Traditional Berlin Food

In order of preference.

  1. Döner Kebab

Many of you will be outraged to know that before I ventured on my year abroad to Berlin I had never consumed a kebab in my life. I know what you are thinking. Having seen greasy large brown slaps of meat being twisted around on a stick and heard that döners in Leeds are “regrettable”, I just never bothered. Until now…


Alas, a young, inexperienced kebab virgin stood in line at Mustafas Gemüse Kebab. This shed like structure had a large queue. After an hour and a half wait in sub-degree temperatures, I had lost all hope. Hangry Anna had arrived. ‘I don’t even like kebabs’ I exclaimed to my two-enthusiastic kebab-experts – how wrong I was.


Armed with beer in one hand and €2.90 in the other I ordered my kebab. My face and hands were pressed up against the glass. Whilst they toasted the wrap in garlic butter, succulent meat was carefully sliced off a red-pepper infused hunk of chicken. The wrap was then filled with fresh salad, an assortment of roasted veg, three special sauces (2 creamy, 1 spicy). The juicy seasoned chicken was then tossed in with a sprinkle of feta and a squeeze of lemon juice. The explosion of flavours in this kebab is to this day indescribable.



  1. Spätzle

These floury, eggy noodles of delight come in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of sauces. Spätzle is Germany’s combined answer to pasta, noodles and dumplings. Each piece is hand-crafted, giving each dish its own individuality. The noodle is then boiled and then fried in butter, to give it that soft crunchy texture.

What endlessly amazes me about spätzle, is the pure diversity of it. I first tried it in a gravy-like sauce to accompany schnitzel (see no. 4). Next I tried it in a cheese sauce with onions, ham and mushroom. Then, Spätzle Express delivered the mother of all spätzle: spinach infused shapes with pancetta, sage and rocket. I couldn’t recommend this dish more, and it is easy to make at home!

  1. Currywurst

Germany is famous for its sausage or ‘Wurst’. Berlin is famous for its Currywurst, since the special sauce received a patent in 1959. I have never been a fan of curry, curry powder or curry sauce so I was incredibly apprehensive about my first German sausage.

It took me three months to make it to the queue for Curry 36. As I stood there, nerves took hold of me as I reminisced my awful encounters with curry. Having conquered my fear, I ordered a Currywurst. In front of me lay a sliced crispy seasoned sausage swimming in pureed tomato ketchup topped with paprika and curry like spices. This took sausages and ketchup to a whole new level – all for less than €2.



  1. Schnitzel

During my first weekend in Germany, I headed to a small town in the South. Here we sought out a famous Schnitzel restaurant. We feasted on spätzle and schnitzel: a fried, tenderized meat with breadcrumbs – we’ve all had it. It’s delicious.


Written by Anna Wirth – Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany


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