Last week my parents (Cliff and Kathy) visited me here in Berlin. They stayed for eight nights, and flew home yesterday. I got very little work done on my various projects while they were here, so the entire time became a “holiday at home”. This is, apparently, exactly what I needed.
I unapologetically used my parent’s visit to do things in Berlin that I wanted to do, but hadn’t yet got round to. That was for general touristy things, but for dining I unapologetically used them to visit establishments that I’ve been to many times before, to eat food I know they’d like.
So, this blog post is a guide to good eating in Berlin.
Tuesday (the first night) I took my parents to Hotdog World. This is on Bergman Strasse. It doesn’t sound or look like much, but it serves all-organic hotdogs and burgers to die for. I’ve eaten cheeseburgers the world over, and none beat Hotdog World.
On Tuesday (the last night my parents spent in Berlin) I left it up to them to find a place to eat. They decided to return to Hotdog World. I don’t blame them.
Wednesday (the second day) we were in Mitte, in roughly the right area, so I proposed Papa Panne Pizza on Acker Strasse. This place was a favorite of Pola and I, but due to it being far from home, and me being single now, I’ve not visited it for over a year. The pizzas are uniformly amazing, so deciding what to eat is always a long, agonizing process. We ordered two pizzas plus a tomato and garlic bread, and shared them around.
You normally need to call to book a table at Papa Panne, being a very popular pizza restaurant, but we turned up at about 5pm, way before it got busy. It felt strange being there with only two or three other table occupied.
On Thursday we cooked and ate at home. On Friday I ate at the Another Country bookshop, as I do every Friday night. My parents bought food from some stalls at the Karnaval Der Kulturen.
On Saturday we returned to the Karnival for more food. Here we are waiting for barbecued steak. Being a carnival celebrating other cultures, the selection ran to far more interesting items than sausage and steak. Kathy and Cliff told me about fish stalls, Indian food, dough balls, rice dishes, and much more.
I ate crepes with bananas and Nutella. Twice. Once in the rain, once not.
On Sunday, while I had other plans, I sent my parents to a Thai restaurant on Bergman Strasse. I can’t remember the exact name, but I think it’s something simple like “Thai Kitchen”. You order at the counter, and they deliver your food to your table. If you sit in the right place you can see them make your dinner from scratch.
On Monday we ate the Berlin favorite: Doner Kebab! But not just any kebab, the increasingly popular Mustafa’s Chicken and Roast Vegetable Doner Kebab!
Mustafa’s is a kiosk on Mehringdamm, my home street. The first times I walked past it (it’s right next to the Ubahn) I didn’t give it a second glance. Then someone told me it served the best chicken kebab in Berlin. The rest is unhealthy history.
Now the secret is out, and the queue is always stupidly long. I often feel like eating there, but waiting for so long outweighs the tasty benefits.
The people behind us in the queue had taken the train from Steglitz to eat Mustafa’s kebab. Yeah, it’s quite popular. The queue almost reaches back to Curry 36, a stupidly popular currywurst eatery, also on Mehringdamm, currywurst being the other classic Berlin fast food alongside donna kebabs.
Nom nom nom.
That’s it! I have other favorite food places in Berlin, but this covers the basics. Pizza alternatives: sliced pizza from Dolce Pizza, sliced pizza from Ron Telesky, great pizza and bad service at Il Casolare, good pizza with pizza-base-spinning shows close to home at Pizza Parliamento.