As you walk the streets of Berlin, you are just as likely to hear Spanish, English, Turkish, Italian or Vietnamese as you are to hear German. Germany, with its strong economy and job market, is seen as one of the most desirable destinations to move to for people from all over the world – from young Spaniards with two masters degrees but no jobs at home, to Australian baristas who just want a change of scene, to Vietnamese restaurateurs joining family members who moved to the former East Germany in the 1960s. Whilst the wealthier south of Germany attracts the most people, many cannot resist trying their luck in Berlin – there are approximately 400,000 registered foreigners in Berlin at the moment. These people bring not only new languages to the city, but new food and restaurants as well. Here is a guide to some of Berlin’s best non-German restaurants.
Australian – Silo
Gabriel-Max-Straße 4, 10247, Friedrichshain
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 8:30-17:00, Fri:8:30-19:00, Sat: 9:30-19:00, Sun: 10:00-19:00
Australians have a reputation for being down to earth and laid back about everything. Except coffee. About coffee they are serious and heaven forbid if you don’t know the difference between a Flat White and a Cappuccino (“Heaps!”)
Silo is a café run by two Melbournites. It has seriously good coffee, stand out breakfasts and chic décor. Be daring and ask for the Cold Drip Coffee. You will gain the respect of the mainly Australian wait staff. Silo is not open late, so come for breakfast or lunch.
French – Themroc
Torstraße, 183, 10115, Mitte. (+49) 30 2824474
Hours: Mon-Sun 19:00-02:00 (no credit cards)
There are quite a lot of French restaurants in Berlin, which given French/German history, may be surprising. Quite a lot of them are very good. Themroc wins out for novelty though – in this small, very cosy restaurant with an open kitchen there are only 3 dishes on the menu – Entrée, Main, and Dessert (well 4, as they also do a vegetarian main option). The menu changes each day and is always unique, with an eclectic use of ingredients – beetroot risotto with pumpkin and fennel anyone? Call ahead to book and ask what they’ve got that day (just in case).
Italian – Trattoria Libau
Libauer Str. 10, 10245 Friedrichshain. (+49) 30 25768529
Mon-Sun 16:00-midnight (no credit cards)
You will find pizza EVERYWHERE in Berlin – from fancy metre long servings, to small slices to be consumed after a long session in a night club. Not many of them have truffle oil on them though. At Trattoria Libau, a family run Italian restaurant, several of their offerings are topped with this nectar of the gods. The pizza’s are of consistently good quality at this place. They are a great price (all under €10) and they will serve you 1 litre of wine if you ask for it.
Korean – Gogogi
Weinbergsweg 24, Mitte. (+49) 30 55246141
Mon-Fri 12:00-16:00, 18:00-23:00, Sat: 18:00-midnight, Sun: 18:00-23:00
Korean food is so hot right now in Berlin. From only a handful of restaurants, Korean establishments have sprouted like kimchi over the last year or so. One of the newcomers, and certainly the cool kid in the crowd, is Gogogi in Mitte. Somewhat classier inside than your average Korean restaurant, it does the favourites, like bibimbap, to near perfection.