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Berlin - good and fairly cheap, and/or interesting eats?

Russel Shank Jan 2, 2010 11:26 AM

I'll be in Berlin for all of January doing a language study.

I'm a student and the exchange rate is gonna hurt enough as it is -- any recommendations for fairly low cost eats? Interesting places I shouldn't miss? How about good and/or cheap markets?

  1. linguafood Jan 2, 2010 11:34 AM

    First, I'd recommend going through the numerous Berlin threads that already exist. There are a number of threads specifically about cheap eats, interesting places you shouldn't miss, etc. etc. This board, like all others, has a search function. But even without perusing that, you will find an abundance of information. AND it's a fun read.

    That said, cheap eats are generally döner, falafel, pizza, bratwurst. The Turkish market on Maybachufer on Tue & Fri is a great place to check out.

    Are there particular cuisines you are interested in? Neighborhoods?

    9 Replies
    1. re: linguafood
      Russel Shank Jan 2, 2010 07:05 PM

      Yeah, sorry. I left out the part that motivated me to write that post. -- which is why it was so vague/unspecific.

      I am curious if and where there are Uyghur/Xinjiang/Muslim Chinese restaurants. If there are any seasonal special places (restaurants or markets), and also if there are some notable places around the west side of the Berlin-Tempelhof airport and/or the
      Weinmeisterstraße subway stop.

      1. re: Russel Shank
        linguafood Jan 3, 2010 08:50 AM

        Whoa. Not sure I can help you with the Chinese resto request. We're lucky enough to have had some Shanghai/Sichuan places open up in recent years, as most Chinese restos in Berlin (and Germany) are predominantly Cantonese.

        One Chinese resto near Tempelhof is Kang Feng (www.kangfeng.de). If you're willing to venture down to Bergmannstrasse, there's an abundance of restos, not all great, of course. Good pizza can be had at Fratelli Bionda, good Falafel on Gneisenaustr. (Sesam), decent Thai and Vietnamese, respectively, on Bergmannstr. at Hong Que and on Mehringdamm, Phuket.

        Weinmeisterstr. is in the middle of the tourist epicenter that is Mitte, but good bets are, in no particular order: Monsieur Vuong, Dolores (if you like burritos), Fuku Sushi.

        Hackescher Markt has a market on Thursdays that can be fun to check out.

        1. re: linguafood
          Russel Shank Jan 4, 2010 06:22 AM


          It was a gamble (the Uyghur food) that i had my fingers crossed on. We have a Uyghur expat community around Wash D.C., but no food. I heard there were a couple restaurants in Munich, so I was hoping Berlin might also.

          blah. oh well.

          thanks for the other tips.

          1. re: linguafood
            Russel Shank Jan 4, 2010 09:59 PM

            Hey, hope you're still following.

            I'm digging through the old threads, looking for anything about asian markets/groceries in Berlin, but haven't found anything yet.

            Know of any asian (Chinese/SE Asian/Indian) markets/groceries in the city? I'm thinking, primarily, for cooking Thai?

            1. re: Russel Shank
              linguafood Jan 5, 2010 07:30 AM

              There is a huge Vietnamese indoor market out in Lichtenberg, if you're willing to travel that far.

              There's a fairly large Asian grocery on Alexanderplatz, and one near Hackescher Markt where the tram stop is.

              Closer to you, there's a very small Asian grocery on Nostitzstr., off of Bergmann. All of them should have Thai stuff.

              PS: That kind of information is probably also available on google. Just sayin.

              1. re: linguafood
                Russel Shank Jan 10, 2010 12:35 PM

                Yeah, I found Asia Mekong (Hackescher) and the Alexpltz one through Google. Eventually I found the Vinh Lo mkts and Tian Fu's mkt near Berliner Str stop.

                I made a Google map of South and East Asian groceries in my area at home, and that came in at around 100, with varying degrees of size/quality/status - actually still being open/etc. I asked b/c I was hoping you or a local could save me the headache and point out your favorite spots for good product. Thanks for the help.

                1. re: Russel Shank
                  linguafood Jan 10, 2010 01:59 PM

                  Whoa, 100! I know Berlin has a lot of Asian groceries, but now I'm speechless. Good to know, and good you found something in your neighborhood (that'll hopefully will be satisfactory). Good eats.

                  1. re: linguafood
                    Russel Shank Jan 12, 2010 02:32 PM

                    quick clarification: the "home" I mentioned was back in the States -- Wash D.C. area. Berlin does seem to have a fair amount of shops though.

                    1. re: Russel Shank
                      ChristinaMason Jan 21, 2010 04:28 AM

                      Hey Russel Shank,

                      I'm from the D.C. area, too, and living in Berlin this year. Have you discovered the Dong Xuan Center yet? It's an amazing warehouse complex with several well-stocked Asian markets. There is even one specializing in S.E. Asian (primarily Indian) foods.

                      In terms of eating out, I've found very good Chinese food, primarily Szechuan, in Prenzlauerberg. The restaurant is called Aroma Village (http://maps.google.de/maps/place?hl=e...). I had great Szechuan Beef (ma la....insanely hot, but delicious) and very good Szechuan chicken with Stangenbohnen. Prices are cheap, service is very friendly, and portions are generous. They also have good dumplings and a suprisingly good won ton soup with sesame oil, bok choy, and shrimp dumplings.

      2. j
        jtrct Jan 4, 2010 02:13 PM

        We returned from Berlin 2 days ago. Enjoyed several places described on previous posts, as well as a restaurant called Kuchen Kaiser, filled with neighborhood folks, mainly locals, at Oranienplatz, easy to reach by bus. Prices were very fair, for example 9 Euros for a generous, homestyle Sauerbraten with very good red cabbage/apple and excellent mashed potatoes. The pllace had many sorts of food and a very good vibe. We liked our meal at Schneeweiss, but it's not a cheapie; try it for breakfast, though, for a non-budget buster. Check out their web site. Henne was a one-of-a-kind place, very gemuetlich, but you have to love chicken, as that's the sole entree offering. It was fun, though, and the chicken great. It's about one minute from Kuchen Kaiser, which we discovered en route to dinner at Henne. FYI, you'd need to reserve for Henne or Schneeweiss.

        10 Replies
        1. re: jtrct
          Klary Jan 5, 2010 01:41 AM

          I'll be going to Berlin this weekend and have a number of places all over the city where I want to go for lunch/ dinner, however, I do have one neighborhood-specific question.. we'll be arriving Saturday evening, we're staying in Charlottenburg (Knesebeckstrasse) and could use a recommendation for a place in that area because we most likely don't want to trek across town after 6 hours on the train.

          And, I'm also interested in places in that area where we could have breakfast. Thanks!

          1. re: Klary
            linguafood Jan 5, 2010 07:32 AM

            Any particular kind of cuisine you're looking at for Saturday? One of my faves is Tian Fu on Uhlandstr., which isn't too far from Knesebeck. It's Sichuanese.

            1. re: linguafood
              Klary Jan 5, 2010 11:07 PM

              Not really looking for a specific cuisine, although considering the weather, I am kind of looking forward to hearty German fare.
              Planning visits to Rutz and M Vuong as well.

              1. re: Klary
                Trip Klaus Jan 6, 2010 07:26 AM

                If you visit the palace in Charlottenburg I suggest you stop across the street at Brauhaus Lemke, IMO the best brewpub in Berlin. Traditional German foods reasonable prices. It may be too touristy for some, but convenient and again I think the best beer made in Berlin.


                1. re: Trip Klaus
                  linguafood Jan 6, 2010 08:26 AM

                  Agreed. I've only been to their Hackescher Markt locale which is even touristier, but the beer is pretty awesome.

                2. re: Klary
                  linguafood Jan 6, 2010 08:26 AM

                  Engelbecken or Renger-Patzsch for good German food.

                  1. re: linguafood
                    Klary Jan 8, 2010 05:07 AM

                    Thanks! We'll definitely check out Brauhaus Lemke.

                    Rutz and Engelbecken are both closed this weekend.. made reservations at Renger Patzsch for tomorrow.

                    Any ideas for breakfast places near Knesebeckstrasse? I'd very much like to skip the hotel breakfast.. we're not big breakfasters, some tea/coffee and a pastry (or, preferably, cereal) are all we need.

                    1. re: Klary
                      linguafood Jan 8, 2010 08:17 AM

                      To be honest, Charlottenburg's not really my kiez / neighborhood, but I know that Jules Verne on Schlüterstr. (near Savignyplatz) has a fairly large breakfast menu. Schwarzes Café on Kantstr. has breakfast 24 hrs., tho I can't comment on the quality of the food. It's only ever been a very late night watering hole to me.

                      1. re: linguafood
                        Klary Jan 13, 2010 01:38 AM

                        Very short trip report: the husband and I were both pretty sick during our 4 day stay in Berlin( we came down with a horrible cold. ) We had dinner at Renger Patzsch on Saturday, but I could not taste a THING because of clogged up sinuses, but the food looked pretty and my husband (who wasn't feeling as bad at that point) enjoyed his dinner.

                        Sunday brunch at Jules Verne, where I mostly took advantage of the endless supply of orange juice.

                        Then back to bed, which we only left in the late afternoon to head to Monsieur Vuong for a medicinal bowl of ginger tea and some steaming noodle soup.

                        Monday night a friend of ours who lives in Berlin took us to an Italian place in his neighbrhood, Osteria No. 1. The pasta was good comfort food.

                        I guess I have to come back, because I really did not do Berlin and its food scene any justice...

                        1. re: Klary
                          linguafood Jan 13, 2010 08:15 AM

                          Oh no! So sorry you got sick on your trip. That's a major bummer.

                          Do come back when you have a chance and try to stay healthy!!!

          2. ChristinaMason Jan 21, 2010 04:31 AM

            For those still looking for good Asian food in Berlin, a Taiwanese friend of mine was raving about a noodle house near the Deutsche Oper called Selig (Kantstrasse 51). She says the Rindfleisch Nudeln soup is "right on the mark."

            1. ChristinaMason Jan 21, 2010 04:36 AM

              Oh, also, Onkel Ho is a more-than-decent Vietnamese restaurant near Schoenhauserallee in P-berg. Good summer rolls and lots of wonderful daily specials (including fish). Wine is ridiculously cheap there, the service is friendly. Pho just OK...I've had better in Berlin. The broth was lacking and the meat a bit tough. Can't win them all.

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