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Best Restaurants in Friedrichshain, Berlin

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2 weeks ago

If I had to choose my favorite of Berlin’s neighborhoods, there wouldn’t be much debate. Friedrichshain is easily the coolest of Berlin’s uber-cool neighborhoods. And as far as Berlin’s dining scene goes, it’s hard to compete with the restaurants in Friedrichshain.

Admittedly, I generally don’t have such high expectations of eating out in Germany. However, if you know anything about Berlin, it’s that all the normal rules that apply elsewhere in Germany simply don’t apply here. After only a few meals, you’ll quickly realise that Berlin is one of the best cities in Europe for eating out. If you know me, you’ll know I take food seriously – which makes this claim even more outrageous.

But consider Berlin’s history for a moment. The heart of Europe, the meeting point of Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc. In recent decades, waves of immigration from across the continent and further afield have brought the flavors of Türkiye and Syria to Europe. Waves of avant-garde musicians and artists brought new international trends, and the next thing you know Berlin is the national capital of vegan currywurst!

The best restaurants in Friedrichshain are usually particularly busy during weekends, and if you are in a group with over 4+ people, we highly recommend making an advance booking. With that, here are my favorites of the best restaurants in Friedrichshain, Berlin.

Before You Eat: Friedrichshain

Located in the former East Berlin, Friedrichshain contains one of Berlin’s most iconic tourist attractions: the East Side Gallery. This part of the Berlin Wall has turned into an international outdoor gallery and is located in the middle of Friedrichshain.

Beyond the East Side Gallery, Friedrichshain has much to offer. From the cheapest bar in Berlin (our local hidden secret: Berndhain) to cool art galleries like Urban Spree, Friedrichshain seems to always be constantly evolving. Friedrichshain oozes an organic energy, and for this reason is my favorite area to stay in Berlin.

dove held hostage heart amnesty international on east side gallery in friedrichshain berlin

Best restaurants in Friedrichshain

Café Tasso

This cool café really is one of the regular spots for Friedrichshain locals. Easily recognizable, you’ll find here a large selection of used books, newspapers, and magazines outside on the street. You won’t hear much English inside the store but don’t worry the staff are super friendly and can assist you if you have any questions.

Also, the used book section at Café Tasso includes both books in English and German (if you’re keen to practice).

My favorite part of this café is that, when the weather is nice, you get to sit on the wide, and extremely historic, street of Karl-Marx Allee. If you’re here on any given morning, you’ll notice partygoers coming back from their nights out. Take a moment to consider how no one in Berlin seemingly works a 9-5 job. Alternatively, if the weather is a bit too cold to sit outside, the inside of the café has a range of modern Berlin-born artwork hanging on the walls, yet another intrinsically Berlin characteristic.

Local tip: Café Tasso generally has free jazz concerts on the weekends, usually starting from 8 pm.

My personal favorite thing to order at this cafe is the quiche (and I’m normally not a quiche kind of guy). Café Tasso offers a vegan alternative which is also delicious. And be warned: like most places in Berlin, Café Tasso only accepts cash.

Akkawy

This Middle Eastern restaurant is easily our favorite place in Berlin to order hummus. Akkawy can be described as the perfect combination: an ideal, casual atmosphere (think soft, subtle Arabic music), Berlin’s friendliest staff, and some of the large portions in Friedrichshain.

If you’re struggling to decide what to order, I tend to go for the jackfruit shwarma (even my carnivore friends are taken aback by how flavorful it is). And you can never go wrong with shakshuka. Akkawy is purely vegetarian, which means its not simply one of the best restaurants in Friedrichshain, but also one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Berlin.

Niko Niko Ramen

We’re calling it: this little restaurant has the best Japanese ramen in Berlin. Those old school Berliners may know this joint as Hako Ramen am Boxi, but the restaurant now goes by the new name of Niko Niko Ramen. For a Japanese restaurant, we love how they’re proudly MSG free and, in true Berlin fashion, offer many vegan options.

Annoyingly, Niko Niko Ramen maintain a strict walk-in only policy. We were guaranteed that the line is never over 30 minutes (and can vouch for it), with quick service being one of the real highlights of this restaurant.

My go-to order is the tonkotsu ramen (they offer a vegan alternative broth), with the noodles in this ramen being the true standout.

Marafina

Marafina is one of my favorite restaurants in Friedrichshain for one main reason: it’s fast food in the strict sense – cheap, straightforward, quick turnaround – and, yet, it’s completely unique and beyond-words delicious. Marafina specializes in colorful, cheap East-African style falafel, the ideal meal for a quick afternoon lunch or before a big night out on Berlin’s famous techno scene.

To ensure that Marafina will always remember you and your time in Berlin, ask the friendly staff for a pen and write your name and country of origin on the wall to join the growing list of locals and visitors.

Make sure to add the peanut sauce and halloumi to whatever you order.

Aleppo Supper Club

There’s no shortage of Syrian restaurants in Berlin. However, Aleppo Supper Club stands out for offering the best of Syrian traditional food in a snug, homey environment, particularly cozy on a cold Berlin evening. With over 50,000 Syrians living in Berlin, you know this place is the real deal when the walk-in wait is typically over an hour. If you are planning a visit, I would try to book a table at least three days in advance.

If you are familiar with Syrian food, you know you’re in for a treat. The Aleppo Supper Club is home to some of the highest-quality hummus and tabbouleh salad in Berlin. As a vegetarian, the option to try vegetarian maqlubeh is particularly unique – and generally not offered in the Middle East.

Döner Edition: Vöner

It’s no secret that döner kebabs are everywhere in Berlin. You’ll find a döner shop on every corner in Friedrichshain. But our personal favorite (and sorry for the vegetarian bias) is from Vöner. A shop most famous for their vegetarian döner kebabs, hence the name ‘vöner’.

It really is as good as it sounds and this is our favorite place in Friedrichshain to get a vegetarian or vegan döner. If you’re not so hungry, the vegan currywurst is one of our favorite quick snacks in the neighborhood (and one of the best vegan currywurst in Berlin).

Sweet Edition: Chipi Chipi Bombón

Unfortunately, the ice cream scene in Berlin is less than ideal. However, if I had to choose, Chipi Chipi Bombón reigns supreme as the best ice cream in Berlin. Paying homage to the great ice cream of Argentina, you’ll probably hear people talking about their dulce de leche flavor or alfajores. But my personal favorite is the not-so-Argentine banana split. It’s just so creamy and fresh.

Most ice cream stores in Berlin close unreasonably early given how Berlin is such a late-night city. Thankfully Chipi Chipi Bombón stays open until 11 pm during the weekdays and midnight on the weekends.


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Garret

Wednesday 5th of June 2024

Please add Li.ke - no list of Fhain food would be complete without it!