Food & Drink

The 14 Best Spots for Cheap Eats in Berlin

Published On 04/14/2015 Published On 04/14/2015
Flickr/Todd Lappin
Flickr/Adam Lederer
MEZEM Catering Berlin
Two Planets
Berlin Imren
Green Tea Café Mamecha
Cabslam - The California Breakfast Slam
Chili Chutney
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1. Rogacki Wilmersdorfer Str.145-146, Berlin, 10585

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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2. Die Henne Leuschnerdamm 25, Berlin, 10999

Die Henne has been around long enough to see the Berlin Wall rise and fall literally outside its door, but it’s stayed true to its one and only menu item: the crisp, golden, and addictively tasty half chicken (if you don’t count the slaw and potato salad sides). If it didn’t come with a slice of thick, spongy brown bread to wipe your plate clean, you’d probably use your tongue.

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3. Cô Cô bánh mì deli Rosenthaler Str. 2, Berlin, 10119

Hard to believe, but before this place opened in Mitte in 2010, it wasn’t even possible to get a banh mi in Berlin -- unless you were prepared to make your own. Now, Cô Cô is one of the best places to stop for a bite off of bustling Rosenthaler Platz. Its sizable banh mi sandwiches are a filling, yet light lunch on a warm day. The Classic is of course the one to start with, but the deli-style setup means you can simply point to different toppings and see what combo works best for you.

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4. Chutnify Sredzkistr. 43, Berlin, 10435

There seems to be a so-called “Indian restaurant” on every corner in Berlin, but not like Chutnify. It has earned the grateful adoration of the locals by serving South Indian street food to a population hungry for the real thing. The appetizers could satiate a ravenous crowd on their own, but the crisp, plate-sized dosa is a thing of beauty -- especially when filled with succulent marinated pork, tandoori chicken, or, in the best of the bunch, a mixture of ground lamb and peas.

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5. Mezem Kantstr. 124, Berlin, 10625

This unassuming hole-in-the-wall on busy Kantstrasse often gets overlooked for its Chinese, Thai, and Japanese neighbors, but a quick glimpse in the window is all it takes for passersby to realize they’ve been missing out. Counters sit overflowing with Middle Eastern grilled vegetables, rice, meat dishes, and flavorful dips. A plate of the warm dishes is already low cost, but you’ll realize what an amazing deal you’re getting when the friendly proprietress picks up a second plate and asks you what salads and dips you want: it turns out one plate actually means two here, and everything on them is bound to be fresh and delicious.

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6. Two Planets Hermannstr. 230, Berlin, 12049

Two Planets is perhaps the best bagel joint in the city, boiling and baking its bagels every morning to get that chewy inside and golden, crusty outside that Berlin’s international crowd so craves.

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7. Imren Grill Boppstr. 10, Berlin, 10967

This Kreuzberg institution serves döner up the way they’re supposed to be -- with real lamb instead of meat paste, fresher veggies, and more flavorful sauces. This is döner done right.

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8. Weichardt-Brot Mehlitz str. 7, Berlin, 10715

This was Berlin's original organic bakery and it's stayed true to its mantra by serving up its hearty wholegrain pretzels in West Berlin for more than 35 years.

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9. Green Tea Café Mamecha Mulackstraße 33, Berlin, 10119

This cute café is the perfect post-dinner hangout, specializing in green tea, but also serving lattes, espresso, and the like. And if you're craving something sweet, the matcha ice cream is a real bull’s-eye.

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10. The California Breakfast Slam Innstrasse 47, Berlin, 12045

The brunch at CBS will take your tastebuds on a trip to the Left Coast of the States, serving traditional 'Merican morning faves like bacon & eggs, fluffy pancakes, and hash browns.

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11. Chili Chutney Eisenbahnstr. 5, Berlin, 10997

Located right across the street from Markthalle Neun, this Afghan restaurant has certainly piggybacked on its popularity, no doubt attracting just the kind of picky, worldly, and curious eaters that populate events like Street Food Thursday. Weekly dishes like salads, meat samosas, and flavored rice are always fresh and reasonably priced, but locals are especially fond of the Afghan mantu -- succulent dumplings with either ground meat or vegetarian fillings that are so special, the restaurant serves them only on Fridays and Saturdays.