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Berlin Street Food
Two dishes are emblematic of Berlin street food: the Currywurst and the Döner Kebab. Both are wildly popular, and the two could not be more different. Stands for currywurst and döner kebabs dot the city, so you're never far from your next snack.
The creative owner of a sausage stall named Herta Heuwer invented the currywurst in Berlin's lean postwar years. Legend has it she took some inspiration from the American and British troops stationed in Berlin after World War II. Herta deep-fried a pork sausage, then doused it in her own special version of tomato ketchup and sprinkled it with curry powder. An instant hit, it's still served the same way today. But in recent years, the döner kebab has outpaced the currywurst in popularity. First served by a Turkish immigrant in 1971, the sandwich resembles a Greek gyro. Grilled meat is shaved in razor-thin slivers from an upright rotating spit, and stuffed into grilled bread with dressing, then lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, and shredded cabbage.
On Saturday, visit the sprawling Winterfeldplatz market in Schöneberg and try a Bismarck Herring Brötchen, a crusty roll with pickled herring. At Prenzlauer Berg's Kollwitzplatz market, also Saturday, try a falafel sandwich. Berlin's largest Turkish market is held on Tuesday and Friday on the Maybachufer. Snack on gözleme, a savory, flat Turkish pastry filled with meat, cheese, spinach, or potato.
Best Currywurst and Döner Kebab in Berlin
Curry 36. This currywurst stand in Kreuzberg has a cult following. Stand beside cab drivers, students, and lawyers while you have your currywurst mit oder ohne Darm (with or without the skin). Most people order their sausage with a big pile of crispy fries served rot-weiss (red and white)—with ketchup and mayonnaise. Mehringdamm 36, Kreuzberg, Berlin, 10961. 251/7368. Mehringdamm (U-bahn).
Hisar. The lines here might be long, but they move fast and the combination of the seasoned, salty meat, with crunchy salad and warm bread is unbeatable. If you're just stopping for a quick döner kebab, line up outside on the sidewalk and order from the window. But if you prefer to eat at a more leisurely pace, enter the adjoining Turkish restaurant for the Dönerteller (döner plate), heaped with succulent meat, rice, potatoes, and salad. Yorckstr. 49, Schöneberg, Berlin, 10119. 216/5125. Yorckstrasse (U-bahn and S-bahn).
Konnopke's Imbiss. Sitting beneath the tracks of the elevated U2 subway line is Berlin's most beloved sausage stand for more than 70 years. Konnopke's is a family business, famous for its currywurst. It's served on a narrow paper tray with a plastic prong to spear the sauce-covered sausage slices. Line up with young and old in the center of one of Berlin's trendiest neighborhoods and discover why Berliners love currywurst. Schönhauser Allee 44b, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, 10435. 442/7765. Eberswalderstrasse (U-bahn).
Mustafa's. For a twist on the traditional döner kebab, make a beeline for these mouthwatering vegetable kebabs. Toasted pita bread is stuffed full of roasted veggies—carrots, potatoes, zucchini—along with fresh tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and cabbage. The sandwich is napped with sauce, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and sprinkling of the creamiest, smoothest feta cheese. You'll lick your fingers and contemplate getting in line for another. Mehringdamm 32, Kreuzberg, Berlin, 10961. 283/2153. Mehringdamm (U-bahn).
Rosenthaler Grill und Schlemmerbuffet. Döner Kepab aficionados love this restaurant, and not just because it's open 24 hours a day and in the middle of the city. Watch the friendly staff expertly carve paper-thin slices of crisped meat from the enormous, revolving spit. If you like heat, ask for the spicy red sauce. After eating your sandwich you'll better understand how Germans eat 400 tons of döner meat each day. Döner, which are wrapped in a paper sleeve are eaten fast, otherwise they fall apart. Rosenthalerplatz 1, Mitte, Berlin, 10119. 283/2153. Rosenthaler Platz (U-bahn).
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