Heading to the German capital and want to avoid floppy Frankfurters and shockingly expensive schnitzel? We reveal the six best cheap eateries in Berlin:
1. Witty’s Bioland Imbiss (wittys-berlin.de)
The city’s iconic currywurst (sliced sausage in a secretively spiced tomato sauce) is not just for the gawking tourists egging their mates on to try something weird – most of the customers are busy locals grabbing a bite to eat on their way back from work. Avoid the seedier establishments and head to Witty’s for the best in town. Situated next to KaDeWe, at the end of one of the busiest shopping streets in Berlin, is a kiosk that knocks up the best currywurst for miles. All organic (or “Bio”), for chips made fresh every day, bread too hot to touch and a range of sausages, this is the place to be. Slightly pricier than your average fast food, but worth every cent.
2. Burgermeister (burgermeister.berlin)
Word travels fast when the burgers are this good, so chances are you’ve probably heard of Burgermeister by now. Served out of an ex-public toilet under a railway bridge, it seems an unlikely setting for the best burgers around. However, hop in line and nab a seat fast when they come free. Without exception, the burgers are great and cheap, but the star of the show is the chilli fries – a mound of crisp French fries smothered in spicy chilli and a layer of cheese sauce. Drinks are limited and a little pricey, so grab a beer for less than a euro at a shop across the road and bring it over.
3. Aldemir Eis (facebook.com/aldemir.eisdiele)
For something sweet (and ideal after a trip to Burgermeister), this is undoubtedly the best ice cream to be had. Only open during the summer months, the menu is an ever-changing variety of flavours, from a punchy raspberry sorbet to a rich gorgonzola ice cream for the adventurous. You can’t go wrong. The ice creams are made on site and served in warm, freshly made waffle cones. Give the sundaes a miss and pick your own flavours – the options are more interesting and will work out cheaper. For less than four euros you’ll walk away with a cone as large as your head filled with ice cream, whipped cream and fresh fruit sauce.
4. Sally Bowles Café (sally-bowles.de/wp/)
Berlin was the setting for Cabaret, based on the writings of British writer Christopher Isherwood, who spent several years in the city. The Sally Bowles Café plays tribute to the hedonistic, exciting and liberated time before the shadow of war descended on Germany. It’s an excellent bar that plays host to the hilarious and moving A Cabaret Story, amongst other events. Serving up a variety of German beers (try the Berliner Weisse mit Schuss) and wines, they also do a fab small menu of snacks and sandwiches.
5. Delikato Berlin (delikato-berlin.tumblr.com)
Berlin is the home of the döner kebab, and every local and visitor will have their own favourite. Mine is Delikato, a large restaurant situated on a bustling street corner. The food is tasty and reasonably priced and the portions are great for anyone hungry after a long day out and about. They also do a number of Turkish style pizzas, all of which will be far nicer than anything you can get in an “Italian” restaurant in Berlin. Run by friendly Turkish owners, the service is great and a hell of a lot quicker than some of the more well known options.
6. Saigon and More (saigonandmore.de)
It would be impossible to write a list of the culinary jewels of Berlin without mentioning the fantastic Vietnamese food that can be found in the city. Saigon and More is outside the cluster of Vietnamese restaurants in the east of city, but it’s worth the trip to this charming part of town to eat here. With tables spread across the city pavements, there is a genial, welcoming atmosphere that will keep you here all evening. The incredibly friendly owner personally visits each table of customers with recommendations and conversation. The menu is an excellent introduction to the flavours of Vietnamese food and the Vietnamese coffee is definitely worth ordering to round up your evening. Pick the Reisling on the wine menu for a fab accompaniment to any of the food on offer.
WORDS: BETHAN FORBES
Love Berlin? Check out our review of Goodbye Lenin.