Berlin is a city that constantly pulls me back. For nearly 15 years now, I’ve found myself returning again and again, through different seasons and for different reasons. On every trip, I’m always awed by the quality and density of food offerings packed into the city. There is great German food, of course, but Berlin is also marked by its culinary diversity—from its established Turkish and Vietnamese communities to its large expat population, the city boasts a vast constellation of international cuisines. If you’re planning to eat your way through Berlin, here’s what I recommend.
Berlin winters are long and cold, but bring layers to account for indoor heating.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a visit to the Kreuzberg neighborhood for trendy eateries and Turkish food.
Start your trip in Kreuzberg and Neukolln on the west side of the city. These adjacent neighborhoods are home to trendy eateries and an established Turkish and Arab community. Shop for souvenirs and sample various bites at Kreuzberg’s Markthalle Neun. Make sure to try some shawarma while you’re here.
Spend the evening enjoying local German beer. Kreuzberg is home to some great breweries, but it’s easy to find local brews throughout Berlin. Make sure to sample local ales and pilsners and pair them with some currywurst.
On your second day, head to the east side of the city. Explore the East Side Gallery as well as the street art in surrounding neighborhoods. Sample German kebab and have lunch at one of the Vietnamese restaurants that dot the area.
In the evening, trade pilsners for pinot noir and head to a wine bar in Mitte to experience Berlin’s exciting wine scene. Alternatively, hop on a boat and cruise down the River Spree. Take in views of the city and sip on freshly-made German mulled wine, especially during the colder months.
Spend the morning exploring another museum or two, then do as Berliners do and take a long leisurely break for kaffee und kuchen—coffee and cake—at one of the city’s many lively cafés.
In warmer months, opt for a food and bike tour through Prenzlauer Berg. You’ll learn more about Berlin’s history while sampling the neighborhood's diverse cuisine with dishes like Austrian-style dumplings and falafel. In colder months, eat your way through the city’s many Christmas markets.