Berlin's Best Cheap Meals for €6 or Less
Berlin’s motto has been “poor but sexy” for quite a while now. This means you can get a lot of delicious and gratifying dishes and pay next to nothing. Portions are big (it is still Germany, after all) and, if you go for a traditional breakfast of cheese, bread, and meat, eating like a Berliner can honestly cost less than €15 a day. Here are all the best meals guaranteed to keep you -- and your wallet -- bursting at the seams.
Don’t let this vegan burrito joint fool you, you’ll be wholly satisfied after eating here, and comfortably so -- even if there’s zero meat involved in the recipes. At a modest €5 and some change, you can spring for an ezy-b: a regular-sized burrito with fresh pinto beans, pico de gallo, rice and lettuce with your choice of sour cream or cashew crema.
Classic bánh mì
Most of this eatery’s delicious bánh mì -- from the marinated chicken to lemongrass and tomato meatballs -- ring in at the same price of €5.50. Conveniently located at Rosenthaler Platz, it’s a cozy lunch spot with fast deli service and outdoor seating as well.
Chutnify’s plain crispy dosa is nitty-gritty, but it definitely still hits the spot and comes served with a bowl of sambar veggie stew and coconut chutney. For just another euro you can upgrade to a dosa made with onions or slathered in red chutney paste as well.
The daily special
Hamy’s heaping daily specials never disappoint. It's usually a curry rice or noodle plate with chicken and tofu options, lemongrass, and greens. It usually comes out in no more than 10 minutes (usually less!), making it perfect for a quick bite.
This Lebanese hole-in-the-wall is known for squeezing a ton of value into one dish, like the falafel plate loaded up with tabouli, pickled radish, garlicky yogurt sauce, and olive oil with a pita on the side. For €2, you can dine on the shawarma plate, although those gloriously fried chickpea balls are arguably just as satiating.
Couch Potato slice
Ron Telesky’s has a lot of crazy pizza combos, but the most filling (and popular) is the Couch Potato, with sweet potato, potatoes, and cheddar. Slices are massive, but for €7.50 you can get the lunch special of two slices, a drink, and access to all the free fixings: spicy maple syrup, homemade smoked tabasco, rucola, and more.
If you don’t know about kumpir yet, you’ve been missing out. Basically, it’s an oven-baked potato, mashed up with butter and cheese, then covered in toppings like corn, black olives, jalapeños, pasta salad, and so on. Try one at La Femme, a Turkish café and restaurant chain across the city with a choice of 16-some different fixings to choose from.
In Berlin, you can find cheap doner kebab stands on almost every corner, but Imren does one of the very best. This chain of Turkish grill restaurants lovingly marinates, seasons, and packs its meat onto rotating skewers in-house (which surprisingly, isn’t as common as you’d think). Even the bread here is made fresh.
Price: €3.10 to €3.90
If you’ve ever passed by Mishba in the Alexanderplatz underground walkway, you’ve probably judged it as crap. But while it’s by no means authentic, it’s actually good for an easy fix -- especially if you’ve spent your last few bucks raving at Sisyphos. You can either add toppings a la carte or buy pre-made dishes and not just burritos -- kumpir, salads, and quesadillas are all up for grabs too.
Look no further than Konak for Berlin’s best köfte -- otherwise known as Turkish meatballs. Every minced patty at Konak is grilled to order. Load them up in the traditional, on-the-go way: a sandwich made of a fresh white roll, topped along with tomatoes, radish sticks, onions, herbs, and a choice of traditional spicy or herb sauces.
The Sahara plate
At this no-frills African restaurant, you’ll find plenty of inexpensive fare but nothing quite beats the signature plate. It’s a feast of falafel, halloumi cheese, salad, and grilled veggies topped with eggplant paste and a show-stopping peanut buttery sauce. Ask for extra sauce. You won’t be sorry.
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