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Jul 4, 2011 07:41 AM

Quick trip to Berlin on a budget: Can you please review my choices and suggest others?!

Hi Berlin Chowhounds,
I'm leaving Friday for a quick family trip to Hamburg and Berlin. My sister and niece live in Hamburg so we are good to go there, but we're also taking a short trip to Berlin for 4 days. We rented an apartment on Ruppiner Straße, near the Bernauer U-Bahn station. I've perused the board and made note of Mercan, Jolesch, Prater Garten and Blaues Band. And Konnopke’s Imbiss for currywurst.
Any other suggestions for 5 women (two teens) on a fairly limited budget? I'd like to stick to German/Turkish cuisine as much as possible, Any gems in our neighborhood that we should look for?

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  1. Instead of Blaues Band, I'd go to Renger-Patzsch. It's further away, but fab (modern regional & seasonal German) food for better prices.

    Konnopke's is overrated. If you want to go there for the experience, do it, but don't expect a good currywurst. Instead, check out Curry Baude at Gesundbrunnen, or Bier's Curry & Spiesse @S-Bahn Friedrichstrasse.

    Another German place in Prenzlauer Berg is Oderquelle, tho I haven't been there in a long time.

    Zum Schusterjungen on Danziger is very cheap and offers more traditional (heavier) German cuisine.

    Happy eatings!

    1. The Prater Garten is fine for beer, but I find their food to be over-priced and only okay. I always recommend the Markthalle in Kreuzberg for inexpensive German food - great schnitzel and beer, plus the service is friendly and the interior is old school Berlin. http://www.weltrestaurant-markthalle....

      You may also want to consider the Schwarzwald Stuben, as it's not far from where you are staying and the food is pretty good - although their schnitzel pales in comparison to Markthalle.

      1. These are all great suggestions, thanks so much. I will be sure to report back and let you know where we ended up and what we thought!

        9 Replies
        1. re: sistereurope

          You stated German and Turkish, however, this is a great restaurant with great prices. Try Vapianos. There is one location in Potsdamer Platz which I have visited and I believe another location. It is a trendy place for pizza, pasta, and salads. Nice selection of wines and then coffee and dessert are great too. See the website:

          1. re: sweetteach

            I'm sorry, but Vapiano is a very mediocre pizza and pasta chain. There is TONs of better pizza, pasta, and wine to be had all over the city, and closer to where these people are located.

            1. re: linguafood

              That is your opinion. The one I visited in Potsdamer Platz was quite tasty and quick. Also affordable. I visit the location in Nurnberg, occasionally, and it is also very good. Again, this is totally subjective. For a quick lunch or snack, Vapianos is fine.

              1. re: sweetteach

                Well, yeah - my personal opinion of Vapiano is actually much, much worse... but I held back '-)

                The fact of the matter is that Vapiano is a national chain, and I'd be hard-pressed to recommend some corporate crap place over the many fantastic, cheap, and -- most of all -- unique restaurants Berlin has to offer. YMMV.

                1. re: linguafood

                  I agree with Lingua - Berlin has way too many great indepent places to eat at to recommend visiting a chain.

                  In P-Berg, the two places I always go for pizza are Il Due Forni and Pizza Nostra - both are way better than any chain restaurant.

                  1. re: S_B_Russell

                    Yep. Due Forni, or even that foccacia place on Fehrbelliner.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      I try to avoid chains as much as possible, especially when traveling (well, except for work lunches, I avoid them at home too!). And my philosophy when traveling is to try to focus on the local specialties. I know that there is some good to be found Turkish food in Germany, which is why I included that, but mostly I want to sample German treats. At least as long as my sister, who lives in Germany, lets me.I know she' s always seeking new and different places that DON"T serve anything wurst! :) We're also meeting up with an Italian friend so maybe Italian isn't what she's up for. But maybe my sister can go off to Due Forni without us...she's always up for a good pizza and really misses good Tex-Mex and Maryland steamed crabs.

                      Leave Friday, will be sure to report back on my impressions of Berlin (and Hamburg if we eat out there).

                      1. re: sistereurope

                        Mexican, you say? Check out Maria Bonita in P-Berg or Maria Peligro in Kreuzberg (same owners) for tasty Mexican food, or, for burritos, visit Dolores in Mitte.


                        1. re: S_B_Russell

                          Ohhhh yeah. Maria Bonita!!!! Awesome tacos & quesadillas!!!!

        2. Thanks again for your help Berlin hounds! I'm late in reporting back to say that through a series of unfortunate events like getting lost as well as the pitfalls of traveling with a large group, we never made it to most of the recommended places (including Renger-Patzch, which I really wanted to try, boo!).
          But, we did have a really good super cheap fun meal at Mercan...I liked it a lot. My Germany based sister was craving a hamburger so we tried to go to the Bird one night, but it was packed! We ended up that night at some tapas place in Prenzlauer Berg...I can't remember the name, but it was ok, again, not bad, but not super. (good wine tho) We also got lost on our way to Schwarzwald Stuben and my hungry companions made me stop at another German place on the same street before we found bad that again I forgot to note the name, but it was just ok. Not horrible but not great. Oh well, the beer was good!
          We did stumble across a chow-worthy place in Mitte, after visiting the Ritter Sport shop. My sister had found it last time she was in Berlin when she stopped a truck driver to ask where she could get some good food in the midst of high priced/tourist traps. He directed her to a nondescript place called Cafe 4 You, which just happened to have some yummy inexpensive Russian food. We had an assortment of pelmeni and blini. It was a nice surprise considering the area. Here is the address: Mohrenstraße 12, Berlin
          So, thanks again for your help. I loved Berlin and hope to go back some day to try some of the places I missed! It's a great city.

          4 Replies
          1. re: sistereurope

            Glad to hear you had a good time and acceptable eatings. As for The Bird -- I probably should've mentioned that it's damn near impossible to get a seat w/out a rez, and one that needs to be made well in advance.

            You'll have good reasons to return!

            1. re: linguafood

              I love how they serve the beers in traditional cups too, this photo is during my visit to "Henne" if the Bird (Chicken) is the same spot your referring to?

              1. re: Hypnotic23

                The Bird is The Best Burger restaurant in Berlin.

                Wirtshaus Henne has the best fried chicken. Great Bavarian beer, yes.

                1. re: linguafood

                  My friend in Germany said this spot is a must:

                  Mutter Hoppe