Skip to Content

Over the last decade, Berlin has gone from 10 Michelin-starred restaurants to 25. Above, one of the creative desserts at Tim Raue, which has two stars.

Essential Berlin

Article by Jacob Muselmann 08.15.2018 Photography by Line Klein

Since the fall of the wall 29 years ago, Berlin has had a way of rediscovering and surprising itself. Now, one of the world’s most creative cities has turned its eye to everything food — from mom-and-pops to pop-ups to festivals and a surge of organic cuisine.

The emergent spirit of Berlin’s food scene is realized in spaces like the Markthalle 9 market, a rare survivor of the bombings of World War II that now purveys a marvelous selection of world cuisines, such as barbecue, tapas and vegan Nepalese. There’s also ice cream by local favorite Rosa Canina, which uses organic ingredients and no artificial flavors.

 

Infarm, a startup specializing in urban vertical farming, grows rows of purple-lit herbs that end up on the shelves of bargain supermarkets and the tables of award-winning restaurants like Tim Raue. “Berlin is quite progressive when it comes to urban farming, and the population demands local food,” says co-founder Osnat Michaeli. “You can feel excitement, innovation and motivation everywhere.”

 

The African Food Festival, co-owned by Juice Owusu, is one of many internationally focused smorgasbords annually waltzing through the city. This year’s edition featured blowfish, zebra, chicken, plantains and pots of “Afritos,” a vivacious vegan portmanteau of kidney beans, cabbage, rice, tamarind and mango.

 

Along the Maybachufer Canal in Kreuzberg, the biweekly Turkish market shows evidence of a vibrant immigrant community that’s brought with it a staple nearly as ubiquitous as currywurst: the streetside döner kebab.

 

A new class of worldly expat eaters, drawn in by the city’s coolness and affordable way of life, has brought with it new cuisines and energy. They come to places like Pauly Saal, which is no exception to the astonishing array of high-class dining that now pervades the city.

 

A single mother of two, Eva Langhorst was out in front of the food truck craze when she started Mr. Whippy, a froyo stand on wheels, in 2012. For her, Berlin’s “poor but sexy” status can make business difficult, but it has its pluses. “Everyone just thinks, ‘I will give it a try. What do I have to lose?’”

 

Other Articles You May Like


The Shikumen of Shanghai

In Shanghai’s lane communities, traditional architecture — and a more traditional way of life — has survived the wave of modernization.

Read More

On the Scent

A daring bartender in Berlin serves up fragrance-inspired cocktails - and he clearly has a nose for success.
 

Read More

All by Yourself

Solo travel doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking. Here are the best places to travel alone.
 

Read More

Plan Your Stay in Berlin


  • Berlin

    Location Berlin, Germany

    Experience A striking hotel in the vibrant Potsdamer Platz quarter.

    • Fantastic views of the Tiergarten
    • Minutes from historic Berlin attractions
    • An exceptional on-site restaurant