I have found Berlin food surprisingly diverse – maybe because it is such a young cosmopolitan city in Germany. You can get some of the best German food in Berlin but you also have lots of ethnic things to eat in Berlin. A Berlin food tour is a great way to experience the city’s culinary diversity. I once took one of the Withlocals Berlin food tours and loved it for I finally got to appreciate some of the best food in Berlin! A local foodie named Liz enriched my discovery quest of Berlin foods with lots of insights, anecdotes and fun facts about the delicacies, venues and places we were exploring together. The small scale of the tour meant we got to experience both typical Berlin food but also lots of the stories behind the food. As a bonus (and as you all know, the kids and I have got a sweet tooth), there are plenty of sweet treats considered Berlin local food.
Typical Berlin Food: Currywurst
You can’t leave Berlin without experiencing Currywurst which is ubiquitous in the city. We are always happy to try street food in a new place. This German fast-food equivalent of pizza for Americans or fish and chips for the British has a relatively recent history.
After World War 2, ketchup was in scarce supply to accompany pork sausages. An enterprising Berliner came up with a sauce involving ingredients she got from the British forces stationed in Berlin. This sauce of tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and curry powder quirky caught latched onto the public’s tastebuds and a food icon was born. As an Indian-American, I am always fascinated by how widespread the British love of curry went.
One of the most popular places in Berlin for Currywurst is Curry 36 in the young and trendy Kreuzburg district. Open 24 hour, Curry 36 caters to the late night bar and club crowd in the area well.
Berlin food : Kartoffelpuffer
Technically Kartoffelpuffer (German potato pancakes) are not just a Berlin local food. They are popular everywhere in Germany. Berlin however is such a walkable city and Kartoffelpuffer is a great street food snack.
You can serve Kartoffelpuffer as a sweet or savoury dish. We prefer our Kartoffelpuffer dusted with icing sugar but you can also get it served with apple sauce. The savoury version has a yogurt sauce or sour cream.
What to eat in Berlin: Berliner Pfannkuchen
A Berliner Pfannkuchen (or Berliner for short) is a type of German doughnut. Just to be contrary, Berliners call this pastry treat a Berliner Pfannkuhen but Pfannkuchen is technically pancakes elsewhere in Germany. Don’t get conned into eating pancakes when you are looking for doughnuts!
You can get Berliners everywhere but traditionally they were eaten at celebrations like New Years Eve and the period before Lent. Berliners can come as jelly doughnuts or have no filling inside.
Food To Eat in Berlin: Schaumkauss
Schaumkauss (translated as “foam kiss”) are tasty little treats of chocolate covered marshmallow. Similar to a teacake in the United Kingdom, you can find them easily in Berlin. In fact, there are approximately 1 billion schaumkauss made in Germany which works out to a dozen per person per year.
Sometimes you can find Schaumkauss served in a bun. I personally prefer to put the extra carbs to use in eating more Schaumkusse itself.
Food to try in Berlin: Baklava
When did Baklava become German I hear you ask. Well, there is a huge Turkish community (including German-born descendants of Turkish immigrants) living in Berlin. They are located mostly in the areas that were formerly West Berlin (let’s face it immigration to East Germany was not happening).
You can find “Little Istanbul” in the southeast part of the trendy Kreuzberg district. If you’ve stopped at Curry 36 for a currywurst, it’s easy to meander over to this area for something sweet afterwards.
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