Category Archives: Currywurst

The Best of the Wurst – 6 of the Best Currywurst (Buden) in Berlin

Close up of Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili Berlin

Currywurst has been a Berlin snack staple since 1949 when Hertha Heuwer combined the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and curry powder she got from some British soldiers and poured it over grilled sausage.  Over the years, thousands of stands and restaurants have opened in the city and finding the best Currywurst in Berlin is no mean task.

I ate Currywurst as my very first meal in Berlin during my original visit to the city in 2009 and ever since I moved here in 2011 I’ve been scouring the city on a hunt for the finest Currywurst – my quest to find the best of the Wurst.

Not all sausages are created equal.  My search has taken me beyond the usual suspects and I now have a list of six Currywurst sellers that I’m happy to recommend.  Clicking on a name will take you to a post dedicated to that Currywurstbude.

Currywurst and Chips (Pommes) at Curry Baude in Berlin GesundbrunnenCurry Baude – Gesundbrunnen
Everything here is homemade and fresh and you can tell. The sauce is thick, tomato-ey and delicious. For me, this is the best Currywurst in Berlin.
My Advice: Ask for your Currywurst ‘ein bisschen schärfer’ – the extra curry kick makes the world of difference.

 

Currywurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Zur Bratpfanne in BerlinZur Bratpfanne – Steglitz/Lichterfelde
Don’t be surprised when you have to queue, no matter what time of the day you arrive – zur Bratpfanne is very popular with the shoppers on Schlosßstraße and for good reason.
My Advice: Order 2 x Currywurst with chips because it’s so tasty here that one just won’t be enough.

 

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili BerlinCurry & Chili – Wedding
Laying claim to the title of Deutschlands schärfster Imbiss (Germany’s spiciest snack bar), this is the place for those who like their Currywurst to ‘burn baby burn’.
My Advice: If you’re going to tackle the spicier sauces, start low and work your way up – you may be surprised at just how fiery they are.

 

Currwurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry Mitte BerlinCurry Mitte – Mitte
This Imbiß is centrally located on Rosenthaler Platz, making it an ideal spot for a pre-drink, mid-drink, or booze-fuelled snack.
My Advice: Check out the special offers – a combination meal: Currywurst, chips and a soft drink or beer is cheaper than ordering the individual items.

 

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry 66 in BerlinCurry 66 – Friedrichshain
The basics – the sausage, the chips, the sauce – are good but like Curry & Chili it’s the option to up the spice levels that make it special.
My Advice: Study the sauces menu – names like Dirty Devil and Black Death are a good indication that some are really spicy – the Scoville values confirm it.

 

Close Up Currywurst at Schmidts Imbiss BerlinSchmidt’s Imbiss – Lichterfelde
A family run Imbiß near S-Lichterfelde Ost with over 40 years experience, where Dieter Schmidt serves up his speciality – steamed onions.
My Advice: If you don’t fancy the trip to Lichterfelde you can find Schmidt’s at the market at John F Kennedy Platz, Schöneberg on Tuesdays and Fridays.

 

So by now some of you may be wondering why Berlin’s most popular Currywurst stalls – Konnopke’s Imbiß and Curry 36 – are not on the list.  Of course, I’ve eaten at both and enjoyed the Currywurst there but I find the sauces a little too ketchup-y, a bit too sweet and lacking in the curry stakes.  The six Currywurst above are simply more suited to my tastes.

With so many Currywurst options in Berlin it would be an almost impossible task to try every one of them, which is why this list will always be ‘6 of the best’, not the best Currywurst in Berlin’.  If you have a favourite Currywurst in Berlin and it’s not on the list please let me know in the comments.

Schmidt’s Imbiss – It’s a family affair

Close Up Currywurst at Schmidts Imbiss Berlin

Dieter Schmidt knows a thing or two about Currywurst.  He has been running Schmidt’s Imbiss for 40 years in various locations around Berlin, including the last five years at its current spot around the corner from S-Lichterfelde Ost.  Dieter’s wife Doris and son Frank are also part of the family business.

Schmidt's Imbiss in Berlin

I elected to forego the speciality – steamed onions – and went for 2 Currywurst mit Darm (with skin), small chips (Pommes, fries) and a 330ml bottle of Berliner Kindl, which set me back 6,50 €.

Currywurst and Chips at Schmidts Imbiss Berlin

As usual, I asked for the sauce to be ‘ein bisschen schärfer’ (a bit spicier) but for me it was still lacking in the spice department.  I also thought that the sauce was a little thin and sweet in comparison to Curry Baude and zur Bratpfanne.  That being said, the sauce was still better than most and the sausage and chips were tasty and well cooked.

If you’re ever hungry in Lichterfelde I would recommend the Currywurst at Schmidt’s Imbiss as well as the Döner around the corner at Balli.

The Schmidt’s Imbiss at Königsberger Strasse 1, Lichterfelde is open Monday to Friday 10:00 to 19:00 and the Schmidts also serve Currywurst to the hungry people of Berlin at the weekly markets in Kranoldplatz, Lichterfelde (Wednesday and Saturday) and John F Kennedy Platz, Schöneberg (Tuesday and Friday).

Curry & Chili – Currywurst with a kick in Berlin

Close up of Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili Berlin

As a general rule Currywurst is a sausage smothered in ketchup with a sprinkling of curry powder but the best Currywurstbuden take things a step further.  You could say that Curry & Chili on the corner of Osloer Strasse and Prinzenallee in Berlin Wedding has taken it several steps, as it lays claim to the title of Deutschlands schärfster Imbiss (Germany’s spiciest snack bar).

Curry & Chili, a Currywurst Imbiss in Berlin

Frank Spieß opened his Imbiss in 2005 with the intention of offering a 1 Euro takeout but rising costs meant he had to increase prices and led to him searching out a new concept.  Driven by his own passion for spicy food, Frank decided to offer 5 different levels of spiciness.

There are now 12 options on offer.  First, the standard Currywurst with a sprinkling of curry powder and then, with the addition of chilli flakes, what most Buden will serve when you ask for ‘ein bisschen shärfer’.

And that’s when it starts to get interesting.

The 10 Sauces in the window at Curry & Chili Berlin

The brave, or foolhardy depending on your viewpoint, can now opt to add one of 10 levels of spiciness from a range of sauces – from Crazy Jerry at 11,000 Scoville to the own-brand, Curry & Chili Gold Edition at 7,777,777 Scoville.

The 10 sauces (Stufen) on offer at Curry & Chili Berlin

Photo: Courtesy of Curry & Chili

I’ve been to Curry & Chili three times now and the spiciest Currywurst I have eaten is the Stufe 5 – 250,000 Scoville – and I’m pretty sure this is right on my limit.  It was a bit of an effort to eat the two sausages I had and I didn’t quite finish my chips.  It is worth noting that as well as changing the spiciness, the different sauces also have a considerable affect on the flavour of the Currywurst.

Obviously, there are plenty of people out there with a higher tolerance for spicy food or a greater desire to push themselves than me because the Curry & Chili Club, reserved for those who have eaten all 10 sauces, now boasts over 200 members.

The rules for anyone interested in joining (translated from the Curry & Chili website) are:

  1. All 10 levels must be eaten.
  2. All 10 must have been eaten within a 6-month timeframe.
  3. The sausage or chips must be eaten within sight of a Curry & Chili employee.
  4. The sauces can be eaten in any order but level 10 must be eaten last to complete the challenge.
  5. Membership is of course free of charge. Events for members will be displayed on the Curry & Chili website.

I’m pretty sure that this is the kind of challenge that would appeal to groups of men on a stag do (Junggesellenabschied) in Berlin or a ‘lads holiday’ but I have noticed that there are a number of female members too.

I think that the enjoyment is taken out of eating a Currywurst when your lips are burning and your eyes watering so I would definitely recommend working your way through the sauces to find your level.

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili Berlin

Curry & Chili is definitely the place to go for Currywurst in Berlin if you would like to test your capacity for spicy food but the standard of the sausages and the ketchup, made fresh each day by Frank’s wife, mean that I would recommend it for a more leisurely and pleasant snack too.

Curry Baude – Lecker Currywurst in Berlin Gesundbrunnen

Close Up of Currywurst and Chips (Pommes) at Curry Baude in Berlin Gesundbrunnen

Reina Lehmann has been serving Currywurst to the people of Berlin at Curry Baude, his Bude (kiosk) outside U-Bhf Gesundbrunnen, since 1989.

Herr Lehmann prides himself on serving quality food – the sausages and sauces are all homemade with the finest ingredients.

Curry Baude Currywurst Kiosk in Berlin Gesundbrunnen

Currywurst is €1.50 and available with or without skin (mit oder ohne Darm) and the Pommes (chips/fries) €1.20 (or €1.30 with ketchup and mayonnaise).  My drink of choice here is a Schultheiss ‘Bombe’ (a 330ml bottle) that will set you back €1.10.

My usual order is 2 x Currywurst mit Darm and Pommes, which I ask for ‘ein bisschen schärfer’ (a little spicier), all washed down with the previously mentioned Schultheiss.

Currywurst and Chips (Pommes) at Curry Baude in Berlin Gesundbrunnen

For me, this is the tastiest Currywurst in Berlin, the ‘top dog’, the ‘best of the Wurst’ if you like.  The sauce, like my previous favourite at zur Bratpfanne, is a blended spicy tomato sauce rather than the ketchup with a sprinkling of curry powder served at many of the cities Buden.

The pommes are nicely cooked – crunchy as you bite into them and soft and fluffy inside. The food is served up piping hot in no time at all.

I haven’t tried it but the locals rave about the Currywurst Spezial, made with sweetcorn, peppers and ‘Zigeunersauce’ – a sweeter alternative to the standard sauce – for €1.80.

Whether you are a ‘Currywurst connoisseur’ or you’ve tried one of the sweet ketchup versions at one of Berlin’s more touristy spots and decided Currywurst isn’t for you, I suggest you head out to U-Bhf Gesundbrunnen and eat the real deal at Curry Baude.

Curry Mitte – Saucy Pleasure in Berlin

Curry Mitte Berlin Sign

It’s amazing that it took me so long to try the Currwurst at Curry Mitte, an Imbiß on Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin, as it’s only about 1km from my flat, but thanks to a recommendation from Gian left in the comments of my Reasons I Miss Berlin #3 – Currywurst post I went there a couple of weeks ago.

Taking advantage of a special offer, I ordered Currywurst (mit darm) mit Pommes (Currywurst (with skin) and Chips) and a small bottle of Berliner Kindl for €4.50.

Currwurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry Mitte Berlin

And I have to agree with Gian that Curry Mitte serves one of the best Currywurst in Berlin.

I had the standard sauce, which was tasty and had enough curry to make it interesting without spoiling the flavour, but they do offer options to go spicier.  The sausage and the chips were also very good and with the special offer this was fantastic value for money.

The Currywurst at Curry Mitte is definitely up there amongst the best in Berlin that I have tasted – it wasn’t quite as good as zur Bratpfanne but it was a close run thing.

Reasons I Miss Berlin #3 – Currywurst

I Love Currywurst - sign on a Currywurst van at Ostbahnhof in Berlin

As much as I’m enjoying some home-cooked meals and the opportunity to have a great take-away curry back in the UK, I miss my favourite Berlin snack – Currywurst.

Over the last year I’ve been on a quest to find the best Currywurst in Berlin – my ‘Best of the Wurst’.

Here’s a rundown of my 3 favourite Currywurst Imbisse in Berlin.

1 – zur Bratpfanne

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Zur Bratpfanne in Berlin

The best Currywurst that I’ve had so far in Berlin is from zur Bratpfanne in Steglitz.  I loved it on my first visit and have been back a few times since, even making some special trips.

2 – Curry 66

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry 66 in Berlin

At Curry 66 the sauce is offered in 9 different levels of spiciness from ‘Angenehm’ to ‘Black Death’ – so far the spiciest I have had is 3: Scharf.

3 – Curry 36

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry 36 in Berlin

Curry 36 features in all the Berlin guidebooks and along with Konnopke’s Imbiss is probably the most famous of Berlin’s many Imbisse.  Devotees can now get their Curry 36 fix at Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof, as well as the original Imbiss on Mehringdamm.

Bergmann Curry

Currwurst & Chips (Currwurst mit Pommes) at Bergmann Curry, an Imbiss on Bergamnnstrasse in Kreuzberg, Berlin

I went to Bergmann Curry a few weeks back on the recommendation of @jeroenvanmarle.  Jeroen had read my post singing the praises of Zur Bratpfanne and knew about my quest for the ‘Best of the Wurst’ in Berlin.

There are hundreds of Imbisse selling Currywurst in Berlin and quality and flavour seem to vary quite a bit amongst the various stalls and restaurants so I’ve been trying to suss out the star players.

I was in Kreuzberg searching out some more modified street signs by CLET, so it seemed logical to have lunch at Bergmann Curry.  The Imbiss is on Bergmann Strasse not far from the Marheineke Markthalle.

Bergmann Curry, an Imbiss on Bergamnnstrasse in Kreuzberg, Berlin

If my experience there is anything to go by I have to say that this has to be one of the friendliest Currywurst vendors in the city.  If only my German was better I might have understood what the man behind the counter was saying to the customers to make them laugh so much.

I ordered my usual, Currywurst and Chips, (Currywurst mit Pommes) and washed it down with a beer (of course).

The sauce here is ladled out of a large pot and so I asked for a little extra for my chips (I still haven’t got used to the idea of adding mayonnaise).

The sausage was good quality, the sauce was tasty (but not in the same league as Zur Bratpfanne) and the chips were spot on.

To sum it up, Bergmann Curry serves up a very pleasant snack and the service is first-class but for me it’s not ‘the one’.

Zur Bratpfanne

 

Close up of Currywurst and Chips at Zur Bratpfanne in Berlin

I’m beginning to wonder if my love of Currywurst is turning into a ‘Currywurst problem’.

Friends have started recommending Imbisse (snack restaurants) to me to help me in my hunt for ‘The Best of the Wurst‘.

Not that I’m complaining though because it was through a recommendation that I discovered Zur Bratpfanne in Berlin’s Steglitz.

I enjoyed my first meal there so much that I had to go back a few days later with my camera.

Zur Bratpfanne, a Currywurst Imbiss in Berlin Steglitz

Zur Bratpfanne is on the corner of Schloßstraße and Kieler Strasse, a short walk from the S-Bahn at Rathaus Steglitz and between the U-Bahn stations there and at Schloßstraße.  This means it’s very convenient for the newly opened Primark at the Schloss-Straßen-Center, which judging by the number of bags I’ve seen on the S and U-Bahn lately is already establishing itself as a go to for Berliners.

Zur Bratpfanne offers Bratwurst mit or ohne Darm (with or without skin) for €1.65 and pommes (chips) in small, medium and large for €1.35, €1.80 and €2.40 respectively.

Currywurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Zur Bratpfanne in Berlin

 

I was immediately impressed by the quality of the sausage, the crispy/fluffiness of the chips and the flavour and texture of the sauce.

And that sauce is the star of the show.

More of a tomatoey curry sauce than a ketchup, it doesn’t suffer from the sweetness issues of Curry 61 and Konnopke’s.

And it just has something (that I can’t put my finger on) that elevates it above Curry 36 and Curry 66.

In summary, for me, zur Bratpfanne is the best Currywurst in Berlin (so far).  It’s just a pity that you have to go so far from the centre of the city to get it.  But the best things in life are worth putting a little extra effort in to get.

***Update***zur Bratpfanne has now been displaced by Curry Baude as the best Currywurst in Berlin.

Ziervogel’s Kult-Curry

Ziervogel's Kult-Curry Imbiss on Schönhauser Allee in BerlinWhen I heard that a new Currywurst Imbiss, Ziervogel’s Kult-Curry, had opened on Schönhauser Allee in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg I had to go along and try it out.

As a currywurst fan I would have gone anyway but the sensationalist headlines in the papers about the ‘family feud’ that led to its opening certainly added to the intrigue.

Ziervogel’s Kult-Curry is owned and operated by Mario Ziervogel and his wife, Viola.  The name Ziervogel may not mean much to you but his grandfather’s name, Max Konnopke, may ring some bells.  Chances are, if you’ve read a Berlin guidebook, you’ve heard of Konnopke’s Imbiss.

Any comment on the dispute between Waltraud Ziervogel, the current owner of Konnopke’s Imbiss and her son, Mario, would be pure conjecture on my part (for all I know it could be a brilliant marketing ploy), as everything I know I’ve found out second hand.

If you’d like to know more you can check out this video – Der skurrile Currywurst-streit von Berlin – on Stern.de or this article – Vorsicht, heiß und fetzig – on Suddeutsche.de (both in German).

So, onto the currywurst.

Currywurst & Chips at Ziervogel's Kult-Curry in Berlin

I had my first taste of the food at Ziervogel’s Kult-Curry on the second day of trading when the cards, flowers, balloons and other gifts from well-wishers were laid out on a table in the Imbiss.

In a similar vein to Curry 66, Mario Ziervogel has decided to give customers a choice of sauces of varying spiciness.  The sauces available are:

A table of the currywurst sauces (with Scoville Units) available at Ziervogel's Kult-Curry in Berlin

On my first visit I chose the ‘Scharf’ sauce and my first impressions were that the taste and quality of the meal were very similar to Konnopke’s – the sausage was tasty, the sauce lightly spiced but slightly sweet and the chips delicious.  Which is what you’d expect when the owner spent so long preparing and serving the currywurst there.

As Konnopke’s has established such a reputation for serving good currywurst, that’s certainly no bad thing.

On my second visit I went one hotter and had the ‘Sehr Scharf’ and this is where the two Imbiss differ.  There was a marked increase in the spiciness of the sauce and for those who like a little kick to their food that’s a definite bonus.

I also like that this new Imbiss has an indoor counter and dining space and the service is very warm (as you would expect from a newly opened business but, hopefully, long may it continue).

Time will tell if this will be enough to gain Ziervogel’s Kult-Curry the cult following Konnopke’s Imbiss has and its owner plainly seeks.

Curry 61

Currywurst and Chips at Curry 61, a Currywurst Imbiss in Berlin Mitte

Yesterday I continued my quest to find the ‘Best of the Wurst‘ in Berlin with a trip to Curry 61.

Curry 61 is on Oranienburger Strasse, a stone’s throw from the shops of Hackesher Markt and therefore in a prime position for catering to the tourist crowd.

I bought my Currywurst and Chips, opting for mit Darm (with skin on the sausage), and took it to nearby Monbijou Park to eat in the sunshine.

The chips were great and there was a nice smoky flavour to the sausage but I’m sorry to say that the sauce was too sweet and lacking spice for me.  That said, it filled a hole and gave me some energy to tackle a trip to the Supermarkt for a food shop.

The logo of Curry 61, a Currywurst Imbiss in Berlin Mitte