. Be warned, all this cured meat and rich cheese takes its toll: best to balance a pizza with one of their generous herb salads. Otherwise, there is a short menu of southern German classics like organic roast pork with red cabbage or a beef in a red wine sauce with bread dumplings. The large spacious dining room makes it perfect for large groups and you can even order pizzas down to the bowling alley.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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3 Minutes sur Mer
Restaurants

3 Minutes sur Mer

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 opened a superb brother next door, a bigger and livelier bistro. Come to 3 Minutes sur Mer with its neon wreath signage on the corner for something a little more louche: the traditional Parisian aesthetic of art deco bar stools, copper-pots lining the open kitchen, paper tablecloths with reservations scrawled on them sit alongside Nouveau Berlin touches such as the DDR crenulated glass light fixtures and 19th century photographs which have been manipulated into eerie artworks. Excellent fish options such as red mullet and bream come impeccably cooked, all crisp skin and translucent flesh. There are also more gutsy dishes: a reduced coq au vin and escargot de Bourgogne dripping in garlic butter. Plating is visually spare, any jus neatly daubed and portions squared off, their suckling pig dish a geometric wonder. Start with some foie gras pate (ethical stance dependant) and end with their stacked Tarte Tatin. Booking advised.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Recommended cafés in Berlin

Café Einstein Stammhaus
Restaurants

Café Einstein Stammhaus

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 the incoming Nazi regime. Supposedly gifted by Goebbels to one of his many film-star mistresses, it then continued its illicit history as an illegal club for carousing SS officers. It carries the ignoble distinction of being one of the few original buildings to have survived wartime carpet bombing. Red leather banquettes, parquet flooring and the crack of wooden chairs all contribute to the old Viennese café experience at Einstein. Come for a bracing breakfast of herb omelette with feta cheese and spinach, €8.50, or in the afternoon enjoy a classic apple strudel, €5.80, and a Weiner Melange (a creamy Austrian coffee), all served with a flourish by the charming uniformed waiters.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The Barn
Restaurants

The Barn

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, customers were bemused by the industrial bollard set in the doorway. Ralf was taking a rather humourless stand against the area’s ‘yummy mummy’ invasion by banning prams and also laptops in the shop. Third wave coffee is about taking absolute care at every step of the process, from direct-trade relationships with farmers, all the way to purifying the water used through reverse osmosis, and so, logic would dictate that a perfectly austere environment would detract least from appreciating the finished product. Australian baristas ‘dial in’ their own special blends roast on site in collaboration with London’s Square Mile Coffee Roasters; try the pour-over Hario V60 for an alternative cupping method – complemented by a slice of moist chocolate tart from the deli counter.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Bullys Bakery
Restaurants

Bullys Bakery

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, the half-Spanish, half-German owner, bakes the best croissants in town, oozing butter and with just the right amount of flake, perfectly paired with a bracing macchiato made from locally-roasted beans. After breakfast, there are various Flammkuchen – crisp pastries from Alsace topped with cheese and pear or ham – as well as fruity crumble cakes, tarts and a selection of muffins. Watch out for Kurt, the café’s resident French bulldog who chucks his stocky little body around in the endless hunt for crumbs.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Bonanza
Restaurants

Bonanza

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 taking due care over steam temperature. While beans are available to buy for home, the final results in the shop are unbeatable. The bar is dominated by a highly sensitive hand-made Synesso Cyncra machine and seating is minimal: customers perch among sacks of beans, piled high all around the little shop or move outside to benches on the pavement. The flat white, an Antipodean take on a latte, is smooth and divine and their cake selection is small – pretty much carrot cake and brownies – but high grade.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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5 Elephant
Restaurants

5 Elephant

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 for its state-of-the-art infrared heat drum system and its beautiful vintage styling. Two things are testament to his roast-mania: not only the many jars of test blends dotting the laboratory-like backroom but also the thick layer of discarded beans fertilising the tree out front (coffee is never made with beans roasted longer than three days ago). This kind of freshness is extremely rare in a city with so few micro-roasters. The house blend (with a majority Costa Rica-grown bean) makes for a delicious espresso or otherwise a variety of different filters are on offer. There are a selection of traditional cakes and tarts, but the Philadelphia cheesecake is transcendental: a wafer-thin layer of spice all that separates the custardy interior from its velvety cheese top. The wholesale supply side of things seems to be booming too - they recently opened a full-scale roastery on Glogauerstrasse where they do special cuppings every week.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Cheap eats in Berlin

Imren Grill
Restaurants

Imren Grill

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 a toasted flatbread with some fresh salad and sauce. Cheap, portable and filling, the Döner caught on massively and the industry is today worth some €2.5 billion a year. Naturally some of the best places can be found in the Turkish areas of Berlin, of which Imren Grill is in the lead. Their outlet on Boppstrasse, close to Kottbusser Damm has a big bare-bones dining room, popular with families; there are plenty of lunch specials including baked fish with stew and rice, but first thing’s first: order the classic dönerim brot (kebab in toasted bread), with its stuffing of lamb grilled in neck fat, fresh salad, sesame sauce and chilli flakes. Goods in hand, you might want to join the suited elderly gentlemen at the park in front, who congregate to put the world to rights over cups of sweet black tea.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Aroma
Restaurants

Aroma

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 its traditional genteel tea-time style of yum cha or as part of a full dinner with more substantial plates. The restaurant itself will win no awards for ambience, all the conventions gladly met: red carpets, dour-faced male waiters and some billowy koi carp floating in a fish tank. Sadly, there is no trolley creaking around as is Hong Kong custom, but the menu is extensive and unlike a lot of places, the dim sum are made fresh to order. Go with classics such as Har Gao (steamed shrimp dumplings), fried turnip cakes or Cheong Fun, pillowy rice noodle rolls stuffed with prawn or beef. For the more adventurous there are Phoenix Claws (steamed spicy chicken’s feet) or the glutinous Lo Ma Gai (mashed rice with meat in a lotus leaf), as well as a further menu with Peking duck and pancakes, stir-fried Chinese broccoli or barbecued pork to really get the lazy susan groaning.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Mogg
Restaurants

Mogg

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 gallery spaces, the Pauly Saal restaurant, a private Kosher dining space and also Mogg (formerly Mogg & Melzer), an artisan deli founded by two DJs with a shared love of cured beef. A hotspot at lunchtime for local galleristas, all the necessaries are pitch-perfect: pickles pack a crunch, fresh coleslaw is just the right side of creamy sour, the toasted rye bread reveals a fluffy interior yet all play second fiddle to the thick wodge of smokey goodness that is their pastrami meat. On the menu are classics such as the Reuben, topped with melted ‘Swiss’ cheese, sauerkraut and a special dressing, Matzo ball soup and cream cheese bagels.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Volta
Restaurants

Volta

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 not-so-secret vegan restaurant above the long-running Mitte nightclub. The space ticks the hipster boxes: exposed concrete walls, low-hanging industrial lamps and a make-shift long wooden bar. The place buzzes at night with a young crowd supping on cocktails or the flavoursome unfiltered beer from the nearby Eschenbräu brewery. The menu serves up familiar booze foods such as Caesar salad or Currywurst, as well as some fusion dishes like braised pork belly with five spice dip and raita. Everyone raves about the Volta burger, a solid wodge of rare mince, stacked with the usual trimmings, then doused in a spicy BBQ sauce and a sesame-brioche bun. The burger comes crowned with a couple of onion rings, a local Spreewald gherkin and hand-cut fries on the side.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Fischerhutte am Schlachtensee
Restaurants

Fischerhutte am Schlachtensee

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 like Müggelsee or further afield to Leipnitzsee, where they can swim, picnic and hike, often combining it with that very German enthusiasm for nudism. One of the most accessible by S-Bahn is Schlachtensee, to the west, which feeds into the much larger Wannsee. There’s a marked path around it as well as miles more through the nature reserve of the Grünewald forest. Overlooking the lake is the Fischerhütte, housing both a large outdoor beer garden and a more formal restaurant inside. It was originally built in the mid-18th-century as a rest house on the road between Berlin and Potsdam (the official residence of the Prussian kings). After a good stroll, nothing beats a hefty bratwurst and, depending on the season a fassbier (draught beer) or creamy hot chocolate. From the terrace you can watch the rowing boats slowly drifting around or, if it’s been below freezing for long enough in winter, the ice-skating. Inside, the modern brasserie features plenty of old photographs from its heyday in the 1920s when these lakes were Berlin’s answer to the French Riviera. The menu is suitably traditional, with mainstays like Schnitzel and Flammkuchen as well as seasonal specials like venison or white asparagus.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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