Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Europe >
Mar 29, 2011 10:27 AM

Self catering in Berlin - markets and products to try?

I'm staying in Berlin for a week next month, and as we're renting a flat I'd like to try cooking some local specialities, as well as eating out. We're staying near Gorlitzer banhof in Kreuzberg, are there any farmers markets or good grocery stores in the neighbourhood we should check out? Also, are there any dishes or ingredients that we should keep an eye open for? There's pretty much nothing we won't try, but budget-friendly suggestions are definitely welcomed!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Consider yourself lucky! You're basically in the epicenter of little Istanbul, with a huge Turkish market every Tue & Fri along the canal between Xberg and Neukölln, with an abundance of produce, fish, cheeses, lamb, and poultry. It's definitely a very Berlin experience - if the ubiquitousTurkish ladies with their rolling shopping thingees don't drive you nuts (but then I'm not a very patient person '-)).

    While in Xberg, you should definitely try hamsi, a Turkish/Berliner dish of grilled sardines.

    Great döner/shwarma is to be had at Imren on Boppstr., near subway stop Schönleinstr.

    All along the canal are a number of budget-friendly restaurants and cafés, as the neighborhood remains one of the cheaper/alternative/not-yet-gentrified areas. Avoid Kirk Royal, tho, they suck.

    Of course, you'll also have to try currywurst while you're there. If you get homesick (assuming you're from the US), Hamburger Heaven on Graefestr. serves up THE best "fast food" burger -- I use that term loosely here b/c it beats the crap out of ANY FF burger I've ever had stateside, they make their own fries, ketchup & mayo (!) daily.

    Pizza e pezzi makes delicious, foccacia-style pizza (corner of Oranienstr./Adalbert).

    If you like fried chicken, you HAVE to go to Henne. You have to make a rez, as this place is very popular, too. Excellent Bavarian beer.

    For more ideas, feel free to ask more questions and check out my blog

    You'll be eating well, trust me '-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Thanks - this is really helpful! We're from London, and we both love Turkish so it sounds like we're in the right place. Anywhere that's you'd particularly recommend for Hamsi? We'll have bikes so not averse to travelling a bit.

      1. re: babybat

        There are a number of places along the canal (near where the market is) that offer hamsi plates. I can't for the life of me remember their names now, tho. If it's on the menu, they'll usually write it on large blackboards outside, so I'm confident you'll get your hands on some.

    2. Check out the food halls inside the KaDeWe , and other department stores downtown. Neat selections of ingredients and prepared foods.

      5 Replies
      1. re: prima

        Except it is pretty much the opposite of budget-friendly.

        1. re: linguafood

          While I absolutely agree that KaDeWe isn't budget-friendly, the OP also wrote "There's pretty much nothing we won't try." I understood "budget-friendly suggestions are definitely welcomed" to mean budget suggestions are definitely welcomed, but not essential. ;-)

          If you're a foodlover who is visiting Berlin, even if you're planning to browse rather than buy, the food hall at KaDeWe is worth visiting. That being said, I found the prices to be reasonable considering the high quality of the products sold. While KaDeWe is expensive for Berlin and Germany, the quality is so much higher than what I'd be able to buy for the same prices in Canada or the UK. Good place to go for a treat.

          1. re: prima

            Yeah, the KaDeWe is most definitely worth visiting. The oyster bar and the whole seafood section is orgasmic. I always wanted to participate in one of their 2 annual AYCE parties, but I'm never around when they take place. Sounds like a dream to me, frankly!

            If babybat is going to venture that far west from Xberg, maybe s/he wants to check out Rogacki on Wilmersdorfer Str. for a lunch some time. Eating there is much cheaper than buying any of the smoked fish, tho. That's crazy expensive, but their fish fry is fantastic.

            1. re: prima

              Agreed, the KaDeWe food floor is definitely worth visiting, even if you're not buying. One can easily fill an hour or so browsing. They have the best Berliners (jelly donuts) around and they're not expensive, so you won't leave empty handed! ;)

              1. re: S_B_Russell

                Agree, the Berliners are tasty, and much better than your average jelly filled donut.
                While visiting Berlin, you might want to keep your eyes open in restaurants, grocery stores and markets for some of the regional specialties such as Koenigsberger Klopse, Eisbein, Kasseler Rippe, Rote Gruetze, Berlin-style potato soup, etc.



                Asparagus (Spargel) season starts in late April,and is a pretty big deal throughout Germany. You might notice some seasonal menus focused on Spargel in restaurants while you're there. Maybe linguafood has some suggestions for the best places to order or buy Spargel.

        2. As already mentioned, you're definitely staying in a good area for food. Lots of great places in X-berg and Neukoelln. Here are a few of my favorites near-ish to where you're staying:

          Markthalle (Pücklerstrasse 34) for my favorite place for schnitzel and friend potatoes - very reasonable prices

          Maria Peligro (Skalitzerstrasse 81) for enchiladas and margaritas

          Mercan (Wienerstrasse 10) inexpensive Turkish home cooking

          Musashi(Kottbusser Damm 102) a cubbyhole of a sushi restaurant - feels like Tokyo!

          Tung Long (Karl-Marxstrasse 59) cheap and tasty Vietnamese

          Falafel and Falafel (on Skalitzer across from the Gorlitzer Bahnhof) really good and super cheap Syrian falafel/shawarma joint

          Taverna Olympia (Emserstrasse 73) a tasty neighborhood Greek restaurant with a super friendly owner who will ply you with lots of free Ouzo!

          California Breakfast Slam (Skalitzerstrasse 54) okay, maybe you're not going to want eggs benedict or pankcakes, but it's my favorite breakfast option on weekends and it's right next to where you are staying

          3 Replies
          1. re: S_B_Russell

            Thanks, looks like Chowhound has the goods again! Does Markthalle sell groceries as well as prepared food, or is it more of a food court? KaDeWe is on the list, even if some of it's going to be outside our budget; it sounds like a great experience. Does Berlin tend to have farmers markets, or is it more of a supermarkets and delis type city? Also, since we'll be making our own breakfast most mornings, where would be good to pick up a bag of ground coffee - are there any good brands or independent coffee stores to look out for?
            Thanks everyone, this is really helpful!

            1. re: babybat

              Markthalle is actually a resto-pub inside an old Kreuzberg markethall, hence the name. But I know there is still an operational markethall in X-berg near Bergmanstrasse:

              Not too sure about coffee, as I usually just buy grounds from the bio market across from the apartment we always rent.

              1. re: S_B_Russell

                KaDWe is great. definately go to Mercan. It won\t beak your budget.