Berlin Food: Favorite Neighborhood Meals Under €10

Cheese Spätzle in Berlin
Time to eat the spätzle, Berlin.

In time for the ITB Berlin travel conference this week, we share some of our favorite Berlin restaurants and dishes that fall into the category of high value. The goal isn’t just to eat well and inexpensively, but to use Berlin food exploration as a compass to get out and enjoy the city’s fabulous neighborhoods along the way.

In the first of our Berlin cheap eats installments, most of our recommendations were under €5 and located in Kreuzberg, where we happened to be living at the time. During our last visit we stayed in Neukölln, but several times a week we cycled across the city, hither and yon, lunch-seeking in the €5-€10 range. This is the result of our food quest. You’ll find some of the usual suspects and a suggestion or two a little off-path. A big thanks to all of our Berlin peeps — you know who you are — for the tips.

Let’s dig in!

Berlin eating at around €5

Azzam

Msabaha (Hummus Variety) at Azzam Restaurant - Neukölln, Berlin
Beautiful bowl of musabbaha at Azzam.

This Lebanese-Syrian hole-in-the-wall became a favorite eating spot of ours in Berlin. Some of the highest quality food for the money in the city. Two people can easily stuff themselves with delicious treats for under €5. Our suggestions include: Manakeesh flatbread (€1) covered in za’atar (a spice blend including thyme and sesame seeds) or cheese with a subtle fragrance of nutmeg; Musabaha (a warm whole chickpea dip) or hummus for €3.50, falafel plate (€3.50), fatteh at €4.50. Everything comes with a boat of fresh vegetables, olives, and herbs plus a bag of pita bread.
Address: Azzam, Sonnenallee 54 (Neukölln)

Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab

Berlin's Urban Food Log at Mustafa's - Kreuzberg, Berlin
Audrey’s really enjoying her Mustafa’s gemüse kebab

You’ll know you’re close when you spot the long line snaking down the street. Not your typical kebab – a spindle of chicken and roasted vegetables is carved up and served with a fabulous mélange of potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad, cheese and sauce. If you’re vegetarian, you can also go for the pure veg option. We usually opted for the durum doner (with chicken) for €3.90 which more than fed the two of us.
Address: Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab, Mehringdamm 32 (Kreuzberg)

Wok Show

Chinese Dumplings at Wok Show - Prenzlauerberg, Berlin
Wok show dumplings in Berlin.

When a Chinese friend (thanks, Yuhang!) recommends a Chinese dumpling place, we take note. When we arrived at Wok Show for a late lunch, mother and daughter were stuffing and folding away. Select from about a dozen dumpling varieties. An order of 20 homemade and fabulously fresh dumplings costs €4.50-€6.50. Temporarily transported us to China and our favorite dumpling experiences there.
Address: Wok Show, Greifenhagener Straße 31 (Prenzlauer Berg)

W Imbiss

Avocado Naan Pizza - Mitte, Berlin
Naan pizza…yum!

Compliments to Henrik of Berlin food rally fame for introducing us to this eatery. This became another favorite spot for its “naan pizzas” — crispy naan crusts topped with vegetarian freshness including combinations of artichokes, guacamole, rucola, sundried tomatoes, and creamed forest mushrooms (€6 and up, big enough to feed two). For a little off-pizza variety, check out the hearty black bean quesadilla (€5).
Address: W Imbiss, Kastanienallee 49 (Mitte)

Heno Heno

Gyu-Don at Heno Heno - Charlottenburg, Berlin
Gyūdon (beef bowl with rice) at Heno Heno.

Authentic Japanese food in this tiny Charlottenberg eatery. Bowls of udon soup and gyūdon (beef bowl with rice) for around €5. Happy stomach, Heno Heno.
Address: Heno Heno, Kantstraße 65 (Charlottenberg)

Toros

Friendly Cook at Toros on Oranienplatz - Kreuzberg, Berlin
Simmering tantuni at Toros in Kreuzberg.

This friendly family-run Turkish food stand on the corner of the park at Oranienplatz specializes in tantuni, an Anatolian-style slow-cooked spiced beef. The durum and bread (which blows the mind after they rub it in the sauce and on the grill) tantuni sandwiches are both delicious and cheap at €2-€3. Don’t go too late at night; once the homemade flatbread (durum) sells out for the day, that’s it.
Address: Toros, Oranienplatz 2 (Kreuzberg)

Dong Xuan Center

Pho Bo (Beef Vietnamese Soup) - Lichtenberg, Berlin

For something a little further afield, check out the Vietnamese market district in Lichtenberg and order yourself a bowl of pho, the Vietnamese soup just about everyone these days has learned to love. A standup bowl of pho bo tai (beef noodle) will run about €6. The bowl above is from the restaurant first on the left from the main artery (with outdoor seating) as you enter the complex.
Address: Herzenbergstrasse 128 (Lichtenberg)

Kuchen Kaiser

Update October 2014: We unfortunately can no longer recommend this restaurant. Kuchen Kaiser changed its menu this year — increasing prices and decreasing options. When we ate there in October 2014 the food had deteriorated considerably. The spaetzle was nothing like its former self. A disappointing meal all around.

If you’re in the mood for hearty traditional German food, make your way over to Kreuzberg to this cute German eatery. Prices are more in the €7-€10 range, but portions are large and can often feed two people. Our favorites include the spaetzle covered with bergkäse and bacon, beef gulash and leberkäse. Rumor has it that they do good cakes and strudels, although we’ve never had the room to get there. Try also the Kreuzberger Molle, a pilsner style beer brewed locally. Highly addictive stuff.
Address: Kuchen Kaiser, Oranienplatz 11-13 (Kreuzberg)

For the Love of Berlin Lunch Menus

In the world of value eating (i.e., the best quality food for your money), it’s hard to beat the lunch menu. Even some high end restaurants will offer quality dishes on a lunch menu for a fraction of the cost of their dinner menu. Here are a few of our favorite Berlin lunch menus for around €5.

Blisse 14

Lunch at Blisse14 - Wilmersdorf, Berlin
A typical €5 Blisse Lunch.

This social enterprise supports people with disabilities and offers up creative and fun two-course lunches for €5 like chicken, mushrooms, peas, cherry tomato and mint over rice with a starter of tandoori-coconut soup. Menus change every week. It’s a bit out of the way in the Wilmersdorf neighborhood, but worth a cycle or metro ride over. Special thanks to Nicole at Visit Berlin for this tip, as we’d never have found this place without it.
Address: Blisse 14, Blissestraße 14 (Wilmersdorf)

Lavanderia Vecchia

An over-the-top cute Italian restaurant decked out in the theme of mama’s laundry. Open kitchen. The daily menu revolves around the whim of the chef and what happens to be fresh. For lunch, the single-course menu runs from €4.50 with a two-course meal setting you back €8. Go early as it fills up quickly. If you want to splurge for a nice dinner, consider Lavenderia Vecchia’s 8-course €39 evening menu.
Address: Lavanderia Vecchia, Flughafenstr. 46 (back courtyard), Neukölln

Vino e Libri

Spaghetti with Mussels - Mitte, Berlin
Lunch menu at Vino e Libri, Berlin.

Bring a book, get a book, and enjoy with a glass of wine. We first went here in the evening as part of our Berlin food rally, but noticed the inexpensive lunch menu and decided to return. The lunch menu changes regularly and starts at €5.50 for dishes like the spaghetti with mussels pictured above. Otherwise, the standard menu starts at €10 for pastas (e.g., homemade pumpkin ravioli) and heads up and over €20 for meat and seafood mains.
Address: Vino e Libri, Torstrasse 89, Mitte

Chen Che Teehaus

Chen Che Vietnamese Taster Menu - Mitte, Berlin
Chen Che Teehaus Lunch Sampler

If you are looking for real Vietnamese food in Berlin, this ought to be one of your first stops. The décor is also fun and beautifully thought out. Lunch menus run €6.50-€8, with taster menus running a bit more. Chen Che also features an extensive tea selection for aficionados.
Address: Chen Che Teehaus, Rosenthaler Str. 13, Mitte

Pizza in Berlin

Papà Pane di Sorrento

Fantastic Pizza at Papa Pane in Mitte, Berlin
Pizza done right at Pappa Pane in Mitte.

If you like Napoli style pizza, this place has your number. Particularly when cherry tomatoes are in season, the sauce is spot on. You’ll speak more Italian here than German. Lunch specials run around €6 with specialty pizzas (our favorite is the Papà Pane — thin crust, chunks of buffalo mozzarella, pomodorini, and big basil leaves) for €7-€9. House wine is decently priced at €4 a half liter.
Address: Papà Pane, Ackerstraße 23 (Mitte)

Gasthaus Figl

Tirol Pizza at Gasthaus Figl - Neukölln, Berlin
Tirol Pizza at Gasthaus Figl

For thin crust traditional Italian and Tyrolian style pizza with bergkäse (German mountain cheese) and speck, head to Gasthaus Figl. Fun atmosphere, pleasant outdoor garden. A short but decent selection of beers on tap. Go early or make a reservation, as Figl fills up quickly.
Address: Gasthaus Figl, Urbanstrasse 47 (Kreuzberg)

Breakfast and Brunch

A.Horn

Breakfast Plate at A.Horn in Kreuzberg, Berlin
Standard mixed plate breakfast at A.Horn.

After Kotti at Kottbusser Tor stopped serving breakfast, it was time to find somewhere new. A.Horn is it, our breakfast and brunch favorite near the canal. Bagels are pretty good, as is the coffee. But it’s the mixed plate flush with tasty jams, fruit, cheese and meat that takes the prize. And they serve a decent weissbier — this and the outdoor setting offer the perfect excuse to drink beer for breakfast.
Address: A.Horn, Carl-Herz-Ufer 9 (Kreuzberg)

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Our question to you, dear Berlin food mavens: What did we miss?

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We’ve taken all our Berlin tips — sites, neighborhoods and cheap eats — and put them into one nifty pdf guide! Click on the image to buy and download!
Berlin guide

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Comments

  1. says

    Did you ever try the California Breakfast Slam while you were in Berlin? I finally checked it out last month and fell in love :D

  2. says

    @John: People are always amazed when I share the cost of our various Berlin eating experiences – not only is the food really inexpensive, but it’s high quality too. Can’t beat that combination!

    @Adam: No, we never tried the California Breakfast Slam during our last visit. I remember seeing signs for it right before we left. Something to add to the list for next time!

  3. says

    You’re making me hungry! I was surprised there was so little actual German food on your list though. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t love all these other things of course, I was just surprised :)

  4. says

    @Bula: I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Berlin. Be sure to also check out our Berlin Cheap Eats Under 5 Euros article for some additional tips.

    @Sabrina: While German food may be Munich’s strength (and a strong point of Bavaria in general), when we think of food in Berlin, we tend to think “world.” With this piece, we aimed to give a sense of the variety and value of eating in Berlin. Also, when we consider what our friends, both German and foreign, eat when they are in Berlin, it’s not often German cuisine. We do mention one place above that specializes in traditional German food (Kuchen Kaiser). You might also want to check out our Berlin Cheap Eats Under 5 Euros piece as there are a few suggestions for currywurst, blood sausage, sauerkraut and some more traditional favorites:
    http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2010/10/best-cheap-eats-berlin/

  5. says

    Makes sense. I never spent much time in Berlin, but I heard that it’s very cosmopolitan, so I guess it’s expected that it’s reflected in the food. And I totally understand why people would eat a whole bunch of pizza and kebab (my two favorites from above :)). What surprised me most in your list were all the Asian dishes. I have never seen that in any other German city to this extent. Very interesting!

  6. says

    @Sabrina: Berlin is becoming more cosmopolitan by the day, particularly when it comes to food. I think the Asian influence comes in part from the East German to Vietnam connection. The Turkish/Middle East connection comes from the old West German guest worker program. Combine all that with Berlin’s openness and size and you’ve got a world city.

  7. says

    Please remind me why I’m going to Buenos Aries at the end of this year and not Berlin? Seriously, wow, I can’t believe what I just read. I mean, muscles and spaghetti for €5.50? By the looks of this post it seems that even a student who earns around €400 a month can afford to eat like a king at least once a day. With such cheap food it makes me wonder what the obesity rate is like in Germany hmmmmm :)

  8. says

    This is some MAJOR deliciousness. I had no idea that you could eat so cheaply in Berlin, either – I’ll be sure to check some (well, most!) of these places out when I eventually make it over there.

    Those dumplings at Wok Show and the breakfast at A.Horn look like they’re to die for! Omnomnom.

  9. says

    What no mention of Currywurst? I would think some street food would have made the list.

    I have admittedly only spent a few days in Berlin in recent years, but I too didn’t realize the amount of international stuff there. Though it is becoming more popular around Germany. I would hope they follow the German ideals I know from Freiburg to use local ingredients and make everything fresh.

  10. says

    @Brandon: I have to say that Buenos Aires’ steaks do beat Berlin’s steaks, but outside of that it’s hard to beat Berlin for the quality and price and diversity of food! Berliners love to walk & bike, so that helps to keep off the kilos :)

    @Waegook: Berlin is pretty special in Europe in that it is a major city, but still manages to keep prices low. This is one of the reasons it still attracts a lot of artists and writers. Hope you have a chance to visit Berlin during your next visit – it really is a fantastic place!

    @Andrew: Since currywurst is such a Berlin institution we covered it in our first Berlin food post (http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2010/10/best-cheap-eats-berlin/). From what we can tell by the taste, many of the places are using fresh and local ingredients. That’s why some of the restaurants listed above have changing lunch menus every day or every week. Also, the Turkish and weekly markets around town keep people stocked with local ingredients and vegetables.

  11. says

    Thank you for a great article. And the photos are great, too, make me feel hungry. I also recommend to include a small place “Hanoi today”. We had a big supper there, and nothing on the menu is more than 6 EUR. My portion was for two people of my size. You can check them out: http://www.hanoi-today.de

  12. says

    Thank you so much for this! We’re going to Berlin for the first time this summer and we will definitely be bringing along these recommendations! I especially appreciate including vegetarian info because it can often be quite difficult to find decent veggie food when travelling. Local hints are the best!

  13. says

    Some of these options look fantastic! Definitely beats Paris prices… Germany’s never been high on my list but this is making me rethink Berlin!

  14. says

    I have always hated German food because it is so dense,fattening and heavy, but wow! These options look totally delicious and healthy too. It looks like you have uncovered some truly remarkable spots in Berlin. I wish I could take you on a trip there to be my tour guide.

  15. says

    @Amanda: So glad this post was timely for your upcoming visit! Berlin should be a pretty easy place to find good vegetarian food as there are so many ethnic options. Enjoy!

    @Edna: Oh, Berlin definitely beats Paris prices on most things…except perhaps wine :) Berlin is very different from the rest of Germany, so even if the country as a whole has never been high on your list I still recommend taking a look at Berlin.

    @Lynn: Berlin’s food scene is quite unique in Germany because it is so ethnically diverse and people are always experimenting with new restaurant concepts. And, it’s still reasonably priced to eat well.

  16. Emma Tameside says

    Great post, Daniel and Audrey… My mouth is watering after looking at all those photos of food! It’s great that you visited the Chen Che Teehaus – we went there last year and found it very reasonably priced. I had the Mi Hoi An and my husband had the Com Chien. We didn’t try any of the tea unfortunately but we were told it is very nice.

    When were you in Berlin? We visited at Christmas in order to get to the Berlin Christmas markets and we had a fantasic time. The food there is amazing and there was a lot of different stalls and shops selling all kinds of meats, honeys, breads, cakes etc. They also served a type of warm beer which was really nice too (sorry, I can’t remember the name of it, but I think it had some herbs in it too).

    Out of all of these meals, which was your favourite?

  17. Lisa says

    You have one breakfast place listed there – I think that’s great, because a lot of cafes in the eastern neighborhoods appear to have very reasonable breakfast dishes for under EUR 6 – one great example is in the Graefekiez in Kreuzberg, a nice cafe called Matildas – http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-matilda-berlin – the “Kleines Fruehstuck” is EUR 5.90, and of course it’s huge, with two kinds of meat, two kinds of cheese, fruit, veggies, all kinds of bread, etc. If you ate everything on your plate you would be full until dinner, I think.

  18. says

    @Emma: Glad to hear that you had a great visit to Chen Che Teehaus – we need to return to try some more dishes. We were in Berlin the last two summers, but hope to be around this December for the Christmas markets. After your description of it, I’m really looking forward to it.

    As for our favorite meal, that’s a tough one. Depends on my mood :)

    @Lisa: Thanks for recommending Cafe Matilda. We’ll have to try it out sometime. Sounds rather similar to the A.Horn breakfast plate.

  19. says

    Thanks for a great post!! I will really save this post for my future restaurant visits here in Berlin. All these restaurants look soo good!

  20. Lisa says

    Mmmmmmm! These look fabulous an I am so happy to see there are plenty of veggie options… they have been noted for my visit to Berlin in Dec! Thanks!

    • says

      You’re welcome, Lisa.

      More and more vegetarian options are popping up around Berlin by the day. Vegan shops, cafes and restaurants too. You will not go hungry as a vegetarian in Berlin!

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