Top Restaurants in Berlin

Today’s cosmopolitan, cool Berlin is a global dining city with top places to eat that range from casual street stands selling affordable snacks to elegant restaurants offering Michelin-star fine dining. Sample everything from the city’s Mexican and Israeli fare to Japanese and Jamaican specialties, but don’t miss great currywurst and other German classics.

Invalidenstraße 160, 10115 Berlin, Germany
While several spots can justifiably claim to serve up the best burger in Berlin (the Bird, Burgermeister, Shiso Burger), there is something effortlessly simple and exquisitely tasty about Tommi’s version that makes it particularly good. The limited menu, handwritten on signs above and to the side of the counter, basically consists of the extra toppings (bacon, avocado, cheese) or sides (fries) you may want with your handmade patty of organic Scottish beef. The burger is flame-grilled and placed between a soft, freshly baked bun filled with crunchy lettuce, tomatoes, and other delicious additions. Despite the American-influenced, casual shacklike interior, this place is actually run by an Icelandic family that has similar outlets in London, Copenhagen, and Reykjavík.
Behrenstraße 55, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The main challenge when visiting Berlin’s hippest vegetarian restaurant is finding the place—it’s hidden in an unglamorous backyard behind the Westin Grand Hotel, and a nondescript door lit by a telltale bulb marks the entrance. Once inside, though, guests are greeted by a chic, loftlike interior with exposed brick walls, gentle lighting, and low ceilings, and simple white tablecloths contrast with dark red chairs and banquettes. The trendy staff are both efficient and attentive in serving food that takes vegetarian dining up a notch: Gone are the usual staples of pasta, tofu, and rice, replaced by sumptuous, imaginative ingredients such as beluga lentils, Parmesan dumplings, and wild herb salads. The wine list is also excellent, or you can head next door for a cocktail at Crackers, a restaurant and bar.
Linienstraße 160, 10115 Berlin, Germany
It might be small and simple—conspicuously bare white walls, just a smattering of handmade wooden tables topped with flower arrangements, and a few barstools—but the updated German cuisine at Lokal is far from basic. With a commitment to local and organic ingredients, the kitchen draws on classic carnivore favorites like offal and game, making them look and taste completely unique. There are usually a couple of equally tasty dishes for vegetarians, also created using ingredients sourced from farms around Berlin. The atmosphere is generally quiet and pleasantly refined.
Mehringdamm 32, 10961 Berlin, Germany
It’s often a surprise for visitors to Berlin to discover that Turkish postwar immigrants created the popular döner kebab here. The city takes its kebabs seriously, and there are several hot spots whose reputation precedes them. One such is Mustafa’s in West Berlin, which has reached a kind of cult status as much for its vegetable (gemüse) kebabs as for its chicken ones. Every day around lunchtime the modest stall has lines that stretch along the road, as people wait patiently for a crispy pita filled with the special mix of vegetables, salad, and homemade sauces, topped off with crumbled goat cheese. Get here outside peak mealtimes if you want to avoid the crowds.
Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin, Germany
Everyone in Berlin has a favorite place to eat currywurst—tasty chopped pork sausage doused in a sauce made of curry powder and ketchup—but Curry 36 in Kreuzberg (along with Konnopke’s in Prenzlauer Berg) is one of the most consistently popular spots to procure this famous street-food snack. In fact, the place is so trendy that it sells Curry 36 merchandise in the shape of hoodies and even its own branded ketchup. Besides currywurst, the stall serves other sausage-y delights such as bockwurst and krakauers, as well as related meat products like burgers and meatballs. To be extra authentic, order your currywurst ohne darm (without skin) and enjoy it while standing at one of the outdoor tables.
Schönhauser Allee 44B, 10435 Berlin, Germany
Along with Kreuzberg’s Curry 36, Konnopke’s in Prenzlauer Berg is one of the most famous currywurst stands in Berlin. The two couldn’t be more different aesthetically, though. While the former has a fairly loud and brash character, Konnopke’s is a gentler, family-run affair that has been serving up street snacks in the same location since 1930. Set below the U-Bahn tracks at a busy rail and traffic junction, the stall offers currywurst (chopped pork sausage in a sauce of ketchup and curry powder) with or without skin as well as a range of other sausages, meatballs, and french fries. Enjoy your treat at one of the standing tables or, in colder weather, in the covered eating area.
170 Oranienstraße
Berlin isn’t exactly known as a thriving hotbed of Mexican cuisine, but its reputation on that front has been growing thanks to the appearance of a range of small taco spots, burrito joints, and larger Tex-Mex restaurants. One of the most popular spots, Kreuzberg’s Santa Maria is along the lively Oranienstraße and manages to combine a buzzy, upbeat local vibe with above-average Mexican-inspired dishes. The menu offers quesadillas, tacos, and burritos, all prepared with handmade flour tortillas and served with corn chips and beans. There’s a great tequila and mezcal selection, too. If you’re in Friedrichshain, look for Santa’s other restaurants: Santa Cantina, Santa Eastside, and Piri’s Chicken.
Kastanienallee 49, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Blink and you’ll miss this tiny Indian-run eatery serving eclectic international fare between Mitte and Prenzlauer Allee along the trendy Kastanienallee. Notable for its upside-down McDonald’s sign (hence the “W” in the name; Der Imbiss means “The Snack”), the restaurant consists of a service window and a few brightly colored tables, and has quirky Hawaiian and African decor. The food is not only cheap and tasty but also healthy and diverse, pulling off an ambitious mix of Mexican, Californian, Indian, and Italian influences. It’s most famous for naan pizzas—Indian naan breads baked in the venue’s tandoor, with pizza-esque toppings from olives and cheese to artichokes and salmon. The menu also includes filling Indian thali platters, soups and salads, and Mexican-style wraps.
Mariannenpl. 2, 10997 Berlin, Germany
Tucked inside the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, a visual arts venue that is itself hidden away in a beautiful former hospital built in 1846, 3 Schwestern (Three Sisters) is a unique but enticing proposition in Berlin. The refined, airy dining room, with its tall ceilings, whitewashed walls, and circular wooden tables, draws a wide range of diners—from well-heeled middle-aged types to bohemians—with its delicious seasonal Southern German-Austrian cuisine: Think pork roast with dumplings, käsespätzle (cheese and a kind of egg noodle) from Bavaria, schnitzel with asparagus. Wines are sourced from small, usually organic producers, and varied brunch dishes such as an English breakfast and huevos rancheros are served on weekends.
83 Kollwitzstraße
Although this popular Prenzlauer Berg café only opened in 2005, it feels as if it has been part of the neighborhood forever. Lines from the 1919 poem by Kurt Schwitters that provided the café's name adorn the walls alongside a reproduction of an Alphonse Mucha mural, and the interior has a classic art deco look (red leather banquettes, marble-topped tables, and red curtains) that perfectly matches the traditional German menu of breakfasts and lunches. It’s most famous for the former, including muesli and egg and crepe dishes, as well as elegant, bountiful tiered platters that brim with meats, cheeses, and fruits. Come early on weekends to beat the local families to a table, especially on the outdoor patio, which is perfectly positioned for people-watching.
Gipsstraße 3, 10119 Berlin, Germany
To put it bluntly: If you like ramen and you’re in Berlin, Cocolo is a must. There are two locations thanks to an opening in Kreuzberg, but the Mitte original is worth seeking out for its authentic, Japanese-style ambience. Located next to the larger sushi spot called Kuchi, this tiny place offers a handful of seats, most of which look directly into the open kitchen where several Japanese chefs work their magic. The menu is short and simple, consisting of a few classic ramen dishes (shio, shoyu, tonkotsu, and miso) as well as selected sides like sumptuous gyoza (fried dumplings) and edamame, but the food is expertly made and utterly memorable. The Kreuzberg location has more space, plus extra dishes including sweet pork belly and kimchi.
Muskauer Str. 9, 10997 Berlin, Germany
Although you can find most cuisines in Berlin now, Jamaican food is nowhere near as ubiquitous as it is in, say, London, and it’s mostly relegated to shacks or pop-up stalls at festivals. Enter RosaCaleta, a full-service restaurant run by two transplants from Jamaica via New York who have created a perfect balance of traditional Jamaican dishes playfully reinvented for a European palate. White walls and a wood floor set the stage for a menu that includes oven-roasted pork fillet, fiery jerk guava chicken served with fluffy dumplings, and vegetarian dishes such as vegetable stews and lentil salads mixed with mango and ginger. The restaurant also has a superlative rum collection, used for an inspired cocktail list that is as fruit-filled as it is potent.
Templiner Str. 7, 10119 Berlin, Germany
There may be plenty of pizza in Berlin, but excellent Neapolitan pizza is another matter entirely, so thank heavens for swanky Standard pizza in Mitte. It’s anything but standard with its blend of expertly sourced ingredients (the vegetables come from local farms; the tomatoes and cheeses come from specific Italian brands for added authenticity), a 4,400-pound oven custom-made in Naples, and an impressive dedication to perfecting the Neapolitan art of the thick but tender crust. As well as several regular pizza options, the restaurant usually offers a couple of daily specials with seasonal ingredients and a few salads and desserts, including a memorable tiramisu. The biggest surprise about the whole enterprise? An Austrian runs it.
Schlegelstraße 26C, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Berlin has a lot of fine-dining restaurants these days, but few have won a coveted Michelin star, not to mention two. Tucked away in a courtyard that once hosted an Edison factory, Reinstoff has an unabashedly stylish, industrial-chic interior that contrasts with surprisingly warm, relaxed service. Here, diners choose from a couple of multicourse menus: Ganz Nah (Nearby) utilizes ingredients such as Angus beef and Jerusalem artichokes from around Germany, and Weiter Draussen (Far Away) draws on more exotic ingredients such as caviar, quail, and lobster. Whichever you pick, expect serious culinary fireworks from chef Daniel Achilles.
13, Rykestraße, 10405 Berlin, Germany
This worthy addition to Prenzlauer Berg’s prodigious array of breakfast and brunch options opened in 2015. The eponymous owner, a Frenchman who lived in Australia for several years and has worked at high-end restaurants in Berlin, evidently put his heart and soul into this personal project to make it stand out from the fray. In that, he has succeeded. Not only is the place immediately welcoming and friendly, it’s also interestingly decorated with beach and surfing paraphernalia. The food—from eggs Benedict to bagels with salmon to quinoa salad—is fresh, impeccably presented, and delicious. Breakfast is served into the late afternoon, after which the space transforms into an affable wine bar.
Kantstraße 133, 10625 Berlin, Germany
This long-established West Berlin restaurant in Charlottenburg has been serving delicious Thai food since the 1970s. In that time the ownership has changed just once or twice, and today a woman named Meo runs it and has expanded the enterprise by opening a cooking school next door. Decorated in traditional style with Asian lamps, golden Buddhas, and antique photos, the comfortable space is the setting for an authentic spread of classic dishes such as pad thai, red and green curries, velvety lemongrass soups, and whole fish and duck dishes, all of which taste like the real deal—spicy chilies included—and eschew artificial flavorings or ingredients. The beverage list has a decent selection of herbal teas as well as spirits, cocktails, and wines.
Potsdamer Straße 91, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Tucked away in a rear courtyard on trendy Potsdamer Strasse, this dapper restaurant—run by the owner of the equally swanky and highly popular Katz Orange—draws on a famous German children’s book as inspiration, and offers a forward-thinking and global-minded menu that effortlessly spans items like char tacos and venison tartar. The restaurant’s two distinctly different floors, designed by Karoline Butzert and Nora Witzigmann, match comfortable and stylish furnishings to eye-catching artworks such as a bone-shaped neon sign by Kerim Seiler, and a chandelier made of vintage lights by the artist Björn Dahlem. The wine list is top-notch, but in case you fancy a change of scene, the associated Tiger Bar across the courtyard knocks up some killer cocktails.
Fritschestraße 48, 10627 Berlin, Germany
Gal Ben Moshe’s brand new venture picks up where his former restaurant, the celebrated Glass, left off. The concept is still European-meets-Levantine fine dining, but the game has been raised yet further with a more seductive—dark-toned walls, leather chairs, and low-key lighting—which allows space for the food to shine. As before, guests can choose from six, seven, or eight courses, including a wine-matching option for each; expect a series of immaculately presented taste explosions that include foie gras frozen in nitrous oxide, dukkah pulpo foul with chickpeas, and lamb served with eggplant and sour cherries. We recommend you save room for dessert.
More From AFAR