For a few weeks in spring, Germans go completely nuts over a simple vegetable: Asparagus season is upon us! Harvesting season is only about two months long, after that it’s waiting for next year or importing the green one from overseas. In a world where everything seems to be available at all times it might just be this seasonal scarcity that gives the white stems an aura of luxury. It’s a known fact that the Berlin hinterland is famous for its asparagus: Asparagus from Beelitz enjoys an almost mythical reputation. So when visiting the German capital in spring you should make sure to treat yourself to an amazing asparagus dish. Whether you go for the traditional version with potatoes and hollandaise, a southern German salad, nifty pancake wraps, or an Italian asparagus risotto – white asparagus tastes great in many a culinary variety. And it’s good for you, too: this “royal vegetable” is rich in vitamins and dietary fibres. Luckily there are plenty of places that cater to our cravings during asparagus season. So check out these asparagus restaurants in Berlin and treat yourself:
Fresh from the field: Beelitz
Here in Berlin, people’s eyes light up when they see the two magical words: “Beelitzer Spargel” – asparagus from Beelitz. It’s said to be especially tender, aromatic and thanks to short delivery distances, fresh and juicy. The sandy grounds of Brandenburg and the often sunny and warm spring weather seem to make the difference here, 20 miles outside the capital. Why not travel to the source and enjoy the white gold where you can eat it fresh from the field? Train line RE7 (from Ostkreuz to Seddin) and bus line 643 take you comfortably to Beelitz in about an hour. Once you’re there you have plenty of restaurants to choose from. Quite the experience, especially for families, is Jakobs Spargelhof: In addition to the culinary delights, this farmer’s restaurant offers live music on stage, carriage rides through the fields, and a petting zoo for kids. If you’re looking for a more traditional approach with a quaint atmosphere and classic German cuisine, Alte Brauerei in the village is the place for you.
In the heart of Kreuzberg: Brachvogel
There’s a surprisingly quiet corner between Urbanhafen and Mehringdamm, directly on the canal, right in the heart of Kreuzberg. And there’s a biergarten so plain and traditional, you would not expect it to be here, in the hipster world of the in-district: Restaurant Brachvogel. Asparagus season has long begun here, with classic variations featuring schnitzel, rumpsteak or pike-perch fillet. Afterwards go for a little walk along the beautiful canal towards Urbanhafen, or play a game of minigolf right next to the restaurant.
The Italian way: Muret La Barba
Muret La Barba is located in one of the trendiest neighborhoods, yet hidden in plain sight: Right behind an espresso bar and a sushi place, this modern trattoria has long wooden tables and a wall full of fancy wines. People come here for the excellent selection of Italian grapes and stay for the creamy risotto. It’s also a favourite lunch spot among the start-up founders in the hood. But especially now during asparagus season, dinner here is an awakening: A fresh salad with strawberries, red wine reduction and pecorino cheese, or a classic asparagus risotto? Combine it with a glass of wine and you’re in heaven.
Vegan fine dining: Kopps
Berlin has slowly become the world capital of veganism – and luckily, the restaurant scene keeps up. Cookies & Cream was the world’s first fully vegetarian restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star. Yet many still can’t believe that fine dining minus animal products can even exist. Enter Kopps and be prepared to have your mind blown! This plain but fancy restaurant on Rosenthaler Platz is 100% vegan, uses mostly locally grown ingredients and is living proof, that contemporary fine dining does not require animal cruelty. They serve their asparagus with wild garlic, giving the whole thing a refreshingly vernal note. You don’t have to be a Vegetarian to appreciate this – but afterwards you might consider going vegan, that’s how good it is.
…or make it yourself!
Why not? Now in spring, you can find fresh asparagus from the Berlin hinterlands at every vegetable store and farmers’ market – yes, the one from Beelitz, too! If you’re looking for a list of food markets worth visiting, follow this link. Here at Industriepalast Hostel, our guest kitchen is fully equipped with everything you need for your own little asparagus dinner. The German way to prepare it: Throw a bunch of potatoes into a pot and boil them (if you buy them organic there’s no need to peel them first). Peel the asparagus, cut off the lower ends but leave the soft heads on (they’re a delicacy). Cook the asparagus in slightly salted and sugared water for about 8 to 15 minutes until it is tender, but not slushy. Serve with melted butter or hollandaise and a few slices of cooked ham. But look out: making delicious asparagus in public might make you a bunch of (hungry) new friends – so it might be wise to double the amount… Bon appetit!
Picture: Foto von TKphotography| ID: 25077095 – depositphotos.com
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.