The weather is picking up! I am on the hunt for food for less than a fiver again.
After the ‘Beast From The East 3’ in the UK and the general icy wind and snow from Serbia / Poland coming over to Berlin, the weather in Berlin was around 7-12 Celsius; now in April, we are loving the 20-25 degrees!
Now spring is finally here, see my tips on how to navigate your way around Berlin in my previous post.
One of the things that makes Berlin, Berlin, is its street food. One of the things to do in spring is to go out and eat.
For less than a fiver, you can get some serious food.
Not only can you sit on some pallets or a box of Club Mate and people watch, you can spend as little as they did on the decor on your scran. In case you haven’t heard of ‘scran’ before, it’s what they say in Manchester for food.
I’ve compiled a list of food joints you can wander down to, which I have all personally tried and loved myself. For me, I love Arabic, Persian, and Turkish food – Berlin has an abundance of it. It tastes authentic, it costs less than a fiver and is freshly made and sourced.
Unlike certain fast food in the UK, which can be incredibly dodgy, these places have fresh ingredients, doughy bread and are mostly halal. Now there are a bunch of places offering vegan options, and it’s not the gentrified prices we see in most trending food places.
Get a bowl of joy for just €4.50. I often went to Sabzi when I worked at a startup and we wanted something other than some fried noodles or the quite expensive food around the Friedrichstraße area.
They have rice and vegetables, including vegetarian version. Less than a fiver and you’re completely done – but it’s healthy.
Find it at: Luisenstraße 15, 10117 Berlin
If you like the German Wurst in bread then go for a more exciting version that will not be as bland. Köfte is a turkish specialty of spiced beef or lamb that is rolled into sausages and served in bread with salad. Get without onions and get the garlic, herb and spicy sauce.
If you look caucasian and like spice, when he says “Scharf, ja?” say yes otherwise you’ll get a smidge. An XL Köfte is €4.00 and an XXL Köfte is less than a fiver. The larger version contains more meat not more bread, just in case you thought you’d get a foot long. I’ve had a Köfteteller here, it’s equally as epic with fresh hummous and salad.
Find it at: Reichenbergstraße 10, opposite Kottiwood, U-Bahn Kottbusser Tor.
This. is. THE. best. falafel I’ve ever tasted. Not only is it made freshly in front of you, they have a selection of fresh carrot/orange juice for just €2.50. The falafel teller is less than a fiver at €4.00 and believe me, you will not manage it on your own. An absolute steal considering they have other wraps there for 1.50, as well.
Plenty of new Neuköllners here with their falljraven backpacks and dreads but they don’t tend to eat in so make sure you sit first – and do it like a local.
Find it at: Sonnenallee 40, 12045 Berlin.
Tip: Cross the road to the opposite side look out for an orange painted doorway, it’s a bakery, it has the freshest baklava in Berlin for €0,60cent a piece – if you can manage it after all that falafel.
Khartoum Sudanese Imbiss
This place is full of the local Görlitzer Park go-ers and they’re speaking a bunch of different dialects, which is super interesting. The owners here are super friendly; the food is made lovingly and they have this peanut sauce which they add to the fresh grilled chicken wraps. The chicken here tastes like what you get from the stands at Yaam; super homemade and fresh. No regrets here at all for €4.50 – even less than a fiver.
Find it at: Wienerstr. 69, U-Bahn: Görlitzer Bahnhof (U1)
T’unas Gemüse Kebap
Every guidebook will tell you about the importance of trying a real Döner kebab. Most guides will also tell you to go to Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab in Mehringdamm. It started as a small Kiosk in Friedrichshain and they opened another on Mehringdamm where there is never not a queue (double negative, I know).
The guy must be a millionaire, I’m serious.
Skip the queue and wander on down to Wrangelstraße, to my beloved Bizim Kiez, and just sample some of T’unas Gemüse Kebab. The feta, lemon juice and roasted vegetables (Gemüse) are now slowly becoming essential at even the most basic of kebab shops.
T’unas is clean, quick (no queue!), and has tables with a hoards of business cards beneath the glass tables to entertain yourself with. A chicken Döner costs €3.20. They add the lemon juice, feta and vegetables which are so characteristic of Mustafa’s. Enjoy.
Find it at: Wrangelstraße 95, 10997 Berlin.
I heard that they gave beer in old bed pans here, but that was a myth. This old public toilet has been cleaned out and replaced with a kitchen: a chippy + grill, busy frying up the city’s Berlin burgers.
People rave about this place and again, queue for it. Starting from €4.00, this burger does not disappoint.
Grab yourself a beer from the most well-stocked späti in Berlin Drunk, Drunk on the opposite side of the road to kill time.
Find it at: Under the U-Bahn bridge, Oberbaumstraße 8, U-Bahn: Schlesisches Tor
Food Culture in Germany
Paying for food in Germany is usually very simple: separate bills will be given and you pay what you bought for and round up to tip. If you want to tip then make sure to mention the amount you want to pay.
If the bill is €4.25 for a sandwich ‘to-go’ then say: ‘fünf euro, bitte’, if you give a €10 note, for example.
If you don’t say anything, they will give you the difference back in change.
Germans don’t do rounds of drinks and they will always pay for their own drink, so make sure you just order separately to avoid confusion, even if you’re trying to pay for them. In terms of tipping, I tend to round up to a euro and a bit. Guten Appetit!
Have you had amazing food for less than a fiver? In which city? Let me know!