Craving an adventure? Dive with us into the sizzling world of Berlin's best kokoreç restaurants! This legendary Turkish street food, whichtransforms humble lamb intestines into a flavor explosion, used to be impossible to get in Berlin, even rumored to be illegal (a myth since debunked by our own Jane Silver in her editorial "The Kokoreç has landed"). Kokoreç is the number one drunk food in Istanbul and with the new wave if openings, Berlin might be joining the same train. Be it in a sandwich or as a plate, Kokoreç is smoky, spiced goodness in every bite - best grilled to crispy perfection and bursting with character. Check out the following list of hidden gems and iconic spots, each promising a unique spin on this culinary treasure. Get ready to push your taste bud boundaries and discover a new street food obsession.
This crew from the eponymous southeastern Turkish province wasted no time establishing their bona fides after setting up shop off Hermannplatz in 2018. Mardin’s juicy, charcoal-grilled lamb kebabs, foamy mugs of homemade ayran and crisp-bottomed lahmaçun (which some say top reigning Berlin champ Örnek) made it an instant hotspot for Turkish food connoisseurs in the know. But its legacy was truly cemented with the opening of the restaurant-in-the-restaurant project M47, serving rice-stuffed mussels, kokoreç and other delights tailored to raki-primed palates.
You can order anything off M47’s menu in the main restaurant, so don’t be shy about supplementing your Adana kebab with a plate of stuffed mussels, kokoreç or a whole roasted sheep’s head, if you’re feeling adventurous.
The black-and-yellow storefront on Kottbusser Damm may be part of a European franchise, but its owners, the Bahçeci brothers, have imbued it with a heart of its own – among other innards. As the name suggests, the specialty here is kokoreç (lamb intestine) sandwiches, their gutsy fillings imported straight from mothership Mr. Koko in Bulgaria. But the rest of the menu is worth exploring as well, especially the wood-fired, horizontally roasted lamb Čag Kebab.
Order the Atom Kokoreç and the Čar Kebab!
Have you ever seen a unicorn in the wild? Neither have we - but we did find a strong player for kebap and kokoreç in the West which is damn near as rare. Sampiyon is a (newly opened) location of an established kokoreç chain in Turkey, the first for the company in Germany. Their kebap is 100% beef seasoned with lamb fat and they are claiming to serve kokoreç, slowly roasting and turning against the back wall. Additionally, they're dishing up variations on tantuni - one of only a handful of shops in Berlin to do so - all offered in similar preparations as the kebap and kokoreç (plated, in flatbread, or in a mega-squishy-crunchy "baguette"). Tantuni, for the uninitiated, is julienned beef that has been braised then flashed on a flattop to order in its own juices - the closest reference is a saucier Tex-Mex burrito.
The kokoreç in bread (im Brot) is the strongest move here, hold the sauce, of course, and be sure to crunch down on some of the particularly snappy green peppers. We like to alternate bites of each, fatty spicy crunch and acidic snap!
Nettbelbeckplatz in Wedding probably isn't the first place that pops into a Berliner's mind when one thinks of fresh seafood street food, but the tiny shack on the square called "Berlin Midye" is here to convince you of the opposite. While Midye, the mussels stuffed with rice, are the main offering at Berlin Midye, it's actually the Kokorec Sandwiches that are the reason you should visit the shack. The owner buys the ready cooked skewers from a supplier and then cook them crispy for you on his griddle, only to then out it in a sandwich
Order the Kokorec Sandwich "Izmir" Style and the owner will fry the kokorec with spicy peppers for you