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Berlin Delicacies You Have to Try

  • 70 Jahre Currywurst

    Berlin's most popular fast food, the Currywurst.

  • Döner Kebap (3)

    The döner kebab is a perfect example of the fusion of German and Turkish cuisine.

  • Pfannkuchen

    Pfannkuchen, Berlin's version of a doughnut, can be found at most bakeries in many varieties.

  • Döner Kebap (2)

    Falafel are a favourite at Berlin's kebab shops and Turkish, Syrian and Lebanese restaurants.

  • Buletten

    Buletten, sometimes spelled Bouletten, are a specialty of Berlin home cooking halfway between a meatball and a hamburger patty.

  • Currywurst-Bude am Savignyplatz

    Small snack stands all over Berlin sell currywurst, buletten, bratwursts and drinks.

Berlin cuisine is best known for kebabs, currywurst and the like, but it also has other delicacies in store.

When it comes to the specialties Berlin cuisine has to offer, many people first think of home cooking, rustic pub fare and greasy fast food. Certainly, these things are part of the German capital's food culture, but multicultural influences and more modern eating habits have long since expanded Berlin's culinary horizon. Discover our list of must-try specialties that Berliners like to eat and drink.

Pfannkuchen (Berlin Doughnuts)

Although their German name translates to "pancake" in English, these round, deep-fried pastries have little in common with the American pancake or the French crêpe. Pfannkuchen, or "Berliners" as they are called elsewhere in Germany, are a variety of doughnut traditionally filled with plum or strawberry jam. They can be found in most if not all bakeries in Berlin in a huge variety: dusted with powdered sugar, glazed, filled with vanilla or chocolate custard or even egg nog.

Mate Tea

Fizzy Soft drinks made from the South American yerba mate shrub are extremely popular in the German capital. They are famous and infamous, especially as the fuel of start-up culture, and are part of the standard assortment of every late-night bar. The increased caffeine content give the drink a stimulating effect, but the sugar content is lower than that of cola, for example. When going out, Club Mate mixed with liquor is a popular drink among Berlin's younger party crowd.

Falafel and Shawarma

Middle Eastern street food is extremely popular in Berlin. Falafel - crispy chickpea balls - and the spit-roasted chicken known as shawarma are available freshly made on every corner. At restaurants, falafel and shawarma are usually served with a variety of salads, roasted vegetables and sauces, kebab shops offer them in a practical take-out version wrapped in bread. The only question left is: hummus, garlic or hot sauce?

Döner Kebab

A mainstay among Berlin's favourite dishes, döner kebab can justifiably be called a Berlin institution. The döner as we know and love it is even said to have been invented in Berlin: In 1972, Kadir Nurman put the juicy grilled meat from a skewer into a piece of pita bread for the first time. Walking around the city, you'd think every block had at least one kebab stand, all of them competing for the title of Berlin's Best Döner. Even though the German-Turkish fast food enjoys popularity all over Germany, Berliners are convinced that real döner kebab as it should be only exist in their city.


Halfway between a roll and a croissant, this baked speciality has many fans in Berlin, especially in the eastern part of the city. Splitterbrötchen are soft, slightly sweet pastries with a particularly crispy, "splintery" crust, which is obtained by adding butter to the finished dough. The speciality is most likely to be found in traditional bakeries that still make their own bread and pastries freshly every morning.


Eisbein is a hearty, cured pork knuckle and a well-known part of classic Berlin cuisine. In contrast to the crispy baked knuckle of pork popular in southern Germany, the texture of the softly cooked pork rind takes some getting used to. The traditional side dishes served with Eisbein are mushy peas and sauerkraut. This strange dish is mainly available in restaurants serving traditional Berlin home cooking.

Berliner Luft

"Berliner Luft" can be understood to mean two things. The literal translation "Berlin air" refers to the famously unique atmosphere of the capital. The second meaning refers to a liqueur with an intense, sweet taste of peppermint. Berliner Luft is popular among old and young Berliners and is the staple shot order at many pubs in the capital.


Many German cities claim to be the birthplace of the currywurst but Berliners know, of course, that the currywurst was invented here in Berlin by Herta Heuwer some time in the 1940s or 50s. Her sausage stand was located on a street corner in Charlottenburg. This classic snack consists of a grilled sausage with or without casing is topped with a spicy curry tomato sauce. Most currywurst stands have varying spice levels ranging from mild to fiery hot.


Buletten are another staple of Berlin cuisine. You can get these juicy meatballs on almost every corner: in snack bars, in pubs and in traditional restaurants. As a fast food, they are usually served in a bun with ketchup or mustard, while Berlin home cooks like to serve them with mashed potatoes and mushy peas or fried onions.

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Last edited: 23 May 2023