Berlin is one of the cultural capitols of the world with its history, art, fashion, and cuisine. We were lucky enough to visit the city twice last year and fell in love with the culture as well as the huge array of food and drink on offer. We found ourselves eating currywurst, fried sausage covered in curry ketchup, for a quick lunch every other day and all of the delicious German pastries and desserts we could find. One of our favorite pastries in particular is unique to Berlin, the Berliner donut, stuffed with jam and covered in icing or powdered sugar. It didn’t take long, however, to find that Berlin has much more to offer than just the traditional German cuisine.
Berlin has a wealth of markets, of all varieties. Boxhagener Platz Markt on a Saturday is a beautiful and bustling food market, but one of the more unique finds is Flohmarkt am Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg, which is on every Sunday. A huge flea market, with antiques, art, fashion, vinyl records, and, most famously, karaoke, Mauerpark also has a lesser known highlight, it’s food. All of the German staples are there, from bratwurst to German pastries, but the market also offers a plethora of delicious food from around the world: Vietnamese bao, Italian aranchini, beautiful corn on the cob, Belgian waffles, and baklava. One of our favorites was the grilled mackerel stall near the main entrance. The fish is grilled right in front of you and is beautifully served with homemade tartar sauce and fresh bread. You can eat as you walk through the lively stalls, or you can do what we did and take your meal to the stone amphitheater in the park and watch, or take part in, some karaoke.
The museums in Berlin contain some of the most amazing artifacts found anywhere in the world. From the bust of Nefertiti to the walls of Babylon, you could spend several days trawling all they have to offer. They’re all conveniently located in one central area as well, nicknamed Museum Island. We bought a ticket to go through several of the museums in one day, and after hours of walking, we were in desperate need of a drink and a good meal. Just north of Museum Island, we stumbled across a small bar and restaurant called Aufsturz that served delicious, traditional German food. We ended up ordering the most delicious and succulent pork neck, some perfectly cooked goulash, and a fantastic apple strudel. They also have a brilliant beer selection, with a great variety of local and German beer, as well as some really interesting beer from around the world. The bar seems to double as a gallery and has fascinating pieces of art covering all of the walls. They even have a live jazz night if you want to make an evening of it.
Alongside Berlin’s more traditional German staples, asian cuisine is very popular all over the city. We found that Vietnamese restaurants in particular were of an extremely high quality. The best Vietnamese meal we had in Berlin was definitely at Mr. Hoang in Wedding, a little restaurant with outdoor seating that overlooked the beautiful, nearby square. We highly recommend ordering one of their wonderfully aromatic curries, deliciously flavored with chilies and mint.
No trip to Berlin is complete without a taste of the local beer, and our favorite bar was Hopfrenreich in Kreuzberg. It’s a large craft beer pub with over twenty beers on tap, both local and international, and a really friendly atmosphere. They hold regular tap takeovers and opportunities to meet the brewers, and we were fortunate enough to be there whilst Canadian brewery, Steamworks, was holding a meet the brewer event there, with an array of interesting beer available such as a cucumber ale and jasmine IPA.
Berlin is a beautiful city teeming with life. The people are kind and creative, the sights are stunning and full of history, and the culture is vibrant and exciting. If you ever get the chance to visit Berlin, don’t waste it. Walk along the Berlin wall, pay your respects at the Holocaust museum, and enjoy all of the food this gorgeous city has to offer.