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Hamburg, Berlin, November...

My wife and I will be in Hamburg and Berlin for a few days in mid-November. We're interested in 'local specialties' rather than fancy foods on this short trip. Any top tips (especially for things like the good currywurst) would be greatly appreciated. Also, we will be in Hamburg on a Sunday and hope to experience the Fischmarkt early in the morning. Any advice on how best to go about this would be great.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I'm partial to the currywurst @ Curry 36 in Kreuzberg. In my opinion, it's better than the more famous Konnopke imbiss currywurst.

    http://www.curry36.de/

    1. Hate to disagree (but asking for Berlin's best currywurst is probably like asking for the best pizza in NYC '-)

      The best currywurst is at Currybaude http://www.curry-baude.de/index_en.html
      at the U8 stop Gesundbrunnen in Wedding.

      The second best can be had beneath the S-Bahn stop Friedrichstr. in Mitte: Bier's Curry & Spieße. Both places make their own curry sauces, which neither Konnopke nor Curry 36 can compete with.

      Best döner @Imren on Boppstr. in Neukölln.
      Best falafel @Habibi on Winterfeldtplatz,
      Best gyros pita / souvlaki @Berkis on Winterfeldtstr.,
      Best focaccia @Dolce pizza on Maaßenstr. (all three places are in Schöneberg

      )

      Best "high end" burger @the Bird in Prenzlauer Berg
      Best fast food burger @Pöpsy's Hamburger Heaven in Kreuzberg
      Second best fast food burger @BBI - Berlin Burger International on Pflügerstr. in Neukölln

      Guten Appetit!

      1 Reply
      1. re: linguafood

        All great suggestion, and definitely all within the level of cuisine I'm looking for. But although I'd agree that Doner is now definitely part of the German food scene, I was hoping for slightly more 'Teutonic' delicacies to sample. I live in the Middle East and travel frequently to New York. This is simply to say that I frequently get my fill of other Middle Eastern foods such as Falafel and kebabs, as well as 'American' specialties like pizza and burgers.

        Oh, and nothing wrong with a bit of 'best Currywurst' debate. I plan to try as many as possible!

        Thanks again!

      2. Plenty of local restaurants (the ones serving German home-style cooking) will offer a seasonal menu, and in November, wild game is often on the seasonal menu throughout Germany.

        While you're visiting Hamburg, you might want to try Labskaus http://germanfood.about.com/od/hambur... ,
        Himmel und Erde http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himmel_u...
        and Birnen, Bohnen und Speck http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birnen,_... , if you're interested in trying traditional North German cuisine. I tried each of these dishes when I visited Luebeck and Bremen a few years ago.

        I haven't dined in Hamburg for almost 10 years, so I don't have any specific restaurant recs, but this restaurant http://www.aalspeicher.de/?id=1 offers traditional fish and eel dishes and seasonal specialties.

        If you're interested in traditional East Prussian food (Konigsberger Klopse, roast duck and goose, etc), you might want to give Marjellchen in Berlin a try. http://www.marjellchen-berlin.de/

        One local specialty you might want to try in Berlin is Eisbein.

        3 Replies
        1. re: phoenikia

          Thank you phoenikia!

          This list definitely gets my mouth watering! My father was from East Prussia (the former Tilsit) and I haven't eaten Konigsberger Klopse since my grandmother passed away over fifteen years ago. I will absolutely try Marjellchen.

          Thanks again. A list of local specialties is exactly what I was hoping for!

          1. re: marcus68

            You're most welcome!

            Konigsberger Klopse are quite popular comfort food in Berlin, so you should be able to find them in many restaurants, in addition to Marjellchen. Linguafood knows the food scene in Berlin much, much, much better than I do, so she might be able to suggest some other German restaurants that would be good places to find traditional comfort food.

            While you're in Berlin, visit KaDeWe's top floor, their food floor. This is a great place to get a bite, and there's an amazing selection of groceries, pastries, cheeses, take-out food. It's Berlin's food hall, much like the food halls at Harrod's or Galeries Lafayette, but with more German and Central European treats.

            I also love visiting the Konditorei (pastry shops/patisserie) when I'm visiting Berlin and other parts of Germany. Coffee time is still an important part of the day in eastern Germany, and most of my relatives stop and have a piece of cake and some great German coffee around 4 pm. In addition to beautiful tortes and strudels, you'll see Berliners (aka Krapfen)- jam or jelly-filled donuts, sometimes filled with plum or apricot jam, offered in most Berlin Konditerei.

            Not sure how long you'll be staying in Berlin, but if you have time to visit Prenzlauer Berg, one place I've been meaning to visit is Werkstatt der Suesse. http://www.werkstatt-der-suesse.de/

            I also really like eating Rote Gruetze with Vanilla Sauce when I'm in northern Germany (you'll see it in Hamburg & Berlin). Marjellchen has it on the menu, and you might see it offered in the breakfast buffet as some of the hotels you're staying at.

            The trout almondine is also done nicely in Berlin, and the local trout is very good. If you like smoked or pickled fish (herring, etc), you'll find many restaurants in Hamburg and Berlin offer it as an appetizer.

            Enjoy your time in Berlin & Hamburg!

            Here is a short list of some local specialties in Berlin:
            http://www.germanfoodguide.com/berlin...

            Also, the German language Berlin Cuisine page on wiki has a long list of typical Berlin dishes (Typische Gerichte) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner...

            Here is the German language page on Hamburg's Cuisine: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburge... . Google translate can help, if you'd like the page translated into English or any other language.

            1. re: phoenikia

              Oh yeah, Werkstatt der Süße is one of the best patissiers in town! Pure awesomeness.

              I haven't seen Königsberger Klopse on as many menus as I would like to (big fan here), but I know for sure they're on the standard menu at Mädchen ohne Abitur ("Girls without a high school diploma" - yet another great example of the, um, Berliner creativity for restaurant or bar names) on Fichtestr.

              Also on Fichtestr. is the fantastic Wirtshaus zum Schweighofer serving Tyrolean food such as all kinds of dumplings, a pretty good Wiener Schnitzel, and other tasty treats.

              Jolesch in Xberg serves great Austrian food at moderate prices.

              Renger-Patzsch for a modern take on regional food - I know, I'm starting to sound like a broken record on this one, but it never disappoints.

              And how could I forget to mention Henne for the best fried chicken & Bavarian beer in town?

              Bring a healthy appetite is all I can say :-D

        2. Thanks once again Phoenikia, and to Linguafood too (I've read many of your informative posts already).

          I expect to visit a Konditorei each afternoon. Werkstatt der Süße sounds like the perfect place!

          I do speak German, not fluently, but enough to get by and understand the important bits of text on websites. So the links are great.

          One question: I have been intrigued by Rogacki since I saw it on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. It was at the top of my list before I started to look around online. I never seems to be mentioned anywhere. Is it worth a visit?

          Unfortunately, I only have three days in Berlin. I know it's not enough. Usually I'm happy to explore the food scene on my own, but wanted to get some knowledgeable advice because my time is so short. By the way - I'll be staying near Checkpoint Charlie.

          I'll be in Hamburg next Friday afternoon and Berlin a few days later! Yay!

          4 Replies
          1. re: marcus68

            Oh, man. How could i forget Rogacki! To my defense, I've only checked it out for the first time this summer.

            It's a VERY typical Berlin experience, I am a great fan of their fried fish filet (which is priced according to weight) and their various potato salads. It is a fantastic lunch place, but a bit of a haul from Checkpoint Charlie. However, you are near the U2 (stop Kochstr.), which will get you pretty far west -- take it to Bismarckstr. stop and switch to the U7 to Wilmersdorfer Str., which is where Rogacki is located.

            1. re: marcus68

              Koriat is another place not to miss, if you like cake. Try the awesome orange cake if it's available that day.

              http://berlin.unlike.net/locations/30...

              1. re: S_B_Russell

                Oh yeah, nice one. Lived down the street from Koriat this summer. Orange-ginger, no?

                Not sure I'd go all the way to Neukölln for that, but I'm more of a savory kinda gal.

                1. re: linguafood

                  What can I say, I have a sweet tooth!

            2. We just returned from several days in Berlin. For local dishes, we got very turned on to eisbein, the northern boiled version of schweinshaxe. We had a particularly nice one at a charming oldy-worldy place called Max und Mortiz in Kreuzberg at Oranienstrasse 162. <http://www.maxundmoritzberlin.de/> The eisbein there was served on top of a bed of pureed yellow split peas, with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes. The joint is cured before cooking and is tender, rich and deep pink in color. We had another version at another restaurant that tasted more like corned beef, so I think the flavour depends on the curing method.

              We also tried a dish called matjesfillets, a marinated or slightly pickled herring. Our friends told us this was a typical northern German dish. It is served simply, with pickles and lots of sliced onion, salad and potatoes.

              As for KaDeWe's Feinschmeckeretage, the foodhalls are overall a delight to see. We had a snack of wurst and beer at the wurst kiosk there and were a bit disappointed in the quality of both sausage and pretzels. Not terrible, but just nothing special, and no better than the quality at our local bierkeller here in London. It was very busy and I think maybe that particular kiosk caters to tourists more than the others. So skip the sausage kiosk if you eat there, and maybe go for the seafood or pastry offerings, or go to the restaurant on the top floor.

               
               
              1. In Hamburg-

                Cafe Gnosa - http://www.gnosa.de/ wonderful relaxed cafe for breakfast, lunch, early dinner

                Gröninger Privatbrauerei - http://www.groeninger-hamburg.de/ - Excellent beer & homemade sausages

                So glad to hear you're planning on the Hamburg Fishmarket - it was one of my favorite things about Hamburg - be sure to get there early!! I took a taxi from my hotel and he dropped me right at the entrance!

                Pictures of the aforementioned food/places here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfworl...

                5 Replies
                1. re: 46137

                  Thanks!
                  Are there any specifics about getting around/getting the most out of the Fischmarkt? Is there a good time to get started?

                  I'm starting to pack now. Tomorrow is my last day at home. Thanks to everyone for the great tips!

                  1. re: marcus68

                    I think I got there at about 6:30 am before the sun came up - and started at the "top" and wandered all the way down. There was a great rastafarian coffee guy, some good pastry, lots to see, sample & eat. Enjoy!!

                    1. re: 46137

                      I've been following this thread as I'm thinking of heading up that way in the near future. Didn't see anyone mention noteworthy places in Luebeck. Are there any? Is it a tourist trap? I keep reading about the Schabbelhaus restaurant for its atomosphere, but no one mentions the food.

                      Thanks!

                      1. re: currycue

                        I enjoyed good hearty food in Luebeck, and didn't find the restaurants to be tourist traps. I had dinner at the Schiffergesellschaft, and lunch at a regular German restaurant facing the Market platz.

                        Here are some other ideas:
                        http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurants...

                        Luebeck is a great place to find Labskaus http://germanfood.about.com/od/hambur... ,
                        Himmel und Erde http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himmel_u...
                        and Birnen, Bohnen und Speck http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birnen,_... and Marzipan!

                        1. re: currycue

                          Wherever you go for dinner or lunch, better pick up some of the Niederegger Marzipan while there. Best marzipan in the world!!!