Restaurants in Berlin
Restaurants in Berlin stir together some of the most exotic flavours from the four corners of the globe. The city is a melting pot of cultures and culinary delights. Berlin's culinary traditions have been immensely influenced over the years by its vibrant immigrant community and worldwide favourites such as pasta, pizza and curry now have a firm place on the city's restaurant menus. Chinese, Greek, Indian and Thai cuisine are becoming increasingly popular with new eateries springing up at a rapid rate.
The city's flagship dish is the simple, yet satisfying boulette, a combination of fried meatball and hamburger, which is often accompanied by Berliner Weiße, a traditional mix of beer and juice which is well-known even beyond the city's boundaries. The highly popular Doner Kebab, originally developed in Berlin but made famous by the Turkish, is one the most popular fast food dishes. Simple German staples like beer and pretzels are also fun to sample.
Generally the central Mitte area, which also contains many of the prime tourist sights, is the best bet for eating out in Berlin. Brimming with a wide variety of restaurants, Oranienburger Street is a particularly good option, featuring many of the city's most popular restaurants and a great atmosphere.
Nocti Vagus Dark Restaurant
This unique restaurant serves food in completely dark rooms by blind waiters. The idea is that diners will concentrate more on the taste of the food if other senses are deprived, and it seems they are right. The unseen food is delicious and the unusual sensation of eating in the dark is novel and fun, with plenty of giggling in the restaurant.
Address: Saarbrücker Str. 36-38
Telephone: 030 74 74 91 23
One of the latest 'in' places to dine in Berlin is the Dachgarten in the rooftop dome of the new futuristic Parliament building (the Reichstag). From the dome, in the historic centre of Berlin, there are amazing views across the city. The menu is delightful too, including healthy traditional cuisine like the light fish and venison dishes. Reservations are vital unless you wish to join a long queue, and your best bet of getting a table is at breakfast.
Address: Platz de Republik 1
Telephone: (0)30 22 62 990
An elegant and opulent dining experience, Heising serves up high-quality French cuisine. All meals are served on KPM porcelain and beautifully presented. The restaurant is open daily for supper, from 7pm. Reservations are recommended.
Address: Rankestrasse 32
Telephone: 030 213 3952
Haveli is consistently rated very highly by tourists and is a great option for those seeking out good-value Indian food. The restaurant is family-run, the portions extremely generous, and the food delicious.
Address: Luitpoldstrasse 26
Telephone: 30 2191 8686
Diekmann im Weinhaus Huth
Emulating a Paris bistro the Weinhaus Huth is an interesting dining venue not because of its décor or a particularly outstanding menu, but because the building which houses it is the only original standing building left on the Potsdamer Platz, having survived the ravages of war and the demolition of the Berlin Wall. It is now surrounded by the shining new Sony centre and draws tourist interest. Highlights on the menu include tarte flambee and fresh oysters.
Address: Alte Potsdamer Strasse 5, Tiergarten
Telephone: (0)30 883 3321
You cannot beat the thin base pizzas that keep customers flocking to this lively restaurant in Charlottenberg. The XII Apostel is trendy and popular because of its novel idea of offering 12 pizza varieties, one named for each apostle of Jesus Christ. The biggest and tastiest is reputedly the Judas. The décor is flashy Italian Renaissance and the atmosphere is usually busy and bustling.
Address: Bleibtreustrasse 49
Telephone: (0)30 312 1433
Zur Letzten Instanz
This historic establishment off Alexanderplatz should be on any visitor's sightseeing list not only for its hearty German comfort food (like Eisbein, potato dumplings, suckling pig and red cabbage) and tankards of beer, but also because it is the oldest restaurant in Berlin, documented as far back as 1525. The name, Zur Letzten Instanz, was inspired by a nearby courthouse and means 'without further appeal'. Napoleon is said to have dined here. The restaurant is open Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 1am.
Address: Waisenstrase 14-16, Mitte
Telephone: (0)30 242 5528
Traditionally a popular if not fashionable spot to dine after the theatre, Ganymed has been around for decades serving good food in generous portions, gamely continuing to do business in East Berlin throughout the Cold War years. There are two formal dining rooms, one overlooking the Spree. Examples of menu highlights are goose liver terrine, Eisbein, schnitzels, mussels in Choron sauce and pheasant breast wrapped in Black Forest ham.
Address: Schiffbauerdamm 5, Berlin-Mitte
Telephone: (030) 2859 9046