Doner Kebap, Currywurst, Falafel – Berlin is the capital of street food! And the snacking landscape is just as multi-cultural and diverse as the city itself. To eat your way through the streets of the trendy boroughs like a local is easy – just follow our insider’s tips.
To you, Doner Kebap is nothing but greasy meat, some lettuce, instant sauce and insipid roll? Well not so in Berlin, mate! The Turkish-German classic is for street food gourmets, too: tender veal or poultry, fresh organic ingredients and maybe even grilled vegetables? The most famous doner is served at Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap on Mehringdamm. Only the finest chickens make it to the skewer and the meat is served with grilled vegetables and delicious Feta cheese here. Since Mustafa’s has been popular like no other kebap shop, queuing can take up to half an hour. Whether it’s worth it? You decide!
Falafel & Shawarma
The Arabic cuisine is diverse and delicious and you’ll find it everywhere in Berlin. A perfect and meat-free choice is Falafel; deep-fried chick-pea balls in a Pita-Bread. They are served with Hummus (chick-pea-sesame sauce), Tahina (sesame paste) or yoghurt sauce, furthermore salad or vegetables. If you want you can add or replace the Falafel with Halloumi (fried cheese). Those who don’t feel vegetarian should go for Shawarma, grilled and seasoned chicken meat in a Pita. If you have time to take a seat, order Taboulé: an amazing salad of bulgur, parsley, tomato and onion. One of the best addresses is Rissani at Spreewaldplatz – here you should order for takeaway and have a picnic in the neighboring Görlitzer Park. Or you check out Nano’s right next to Industriepalast Hostel – they serve a great Falafel!
No other snack is as Berlin as the Currywurst: other cities might claim the invention, still everybody knows the bratwurst with curry ketchup is a real child of the capital. Whether you prefer it with or without skin is up to you, as well as the question of sides (fries or roll). The most famous Currywurst is served at Curry 36, also on Mehringdamm and right next to Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap. Check out the organic option here. You want it meat-free? Go for a vegan “Extra-Wurst” at Bergmann Curry just around the corner. The curry sauce has different severity levels here and they offer sweet potato fries as a side. Plus the staff are as Berlin as can be, too.
No other snack is as convertible as the patty in a bun: the franchise chains’ tasteless botches of meat substitute and gourmet creations of fancy steakhouses are worlds apart. But as so often in Berlin, the best is away from the common expectation. A juicy burger to go with homemade sauce can be found at Burgermeister, from Industriepalast Hostel right on the other side of the river. In Oranienstraße, a couple of blocks away, you find Kreuzburger, another classic of Berlin burgers. All beef is organic here and even the veggie burgers make your mouth water. And if you feel like turning the snack into a dinner, check out White Trash: They serve self-made lemonade and live music every night with the burgers.
Berlin’s world of snacking is, of course, even more diverse as shown above. It’s best to show no fear and try out whatever looks interesting or weird enough. Go for a tasty discovery tour and find out what Börek are, or why you should really only order one piece of the small sweet Baclava. At Industriepalast Hostel you are right in the middle of the trendy boroughs Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, and trendy is where streetfood is. So don’t hesitate and check it out! The golden rule: where the locals queue, the snack can’t be too bad. And our ever hungry staff at the hostel reception is also happy to share their very favorite snack bar with you…
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.