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Berlin Cheap Eats: Top 10 Meals Under 5 Euros


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Our list of favorite Berlin cheap eats under €5 is easy on your budget and includes high-quality, flavorful and hearty meals. These include Middle Eastern, Turkish, German, Italian and Asian dishes from a variety of different neighborhoods. So as you explore where to eat in Berlin, you get a sense of the city's diversity in addition to getting to know the local food scene.

berlin cheap eats

During our time in Berlin we've lived in Kreuzberg and in Neukölln neighborhoods, smack in middle of what our visiting friends deemed “little Turkey.” Food was fresh, accessible, brimming with flavor and typically served by folks who took pride in their cuisine, interest in us as human beings, and great pleasure in serving up an experience.

For more of our Berlin foodie recommendations check out our favorite neighborhood meals under €10.

Update August 2020: This article was first published in October 2010 and republished in August 2020 with updates to restaurants, dishes and prices.

Our Favorite 10 Cheap Eats in Berlin

1. Azzam Restaurant: Delicious Middle Eastern Food

Berlin Food, Middle Eastern Restaurants
Beautiful bowl of musabbaha at Azzam.

We discovered this simple self-service Labanese-style (although owned by a Palestinian) restaurant by riding our bikes past it repeatedly and noticing it was always full of people, no matter what time of day. We thought: there must be good reason for those crowds. There was.

Azzam quickly became a favorite eating spot of ours in Berlin, one that we love taking friends to and sharing a bunch of different dishes together so we can all enjoy different tastes. Everyone always comes away with some variation of: “that food was delicious, and I can’t believe how inexpensive it was.” No doubt some of the highest quality food for the money in the city. Two people can easily stuff themselves with delicious treats for under €5.

Delicious cheap Middle Eastern food in Berlin
A hearty and delicious falafel and halloumi plate at Azzam's Restaurant.

What to eat: The falafel and halloumi cheese plate (around €4.50) is a classic that everyone loves (we think Azzam has some of the best falafel in the city). Musabaha (an addictive warm whole chickpea dip) or hummus bowl for around €4. Manakeesh flatbread covered in za’atar (a spice blend including thyme and sesame seeds) or cheese with a subtle fragrance of nutmeg. Fatteh is the ultimate comfort food at around €4.50. Everything comes with a boat of fresh vegetables, olives, and herbs plus a bag of pita bread.

Azzam can get busy around meal times so consider visiting during an off-time or if you come during prime hours just enjoy the buzz of the place and a cup of tea for free from their samovar.

2. Mustafa's: Gemüse (Vegetable) Kebab

Berlin Food, Gemuse Kebab
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 on Mehringdamm. This is not your typical Berlin kebab. Instead of meat, a spindle of chicken and roasted vegetables is carved up and served with a fabulous mélange of potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad, a feta-type cheese and sauce. If you’re vegetarian, you can also go for the pure veg option. We usually opted for the durum (flat bread) döner with chicken for around €4 which is hearty enough feeds the two of us.

Mustafa is a food stand, meaning that it doesn’t have any seating of its own so you’ll need to grab your kebab and eat it on the street. Given the popularity of Mustafa’s it’s worth planning your visit during off-hours to avoid the long line.

Address: Mustafa's Gemüse Kebab, Mehringdamm 32 (Kreuzberg)

3. Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci: Köfte Sandwiches & Turkish Food

Berlin Restaurants, Kofte Sandwich at Gel Gor
A delicious köfte sandwich at Gel Gör, complete with rucola and fresh herbs on top.

Köfte usually means herbed minced lamb meatballs, but Gel Gör does it with a twist by using veal instead. And the result is astronomically good. They charcoal grill the meat just tender; the aroma and taste are both unforgettable. Next up, the bread: perfectly fresh, soft, then (blow my mind) dabbed and toasted on the charcoal grill. The whole thing is topped with salad greens, red onions, arugula (rucola) and mint.

Sauces are also standout: spicy red pepper sauce, garlic yogurt, and a yellow herb sauce. Go for all three. Have them top the whole thing with a dash of sumac and some red pepper flakes (for spice lovers) and your taste buds will go insane.

I'm told the proper way to down a Gel Gör köfte baguette is to drink it with ayran (drinkable Turkish yogurt). However, Gel Gör offers a formidable beer selection featuring prices only a few dimes over prices at a bottle shop.

What to eat: Köfte baguette (3.00€); even bigger köfte spezial (4.50€). Meatatarians take the plunge with the köfte plate.

Address: Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci, Kottbusser Damm 80 (Neukölln). Open 24 hours.

4. Tadim Lahmacun: Turkish Pizzas and Other Specialties

Berlin Turkish Food, Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza)
Lahmacun (Turkish pizza) – fresh, good and cheap.

Lahmacun (Turkish pizza) at its best. A friend who visited likened lahmacun to the Turkish version of a burrito. But it's much more than that. Lahmacun is a rolled, thin flatbread dough topped with an herbed ground meat and baked until crispy. Ask the guys to top it with salad (tomato, flat parsley, onion, lettuce), some hot or yogurt sauce and a bit of sumac, a squeeze of lemon; they roll it up a la burrito. You can also try it with döner meat inside, but we are fans of the lahmacun alone.

Call us purists. Turkish pizza purists.

What to eat: Lahmacun (Turkish pizza) with salad (1.70€) or salad and sauce (2.00€).

Address: Tadim Lahmacun, Adalbertstrasse 98, Kreuzberg.

5. Maroush: Lebanese Food

Berlin Restaurants, Falafel at Maroush
A Maroush Falafel Sandwich, Kreuzberg

Tasty, accessible Lebanese food. Excellent falafel sandwiches stuffed with freshly fried falafel balls, salad and a surprisingly hefty dose of tahini (sesame sauce). Chicken shawarma sandwiches are chock-full of chicken and feature a tuck of French fries. Sounds odd, but the combo works oh so well. The final touch on both sandwiches: the stuffed pita is “sealed” in a sandwich press.

Open late and usually packed.

What to eat: Chicken shawarma or falafel sandwich (€3.50-€5)
Address: Maroush, Adalbertstrasse 98, Kreuzberg.

6a. Tekbir Döner: Best Döner Kebab, Part 1

Berlin Doner Kebab
The real veal döner

Like all good things, by word of mouth, friend of a friend. A tip from an Indian guy in Kreuzberg who had himself been tipped off by a Turkish neighbor. This is how all great döner scavenger hunts begin.

Although the meat on the spindle may look sketchy: rougher, darker than other döner huts, don't fear. Tekbir's meat spindle is stacked with cut veal instead of processed or pressed lamb döner meat. As a result, the texture is very much real meat, like cut steak in a steak-and-cheese. And the taste is the stuff of beautiful, sweet mystery. Maybe some allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg. In any case, it's elegant. The yogurt sauce is tart, as if it's straight ayran, rather than sweetened yogurt or mayonnaise you might find lurking elsewhere.

The whole package is rolled in a Turkish style lavash-like flatbread called a durum.

Best of all, Tekbir is the real deal, real neighborhood, and everyone working and eating there is extraordinarily friendly. They served us free Turkish tea during each visit. It doesn't get much better than that.

What to eat: Durum döner, 3.50€.
Address: Tekbir Döner, Skalitzer Straße 23, Kreuzberg

6b. Doyum Grillhaus Döner: Best Döner Kebab, Part 2

Berlin Turkish Food, Kebabs
Fresh kebabs on the grill at Doyum Grilhaus.

It's always a good sign when a Turkish restaurant is packed with Turkish people round-the-clock. We ordered a simple durum döner where the meat (lamb) is spot on, piled plentifully and topped with lots of fresh salad. Great sauce with a roasted chili taste. The adana kebab (pictured above) looked pretty nice, too. Next time.

Although we opted for a quick kebab to go, this is a proper Turkish restaurant with a delicious looking menu and full seated area.

What to eat: Durum döner (3.50€).
Address: Doyum Grillhaus, Admiralstraße 37-38, Kreuzberg

7. Pazzi X Pizza: Authentic Italian Pizza

Pazzi X Pizza Cheap Eats in Berlin
So many choices of slices of pizza at Pazzi X Pizza in Neukölln.

Finding cheap pizza by the slice in Berlin is easy. However, finding really good, high quality pizza by the slice in Berlin is rare. That's where Pazzi X Pizza just a few blocks away form Tempelhofer Feld in Neukölln comes in. Its authentic Italian thin crust pizzas (the owners are from southern Italy) with high quality Italian toppings will please the pickiest of pizza snobs (I count myself as part of that group). The standard piece (bigger than a regular pizza slice) costs €2.50-€3.00, depending upon the toppings. One is usually enough, but if you're really hungry then get two.

There is always a large selection of different red sauce or white pizza options, all with high quality Italian toppings. This changes all the time so you'll always find something new. You can either eat there with tables inside and outside. Or, take your slices with you to eat as a picnic at Tempelhofer Feld.

What to eat: Some of our favorite pizzas include cime di rapa (Italian greens) with salsiccia (Italian sausage with fennel), cherry tomatoes with ricotta cheese and rucola, roasted eggplant, and prosciutto with ricotta . The classic margarita (tomato sauce with mozzarella) is always a good bet.

Address: Pazzi X Pizza, Herrfurthstr. 8 (Neukölln)

8. Hamy: Southeast Asian Food

Berlin Vietnamese Restaurants
Hamy Thai-Vietnamese fusion

Supposedly Vietnamese, but when a place is serving red curry, I'd say it's Thai. Let's split the difference and call it Southeast Asian fusion or Berlin's version of Vietnamese meets Thai meets cole slaw. Red curry is tasty, features enough spice (as in, they didn't cheap out on the curry paste). And the fresh vegetables and nuts on top are a nice touch.

A big thanks goes to our taxi adventure with Layne (aka, Taxi Gourmet) and TaxiBerlin for introducing us to this place.

What to eat: Chicken red curry or daily lunch special (€4.50 – €6.00).
Address: Hamy, Hasenheide 10, Kreuzberg

9. Rogacki: Hearty German Food

Berlin German Food, Blutwurst and Leiberwurst
Rogacki leberwurst and blutwurst

The vastness and deli-liciousness of this place makes it worth a stop just to look and poke around. But to eat, try the huge hunks of whitefish, the sauerkraut or dive in for the wurst lunch special. “This is the food of freaks,” we were told by a Berliner eating lunch at the next table over. After some explanation, it became clearer: what we were eating – blutwurst (blood sausage) and leberwurst (liver sausage) is only eaten nowadays by enthusiasts. And freak tourists like us.

What to eat: Blutwurst and leberwurst with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut lunch special (4.50€). Break the budget and get a glass of white wine to cut the meat.
Address: Rogacki, Wilmersdorfer Straße 145 Charlottenburg

10. Requisite Berlin Currywurst

Do I think currywurst is the highest quality food going in Berlin? Um, no. But I know it's in the hearts and on the minds of just about everyone visiting. So, here's my take.

Berlin Best Currywurst
Currywurst at Curry 36 in Kreuzberg.

The “best currywurst” argument is a storm in a teacup, but if sausage served with a dusting of curry powder and ketchup sounds like your thing, then it's time for currywurst. In truth and fairness, my best memories of currywurst date back to the early 2000s and in particular, a rain-soaked R.E.M. concert in 2004. But those days — and eating currywurst at every stop from Zoologischer Garten to Nollendorfplatz — are long since over.

These days, the “best currywurst” battle rages between two places: Curry 36 and Konnopke Imbiss. Although I favor Curry 36's marginal generosity with their curry powder and their fries (with a dusting of red pepper powder), I appreciate the less firm sausage link from Konnopke Imbiss.

But like I said above: storm in a teacup.

What to eat: At Curry 36: two currywurst and French fries (4.50€). At Konnopke Imbiss: currywurst and French fries (4.00€).
Address: Curry 36, Mehringdamm 36, Kreuzberg. (If you are a group and want to smorgasbord it, get a gemüse kebab from Mustafa's listed above). Konnopke Imbiss, Schönhauser Allee 44A, Prenzlauer Berg.

Honorable Mention: Türkenmarkt at Maybachufer

It's no wonder that food in Berlin is so good, fresh and tasty. The produce coursing through all its markets is impressive. For a glimpse and taste, check out the Turkish outdoor market (Türkenmarkt) along Maybachufer and the canal in Kreuzberg. It's open Tuesday and Friday afternoons from 12:00-6:30.

Just about everything is sold here, even open-air haircuts. In the food department: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, spices, olives, nuts, cheese and an array of Turkish breads. And for a walk-away comfort food snack, try the gözleme from Chez Su (right side, on the way towards Neukölln) for around €2.

Gluten Free Eating in Berlin (and Germany)

If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance there's good and bad news about gluten free eating in Berlin (and Germany in general). On the positive side, awareness about gluten free needs is rising in Berlin so quite a few restaurants offer gluten free alternatives. On the negative side, a lot of food in Berlin, especially street food, includes bread. It's important to always be careful and ask questions.

To help you navigate food in Berlin and Germany so that you can eat local, but also gluten free and with confidence, check out this German Gluten Free Restaurant Card and Gluten Free Guide to Germany created by our friend, Jodi. The restaurant card explains in detail, using local food names and language, your needs as a strictly gluten free eater, including common problems regarding cross contamination, so that you get the meal you want and need. (Bonus: You can use it when you travel in any German speaking country like Austria or Switzerland.)

© Jodi Ettenberg DBA Legal Nomads 2019

Jodi has celiac disease herself so she understands first-hand the importance of being able to communicate gluten free needs in detail and educate waiters and restaurants on what this means in practice. She created her series of Gluten Free Restaurant Cards in different languages to help celiac and gluten-free travelers eat local with confidence, and without communication problems or getting sick.

Note: These gluten free restaurant cards are not part of an affiliate plan or a way for us to make money. We are extremely fortunate that we can eat everything, but we've seen the challenges of others who are celiac or have food intolerances where every meal can potentially make them sick. These detailed gluten free cards were created to help prevent that from happening and make eating out fun and enjoyable when traveling.


Berlin Travel Resources to Plan Your Visit:

About Daniel Noll
Travel and life evangelist. Writer, speaker, storyteller and consultant. Connecting people to experiences that will change their lives. Originally from the U.S. Daniel has lived abroad since 2001 and most recently has been on the road since 2006. When he's not writing for the blog you can keep up with his adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about him on the About Page and on LinkedIn.

42 thoughts on “Berlin Cheap Eats: Top 10 Meals Under 5 Euros”

  1. I just got back from a trip to Berlin and this list would have been invaluable. Next time I’m going to stay in Kreuzberg and try a few of these places.

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  2. It’s about 10 years since we were last in Berlin so I was interested to see what the cheap eats would be. Smiling a lot about the Turkish contribution! :)))

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  3. Awesome, 1-7 look exactly like the kind of grub you get in Dalston/Stoke Newington, where i’m currently living in London. I eat Gözleme quite a lot and to be honest, never knew what it was called, so thanks! Lahmacun’s are usually about the same price here and I think with all the salad etc I think they’re the biggest bargain of all the cheap eats, plus quite healthy. Shame we don’t get the Currywurst here though 🙁

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  4. For those of you currently in Berlin — I am such a lover of the real Doner.
    I lived in the “American” secctor around Clay Allee. There were Doner imbisses practically on every corner. First the bread was not a pita, it was a duram. It was long enough to roll up all the yummy ingredients, which were lettuce, tomatoes, red cabbage, maybe onions but can’t recall. and thin, crispy lamb shaved from the spit. It was then covered very generously with garlic-yogurt sauce which is “medium” in consistency but very, very garlicky which I love. Then they wrapped all this in a long roll of duram and folded over only on one end. The other end was left open for that first wonderful bite. The whole thing was wrapped in tin foil so you could continue walking with your doner. I got a doner and hopped a train to Frankfurt and everyone who passed by me mentioned I must have doner on board due to the garlic smell. (They were just envious)) I’ve give anything to find those same ingredients here in the USA.

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  5. @Andrea: Kreuzberg — it’s a different world than most of the other neighborhoods that visitors tend to frequent in Berlin. We highly recommend it.

    @Julia & Barry: Having first visited Berlin about nine years ago, we can attest that a lot has changed. As regards Kreuzberg, it’s apparently seen quite a bit of change over the last two years or so.

    @Michael: It was tasty, meat and all. Having said that, as cities go, Berlin is an easy place to be a vegetarian. Access to salad, grilled vegetables, crepes, awesome bread, vegetarian spreads, falafels and all manner of vegetarian Asian food, Berlin is easy street.

    @Sarah: Indeed, it was. And this is only the beginning. We had to cut and pare this list back from 25.

    @Ryan: We agree, lahmacun is possibly the best value of all. Lahmacun is also the sort of thing to eat if you are not looking for a huge portion.

    Glad we could be of service on the term gözleme. Very tasty comfort food.

    Currywurst? Find yourself a good bratwurst sausage and get your hands on some curry powder (should be easy where you are) and ketchup.

    @Pam: Middle Eastern food does to be pretty inexpensive. Mexican food, not so sure. For what you get, it can get expensive…maybe it’s the beans and avocado.

    @Jackie: Thanks so much for your comment and your description of a durum doner.

    There’s a whole discussion regarding the elements of doner (and whether it’s served in a flatbread wedge or a thin durum roll). We tend to prefer the durum you described.

    We too prefer the tangy garlic sauce as opposed to the sweeter, mayo-like sauces showing up.

    Good luck with your search for a genuine durum doner in the USA.

    @Penny: And when you do, you’ll have a handy list of awesome, cheap food in Berlin!

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  6. Never had lahmajo/lahmajun with salad rolled up in it before – sounds great, will have to try it next time I’m in the near East

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  7. Please, please do the post on top bakeries, breakfast and brunch! Would love to see your take on the best grainy German bread, geback, kuchen and whatever it is that Germans eat for brunch.

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  8. Thanks for your comments. I have another challenge. There is a very short video on YouTube entitled Turkish food, Doner Kabab It starts by showing the sign over the front door on this little shop in Rome, Italy but it only advertising. No shop name given. Viewing this, it made me think this was exactly the doner I got in Berlin. I would love for an English speaker who lives in Rome and is familiar with the shops to go by there and make inquiries about the ingredients. What meat is used on the spit? Was it all lamb or do they use beef between the lamb on the spit? Find out what the bread wrap is? Is it purchased or made in the shop? What is in their yogurt-garlic sauce with the right proprtion. I might not be able to return to Berlin but if I can import the main ingredients, I will!

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  9. @Tom: I don’t remember rolled up lahmacun when we visited Turkey, but that’s not to say they don’t do it like the Turkish folks in Berlin. We’d be interested to find out, actually.

    @Casey: I’m afraid we’re probably better on the international and Turkish breakfast and bakery side of the Berlin eating scene. In any event, we will post something and update the comments here when we do.

    @Jackie: Next time we’re in Rome, we’ll have to check it out. I imagine there has to be a doner recipe somewhere online, or at least, an idea of which ingredients go into the making of one. Or, perhaps, doner is like sausage: the end product is good, but maybe you’d really rather not know how it’s made.

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  10. NOTE: The original intent of this piece was to include bakeries, breakfast, brunch and a few gems between 5€ and 10€. But it was simply too long. If there’s interest, we will cover that in a separate piece.

    Oh yes there is interest! I am in Berlin just now and for a few more days – would love to have bakeries and brunch recommendations, even in the form of a draft to my e-mail address if you don’t have time for a new entry 🙂

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  11. To Agathe who said she is currently in Berlin. Please, please find an imbiss that makes Doner Kebab with the large, flat bread -durum and uses a garlic yogurt on top of the salad ingredients. Please learn where the bread can be purchased and if the yogurt is sold in jars. Are the vertical spits made with 100% lamb or does it contain beef as well? I would love to pay you to do this research for me and if you can, find out if the durum is made by each imbiss or can it be ordered from some Turkish bakery. ‘
    I particularly fond of those imbisses on Clay Allee in the former “American sector.”
    I don’t have your personal email address but if you will contact me via my personal email, I would love to communicate further. Thanks!

    Jackie
    [email protected]

    Reply
  12. Thanks for the tip on the Doner Teller! I am too a, staying in Kreuzberg and have been disappointed with the few places I’ve tried so far.

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  13. @Brad: Kreuzberg — fun neighborhood, great food. We are returning to do some work in Berlin in a few days. And I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t in part because of the food. Just a matter of getting a few tips on where to look, particularly for all manner of Turkish food.

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  14. This is exactly what I needed! I am planning my second backpacking trip to Germany this Spring, and since I’m on a very limited budget I’m going to make myself a list of cheap and acceptable eats from all over the country.

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  15. @Eez: In Berlin, this is the way to go. It’s amazing to me when I read elsewhere that Berlin cannot be traveled (or eaten in) on a budget. Simply not true. Safe travels!

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  16. Woah! Berlin looks like every student’s dream come true. Cheap yet nutritious and tasty food.

    Also, external influences definitely give the city’s restaurant culture that extra edge. Sorry Ms Merkel – you were wrong, at least as far as Berlin is concerned.

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  17. @Sagar: Among German and European cities, Berlin is a student’s dream when it comes to food and value eating. So true about once foreign influences of Turkish immigrants from West Berlin and Vietnamese from East Berlin.

    Your note to Ms. Merkel…funny.

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  18. This Vietnamese influence comes as a real surprise. I have traveled across Europe and it is quite common to hear about African and Arab influences but Vietnamese is a first.I think this kind of serves as evidence to all those comments about Berlin being among the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe. Will definitely check it out sometime in the near future.

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  19. @Sagar: The Vietnamese influence is an artifact of the Communist era. It’s the same in Prague…large Vietnamese communities. In some cases, they came over on educational exchanges, in other cases they came over to work and pay off Vietnam’s debts. Then they stayed.

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  20. This makes my mouth water! lol
    wonder if there is also such foods available in Dusseldorf? Berlin is too far away from my place, oh god!

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  21. @Josie: I don’t know if currywurst is a “must”…particularly when I think on the dozens of other recommendable eating experiences in Berlin.

    This also reminds me that meat in general, sausage in particular, is difficult to make it look good. It’s usually gray, greasy, etc. This discussion reminds me of this article we wrote about photographing food.

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  22. Everything looks “interesting” – good would actually be the wrong word to describe it I would say 😉 I still haven’t tried the currywurst – feels like a must though!

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  23. @Josie: If you do give currywurst a try, go to Curry 36 in Kreuzberg. There’s nothing worse than bad currywurst sauce 🙂 Hope you enjoy some of the non-sausage items on this list 🙂

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  24. Excellent choices here (I live round the corner from Gel Gor) and Tekbir is one of the best doners, just pipped by Imren. There’s a new street food party right on the river Spree launching this summer though, Bite Club.

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  25. @Tommy: You live in a fun kiez, just around the corner from Gel Gor. Another great thing about Gel Gor is that it is open 24 hours a day – always good to have that as an option for a late night snack. I’m glad to see more street food coming to Berlin. Maybe this will be the next big place for food carts?

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  26. awesome tips.. I am now in Berlin.. and I am hungryyy! 🙂 Will definitely look into all those hot eats. Already started yesterday at Imbiss for naan pizzas, then Saigon for the mains then Mani Restaurant for dessert! Thanks for the tips:)

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  27. Oh my goodness I’ve just read through this whole post and can’t wait to get back to Berlin to try some of these spots out. It’s such a lovely city isn’t it? Really love the choice and variety and as a vegetarian loads of options too. Now I’m just hungry!

    Reply

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