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Sometimes having a lust to travel (and a love of great food and wine) is a hard passion to satisfy on a budget. Whilst Berlin is always a place we associate with interesting or thought-provoking sights, its biggest surprise has to be its expansive food scene. With so many delicious choices, Berlin is the perfect place to take a city break on a budget. If you are heading out I highly recommend you take the time to search out what Berlin has to offer in the food department, and here are a few suggestions, myself and the Don’t Be a Stranger team recommend to whet your appetite!
Zola’s is a busy restaurant hidden in a cute courtyard serving up the freshest and most delicious pizzas around. Every pizza is made in the traditional Neapolitan style. They are fresh and cooked for no more than 90 seconds in their huge, wicked hot pizza oven in the centre of the restaurant. A small menu means quality is kept, with just enough options to make you double think before you order, but at €9 a pizza, it's hard to say no to ordering a few. Zola’s doesn’t take bookings as they get incredibly busy, however with their pizza ready so quickly, you will never have to wait too long for a table.
Rissani is an absolute goldmine find for delicious food on a tight budget. Tucked away, around the corner from a strip of amazing good value restaurants, is the falafel and kebab place of dreams. Ample choice on the menu, I highly recommend you order their special ‘sharing plate’, which boasts all its most popular dishes on the menu and for only €9. Within 5 minutes you will be handed a huge plate stacked with falafels, hummus, kebab meat, chips, salad, halloumi, wicked hot spicy sauce, tangy garlic sauce and some soft warm pittas on the side. Between two it’s a super filling and dirt cheap dinner, which means you’ll still have some money to go grab a couple of drinks up the road - total bargain.
If you find yourself in Berlin on a Thursday night, make sure you clear your dinner plans to head to Kreuzberg for their famous food market. Kicking off at around 5pm, this beautiful hall hosts a huge variety of food and drink stalls - your only problem will be deciding what to get. Play the tactical game and scope out all the options before deciding what to have. There is something for everyone with endless vegan, veggie and meat filled options from tapas to cheesecake, or pasta to tacos. All washed down with a glass of wine (starting at €2) from one of the many bars dotted around the venue, it’s a perfect experience for any foodie.
If you can’t make it to Markthalle’s Thursday delights - fear not! Mauerpark Market has got you covered every Sunday. Spend your afternoon rummaging through the thrift market for hidden treasures and drop by the infamous karaoke sessions for some local, and brave tourist entertainment. Their food stalls range across the globe including traditional German, Spanish, Chinese, French and Polish delights, making your chilled Sunday that little bit more interesting and delicious.
Sometimes only something sweet will do, and you’re in luck if you stumble across Zeit Für Brot. This beautiful artisan bakery make some of the best bread and cakes in Berlin and what separates it from the rest is that its in-house bakery makes everything with 100% organic ingredients. Their standout offering however, has to be the soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls. Go traditional with their classic bun, or expand your mind to their more creative flavours such as rhubarb, maple and walnut or white chocolate and cherry.
It’s normal to always be under the impression that good sushi would always be expensive, until we found Sushi Cube after a morning of sightseeing. With a huge amount of choice, it will take you a while to narrow your options down, luckily they provide their own set ‘menus’ to help you decide. Labelled 1-10, each menu is a plate which has a selection of different sushi dishes and a side of a spicy miso soup, with prices ranging from €4-6. However, with 8 California rolls costing no more than €3, you could easily create your own cheap feast, and be totally stuffed by the end. Not to mention you can pick up half a litre of wine for a very reasonable €7, (and cheap decent wine is pretty much the way to our hearts).
Whilst spending a few days in Berlin, it almost seems wrong to not have at least one currywurst experience. After seeing a few sights in the Mitte area, take a trip to Curry at the Wall. At first glance, it looks like any other fast food place, however, Curry at the Wall quite uniquely has a view of part of the old Berlin Wall. Being perfectly placed, once you’re done fuelling up on the traditional curried sausage, you can also walk across the road and explore the Topographies of Terror exhibition. Tourist attractions aside, for €7.90 you could get a plate of their traditional currywurst, chips and a beer, and it genuinely fills you up for the rest of the afternoon of sightseeing. Bonus for all our vegan fans out there, this year they have also introduced a vegetarian and vegan option, so you can get your traditional German food experience no matter your preference.
Previously a literal toilet (we’re not joking), Burgermeister is the perfect joint to pick up a cheap, greasy, and totally delicious burger. Their takeaway-style restaurant has a simple menu, from a classic cheeseburger, veggie patties, to those who want to up their game and tackle a burger filled with double meat, double cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce and jalapeños. A selection of fries, cheese fries or chilli cheese fries are also the perfect accompaniment, all washed down with a beer costing no more than €2.20, what’s not to love? Their most expensive burger is a mere €7.30, but the rest weigh in around the €4/5 making this the perfect cheap and cheerful meal.
You will be able to find Mustafa's thanks to the long queues of people hoping for a sandwhich winding around the block. If there is one thing to look for in judging if a place is worth the wait, its the amount of people willing to stand in line. Not just your traditional kebab, Mustafa's is famous for its take on a Döner Kebap stuffed full of roasted veggies, chicken, salad and finished off with feta and a squeeze of lemon. Vegetarians amoung us, opt for their halloumi version and remember to take cash as they don't accept cards. Most days expect to wait at least half an hour to get your hands on a Kebap, but as many reviews will tell you, it is worth the wait.
Be it fired-up pizzas or fresh-as-you-like falafel, Berlin’s cheap food game is strong. There is something for everyone and it suits all budgets. So wether you came for the culture and fancy some lunch, or are on a food tour city break, you are sure to leave with a full stomach and a healthy wallet.