Always wanted to know where the best chefs in Berlin like to eat and drink while not at their own joints? Well, lucky you -- we've captured exclusive interviews with some of the biggest players in the game so you, too, can feel like you're deep in the Gastro-Szene. Impress your dinner date with these high-quality recommendations, directly from the chefs and owners themselves.
"BFS, Eat Like a Chef", is our interview series with Berlin’s hospitality scene that guides you to their secret spots in the city. These really are the best places to eat and drink in Berlin, told to you by those who would know - Chefs, Cooks, Sommeliers, and Servers. Truly the finest people in Berlin sharing their finest tips. If you follow their lead, you're sure to have a great experience yourself.
“ Döner kebap is underrated - when it's done well, it can be really great. And I love that you get really dirty when you're eating it! - Ilona Scholl
Below are Ilona Scholl and Max Strohe's (of Restaurant Tulus Lotrek) top recommendations for their favorite Cantonese, döner, date spots, and and more in Berlin.
Tulus Lotrek is a warm, tastefully decorated (the waiters match the walls), and inviting Michelin-starred, fine dining restaurant located in a quiet corner of the usually buzzing Kreuzberg. Chef Max Strohe dishes out some highly indulgent and beautiful plates, rooted in French cuisine but buttered up with some modern twists. Maître-D, Ilona Scholl, will make you feel right at home and the Sommelier will walk you through one of the absolute best wine menus in the city. Even if you leave with a lighter wallet, you will certainly walk out with a big smile.
You can buy bottles to go! And check out Ilona Scholl's podcast "Röststoff"!
Step through an unassuming door in Wedding and embark on a culinary journey to ernst, an extraordinary dining establishment that redefines the boundaries of gastronomy in Berlin. Prepare to be captivated by a thoughtfully curated menu that showcases the innovative vision of their talented chefs. From meticulously sourced seasonal ingredients to playfully crafted dishes that harmonize flavors, textures, and artistic presentation, every aspect of the dining experience at ernst is a testament to their unwavering commitment to culinary excellence. With its sleek and contemporary ambiance, impeccable service, and a menu that pushes the boundaries of creativity, Ernst offers a truly remarkable dining experience that will leave a lasting impression on even the most discerning food enthusiasts.
You'll have luck scoring seats in this tiny restaurant during the week, especially if your party is four or more. Watch out for the outstanding collaboration dinners!
Hallmann & Klee
Hallmann und Klee exemplifies all that is right in the Berlin dining scene right now. A Neukölln restaurant teeming with creativity that's evolved from being a casual neighborhood institution to a full-fledged fine dining operaiton. Despite all of its elegance, Hallman und Klee delivers beautifully restrained plates with unpretentious service. Dinners are served as a multi-course tasting menu, which is regularly updated to maintain its hyperfocus on seasonality and locality. Hallmann & Klee works equally well for romantic dinners, a place to impress visiting parents or, a memorable night out with friends.
A fine dining place for veggie lovers - the vegetarian menu is one of the best of its kind in all of Berlin
Tim Raue's eponymous restaurant is a culinary destination located in the heart of Berlin's Kreuzberg neighborhood. Chef Tim Raue's innovative and eclectic dishes are influenced by his travels and experience in Asian cuisine. The tasting menu features unique and flavorful dishes, such as the crispy-skinned duck with hoisin sauce, as well as a vegetarian option. The wine list is extensive, with carefully curated selections to complement the bold flavors of the dishes. The restaurant's sleek and modern interior, combined with impeccable service, creates an unforgettable dining experience. Tim Raue is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to indulge in exceptional cuisine in Berlin.
If you can't find a table for a dinner reservation, don't forget about their lunch offering!
Barra, located in the trendy Neukölln district, offers an urban and minimalist dining experience with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This cozy and welcoming restaurant, run by Head Chef Daniel Remers and his partner Kerry Westhead, specializes in modernm produce focused cuisine served in the form of small sharing plates, highlighting high-quality ingredients sourced from the region. Their lovely wine list, focused on natural wines with a lot of choices from Easten Europe, perfectly complements the dishes, and the portion sizes and value for money are best of its calss. Whether you're looking for a casual evening with friends or a romantic date night, Barra is a great choice for those seeking a trendy dining experience in Berlin. Reservations are a must!
Make sure to get a plate of the daily pasta and don't miss the cardamon dessert
The old-school and former champion of beef döner and the only Berlin chain which grills hand-stacked yaprak döner. The Imren-style of beef is a very specific one, where the meat is marinated in onions, yoghurt and unusual spices such as cinnamon and cumin. It’s also laced with lamb fat which gives the Imren döner its very rich taste. This used to a go-to place for BFS but deteriorating quality and increased competition has catapulted the Imrens to the lower end of the Döner list. But many locals still swear by their secret sesame-yogurt sauce. Imren has six outlets in Berlin and the best two are the original location on Boppstraße in Kreuzberg and the one on Haupstraße in Schöneberg.
Go for the Döner and have onions, tomatoes and sesame sauce
K.W.A. Kebap with Attitude
Venture into the cosy quarters North West of Hackescher Markt for a visit to K.W.A. (Kebap with Attitude) and their contemporary interpretation of a Berlin Döner shop. Step into an energetic atmosphere where the sizzling sounds of grilled meats on the rotating spits and techno (this is in the bathroom) captivate your senses. Indulge in a Berlin kebap experience like no other as you savor their signature creations, featuring free range meat, vibrant vegetables, and bold, house-made sauces that elevate each bite to new heights of deliciousness. With its unique attitude, and a commitment to quality, K.W.A. is a unique opportunity to experience the iconic Berlin version of the Döner in a cool, modern dining setup-
Order the OG Classic with beef along with the homemade Ayran and swing by in the summer for Raki cocktails on their amazing curbside terrace.
Pamfilya is an iconic Turkish grill in Berlin's Wedding district, situated at Leopoldplatz. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere, combined with its traditional, Turkish cuisine, makes it a perfect spot for a lunch or a cozy dinner with friends. The menu offers a variety of traditional Turkish dishes, such as mezze plates, skewer kebaps, döner kebap and mantı. One of the standout dishes is the "Adana Kebab," a spicy minced lamb meat skewer grilled to perfection over an open fire pit, but the number one reason to come here is the hand-stacked yaprak veal döner kebap. Owner Fikri Arslan puts a lot of emphasis on quality and the lean döner meat at Pamfilya is unique and by many regarded as the best quality veal döner in Berlin.
The pro move here is to order a plate of döner meat only, ask for a plate of freshly baked lavash bread and then eat the meat in small pieces of flatbread like a taco with onions, a squeeze of lemon and chili flakes only.
Enoiteca Il Calice
Enoiteca Il Calice is one of Berlin's finest locations for expertly prepared pastas and Italian classics alongside a deeply impressive and well-chosen wine portfolio. Seriously, the pasta here is some of the best we've seen and tasted in the city - the technique and ingredient quality is unmatched.
No one ever regretting getting two pasta dishes, just for themself.
Gazzo Pizza in Neukölln is a great addition to Berlin's pizza scene and it's been packed since day one. Its organic sourdough pizza base is fired at a lower temperature than the Neapolitan style, resulting in a perfectly crispy crust. But the real star of the show is not the dough, but the buffalo milk offerings, from the chubby and silky mozzarella di buffala starter to the buffalo milk soft serve ice cream. Try a classic pie or the seasonal specials, they're both good. Prosecco on tap, Italian spritzes, and the fun interior of Gazzo Pizza will assure that you leave in a good mood!
Make sure to try their buffalo milk soft serve for dessert.
MINE is a charming, modern Italian restaurant tucked away in Charlottenburg, run by son of Aram Mnatsaknov. Here, traditional Italian recipes are elevated with unique and surprising touches as well prime ingredients, creating dishes that are both comforting and innovative. But it's not just the food that draws diners in - the atmosphere at MINE is cozy and intimate, with warm lighting and charming decor. And of course, the wine selection is not to be missed, featuring a fantastic selection of great bottles from the old world, both classic and more low-intervention.
Get the burrata filled tortellini with truffles, the pasta Vongole and the braised lamb; also check out their superb wine list!
Immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind dessert adventure at Coda, an extraordinary Michelin-starred restaurant in Berlin. With its innovative tasting menu of reimagined and deconstructed classic desserts, Coda takes you on a journey where sweet and savory flavors collide. Emphasizing natural sweetness from seasonal and sustainable ingredients, each dessert composition is a delightful surprise presented with artistic minimalism. This is one of Berlin's most unique restaurants.
Check out seatings mid-week for a more personalized and intimate experience. Don't miss the iconic caviar popsicle and always go for the drink pairing!
A menu with the thickness of a dictionary, Good Friends is the salwart of traditional Chinese
Rutz is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Berlin and also the city's only three-star restaurant. The restaurant is a cornerstone of the Berlin food scene and Executive Chef Marco Müller is famous for his German take on modern Nordic cuisine. Most of the ingredients are regionally sourced and after renovations in 2022 the restaurant was turned into a culinary temple spreading across two floors. Rutz is famous for its extensive wine list curated by sommelière Nacy Grossmann. Maitre D' Falco Mühlichen will make sure every one of your wishes is fulfilled.
Definitely a place to go all in with the tasting menu and check out their extensive list of old Riesling vintages