Berlin - which is better location for nearby, inexpensive food?
My inlaws are going to Berlin in August for 5 nights. They are not able to do a lot of walking, so I want to make sure that they are staying in a good location. They are considering choosing between 2 hotels: the Hotel Palace ( on Budapester Str. nearby Kurfürstendamm) or the Park Inn in Alexanderplatz.
Which location would be better to provide inexpensive/moderately priced meals within a few blocks? Any particular restaurant recommendations that are very close?
Many of the side streets of the Ku'Damm have a huge selection of lovely restaurants, you'll find everything from Thai, Japanese, Indian, Italian, Turkish, often very affordable and sometimes very good. Uhland- and Knesebeckstrasse are just two examples, you'll also find many such restaurants on Kantstrasse. Potsdamerplatz is definitely worth visit but there is not a single, small independant restaurant in the entire area, the food there is mainly provided by chain restaurants, Tony Romas, McDonalds, Starbucks etc. And Friedrichstrasse, where a number of Berlin's top-scale hotels are located, doesn't have much choice either. No offense, but American tourist seem to prefer Mitte over West Berlin and I suspect this is because it's more familiar to them, everything is new and built in sort of a contrived Disneyland/Las Vegas manner while the area around Ku'Damm is authentic and has organically grown over the decades. Just my opinion of course.
I'd consider the Swissotel instead of the Palace if they decide to stay in West Berlin, it's closer to the side streets I mentioned and a more modern, nicer hotel for about the same price. They can have a very affordable lunch there at their Restaurant 44 which is 18 Gault Millau points and has a Michelin star. Rooms are all fit with a Lavazza espresso maker too :-D . Alternately, the Hotel Linder or the Concorde are both excellent as well, all three are located on Ku'Damm at the height of the Zoo station.
I'm not sure Alexanderplatz is the best location if they want to stay in the East, it's not that nice an area and there's lot of building going on at the moment. If they do, I can recommend the restaurant Thai Inside on Dircksenstrasse 37, 5 minutes walk from the Alexanderplatz station, it's one of the best Thai restaurants in Berlin.
the variety of food offerings is great in and around Mitte. The food I saw near KuDamm was lots of heavy german stuff (not good for this vegetarian!).
I stayed once in Kreuzberg, once in Mitte, and once at Potsdammer Platz. I like staying in or close to the former border - more stuff to see, better selection of wallet friendly eats and more variety.
Most of eastern-berlin is full of construction, but walk a block away from it and you'll find plenty.
I quite like Mitte and yes, there are some nice inexpensive places there but I agree with bropaul -- the Alexanderplatz area can seem pretty bleak at times... Not too fra from Kurfürstendamm, there are some fairly authentic Chinese places (for Cantonese food go to "Good friends") and a few Japanese places along Kantstrasse; on Grolmannstrasse there are some inexensive Indian places with moderately good food; some nice cafés close to Savignplatz station and one in Grolmannstrasse as well.
We were in Berlin in June - and a fair amount of the area around Alexanderplatz looked like one big construction site to me (maybe it will be great in a couple of years - but it didn't look so great now). Didn't much like the area around Kurfurstendamm (at least the part near the zoo - seemed like "tourist central"). We stayed at Potsdamer Platz - and I really liked the location. The Sony Center has a fair number of moderate restaurants - and there are lots of restaurants a block or two away. Don't know much about the hotel situation in that area though. Robyn
Kudamm will probably be more expensive, but there will be a greater variety in the immediate area than A-plaz. However, as Behemoth says, Mitte and Hackesher Markt is a great place for good inexpensive food.Great little Vietnamese places, a great little pasta place on Mulackstrasse, terrific falafel and ice cream at the corner of Torstrasse and Friedrichstrasse.