What are the best local dishes in Berlin?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Katherine Sacks

Unlike Belgium’s waffles or French Champagne, Berlin isn’t known for something ultra luxurious with it comes to cuisine. The real treat here is street food, and the two must-try dishes are currywurst and doner kebabs.

Instead of a typical bratwurst, grilled and served in a brötchen, currywurst is a steamed, then fried pork sausage that is sliced and covered in curried ketchup. The bread comes on the side, perfect for soaking up all the sauce. The doner kebabs come thanks to Berlin’s large Turkish immigrant population, and feature veal, chicken, or lamb slowed cooked on a spit, which is then shaved and served in a pita-like flat bread. Hot sauce, garlic sauce, and yogurt sauce generally top the meat, along with a salad of shaved lettuces and cabbage. You can find both items at the city’s many Imbiss, Berlin’s answer to the fast food stop.

On the sweet side of the spectrum is the jelly doughnut, made infamously popular with John F. Kennedy’s 1963 Brandenburger Tor speech that included “Ich bin ein Berliner.” In fact, the doughnuts in this part of Germany are called pfannkuchen (which confusingly means pancakes elsewhere throughout the country). No matter the name, they are delicious, especially when found at some of the city’s older traditional-style bakeries.

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