The 15 best restaurants in Berlin

The 28 Michelin stars earned by local eateries mean one thing: the best restaurants in Berlin are down-right fabulous
By Anna Geary-Meyer |
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Berlin’s geographical neighbourhood spread and overly practical food culture mean you’re unlikely to stumble upon a great meal at a local eatery (and even a bar!) by accident at any time. (Oversauced döner, anyone?) But the 28 collective Michelin stars tell a different story: from venerated institutions like Mitte’s Grill Royal to the burgeoning foodie scene in once-gritty Neukölln, there are some downright life-changing meals to be had here.

For a quick bite, step away from the currywurst and head for the houmous haven of Neukölln’s Sonnenallee, or the quality Israeli joints in Prenzlauer Berg. A cut above, Kreuzberg’s köfteci and ocakbasi warm hearts and stomachs late into the night with expertly seasoned lentil soup and grilled specialties that will likely prevent the hangover you should expect after experiencing the city's nightlife scene. Leave your supposed culinary expertise back at home or your hotel: the best restaurants in Berlin are sure to delight you in ways yet unknown to you.

Best restaurants in Berlin

1
Eins44
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Michael A.

Eins44

Situated in a former schnapps factory, Eins44 pairs industrial design with fine dining. Proving there’s a place for high-end eating in down-and-dirty Neukölln, the restaurant serves both lunch and dinner. Lunches tend towards the classic while, during the evenings, you can select three (€46) or up to six courses (€73) from flexible menus featuring highly seasonal dishes, such as venison with shiitake mushrooms, radish and ginger, and prawns served with yellow beetroot and vermouth. Wine pairings are recommended.


Price: Pricey

2
Grill Royal
Photograph: Stefan Korte
Restaurants, Global

Grill Royal

icon-location-pin Mitte

One of the city’s best-known venues, nestled on the riverside, Grill Royal is a stylish, friendly and exceptionally meaty experience. Not for vegetarians or anyone on a diet or budget, Grill is as compelling for its people-watching potential as it is for its (stoutly priced) steaks and seafood. The meat is sourced from local suppliers as well as from Argentina, Ireland and Australia. The walls are adorned with rather striking soft-porn art from the owner’s collection. Reservations are essential.

Price: Blowout

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3
Tim Raue restaurant
Photograph: Wolfgang Stahr
Restaurants, Fusion

Tim Raue

In contrast to many of Berlin’s fine-dining establishments, this small restaurant, decorated with Chinese ceramics and dark wood furniture, prides itself on its informality. Not that this detracts from the exacting dishes. The tasting menu might include amuse-bouches of spicy cashews, prawn sashimi and marinated pork belly, moving on to main courses of wagyu beef, lobster, Australian winter truffle and tofu, all flaunting Japanese techniques and served with blobs, smears or foams of contrasting flavors and colors. Book ahead.

Price: Blowout

4
Azzam restaurant in Berlin
Photograph: Tommy Tannock
Restaurants, Lebanese

Azzam

icon-location-pin Beyond the centre

People flock from all over the city to sample Azzam’s houmous, made fresh throughout the day. The grilled minced lamb is perfectly seasoned, and the falafel is a crunchy, sesame-speckled delight. You get a lot for your money, too: each dish comes with raw veg, bitter olives, garlicky mayo or tahini sauce, and a basket of stacked pita bread, which doubles as cutlery.

Price: Bargain

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5
Coda
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Nina W.

Coda

Offering a menu composed entirely of desserts and drinks, concept restaurant Coda is due a Michelin star any day now. Masterminded by chef René Frank, with an emphasis on the surprising and experimental, plates are artfully composed using the freshest ingredients. Come by for the full blow-out six-course tasting menu, which pairs desserts with drinks (from €98). Or head to the bar for a superlative cocktail.

Price: Pricey

6
Doyum Grillhaus
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Torterry C.

Doyum Grillhaus

One of the best ocakbasi (Turkish grillhouses) in Kreuzberg’s Kotti neighbourhood is somehow hidden in plain sight. Tourists flock to the overrated Hasir, but the Turkish locals come to this beautifully tiled dining room for a plate of iskender kebab smothered in yogurt sauce or succulent minced lamb adana. No alcohol allowed.

Price: Average

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7
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Nobelhart & Schmutzig

This restaurant’s tagline is “vocally local”—meaning they refuse to import food from beyond the capital and its immediate surroundings. Sadly, this means no chocolate. However, chef and sommelier Billy Wagner has ways of helping you temporarily forget: he uses neglected traditional methods to create a seasonally shifting menu of bold, contemporary flavors that evoke, impossibly, the authentic taste of Berlin. The outside is nondescript, visible only to those in the  know, and you must ring a bell before you are ushered into the eatery: a long wooden table with just 28 seats. Booking is, clearly, essential.   

Price: Pricey

8
Horváth
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Horváth

Horváth

Operating outside the usual Berlin luxury hotel system, Austrian chef Sebastian Frank gained a Michelin star in 2011 at this canal-side restaurant. Enjoy a tasting menu of typical rustic German ingredients transformed through novel techniques: onion, pigeon and kohlrabi, or sturgeon, rib and celery, are charred, abstracted and perfectly plated. The Austrian wine list is excellent. Booking is advised.

Price: Blowout

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9
Vöner
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Karina B.

Vöner

Vegans, vegetarians and all those exhausted by Germany’s love for fleisch (meat) will find respite at this hip café. Here, you’re free to indulge in classic hangover or munchies food normally off-limits to veggies, including currywurst, döner kebabs and seitan nuggets—all without any risk of the meat sweats.

Price: Bargain

10
Rogacki, Shopping, Berlin
Photograph: Tommy Tannock
Shopping

Rogacki

A trip to Rogacki, a German-Polish delicatessen-cum-food market, is like stepping back in time. The draw here is the fish; specialities include bratherings (fried and brined herring), rollmops (pickled herrings rolled around gherkin) and senfgurken (white gherkins from nearby Spreewald). Alongside the excellent quality produce, you’ll find gourmet-islands inside where you can pull up a stool and order a fischbrötchen or oysters and wine for much less than you’ll pay over at the KaDaWe. The spot is excellent for people watching as well.

Price: Bargain

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11
Das Lokal restaurant
Photograph: Tommy Tannock
Restaurants, German

Das Lokal

icon-location-pin Mitte

Das Lokal comes from fine heritage: it opened while the much-loved Kantine was being redesigned alongside David Chipperfield’s studio. The weekly changing seasonal menu might feature starters of pigeon with chestnuts, mussels in broth or asparagus croquettes—all designed to demonstrate the superior flavor of well-sourced produce. The venue is also an oasis for offal dishes and for game, which is plentiful in Berlin’s surrounding forests.

Price: Pricey

12
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St. Bart

This surprising little gastropub serves a sumptuous feast of simple yet powerful flavors. The menu features the likes of burnt Jerusalem artichokes, green asparagus, lentils and goat cheese and heavenly buttermilk fried chicken. Everything comes paired with homemade sauces and the booze menu is unpretentiously priced.

Price: Pricey

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13
W Pizza
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Andreas K.

W Pizza

With only a handful of faithful Neapolitan-style pizza joints in Berlin, W’s canal-side opening on Weichselplatz made quite the splash. The brainchild of design dealer Darius Suski and chef Łukasz Sołowiej (formerly of Kreuzberg’s Zola, a solid runner up), W Pizza doubles as an espresso café and bakery and offers a compact menu packed with Italian classics and surprising hits using ingredients like eggplant cream and salsiccia. The “W” also stands for weed: the dough is made with hemp flour.

Price: Average

14
Lon Men’s Noodle House
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Berthold R.

Lon Men’s Noodle House

If Berlin had a Chinatown, it would be the length of Charlottenburg’s Kantstrasse. This tiny hole-in-the-wall spot knocks out Taiwanese classics such as noodle soups and gua bao (rice buns filled with duck) as well as more esoteric plates of dressed beef tongue or pigs’ ears sliced finely over rice noodles. It’s almost always full in the evenings, but the turnover is fast enough that you’ll find a seat pretty quickly.  

Price: Bargain

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15
Konnopke’s
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Borris H.
Restaurants, European

Konnopke’s

icon-location-pin Prenzlauer Berg

This venerable sausage stand (refurbished a few years ago) has been under the same family management since 1930. After coming up with a secret recipe for ketchup (which was not available after the Wall was erected), it was the first place to offer currywurst in East Berlin and still serves probably the most famous—if not the best—version in the city. Expect a queue.

Price: Bargain

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