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Jan 4, 2011 09:32 AM

Berlin's best Turkish restaurant?

I'm travelling to Berlin tomorrow. I know Kreuzberg is the place to go for turkish but which restaurant?
Lebanese is okay as well.

I have reservations made to Si An and Contadino Sotto Le Stelle also. (yes i know those aren't turkish...)

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  1. I'd recommend Mercan on Wiener Str. Turkish home-style food.

    If you're already gonna be in Xberg, I'd forego Contadino (really spotty service, overpriced and not all that great), and go to Noodles e Figli on Skalitzer Str. instead.

    They have a fantastic deal of 23 Euro for 3 courses you can choose from their daily changing menu. Great antipasti, great paste, great risotti.

    8 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      I know this is a late reply but Mercan is great. They show you the food and then you pick what you want to eat. And it is so reasonable. Great turkish beer too. Enjoy.

      1. re: linguafood

        Mercan is definitely "home-style" in food and ambiance. I felt the food was OK but the ambiance was dreary to say the least. I invited someone for dinner and felt a bit embarrassed by the metal canteen platters and buffet style serving. I love hole in the walls but I don't feel the food at Mercan was flavorful enough to warrant a return visit.

        I have tried Hasir, a popular chain that was visited by Anthony Bourdain when he visited Berlin and thought the ambiance was nice for a Turkish restaurant but the food was also just OK. It should be noted that I went to a different branch than was visited by Tony, perhaps the branch he went to was more authentic and had better food.

        So far my favorite Turkish restaurant is a street stand called Mustafas Gemüsekebap at the Mehringdamm metro stop.

        Address: Mehringdamm 32, 10961 Berlin
        Open Mon-Sat: 8am-11pm

        Get the Dürüm with everything on it, it's amazing.

        1. re: hanguolaohu

          Yeah, haute cuisine Merçan decidedly is not, and Hasir has overextended itself, me thinks, by opening too many branches all over town. Their dürüm döner is still one of the better ones, but Imren on Boppstr. makes a mean shwarma.

          I was totally unimpressed with Mustafa's Gemüse-Kebap. Went there twice - drunk & sober for a well-rounded impression - and can't for the life of me understand why there is a line every. time. of the day. It's bland. But that's just me. Clearly.

          1. re: linguafood

            Linguafood, what did you try? Get the Dürüm, everything on it, and ask for spicy. I'm Korean who's crazy about Thai, I eat anything BUT bland food. Mustafa's Dürüm is definitely not bland. They put 3 sauces in it: thousand island type dressing, sour cream and a chili paste similar to Korean gochujang. They add in juicy marinated chicken and onions, killer

            1. re: hanguolaohu

              I had the regular "vegetable" kebab (not dürüm, but regular pita bread) with everything. I didn't particularly like the deep-fried vegetables, and I thought it was bland, sorry.

              I even added the hot stuff they have on the counter, but all it added was hotness. Maybe they were having two bad days, and they happened when I was there. I am always blown away by the length of the line. I don't get it.

              1. re: linguafood

                There in lies the problem. A "vegetable" kebab is an oxymoron. And the Durum is the best item on the menu, with meat of course! :-)

                1. re: hanguolaohu

                  But the "vegetable" kebab HAS meat in it -- which is why I put it in quotation marks in the first place. They just add fuckloads of fried vegetables on top of the regular meat, which I personally don't want in my kebab. I'm fine with the regular salad options, perhaps a deep-fried cauli floret or such, but kraut, tomatoes, cukes & onions plus sauces generally do the trick.

                  In any event. Two tries are enough for me. More Mustafa's kebab for you & everyone else. Win-win.

      2. Any thoughts about Defne? LonPlan has it listed.

        Linguafod: Henne tonight. Still mulling over yr Neubau / Horvath / ETA recs. Thanks much for those.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ghiottone

          I've never been to Defne, because I read a bunch of bad reviews. You'll like Henne. Get the Bavarian landbier to go along. And please report on which ever place you choose!

          1. re: linguafood

            We're going to Istanbul next week. It should be interesting to see how the Berlin Turkish restaurants compare to the restaurants in Turkey.
            We really liked Mercan.

            1. re: suzieq4

              Wow! Sooo jealous. I've yet to visit Istanbul (only been to Turkey once in the early 90s near Bodrum & loved the food). I'm doubtful Berlin will be able to hold a candle, but just think of all the wonderful meals you'll get to experience!

            2. re: linguafood

              Had lunch at Mercan, having spotted it as we were biking along the Oranienstr./ Wiener Str. The food is quite good though simple. All of the five or six choices for mains looked quite appealing. I had the meatballs in a cream-ish sauce; gf had eggplant. The cafeteria style didn't bother me a bit, but that's not to say that some may find it too rustic. Price (at least at lunch) is great: main + 2 sides + rice/bulgar = € 6. The only downside is that virtually every main dish seemed to have some sort of beef in it. A pure veggie or lamb option would be nice.

              1. re: ghiottone

                Yes, one of the reasons why I've yet to try the place. The one time we were near there around dinner time, we had a vegetarian with us. Ended up at the (very mediocre) Thai place next door.

                Oh well. Next summer, perhaps.

          2. My new favorite Turkish restaurant is Konyali near Kottbusser Tor U-bahn station. Whenever I go I get the Etli Ekmek, like a Turkish pizza, but different than Lahmacun that is more commonly served. Their Karisik Azgara, a mixed meat platter with lamb and chicken is awesome with nice spices on top. Much better than what I've had at the famed Hasir at Kottbusser Tor, which was a bit of a disappointment. I love when I go to Konyali that I'm the only non-Turkish customer there. The place is packed, a testament to the quality and authenticity. I found this restaurant via a Google search on this blog:


            Reichenberger Straße 6
            10999‎ Berlin
            +49 30 69004567
            Open daily- 10am-12 midnight. Sometimes 1am on weekends

            2 Replies
            1. re: hanguolaohu

              Sounds great! Can't wait to try it when I'm in Berlin!

              1. re: linguafood

                Wow, wish I was going to Berlin soon to try all those restaurants. Makes me hungry.