Category Archives: Currywurst

Bier’s Kudamm 195 – Currywurst on Berlin’s Shopping Boulevard

Bier's Kudamm 195 - a Currywurst Imbiss on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin

I braved the cold of a Berlin winter this afternoon to get my Currywurst fix at Bier’s Kudamm 195.

Bier’s had come to my attention as it featured on a BBC News video about Berliners’ appetites for Currywurst that I found when researching the history of the Berlin snack for my Konnnopke’s post.  The reporter went to Bier’s to sample Currywurst with Champagne – an interesting combination of the humble (but delicious Currywurst) and the decadent.

When I woke up this morning the Weather App on my phone informed me that it was -18C and forecast a balmy -11C as the day’s top temp.  Despite this I was determined to go out and get Currywurst for lunch.

As the name suggests (to anyone who knows any Berlin geography) Bier’s is on the Kurfürstendamm, the main shopping street of West Berlin in the days of The Wall.

At EUR 4.50 this was the most expensive Currywurst and Chips combination that I have had so far.  There could be a few reasons for the extra expense.  Rents on the Kudamm must be high – a few strides along the street from this imbiss you’ll find Gucci, Bulgari and Cartier to name but a few.  This is the most conventional restaurant space of all the Imbiss I’ve been to so far where you can eat indoors – handy on a cold day like today.  My meal was served on a plate – a first for me when it comes to Currywurst.

Currywurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Bier's Kudamm 195 - a Currywurst Imbiss on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin

The Currywurst was of reasonable quality but the sauce was a little lacking in the flavour department.  There was a touch of spiciness and plenty of it but something was missing.  The chips on the other hand were good.

You never know, on a warm day, if I’m feeling flush or have a reason to celebrate, I may just go back to Bier’s Kudamm 195 to try a Currywurst with Champagne.

Krasselt’s Imbiss

The Neon sign at Krasselt's Imbiss in Steglitz in Berlin

Lunchtime had been and gone long ago by the time I managed to make up my mind about what I would like to eat.  I had been on a mission to track down a DVD for my Friday night entertainment and having visited Das Schloss, I realised that I wasn’t far from Krasselt’s Imbiss.

Unfortunately, Steglitz didn’t feature on the map I had in my pocket and whilst I could remember that the Imbiss is on Steglitzer Damm, I couldn’t remember exactly how to get there.

After trying most of the streets around the Rathaus Steglitz S-Bahnhof I decided that my best course of action was to find a map in the station and having done so headed off down Albrechtstrasse and onto Steglitzer Damm.

Having read nothing but good things about Krasselt’s I felt sure that the walk would be worth it.  But in truth I was a little underwhelmed.

The staff were friendly enough.  The young man serving me was complaining about a dog tied to a railing outside the Penny Markt next door that was yapping away whilst its owner did the shopping.

Unlike the other Currywurst I have had, the sausage wasn’t sliced this time but cut in two with a cocktail stick jabbed into each end.

The sausage was then sprinkled with a generous amount of curry powder and what looked like balsamic vinegar before being covered in sauce.

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Krasselt's Imbiss in Steglitz in Berlin

Seeing me taking a picture of my lunch the server came over to say that I should have told him before he served it to me so he could make it look its best.

Unfortunately, whilst there was more than enough sauce to accompany the sausage and the chips it didn’t have the depth of flavour of Konnopke’s or Curry 36 and the chips didn’t have the same crispiness.  At EUR 3.10 for Currywurst and Chips it was still a pleasant meal but when it comes to Currywurst I know that it can be so much better.

I’ll have to go back to Krasselt’s and give it second chance (it can’t be luck that it has such a good reputation) and next time I’ll go at lunch time.

As I left the little dog was still drawing attention to itself and the server at Krasselt’s Imbiss was  venting his annoyance to another customer.

Curry 36 – Currywurst in Berlin

The Curry 36 Imbiss on Mehringdamm in Berlin

Curry 36 is another very popular Imbiss and the sight of my introduction to Currywurst during my first trip to Berlin in 2009.  I chose it for my first meal in Berlin because it was in the Lonely Planet Encounters guide I had bought and the idea of a Curry / Sausage combo appealed to me.

On that day I stood at a table in T-Shirt and shorts and sipped a cold beer to cool me down.  Today I was wrapped up in gloves and a hat but I still had a beer because…well, because I could.

This Imbiss (openend in 1980) on Mehringdamm (just 50m or so south of the U-Bahn exit) in Kreuzberg can get very crowded but luckily today I didn’t have long to wait.  I ordered a Currywurst (ohne Darm) with chips and a Schultheiss, all for EUR 4.30.  Without the beer it would have come to EUR 2.80 so this is slightly cheaper than Konnopke’s Imbiss.

Currywurst and Chips (Currywurst hit Pommes) at Curry 36 on Mehringdamm in Berlin

Here, the sauce is more like a curry sauce than a ketchup and I would say it has the edge over Konnopke’s for taste.  Unfortunately, you don’t get quite so much of it.  I’ll have to remember for next time (because there will definitely be a next time) to ask for ketchup on my chips.  The chips are just as good but I think that the sausage itself is probably not quite as tasty…but it’s a close run thing.  I think that the presentation could be improved (but now I’m just being picky) because, looking at the photo as I’m posting it, it doesn’t do it justice.

Overall, a quality snack and like Konnopke’s Imbiss fantastic value for money.  And for now I’d say that Curry 36 is just about my favourite.

I think that a few people eating at Curry 36 today thought I was a bit of a loon taking a picture of my lunch and then pictures of the Imbiss.  With a bit of luck some of them thought I was a journalist in town for Fashion Week, writing an article about my time in Berlin.

Konnopke’s Imbiss

The sign on the covered seating area at Konnopke's Imbiss in Berlin

Konnopke’s is my local Imbiss (snack outlet) so I thought it was only right that I should go there for my first Currywurst of 2012 and start what I hope will be a series of posts about Currywurst in Berlin.

Currywurst is the culinary pride of Berlin and beloved by its citizens.  It is a pork sausage, normally served in slices, covered in a spiced ketchup.  The sauces vary from place to place. In some the ketchup is blended with spices, in others the spices are sprinkled over the ketchup.

The following excerpt from Wikipedia gives some good background on the origins of the Currywurst (you can read the full article here).

The invention of currywurst is attributed to Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949 after she obtained ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and curry powder from British soldiers.  She mixed these ingredients with other spices and poured it over grilled pork sausage. Heuwer started selling the cheap but filling snack at a street stand in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin where it became popular with construction workers rebuilding the devastated city.  She patented her sauce, called Chillup, in 1951.  At its height the stand was selling 10,000 servings per week.

There is even a Currywurst museum in Berlin on Schutzenstrasse in Mitte, a stone’s throw from Checkpoint Charlie.  I haven’t been but maybe one rainy day I’ll stump up the EUR 11 entrance fee and pop in to find out more about Berlin’s beloved snack.

It only takes a few minutes to get to Konnopke’s, which is under the U-Bahn tracks near Eberswalder Strasse U-Bahnhof, from my flat so I’ve eaten there a number of times in the last few months.  It has a reputation as one of the best in the city (a reputation I intend to test over the course of the year), though there is much debate over ‘the best Currywurst’.

The Konnopke family has been selling Currywurst at this busy intersection of Schönhauser Allee since 4 October 1930, when Max Konnopke and his wife Charlotte started the family business.

Today I had Currywurst (ohne darm) and Chips for a very reasonable EUR 3.20.  The food is always hot as Konnopke’s is busy (so be prepared to queue) and the chips are crispy on the outside but just right inside.  I haven’t picked up the German habit of having mayonnaise on my chips (yet) but there’s plenty of ketchup with the Currywurst to go round.  The sausage is served in slices and the curry powder is added after the ketchup.

Currywurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Konnopke's Imbiss in Berlin

In 2010 when I visited, Konnopke’s was operating from a temporary position next to the Tram stop at the top of Kastanianallee, whilst work was carried out on the U-Bahn and a new structure was being built in its current (original) position.  This means that there is now a covered area for eating (handy on a cold day like today), though many locals prefer to stand.

I took my parents to Konnopke’s when they visited last December and they enjoyed the food there.  My Dad is a fussy eater so he had a pair of Frankfurters with chips (Ein Paar Wiener mit Pommes) but my Mum sampled the delights of the Currywurst and was impressed.  My Mum also noticed the cross-section of people who were eating there: tourists, locals, young and old.

The Currywurst at Konnopke’s Imbiss in Berlin is great but can it be beaten.  That’s what I intend to find out – in what I have come to think of as a quest to find ‘The Best of the Wurst’.