Tag Archives: Döner Kebap

Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap – Cult Favourite Döner in Berlin

Close up of Hähnchen Gemüse Döner at Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap in Berlin

Emerging from the U-Bahn station on the west side of Mehringdamm in Berlin Kreuzberg, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was the first day of the sales or that a famous celebrity is signing autographs but the long line of people you see are queuing for a Döner at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap.

The queue at Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap in Berlin

Strolling down almost any street in the German capital you’ll find a handful of options for Berlin’s most popular snack options the Currywurst and the Döner Kebap.  Mustafa’s has been a cult favourite since it started selling a twist on the traditional kebab made with chicken and roasted vegetables.

Mustafa’s has appeared in numerous Berlin guide books and newspaper articles that guarantee it a steady stream of tourist trade to add to the local interest.

If that wasn’t enough, the guys made an advert.

All this adds up to spectacularly long queues.

Just walking along the pavement on Mehringdamm is difficult at times because the queues from Mustafa’s and another local legend Curry 36 often meet each other.

It’s not unusual to have to queue for 30 minutes or more.

The queue at Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap in Berlin The queue at Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap in Berlin

The big question: is it worth the wait?

I have to say that I’m a big fan of the Hähnchen Döner mit Gemüse (Chicken doner with vegetables).

As is the norm, there is a choice of three sauces: Kräuter (herb), Knoblauch (garlic), Scharf (spicy) and the usual array of salad.

For me though, it’s the finishing touches that make the kebabs here special.

The serving window Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap in Berlin

Firstly, shortly before serving a mystery liquid (Mustafa’s secret ingredient) is squeezed onto the meat and vegetables.

Hähnchen Gemüse Döner at Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap in Berlin

Then, the pièce de résistance a crumbling of Feta cheese and a squeeze of juice straight from the lemon add a freshness that elevates the Gemüse Kebap above the average Döner.

Whether it is worth standing in the queue for upwards of half an hour to get your hands on one really depends on how busy you are and what else you could be doing with your time.

The obvious question when confronted with such a popular spot is why there aren’t branches in every corner of Berlin.  There were outposts under Eberswalder Straße U-Bahnhof and on Oranienburger Straße near Hackescher Markt in 2012 but neither lasted unfortunately.

Other shops and stalls have popped up all over Berlin selling Gemüse Döner though so there are alternatives if you can’t face, or don’t have time, for the queues – I would recommend K’UPS Gemüse Kebap on Kastanianallee.

With so much hype surrounding a kebab shop it would be easy to write Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap off as a Berlin tourist trap but the truth is that the Döner here is something special – and they do say the best things in life are worth waiting for.

K’UPS 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), K’UPS 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.

K’UPS 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 K’UPS 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.

Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap – Near Hackescher Markt

Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap on Oranienburger Strasse near Hackescher Marky in Berlin

***Update 8 March 2013 – CLOSED: I went to buy a Gemuse Kebap from Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap near Hackescher Markt on Tuesday only to find that the Imbiss is gone – CLOSED***  I went to the original stall on Mehringdamm during my Berlin Museum Marathon and have been back since in order to take photos and you can now read my post about the original Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap in Berlin Kreuzberg.

Believe it or not, despite living in Berlin for a year, I still haven’t been to the hugely popular Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap on Mehringdamm, where the queues rival the Berlin Currywurst institution, Curry 36, just a few steps along the street.

I did have a Döner at the newer and less well-known stall on Oranienburger Strasse near Hackescher Markt this week though.

There was also a short-lived stall operating under the U-Bahn station at Eberwalder Strasse earlier in the summer, though opinion was divided on whether this was the genuine article.

When I went to the Imbiss on Oranienburger Strasse the other day I was pleased to see that there was no queue and I ordered a Döner.

A Döner (Doner Kebab) from Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap on Oranienburger Strasse near Hackescher Marky in Berlin

The combination of chicken with fried vegetables, fresh salad, Feta cheese, a squeeze of lemon and, for me, Scharf (spicy) sauce is a taste sensation.

As I did when I visited Curry 61, I took my food to the nearby Monbijoupark to eat.

The funky Mustafa’s website is worth checking out for the Döner Disko (click on the speakers) alone.  Don’t fall for the Live Cam (click on the CCTV camera) though – people are certainly not wearing shorts in Berlin today, when it’s 3°C.

At €3, a Döner (with Chicken) at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap is excellent value for money and great for lunch or as a snack to soak up some booze on a long Berlin night out.  I will have to brave the queues and visit the original soon.

Efes Bistro – Döner Kebap

Close Up of Efes Bistro Döner Kebap im Brot

With the largest Turkish population of any city outside Turkey it is no surprise that there are a plethora of Imbiße and restaurants serving Turkish Food in Berlin.

Efes Bistro is one such restaurant and for me it’s a real belter.  Situated on the corner of Kantstrasse and Windscheidstrasse, it is a short stroll from the S-Bahnhof Charlottenburg and the shops on Wilmersdorfer Strasse.

The doner kebabs here are made with veal and are served in a triangular crusted bread rather that the pitta used in most kebab shops in the UK.  They come filled with fresh salad and a choice of three sauces (for me it has to be Chilli).

This Döner Kebap im Brot was €2.90 and washed down with a Berliner Kindl, made for a tasty and filling lunch.

A Döner Kebap im Brot (Doner Kebab in bread) at Efes Bistro in Berlin

Efes Bistro is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area but I like the Döner Kebap so much that I’m happy to take a train just to eat there.