Think Deutsche dining is all bratwurst and brezel? You’re fooling yourself, fräulein…
Sure, it’s not hard to get a hearty sausage or plate of sauerkraut at the trad street food stands dotted all around Berlin. But if you think you’ve experienced all German cuisine has to offer after a schnitzel and a strudel – you’re dead wrong, Rolf. The capital is packed like a leberwurst with top contempo Deutsche dining options, from inventive veg-centric (gasp!) degustation dishers to swish Mich’ed marvels where you won’t spot so much as a spatzle. Here’s our pick of where to go to sate your mod German munchies. Guten Appetit!
Nobelhart & Schmutzig
Unless it’s farmed directly in or around Berlin, you won’t find it on the set menu at this 30-seat locavore counter. That means no lemons, chocolate, tuna or pepper. But what wine wiz Billy Wagner’s team can do with some salted cod and a bit of brine truly amazes. And the pour pairings? As you’d expect from the world renowned sommelier extraordinaire.
Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Friedrichstr. 218, Kreuzberg, Berlin. +49 30 2594 0610, nobelhartundschmutzig.com
Smart kids pack into this deco-esque diner set in a former Jewish girls’ school for grade-A, seasonally-driven Weimar wunder-sets by pan man Siegfried Danler. Take seats on the herbaceous patio in summer and pre/post in the schmick Mid Century-styled bar.
Pauly Saal, Ehemalige Jüdische Mädchenschule, Auguststr. 11-13, Mitte, Berlin. +49 30 3300 6070, paulysaal.com
Bypass the unassuming exterior to behold stained glass windows and an original wood ceiling framing oversized art, a fash-forward crowd and heavenly haute degustations. The vegetarian flight will remedy any misconceptions you had of German food being meaty, heavy or stodgy.
Richard, Köpenicker Str. 174, Kreuzberg, Berlin. +49 30 4920 7242, restaurant-richard.de
Rutz Restaurant & Weinbar
Marco Müller does Deutsch like no other via his 4- to 10-course ‘inspiration’ menus blending German precision and tradition with aspects of Asian and other new world influences, resulting in creations like the yellow mackerel with salted plum and miso. If you’re not feeling fancy Nancy, settle in the handsome downstairs cellar for casj vibes and spruced classic pickings like roasted Oldenburg duck with sugar snap peas and potato dumplings. Top drops too, naturlich.
Rutz Restaurant und Weinbar, Chauseestr. 8, Mitte, Berlin. +49 30 2462 8760, rutz-weinbar.de
Relaxed, urban-rustic, white and light bistro for über-fresh farm-to-table fare. As the name suggests, it’s all about regional produce, from the reclaimed timber tables (made from sustainable wood felled in the forests around Berlin) to the hearty homestyle recipes – think wild boar with parsnip, wild broccoli and turnip greens, and a decadent three-cheese Käsekuchen. Yep, that’s how the lokals do it!
Lokal, Linienstr. 160, Mitte, Berlin. +49 30 2844 9500, lokal-berlin.blogspot.com
Hero image: Caroline Prange
For more gourmet ganders in the German capital, nab yourself a copy of the LUXE Berlin guide…