Stretching from Checkpoint Charlie to the Spree River, Kreuzberg boasts a vibrant art and counter-culture scene, as well as a plethora of restaurants that reflect the area’s demographic diversity. From smoky barbecue stands to dingy little restaurants to brightly decorated Indian eateries, there’s something for almost every resident to enjoy.
Often referred to as “Little Istanbul”, Kruzberg has a kebab shop on almost every corner. If you’re only interested in the best, check out Konak Grill, Adana Grillhaus and Hasir (see below), where D?ner Kebab is said to have been invented. For a more relaxed culinary experience, head to the canalside and the area south of Kreuzberg near Bergmannstrasse.
Jolesch is a beautifully decorated Austrian restaurant, recommended by most guidebooks and a local favourite, with parquet floors, mahogany tables and sparkling chandeliers. It’s known for its Austrian staples – schnitzel, meat pies and pancake soup – but delve deeper into the menu and you’ll find dishes such as stuffed ravioli, octopus and foie gras. Be sure to save room for the Kaiserschmarren: caramel pancakes with plum sauce.
Two-Michelin-star chef Sebastian Frank puts a modern spin on Austrian cuisine at this canal-side restaurant. Despite the awards and beautiful decor, it attracts a down-to-earth crowd and even the occasional dog (pets are welcome). The menu is typical Austrian fare, mostly vegetarian, with products sourced from local farmers. The tasting menus (five, seven and nine courses) are cleverly paired with wines from Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Croatian coast.
Volt is located on the Paul Lincke Causeway, near the Turkish Market and numerous street markets. It’s very cool, with soaring ceilings, polished brick walls, golden lights and seating spread across two levels. You can choose to order or choose from a fixed menu and enjoy a rich and beautifully presented combination of dishes. Allow plenty of time to arrive as service can be a bit slow.
Ottorink is one of the best places to sample German wines in Berlin, more of a wine bar than a restaurant. It attracts an eclectic and chatty crowd, with couples and large groups mingling in a relaxed atmosphere. To pair with Rieslings and Sp?tburgunders, you can order snacks like olives, cheeses, cylinders and sliced sausages from the kitchen. Once you’re done pretending to be a sommelier, you can buy a bottle of wine to take home with you.
It was here, in the heart of “Little Istanbul”, that pitta bread was allegedly first used to cut lamb. Since then, the popularity of D?ner’s lamb kebabs has grown exponentially, but the restaurant remains a leader in Turkish cuisine and is popular with tourists. Guests come for the grilled lamb chops, rich hummus, gooey baklava and informal, cheeky service, which can get a little iffy on a busy night.
In the past, it’s been a cinema, a Shisha bar and even a popular club for punkers, but it’s been transformed into an elegant French-inspired restaurant. Decorated with dark carved wood, chandeliers and the Swiss owner’s private art collection, you can choose from a set menu divided into vegetarian and non-vegan options. Despite the Michelin stars and sophisticated décor, the atmosphere here is relaxed.
K?penicker Stra?e 174.
It’s only when you walk past a place like Curry 36 that you realise the importance of sausages in German society. On any given night, you’ll find a colorful line outside this sausage stall, from taxi drivers and nightclub owners to men in uniforms and suits. They all come for the Rostbratwurst, Wieners, Schnitzels wrapped in curried ketchup and mayonnaise, and the golden fries and potato salad. Even Angela Merkel has been here…. But it’s really hard to imagine.