“Ich bin ein Berliner” is what Kennedy famously said in West-Berlin in 1963. All that is left from back then are the ‘Berliner’, which are actually pancakes. I often wonder if Kennedy know that he said: “I am a pancake”.
I didn’t grew up directly in Berlin, but not far away and saw the city change from a just reunited German capital until the ultra hip artsy city that it is today. Berlin isn’t on many foodies’ lists, but the city has actual a lot to offer. Many immigrants from Turkey, Italy, Greece and other places introduced food to Berlin that locals ended up loving – that same counts for me. Here are some local food travel tips (with some untypical choices).
This has to be number one on the list. The Döner Kebab is actual from Berlin. Although there exists a similar version in Turkey, the way Döner is served is adapted to the German taste. A typical Döner comes with a cut open piece of Turkish bread, filled with cabbage, salads, veal, chicken and a herb or garlic sauce. Some vendors have even gone a step further and created a chocolate version.
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No joke – Greece is in a big crisis. If you have been following the news and you will love the irony the following story. Greek immigrants have already come to work and live in Germany since the 1960s. The Greek cuisine is therefore and easy, delicious and cheap option in the city. One shop owner (Restaurant Z) has created an entire around the Greek Crisis.
Dishes include ‘Tsipras’ Favourite’, ‘IMF Calamari’, ‘Troikaminator III’ and ‘Schaeublexit Platter’. Especially the latter, which is dedicated to German’s finance minster, is a hit with the crowds.
3. Pizza Alla Grande Berlino
Italians in Berlin have, similarly to the Greeks, come already decades ago in Germany and Berlin. Ask any German kid about what their favourite food is and they most likely will say pizza or spaghetti. Pizza Alla Grande Berlino is located in Berlin’s trendy Prenzlauer Berg and serves pizzas that are longer than 1m. Yes, exactly – 1m.
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Definitely a favourite among locals and, like the Döner, was created in Berlin. Strangely it hit the local taste buds, although curry isn’t really a popular spice at all. Throughout the city there are many places the offer the meaty treat, but one of the best ones you can find along the Kurfürstendamm, which is one of Berlin’s iconic streets.
That’s the one that Kennedy got wrong. To be fair though, there are two names for this snack. Some call it Berliner and other Pfannkuchen. The latter translates literally into pancakes, which can sometimes confuse both foreigners and locals. Either way – you can get one of those at almost every corner, as every bakery offers them. If I had to pick one thing, then this would be my taste of Berlin.
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