Food & Drink

Berlin’s Best Lunch Spots

Published On 10/28/2015 Published On 10/28/2015
Courtesy of Meister aller Klassen

Lunch is probably the most underrated meal. It’s not as important as breakfast, or as cool as dinner, or as photogenic as that bimbo, brunch. But it is just as delicious, if not more so. And here are nine Berlin spots that prove it:

Flickr/Alper Cugun

Cocolo Ramen

Kreuzberg

Cocolo has two locations, but only the Kreuzberg one’s opens for lunch -- and good thing too, because diving into one of these savory noodle bowls makes for a pretty spectacular break in the day. Steaming hot and seemingly bottomless, every ramen also includes a free drink between noon and 3pm. Do yourself a solid and get the homemade lemonade.

Stella

Neukölln

This homey Neukölln deli does “fast food” that you can feel good about later -- soup, salad, and other warm and cold dishes with vegetarian/vegan options. This winter, look out for meatballs galore including turkey-spinach ones and mini-meatloaves stuffed with cheddar. The lunch boxes and utensils are made from environmentally friendly, biodegradable material too.

Courtesy of Timur Emek Photography

Sabzi

Mitte

Get to Sabzi well before its 4:30 pm closing -- chances are all of the daily dishes will already be on the verge of selling out. It's Mitte’s answer to a hearty, delicious Persian lunch, so think lots of vegetables loaded into thick sauces flavored with curcuma, almond, and peanuts, always with the offer of a dollop of yogurt.

Musashi

Kreuzberg

Musashi’s interior’s not much (unless you’re into sumo wrestling, in which case you’ll find the wall posters to be delightful) but it does serve some of Berlin’s best sushi for a reasonable price. The Vietnamese ladies working here are always smiley and friendly, too, which is a bonus.

Pastificio Tosatti

Pastificio Tosatti

Prenzlauer Berg

This Prenzlauer Berg eatery known for its big storefront window is the ultimate destination for satisfying a gluten craving. Owner Matteo Tosatti makes his yellow pasta fresh by hand every day (no machines used here, folks). There are usually only four dishes to choose from, each topped with a simple sauce that’s oh so delicious.

Flickr/Jonathan Gray

Dolores

Mitte/Schöneberg

OK, so how Dolores matches up to Berlin’s other burrito joints is a point of contention -- but for a quality lunch run, it’s got them all beat. The California-themed eatery is always busy (an undertone of techno music also keeps the ambience upbeat), but somehow you’ll always somehow manage to get a seat. Promise.

Hamy

Kreuzberg

This Vietnamese café only offers two lunch specials (there’s a regular menu too, but trust us, you want that lunch special), so choosing is always quick and painless. Usually it’s a chicken curry with tofu option for vegetarians or a soup or Asian salad, depending on the time of year. That simplicity means you’ll never go starving for long after sitting down.

Flickr/Stijn Nieuwendijk

Rogacki

Charlottenburg

Rogacki’s lunch counter is an 80-year-old institution (you might even recognize it from the Berlin episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations) that always hits the spot. The ladies in hairnets may not be known for cracking a smile, but after you taste their fish filet, it’ll be as the Germans say, egal (“whatever”).

Burgermeister

Burgermeister

Kreuzberg

Burgermeister is pretty much the most central location for a burger run. Since it’s located in the U-Bahn’s former toilet, your ETA between exiting and having a hot patty in hand is usually limited to minutes. Unlike some of Berlin’s other burger joints, it also tends not to go overboard with the toppings, which can be a good thing on a lunch break: the chance of spending the day with grilled onion stains is considerably minimized.

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Barbara Woolsey is a Berlin writer who feels like she’s cheating on lunch whenever she has brunch. Watch the drama unfold at @BarbaraWoolsey.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Cocolo Ramen X-Berg Paul-Lincke-Ufer 39-40, Berlin, 10999 (Kreuzberg)

Located in Kreuzberg, this ramen haven has a large menu including lunch options such as rice bowls, and ramen with smoked chicken and extra starters. And in the warmer seasons, there's some sweet outside seating.

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2. Stella Weserstr 166, Berlin, 12045

Advertised as a take out caterer, this homey Neukölln deli does “fast food” that you can feel good about later -- soup, salad, and other warm and cold dishes with vegetarian/vegan options.

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3. Sabzi Luisenstr. 15, Berlin, 10117

Sabzi is the answer to a hearty, delicious middle eastern lunch, with dishes stacked with vegetables and loaded into thick sauces flavored with curcuma, almond, and peanuts, always with the offer of a dollop of yogurt.

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4. Musashi Kottbusser Damm 102, Berlin, 10967

Musashi's interior might be run-of-the-mill, but the spot serves some of Berlin’s best sushi for a reasonable price, so you'll be quick to overlook this superficial detail.

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5. Pastificio Tosatti Schliemannstraße 14a, Berlin, 10437 (Prenzlauerberg)

This little eatery has some truly incredible pasta, handmade daily by owner Matteo Tosatti. The daily menu is usually four choices of pasta and sauce, but you can order everything take-home to make yourself, too.

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6. Dolores Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 7, Berlin, 10178

This casual, California-themed burrito joint might always busy, but somehow you’ll always somehow manage to get a seat.

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7. Hamy Hasenheide 10, Berlin, 10967

This Vietnamese café only offers two lunch specials and neither will disappoint. There's even a chicken curry with tofu option for vegetarians or a soup or Asian salad, depending on the time of year.

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8. Rogacki Wilmersdorfer Str.145-146, Berlin, 10585 (Charlottenberg)

Located in Charlottenburg, Rogacki is a bustling indoor market and deli and it's basically a Berlin institution. It’s the place to go for fresh or smoked fish, including an outstanding selection of herring, and one of the best lunch counters in town.

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9. Burgermeister Oberbaumstr. 8, Berlin, 10997 (Kreuzberg)

Flipping patties in an ornate, 100-year-old structure that used to be a public toilet (yes, you read that right) directly underneath the U1 tracks, Burgermeister wins points just for its setting. Sure, at first you may question its sanity (and whether it's sanitary), but its moist and juicy standards will quickly put all your bathroom jokes to rest. What’s more, it stays open really late (until 4am Fridays and Saturdays), so its chili cheeseburger and cheese fries can serve as either a tasty primer before a night out in Kreuzberg or a much-needed pick-me-up before heading back home.

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