Eating in Berlin

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Aha! There it is, the one that you’ve all been waiting for: the Berlin foodpost! I must say that being in Berlin for a week really changed my preconceptions about Germany and food: I’ve never been eating so well in a foreign country. Whether it was a quick bite, a fancy dinner or even products from the supermarket that we were cooking ourselves, I realized how much Berlin cares about great food. My good idea was to ask people I know that are or have been living there what their favourite places were.

Unfortunately, I guess I was in town during the most quiet possible week of the year, because it seems like between Christmas and New Year’s, a lot of places take a well-deserved break. Still, I managed to try out a few places that I can recommend to you, here they are:

This one, I discovered through the couple of friends that we were staying with, when we were walking around Kreuzberg: located near the Görlitzer Park, Gipfeltreffen is the perfect place to brunch before visiting the East Side Gallery, or to have a cake break after seeing the neighborhood like I advised you to the other day. Vintage , cosy decoration, homemade everything… I just had to order some fresh mint tea and a plate of cheese and delicatessen!

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Photo / Simple & Funky taken with Samsung NX20

 

Now about restaurants. There are two types of restaurants that you will see everywhere in Berlin: italian and hamburger places. Since those were apparently really commited to their holiday break, we had to concentrate our efforts on the italians for this time.

The first one that we went to, following my pal Mike’s advice, was Il Casolare. We booked a table there on a hangover day, tired after an afternoon shopping and walking, hungry as hell. This place couldn’t be more typical: the waiters are yelling through the whole room, the tables are too close to each other, wine is served in a water glass… but please, before wondering what the hell you’re doing there, order a pizza, it will give you the answer. Honestly, it was one of the best I had ever had in my entire life, and apparently, everyone in Berlin agrees to say it’s the best pizza in town.

That’s probably why on the menu, you will only be able to find pizzas: the meat, fish and pasta are not really the specialty. They have some, written on a chalk board, it changes everyday and I don’t really recommend going for that anyway.

Also: book a table! Call in the afternoon, I don’t even think you can get a table if you just show up. And if you managed to book a table, arrive on time, because you only have a limited amount of time to enjoy your meal before the next client arrives. Still: best. pizza. ever!

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Photo / Simple & Funky taken with Samsung NX20

 

Another italian, another style: Fratelli La Bionda.

We actually ended up eating there by accident: we wanted to check another restaurant, but it was fully booked, so the owner told us he had another place and that we should eat there, which we did. It was the complete opposite of the first one we tried: quiet, polite waiters, big table, fancy setup, and a DJ was selecting the best of his house tracks to make us enjoy our time there. The only thing in common was the food, which was as delicious! Once again, only pizzas are on the menu, but they have other fancy dishes of the day to offer. But yeah, I had pizza again ^^!

I really couldn’t say which food was better, I think you should do both places if you have the chance, because they’re both very cool, in very different ways.

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Photos / @cpizzutilo & Markus Y. via 4sq

 

Berlin is also a city with a huge turkish population, which is pretty cool because that also means turkish food, which I love! That’s how a simple kebab suddenly turns into a masterpiece, and to experience that I once again followed Mike’s advice and went to Doyum Grillhaus, in Kreuzberg. At first sight, it might seem like just another crappy snack with dudes who don’t speak english, and honestly I think most people inside knew where they were going and why! It is, indeed, a very big snack, but when you see the “kitchen” and see the meat slowly cooking, the bread toasting, that’s when you start realizing you’re about to make your stomach very happy. We didn’t eat at a table there, so we couldn’t really taste the actual dishes, but man, the Döner Kebab and Spezi we took back home were delish! It’s perfect for those days when you really don’t feel like cooking or eating at a restaurant, also even better if you had a bit too much the night before.

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Photo / @swemeatballs78 via 4sq

 

The most amazing thing about all this, is that eating in Berlin doesn’t really cost much. We ended up cooking only once, because eating outside is that cheap. For a table of four, we were always between 80 and 100, (lots o’)wine and dessert included (if it’s that cheap, make the most of it, right)!

For breakfast and basic products, we were getting most of our supplies at BioCompany, a bio supermarket with good products at a very reasonable price. We also found out we had the most amazing kind of supermarket just round the corner: Marheineke Markthalle, an indoor market with fresh meat, bread, vegetables, italian and german specialties… great quality and taste, unbelievable prices.

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Photo / Thomas M. via 4sq

 

I only have two big regrets: I wish I had had the opportunity to have a burger or a steak at The Bird, and been brave enough to wait in line for 30 minutes for what I heard was the best kebab ever at Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebab (if everyone is getting so excited about a kebab, it has to be amazing right?).

Of course, there a lot of other places to have brunch, dinner, bites, cake, that I still didn’t check out, but since they were all recommended by people that I trust, I am sharing them with you on this Foursquare “To Do in Berlin” list. Isn’t that very nice? I believe it is ;)

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