Berlin Ethnic Restaurant Guide

Kerti Kulper • 29 Oct, 2017

If you’re in Berlin and have had your fill of bratwurst, pumpernickel and sauerbraten, it’s surely time to explore the myriad of international cuisines the German capital has to offer. Not sure where to start? No worries – our clued-up locals have shared a bunch of their favourite ethnic eateries to spice up your stay.

1. African cuisine: Langano

Ever tried Ethiopian food? No? Here’s your chance! Nothing beats savoury meat and veggie delicacies piled on a large injera (sourdough pancake). Simply scoop up the food with the injera and eat it with your fingers. Be prepared to share with your friends as everything is served on a large communal platter. Sit back, share, chat and enjoy!

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Photo credit: Dion Hinchcliffe

2. North African-Inspired French cuisine: Cafe Jacques

Cafe Jacques is all about quality, not quantity. You’ll find a straightforward wine list and a North African-inspired French menu with a good mix of meat, seafood and pasta dishes. Jacques often welcomes regulars himself, and local musicians frequently drop by for spontaneous gigs. If you’re in the mood for a special yet wallet-friendly meal, Jacques is the perfect choice. It’s one of the few places where you’re allowed to sit outside after 10 pm.

cafe

3. Middle Eastern cuisine #1: Nil – Sudanesischer Imbiss

Nil adds Sudanese spices to Middle Eastern street food classics, namely shawarma and falafel, and enhances them with homemade peanut sauce. Being located close to the city’s party areas, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite before a long night out, or for a late-night snack. Try the Maniok Fries or the Fried Banana, and be surprised by how tasty a vegan platter can actually be.

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Shwarma. Photo credit: cyclonebill

4. Middle Eastern cuisine #2: Falafel & Falafel

It’s amazing to observe how quickly these guys manage to prepare such perfect falafels. The menu includes meat, vegetarian and vegan options, which are all served with not one, but three utterly delectable sauces. It’s a cosy place and the staff are friendly.

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Photo credit: Alper Cugun

5. Turkish cuisine: Tekbir Döner

Even though Turkish immigrants brought döner kebap (shawarma) to Berlin, it’s as common as currywurst and sold on just about every street corner in the city. Few, however, succeed in giving it such a fine and flavoursome taste as Tekbir. As with other local Turkish eateries, you can choose from a selection of sauces including kräuter (herb), knoblauch (garlic) and scharf (spicy).

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Photo credit: Tekbir Döner

6. Vietnamese cuisine: Hamy Cafe

Hamy is the place to go for not particularly original but damn tasty Vietnamese street food. They offer daily specials, pho soups, and a small selection of lassis and fruit shakes. All plates are loaded with plenty of fresh herbs and veggies, and all meals can be served vegetarian upon request.

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Photo credit: Tim Lucas

7. Tajik cuisine: Tadshikische Teestube

Take an afternoon off and relax in this idyllic oriental-style tearoom. While it only recently relocated to its current address, it has been a local favourite for a long time. The menu offers a few meal options, but the real winner is its selection of teas from all over the world. Before getting comfortable on the pillows, remember to take your shoes off!

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Photo credit: Tadshikische Teestube

8. Japanese cuisine: Musashi

Musashi serves excellent sushi in a space smaller than the average Berlin living room. It’s a highly unpretentious restaurant – the focus is primarily on the food, not on artsy knickknacks that are typically part of the sushi “experience”. If you can’t find a seat, order takeaway and enjoy your meal by the canal.

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Photo credit: Olivier Bruchez

9. Mexican cuisine: Tá Cabrón Friedrichshain

Tá Cabrón is THE place for Mexican food in Berlin. The colourful interiors, music and, of course, the food make you feel as if you’re dining in a real Mexican taquería. The eclectic vintage furniture is the only giveaway that you’re actually in Berlin. You should definitely sample one or two of their tequilas – they have some of the finest Mexican labels that are typically hard to find in Europe.

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Quesadilla. Photo credit: Alper Cugun

 

Opening photo credit: miss_yasmina

Kerti Kulper
Freelance translator and editor at an online women's magazine. A Tallinn gal who previously resided in Helsinki, Brussels and Tartu.

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