Well, your main problem this year has a name: lunch. The
bad news is that you don't get it nice and ready, cooked by the organizers
with their loving hands. The good news is that you can cater yourself with
what your stomach is in the mood for. Well, some of you missed this wonderful
chance by booking tickets for the Humboldt Mensa. In this case all you
have to do is walk out the conference room and walk into the Mensa. Inside
the Humboldt main building there is also a Cafeteria which offers sandwiches,
Wurst and other amenities. For those who want to get some fresh air, although
you could in principle pick up the first S-Bahn and go anywhere you want,
I suggest to stick around the Humboldt Main Building, i.e. Mitte, to get
something quick and not too expensive. The closest places are Friedrichstraße
Bahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Gendarmenmarkt
and some of the places around Oranienburger Straße
and Hackescher Markt. As a rule, besides Wurst
Imbiss, they all offer some vegetarian dishes. If on the other hand you
are on a hurry and want to grab something on your way, then Kebab&Currywurst
is your thing...
Walking out the back of the conference site, right across
the little yard, you will find yourself below the railway track on Georgenstr.
Starting from your left and going along the street on the right you'll
see under the railroad, alternating with antiquity shops, many places with
tables outside which offer sitting lunch menus at very reasonable prices.
As you go further, you get to Friedrichstr. Railway Station where in the
day time many quick snack places (Imbiss) offer a wide range of good and
cheap food (most of them are closed on Sunday). Behind it, on Schiffbauerdamm
and along Albrechtstr., some pricey but nice restaurants mix with more
convenient cafes'. Finally, back on Friedrichstr., going from the station
towards Unter den Linden and Branderburger Tor some other fast food places
and cafes are to be found.
12 Apostel: Italian restaurant. Changing
set menu and half price for pizza at lunch.
Deponie: known for live music at night offers good lunch menus at reasonable price.
Restaurant Zur Nolle: Nice German cooking
in a typical setting.
Tex-Mex Cantina: small mexican restaurant
with set lunch offers.
Berliner Ensemble Kantine: cafeteria inside
the Bertolt Brecht founded Theater.
Broker's Bierbörse: small warm meals, ideal for a quick lunch break.
Bonn Hbf.: Brasserie in a nice atmosphere,
good lunch platters.
Ganymed: medium priced French and German
Cafe' am Schiffbauerdamm: nice atmosphere
cafe with good lunch dishes.
KartoffelKeller (Albrechtstr.): Potato
based dishes at a reasonable price.
Asia Snack: Chinese and Thai "Imbiss".
Damisch: German sausages and meat dishes.
Pizza Hut: well, sort of pizza.
Chiquito-Chiquito: Mexican Imbiss.
Blums Seafood: Seafood "Imbiss", very nice
Friedrichstr. & Unter den Linden:
warm soups Imbiss. Something different...
Cafe Einstein (Unter den Linden): nice
Vienna style cafe', try the cakes!
Edo-Sushi (Rosmarinenstr., right behind
the Volkswagen palace): Sushi bar...
Theodor Tucher (Pariser Platz): somewhere
between a literary cafe' and a restaurant.
To get there, you can either walk along Universitätsstr.
(on the left side of Humboldt facing it) all the way to the river, cross
it and then along Tucholskystr. or you can walk along Friedrichstr. in the north
direction. The place is packed with restaurants, cafes and Imbiss,
with clearly advertised prices as in the best tourist hot spot. Just choose
what you like, here is only a selection of my favorites.
Becker's Frites: The best French fries
in Berlin are cooked in this truck!
Amrit: Good Indian food with set lunch
Kamala: Good Thai, slightly expensive.
Las Cucarachas: Mexican food.
Cafe' Orange: Nice setting, good and cheap
Cafe' Silberstein: full in
the evening as disco bar, offers some lunch combinations.
Küchenamt: Fast Italian food, good
Aufsturz: Nice cafe' known for its selection of bottled beers. Good German dishes.
Beth Kafe' (Tucholskystr.): Gefillte Fisch!!!
Very cheap and tasty Kosher cuisine, a little random opening hours and
Dada Falafel (Oranienburger Tor-Linienstr.):
Felafel Imbiss, tasty and quick.
Trattoria (Fridrichstr.): Italian cuisine
in a nice atmosphere. Reasonable lunch offers
Bar-Celona (Hannoverschestr.): Tapas and
Malete (Chaussee corner Hannoverschestr):
Being the trendiest spot in Berlin, cheap is not the password
here. During the day it is still however possible to get something at reasonable
prices. Walk along Hinter dem Gießhaus (left of Humboldt facing it),
cross the river twice along Bodestr., turn left along the park on Burgstr.,
then keep to your right passing under the railway track and you're there.
Most of the places are under the S-bahn station or opposite to it and along
Ossena: good Italian food, a little expensive.
Aedes (inside Hackescher Höfe): wonderful
place to sit, right in the middle of one of the most beautiful courthouses
Kotobuki Sushi (Neue Promenade): yes, you
got it right. Sushi bar.
Aschinger (Neue Promenade): typical German,
lots of meat, lots of tourists.
Hasir (Oranienburger Str.): nice Turkish
cuisine with reasonable lunch options.
Assel (Oranienburger Str.): Cheap and nice
place to get something warm to eat.
Anatre (Rosenthaler Str.): Italian, quick
and cheap. How can you go wrong?
Cibo Matto (Rosenthaler Str.): very nice
Italian cafe, usually trendy and expensive, offers set lunch menus at reasonable
prices, if you can find a seat.
Bagels Bialys (Rosenthaler Str.): Fresh
bagels and muffins.
Cinema Cafe (Rosenthaler Str.): Nice setting,
cheap lunch dishes.
Restauration Sophien 11 (Sophienstr.):
nice wine selection and good priced dishes.
Barcomi's Deli (Sophienstr.): A little
nice cafe with some quick lunch dishes.
If Hackescher Markt is expensive, Gendarmenmarkt is outrageous.
You can have however a very nice lunch in one of the many restaurants around
the square, the price is worth the view, or you can walk in one the big shopping
centers which lie between the square and Friedrichstr.: Galeries Lafayette,
Quartier 205, 206, 207, all connected through the Friedrichstadtpassagen.
Many bistros there feed the hunger of clerks and shoppers at lunch break
and are all, obviously, closed on Sunday. Here is a selection of fair priced
places in the area. To get there, walk out of the main gate, cross Unter den
Linden and Bebelplatz, turn right on Behrenstr. and then left on Markgrafenstr.
Galeries Lafayette: many little bistros
offer very good dishes at reasonable prices in the food section of the
Galeries, bottom floor.
Bar del Centro (Quartier 207): little Italian
bistro inside the shopping mall.
Cafe' in Quartier 206 (Quartier 206): same
as above, a few shops further.
e 33 (Quartier 205): same as above, still
Löwenbräu (Charlottenstr.): it
should be the best bayerisch restaurant in town....
Sushi Circle (Französischestr.): Guess
Nö! Weingalerie und Cafe (Glinkastr.):
Wine bar with nice lunch dishes.
Galleria (Jägerstr.): Italian cafe'
with a reasonable lunch menu.
Schlotzky's Deli (Friedrichstr.): Sandwiches
The former pride of the GDR, it is now mostly a tourist trap
and thus many fast foods are to be found, good for something quick and
cheap. Most of them are aligned on the north side (Karl-Liebknecht Str.)
and around and inside the Railway station. Some good German restaurants
(hard time for vegetarians) are scattered around in the Nikolaiviertel.
To get there, just turn left on Unter den Linden out of the main gate,
and cross the river twice beside the Berlin Dom. Karl-Liebknecht Str. is
the name of the street you are on. Going further you can find the station on your
right hand side, while after crossing the street right after the second bridge
and walking across the Marx-Engels Forum you get to the Nikolaiviertel.
Operncafe': Right across the street from
Humboldt, on Unter den Linden, between the Deutsche Museum and the Opera
House. Nice with nice weather.
Brauhaus Georgbräu (Nikolaiviertel): Simple and good German food and beer.
Zum Nußbaum (Nikolaiviertel): one
of the oldest in Berlin, good German food.
Mutter Hoppe (Nikolaiviertel): good German
food at good prices.
Paddenwirt (Nikolaiviertel): one of the
few places serving typical Berlin cuisine...
Leopold's (Karl-Liebknecht Str.): bavarian food with nice self brewed beer.
Kebab & Currywurst...
... or the best and cheapest way to get something quick to
eat in Berlin! Nothing symbolizes better the Multi-Kulti revolution of
the city as its two most famous street foods, Currywurst and Kebab. Both
invented in Berlin, both mixing different traditions to meet the ever changing
tastes of a ever changing population, both enjoying a precise date of birth
and known parents.
The Currywurst came first. Herta Heuwer made the revolutionary
discovery on September the 9th, 1949, in her "Imbißbude" in Stuttgarter
Platz, between Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf. The revolution consisted
in taking a 100% original German sausage (Bockwurst or equivalent), frying
it, cutting it in pieces, sinking it in 100% original american Ketchup
and covering it with 100% fake Indian Curry. The Currywurst was born, and
it changed the face of Berlin. Served normally with fries (Pommes), it
fed generations of clerks, commuters, taxi drivers, policemen and lost
souls at impossible hours, killing their livers as well (to enjoy a real
Currywurst, you have to eat it at 5 am after a wild night spent dancing
and drinking). The original Imbiß is still there, the equivalent
for Berlin of the Sacher Hotel in Vienna, so if you want to take a picture
and try the original, go ahead (S-Bahnhof Charlottenburg, U-7 Wilmerdorfer
If Herta was Copernicus, Mehmet was Einstein. A 16 year
old just immigrated from Turkey to work in his uncle's little restaurant
in Kottbusser Damm, 76 (Kreuzberg), Mehmet Aygün was struggling with
the evidence that traditional turkish cuisine, eaten quietly around a table,
didn't fit well with the new lifestyle imposed by such a hectic city. On
March the 2nd, 1971, he was struck by enlightenment: why not sell the
traditional roasted meat instead of in a dish with rice, in pita bread
with salad and sauce, ready to go? The Dürüm Döner was born
(Kebab being his nickname), ready to conquer the world. It is now sold
in every corner of every continent and is a striking evidence of what the
meeting of different cultures can do, like Chicken Tikka Masala or Chicken
Chow Mein or TTTCPITS (The Thing They Call Pizza In The States). There
are now thousands of Kebab stands around Berlin, but look out for what
kind of meat they sell: most use some sort of compactified meat loaf (nothing
to do with string theory) which tastes terrible. Look for the ones with
fresh meat, either beef, turkey or lamb. The name Dürüm is now
usually reserved to the version rolled in fresh pita bread, which tastes
anyway much better than the regular one in plain bread. Unfortunately the
original restaurant in Kottbusser Damm doesn't exist anymore, but Mehmet
has made some progress since then and now owns the Hasir chain of turkish
restaurants, still serving the best Dürüm Döner in Berlin.