Category Archives: Eating & Drinking

Agni Indian Restaurant – Highly Recommended For Curry in Berlin

Murgh Tikka Curry Close Up at Agni Indian Restaurant in Berlin

Spicy, tasty and authentic aren’t words often associated with Indian food in Berlin.  Finding a genuinely decent curry in the German capital isn’t easy let alone an exceptional one so after my first meal at Agni in Moabit I walked out with a ‘curry high’ that lasted for days.

It is unlikely that I would have found Agni without a recommendation – it is mentioned in the ‘Berlin’s Best Curry Houses’ post on Slow Travel Berlin – as it’s a nondescript looking storefront on a less than glamorous Moabit street.

The heady aroma of spices coming from the kitchen may have clouded my mind because, despite having read about it in advance, I was still a little shocked at how small the restaurant is. Four tables for 2 face the open kitchen with a further table under the counter.  With seating for 10 people in total, it’s safe to say that this isn’t a place to take a large group, though meals are available to take away.

My first experience at Agni was overwhelmingly positive.  Steffi, Bine and I were all drawn to the Tandoor (Variation 2) section of the menu – dishes described as ‘laid in traditional marinades and cooked in the clay oven – served on a banana leaf with rice, bread and a sauce’.

Chennai Tikka Curry at Agni Indian Restaurant in Berlin Murgh Tikka Curry at Agni Indian Restaurant in Berlin Paneer Tikka Jahangiri at Agni Indian Restaurant in Berlin

I opted for the Chennai Tikka Curry (37), Steffi had Murgh Tikka Curry (36) and Bine went for the Paneer Tikka Jahangiri (45).

Having chosen my curry because of the Madras sauce (described on the menu as ‘scharf’) I was a little surprised to find that Steffi’s was spicier (on reflection this is on account of the relative spiciness of the marinades).

As we left the restaurant, Steffi voiced her approval in her usual way ‘Das war lecker’ (that was tasty), she said, followed shortly by ‘Ich bin so voll’ (I’m so full).  Bine and I agreed.

On my latest visit I decided to try one of the Thalis, a selection of dishes served with rice, bread and salad – a kind of Indian tapas if you like – a good way to work my way through the menu in as few visits as possible.

I had the Amish Thali (83), which allowed me to choose three different Lamb and Chicken specialities (this was marked as Niramish Thali on the menu in the restaurant but I believe that would be a vegetarian dish).

Amish Thali Tray at Agni Indian Restaurant in Berlin Amish Thali Components at Agni Indian Restaurant in Berlin

I chose the Dilli Murgh (59) – tradional North Indian chicken curry, the Murgh Palak (63) – chicken fillet in spinach sauce and Chennai Gosht Curry (66) – lamb curry South Indian style (spicy).

The Thali came on a silver tray and everything was absolutely delicious but the Chennai Gosht was the standout dish.

Over the course of five visits there have been some slight differences in the taste and look of some of the dishes I have had that suggests they are cooked on instinct rather than following a strict recipe.  However, the food has always been of a consistently high quality and has never failed to deliver when it comes to flavour.  On each of those visits a small complementary starter has come with the drinks.

Complementary Starter at Agni Indian Restaurant in Berlin Papadam at Agni Indian Restaurant in Berlin

I will be very pleasantly surprised if this isn’t the best curry in Berlin – a visiting friend, who spent his university years in Bradford, the curry capital of England, gave Agni his nod of approval and when it comes to Indian food in Berlin it won’t get much better than that.

Burger Me: 6 of the Best Burgers in Berlin

Like just about everybody else in this city I’m constantly on the lookout for Berlin’s Best Burger.  Every time I think I have my list finalised a new place opens or someone recommends somewhere I haven’t heard of and I have to reshuffle it – that’s why this is ‘6 of the best’ not ‘the best’.

Discussions about the best burgers in Berlin can get quite intense and emotional so I’m sure some of you will be shouting at your screens when you get to the end of this post.

For now, these are my 6 top recommendations but I’ll update the list whenever I find a new favourite.

Clicking on the restaurant name will take you to a full post about it.

Da Birdhouse - the house burger at The Bird in Berlin

The Bird – Prenzlauer Berg / Kreuzberg
You will never forget your first burger at The Bird – a meat feast followed by a food coma. Eating here is a burger lover’s rite of passage. Booking recommended.
My Advice: The Kreuzberg outpost offers a lunch special – a single patty version of Da Birdhouse with fries and a soft drink or small beer for €7.50.

 

Chilli Cheeseburger at Berlin Burger International in NeuköllnBerlin Burger International (BBI) – Neukölln
BBI is barely more than a hole in the wall but there is plenty of outdoor seating, ideal for hot summer days. The burgers come loaded with mountains of toppings.
My Advice: Be sure to have some serviettes at the ready. There’s no way you’re eating one of the burgers here without making an almighty mess.

 

Chilli Cheeseburger and Süßkartoffel Pommes at Schiller Burger Berlin

Schiller Burger – Neukölln & others
The burgers at Schiller Burger have proven popular enough to warrant opening 4 locations across Berlin with a 5th in Pankow in the pipeline.
My Advice: The original Schillerkiez location is still the best. Get the Sweet Potato Pommes with the Aoili dip (smelly breath be damned).

 

Cheeseburger with Bacon and Fries (close up) at Tommi's Burger Joint BerlinTommi’s Burger Joint – Mitte
Tómas Andrés Tómasson, the man behind Tommi’s loves burgers so much he eats at least one every day – the burgers here are that good.
My Advice: The burgers are full of flavour but basic but you can add extras – as they say, everything’s better with bacon and don’t miss the ‘Extras bar’.

 

The De La Sauce Bao Burger at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant, in BerlinDistrict Một – Mitte
There’s only one burger on the menu at District Một – the De La Sauce. Served in a Banh Bao bap this Vietnamese fusion burger is a 3 times winner of the Burgers n Hip Hop best burger vote.
My Advice: Check out the ‘For the Exotic Tongue’ section of the menu – Deep-fried silkworm anyone?

 

The Buckshot at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin

Piri’s Chicken Burgers – Kreuzberg
From Portugal via Sydney, Piri’s brings a much-needed dose of fiery chilli goodness to Berlin. ‘The Buckshot’ is a wonderful cheese steak creation.
My Advice: If you’re feeling brave, try the Trauma sauce but remember softly, softly catchee monkey as Henry Kelly would say.

 

If anyone has any recommendations for a burger joint I have to try please let me know in the comments.

Piri’s Chicken Burgers – Spicing Up Berlin’s Burger Scene

Piri Burger Close Up at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin

One of the most common complaints amongst newcomers to Berlin is a lack of spicy food options.  With the opening of Piri’s Chicken Burgers on Wiener Strasse in Kreuzberg, chilli-lovers now have one more go to destination to feel the burn.

Piri Piri (or Peri Peri) is a spicy sauce, Portuguese in origin, and a favourite of Jordi and Jules, the brains behind Piri’s Chicken Burgers.

Jordi and Jules at Piri's Chicken Burgers Berlin

Photo: Piri’s Chicken Burgers via Instagram

The pair are school friends from Sydney, where, Jordi tells me, Portuguese restaurants are commonplace thanks to an established immigrant population.

When Jordi came to Berlin he spotted a gap in the market.  “There weren’t really any places selling Piri Piri chicken here”, he says, “and we realised if we wanted to eat it, we’d have to make it ourselves”.

His business partner Jules, who has been in Berlin for the last 8 years is no stranger to the restaurant scene here, having opened the popular Mexican restaurants Santa Maria, Maria Bonita (now run by one of his former business partners, Trey Wright) and Maria Peligro (which has since closed).

Piri’s Chicken Burgers debuted at Burgers n Hip Hop in January, where Jules’s efforts, cooking burgers in the snow were rewarded with a second place in the ‘best burgers’ voting.

There was some fine-tuning in March at the rain-affected St Patrick’s Day parade and the Kreuzberg location finally opened its doors on the last weekend in May.

Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin

Getting the restaurant ready for opening, Jordi explains took a little longer than expected – there was a bit more work to be done to get the kitchen ship-shape than first hoped.

Menu at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin

The menu is limited to five burger options: The Priri, a breaded chicken burger; The Mojo, ‘same as the Piri but twice as big'; The Buckshot, with cheese steak; The Fiction, a Tofu option for vegetarians; and The Rockness Monstah, with Piri’s extra spicy Trauma sauce.

The buns are bought in from Schiller Burger.  “We could buy cheaper”, Jordi says, “but they’re the best in Berlin.  We want to give people food that they’re going to come back for”.

And the food here certainly is worth coming back for.

Piri Burger In Progress at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin Piri Burger at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin

The Piri burger is a mountain of breaded chicken with Piri sauce, mayonnaise, cheese and iceberg lettuce, €5 on its own, or €7.50 as a menu with a side of Pommes and a soft drink or a small beer.

The chicken is succulent breast meat and the piri sauce has the right level of spice to make things interesting without setting your mouth on fire.

Cheese Steak on the Grill at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin The Buckshot at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin

The star of the show for me though is The Buckshot, chopped steak and cheese with bacon, sautéed red onions, pickle, tomato, iceberg lettuce and Chipotle mayonnaise €6 and €8.50 for the menu.

When I ask for the Trauma sauce on my Pommes, Jules warns me that it’s really spicy (he’s not wrong).  It’s tasty but certainly only to be eaten in moderation.  My advice: dip a chip and give it a go.  In this case, if you go big you probably will go home.

For me, the Pommes are the one element where there is room for improvement.  They’re OK but no better than that – homemade fries or sweet potato fries would take things to the next level.

Free Beer at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin

It is no surprise to me when Jordi tells me that feedback for the food has been on the whole positive “though some people have complained that they weren’t warned about the spiciness of the dishes. Have you seen our logo?  It’s a skull on a chilli with flames.  What do people expect?”

Logo at Piri's Chicken Burgers in Berlin

Piri’s Chicken Burgers is a welcome addition to what is already a bewildering choice of burger options in Berlin.  The fiery sauces won’t suit everyone but if you would like a milder version, just ask – the guys will be happy to accommodate you.

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.

District Một – Saigon Street Food in Berlin

The 'street vendor' kitchen at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant, in Berlin

Like everyone else in the city it would seem, I’m always on the lookout for Berlin’s Best Burger so when I saw that the Bao Burger ‘De La Sauce’ from District Một was the three times winner of the Burgers and Hip Hop event organised by Stil in Berlin, I had to try it.

Street Food is one of the buzzwords of the moment and though I’ve never been to Vietnam, it’s obvious that the whole restaurant has been decorated to resemble a Saigon street market – quirky but stylish.  Corrugated panels, a backlit wall made from beer bottles, lanterns, a light made from a plastic fuel container and the coloured plastic stools are among the memorable features of the standout interior.

'Banh Bao' a light made from a plastic fuel container at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant, in Berlin Gladioli flowers at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant, in Berlin A backlit wall made of beer bottles at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant, in Berlin

I found it a little strange that we were seated with a lone diner when there were so many free tables in the restaurant but this may be an attempt to replicate the authentic street dining experience.  Other diners, I noticed, also found this unusual and asked for a table to themselves.

As my main objective was to try the burger, I had to resist the temptation of lots of other dishes on the menu, though I’m not sure I’d like to try the Nhộng chiên bộ (deep-fried silkworm, buttered) and the other items in the ‘For The Exotic Tongue’ section.

I chose the Khoai lang chiên (crispy deep-fried Sweet Potato with dip) to accompany my burger and Steffi plumped for the Summer Rolls as a starter.

The De La Sauce Burger (€6) is described on the menu as a ‘steamed “Banh Bao” wheat rice cake bun, 120 gram beef patty, Vietnamese pickled vegetables, pickled red onions, roasted Sesame, fresh coriander, Soy bean skin, fresh Mango with 3 homemade sauces (garlic mayonnaise from an egg yolk base, caramelized fish sauce and red curry sauce).’

The De La Sauce Bao Burger at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant, in Berlin

Reading the long list of ingredients, the one thing I wasn’t sure about was the slice of mango. I’m not a fan of ‘sweet and sour’, in fact I have what borders on an aversion and so I wasn’t sure how I’d react to fruit on my burger.  I was very pleasantly surprised – I thought it gave the De La Sauce a balanced and distinctive flavour.

Our food arrived quickly but as we were eating before 18:00 on a Friday evening the restaurant wasn’t busy.

Summer Rolls at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant, in Berlin

The Summer Rolls were good but not able to beat the flavour of Steffi’s favourites at Viet Village, just down the road from District Mot. I was surprised when the Sweet Potato, which was tasty but a little greasy, was round rather than cut as chips/pommes/fries.

Sweet Potato with dip at District Mot, a Vietnamese restaurant, in Berlin

Overall, I would say that the food at District Mot was very good – the De La Sauce, is currently set for a place on an upcoming best burgers in Berlin post – but thought that it was a little overpriced.

The International Berlin Beer Festival – Craft Beer on the Biermeile

The crowd at the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival)

It’s International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival) time in Berlin so this weekend is the perfect time to expand your drinking horizons whilst you catch some sun.

Karl-Marx-Allee during the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival)

Now in it’s 18th year, the festival takes over the 2.2km stretch of Karl-Marx-Allee from Strausberger Platz to Frankfurter Tor (the Biermeile) and 240 breweries from 87 countries are serving 2,400 different beers.

A Mobile Brewery at the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival) Craft Beer Sign at the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival) Englische Biere (English Beers) stand at the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival)

The motto of the 2014 event is “craft-brewed beer specials”.  Craft beer is a real buzzword at the moment and there is a huge appetite in Berlin for beers that depart from the German tradition and the strict laws of the Rheinheitsgebot.

Störtebecker Strandkorb (Beach Basket) at the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival)

Beer Contraption at the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival)

Buildings on Karl-Marx-Allee during the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival) If you would like to sample a lot of different beers I would suggest that you buy a glass – €3.50 at one of the Information stalls.  A 0.2l refill at any of the beer stands will then cost you €2 and you don’t need to queue to get your Pfand (deposit) back.

Sunset at the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival)

Beer fans should download Untappd to keep track of the beers they taste – the app allows you to rate and comment on the beer you drink, with the option to add photos to your ‘untaps’ and the usual social features.  If you’re on Untappd you can find me – andberlin.

Brauerei Zwönitzer India Pale Ale at the International Berlin Beer Festival (Internationales Berliner Bierfestival)

My beer recommendations? My favourite beer of the evening was the India Pale Ale from Brauerei Zwönitz – their stall is towards the Frankfurter Tor end of the Biermeile.  For fans of Weissbier, a friend told me (enthusiastically and repeatedly) that the Weisse from Hofbräuhaus Traunstein is the best in the world – you can find it at U-Bahnhof Strausberger Platz.

The eighteenth International Berlin Beer Festival (18. Internationales Berliner Bierfestival) is on from 1 to 3 August 2014.

Tommi’s Burger Joint – From Reykjavik to Berlin

Cheeseburger with Bacon and Fries (close up) at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

Tommi’s Burger Joint, the Icelandic burger chain, opened its first restaurant in Germany at Invalidenstrasse 160, Berlin on 9 May 2014, six months behind schedule.  The delays were blamed on German bureaucracy but had the positive effect of building anticipation amongst Berlin burger lovers.

Tómas Andrés Tómasson, the 65-year-old founder who gives his name to the venture has a long history in the restaurant and hotel industries.  He opened his first burger joint, Tommahamborgarar (Tommi’s Hamburgers) in Reykjavik in 1981 but decided to sell up in 1983, having sold over 1 million burgers and expanded the business to include 6 locations.

After spending six months travelling around the world, Tommi returned to Iceland in 2003 and realised that he needed to make money.  “No way!” was his initial reaction when friends suggested he go back to the burger business.

Thankfully he changed his mind.

He enlisted the help of Kristín Gunnarsdóttir to take care of the interior design, which intentionally gave the (false) impression of a burger joint that had been running for years, with a laidback feel.

The Tommi’s franchise now boasts 6 restaurants in Iceland, 2 in London, 1 in Copenhagen and the latest offering in Berlin.

Cardboard sign at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

On the opening day in Berlin, the burgers were free.  Having failed to take advantage of the giveaway I was determined to put things right on day 2 when burgers were half price.

Menu at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

The menu at Tommi’s is kept deliberately simple.  There’s a choice of: Burger, Cheeseburger, Veggie Burger, or Steak Burger, with the additional option to add extras, the most important of which is bacon.

The ‘Offer of the Century’ combines a burger, fries and a soft drink for €8.90 (there is also beer available, including the Icelandic brew, Viking Gylltur).

Viking Gylltur Beer at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

They also serve killer milkshakes – rich and creamy, I’d recommend the Chocolate.

Orders are placed at the counter.

The burgers are cooked on an American gas grill, which is the reason for the enticing and hunger-inducing chargrill aroma that wafts over you as you walk in the door.  They are served in a deliciously soft, slightly sweet-tasting bun, with a little iceberg lettuce, sliced ​​tomato and chopped onion; along with ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.  The whole thing is then wrapped in paper.

The chips / fries / pommes (depending on your nationality) are thin cut and crispy and come with a serving of Béarnaise sauce.

Cheeseburger with Bacon and Fries at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

Burger and fries are brought to you in a basket having established your whereabouts by shouting your name.

Under the black and white portrait of a bearded man (Tommi) that hangs on the wall opposite the kitchen is an extras bar.  Here you can add Jalapeños, onions, pickles and numerous sauces of varying spiciness.

Tommi (Tomas Tomasson) Portrait at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

Pimp Your Burger sign at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

Extras Bar at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

I missed this on my first visit and commented to Gilly that the only thing missing for me was a spicy kick.  Thankfully, by my second visit I was aware of what is probably the most important feature of the restaurant thanks to this post on Berlin Loves You.

I have to say that I’m a big fan – I went 3 times in the first week.

And I’m not the only one.  The fact that Tommi’s Burger Joint Berlin has managed to accumulate 1200 likes on its Facebook page in the 11 weeks it has been open is testament to the quality of the food and the strength of the brand.

Cardboard Signs at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

Tiles at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin

As well as serving top-notch food, the service is quick and friendly; even during the busiest times and the tiled and mirrored walls (that remind me of a butcher’s shop) are part of a décor that is effortlessly cool.  The soundtrack of classics from the likes of Elton John, the Beatles and Frank Sinatra contributes to the relaxed and convivial atmosphere.

Tommi has eaten at least one burger every day since he launched over 10 years ago.  He is quoted as saying:

“If you stop to think about it, what’s in a burger? It’s good beef, bread, lettuce and tomatoes with ketchup, mustard and a little mayonnaise.”

So, whilst I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a Tommi-level burger habit, why not adopt his philosophy that a burger is healthy and head to Tommi’s Burger Joint in Berlin for one of the best burgers the city has to offer.

Trattoria del Corso – Exceptional Italian food outside the Berlin Ring

Close up of Lamb Rump Steak at Trattoria del Corso (Italian restaurant) Berlin

If you’ve got cravings for incredible Italian food in Berlin and don’t want to break the bank, I’d recommend you check out Trattoria del Corso, a large and popular restaurant on the Hauptstrasse in Friedenau.

Where’s Friedenau you ask? Sandwiched between Schöneberg and Steglitz, it may not be a part of Berlin you’re familiar with but believe me, if you’re willing to venture (400m) outside the ring, you’ll be rewarded at Trattoria del Corso with some of the best Italian food in Berlin.

Trattoria del Corso (Italian restaurant) Berlin

If you’re lucky, on a Berlin summer evening, you’ll get a table on the terrace to the side of the restaurant, covered with a series of large, white sun umbrellas.  The waiting staff here are busy so don’t expect overly attentive service but they are friendly and generally efficient.

As in many Italian restaurants fresh bread is brought to the table with the drinks.  It’s wonderfully soft and fluffy with a crisp and flavourful crust.  Olive oil and Balsamico Vinegar are provided on the table for dipping.

Fresh bread at Trattoria del Corso (Italian restaurant) Berlin

The menu has a wide selection of Antipasti, Salads, Pizzas and Pasta dishes and don’t forget to check out the chef’s recommendations – an assortment of specials that changes weekly.

Unless you haven’t eaten for a week or plan to roll home I would suggest skipping the starters – the portions here are generous.

The pizzas are massive – so big in fact that the plates can’t contain them and you’ll need to bring your appetite to finish a whole one. As prices range from €6.80 to €8.30 this represents exceptional value for money.  If you’re a fan of the spicy kick of chillies you’ll fall in love with the spicy pizza oil – the good news if you do is that you can take a bottle home for €12.50.

Pizza Diavola topped with an egg at Trattoria del Corso (Italian restaurant) Berlin

On a recent visit, Steffi opted to have the Pizza Diavola topped with an egg – the waiter didn’t bat an eyelid at the request and the total price was €8.30.  The only disappointment, Steffi hadn’t brought her A-game and couldn’t eat it all!

Lamb Rump Steak at Trattoria del Corso (Italian restaurant) Berlin

I chose the Lamb Rump Steak with Rosemary potatoes and beans from the chef’s recommendations.  The meat was perfectly cooked.  It was tender and succulent and complemented perfectly by the vegetables and a light jus.  I had no problem clearing my plate but felt full and satisfied afterwards.

So, make the most of the extensive and relatively inexpensive transport system in Berlin, take the S-Bahn (S41 / S42 / S45 / S46) or U-Bahn (U4) to Innsbrucker Platz, and treat yourself to delicious Italian food at Trattoria del Corso.

Schiller Burger Berlin

Chilli Cheeseburger and Süßkartoffel Pommes at Schiller Burger Berlin

I’m certainly not the only one, but since I arrived here I’ve been trying to find Berlin’s Best Burger and, for me, Schiller Burger is one of the best.

As they recently opened a third Berlin location, I’m obviously not the only one who thinks so.

A common theme runs through the décor at the three locations: Herrfurthstrasse 7 in Neukölln; Schönleinstrasse 34 in Kreuzberg; and Wühlichstrasse 41/42 in Friedrichshain.

Menu and Counter at Schiller Burger Herrfurthstrasse Berlin

Neon Lit Interior at Schiller Burger Wühlichstrasse Berlin

Schiller Burger Wühlichstrasse Berlin Menu

As all three have limited indoor seating, it is worth noting that it is possible to take burgers from the Schiller Burger on Herrfurthstrasse to the Schiller Café a little further along the street – handy in the winter months.

When the sun is shining there are also lots of outdoor seats along the pavement here and Tempelhofer Feld is just around the corner if a summer burger picnic is your thing.

Schiller Burger Herrfurthstrasse Berlin

My burger of choice at Schiller Burger is the Chilli Cheeseburger (referred to on the menu as the Wallenstein).

There are slight variations between the burgers at the various locations in Berlin – the Chilli Cheeseburger, for instance, comes with Nachos at the Friedrichshain restaurant.

The basic idea is the same though – juicy, medium-cooked beef, cheese, salad and the kick of a generous serving of Jalapeños in a homemade bun (which is certainly part of what elevates this burger).

Chilli Cheeseburger at Schiller Burger Berlin Close-Up

Another of the big draws of Schiller Burger for me is their Süßkartoffel Pommes (Sweet Potato Fries), which have an extra crunchy texture and a sweet flavour that enhances my enjoyment of the spicy burger.

Süßkartoffel Pommes (Sweet Potato Fries) at Schiller Burger Berlin Close-up

To complete the ultimate threesome I add the Aioli – a garlicy punch that ensures maximum enjoyment and knock your socks off breath afterwards.

And to wash all that down I’d recommend a Bayreuther Hell.

Luckily for burger fans, Berlin seems to be teeming with top-notch burger joints, and Schiller Burger is up there with the best.

Gemüse Kebap in Prenzlauer Berg

Gemüse Kebap (Chicken Döner) Berlin Prenzlauer Berg Close Up

A viable alternative to the long queues at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap (and for me the schlep to Kreuzberg), the simply named, Gemüse Kebap has opened on Kastanienallee in Prenzlauer Berg.

Legend has it that the Döner Kebap (or Doner Kebab) was invented in Kreuzberg so it’s no surprise that it is one of Berlin’s most popular snacks.

Serving a variation on the traditional lamb or veal (a combination of chicken and roasted vegetables with the usual trimmings), Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, is one of the city’s most popular Dönerbuden.  As Mustafa’s has been in numerous Berlin guidebooks and has rightly gained a solid reputation, and achieved a kind of cult status, eating there normally involves a considerable wait.

Gemüse Kebap on Kastanienallee has two advantages over its more famous rival:

  1. Indoor seating: particularly welcome during a Berlin winter.  The tables and chairs are repurposed wooden pallets.
  2. A significantly shorter wait: that could well change though when word gets around.

On my two visits to Gemüse Kebap, my Döner was ready within just a few minutes and bang on the money for flavour.  The meat and vegetables were well cooked and seasoned, the salad fresh, the sauce spicy and the finishing touches – crumbled Feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon – for me, the crowning glory.

Gemüse Kebap (Chicken Döner) Berlin Prenzlauer Berg Close Up

Like Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, the new Gemüse Kebap in Prenzlauer Berg may well benefit from its proximity to another of Berlin’s landmark eateries.  The queues for Mustafa’s sometimes stretch along Mehringdamm to Curry 36, whilst Gemüse Kebap is only a short distance from another of Berlin’s most popular Currywurst BudenKonnopke’s Imbiß.

For me, the only thing missing at Gemüse Kebap is beer but there are a number of Spätis on Kastanienallee so the beer drinker’s thirst can be easily satisfied.  And it’s also very near Berlin’s oldest BiergartenPrater Garten – so in the summer, a Kebap will be the perfect food for soaking up a few Feierabend beers.