In a city filled with heritage, beauty and creativity, the best restaurants in Berlin excel above all others. The expansive metropolis is a place where history is alive, progressive innovation is rampant, and creative flair is on high – always interesting, often experimental, and endlessly inspiring. A haven for bohemians, Berlin’s own distinctive flavour gives way to some of the world’s most outside-the-box creatives, and fortunately for the modern gourmand, the culinary world of the German capital lives up to its reputation.
Exposed brick walls, original wood floors, a mishmash of flea market-sourced tables and chairs, a handful of plants and stickered bathroom stalls — the defining aesthetic traits of Berlin’s restaurants and bars. Variety is the spice of life, so they say. And, unassuming as it is, Berlin has a lot to offer that’s easily missed during fleeting visits or even by those living in the city. The food scene has come a long way in recent years and great new restaurants are opening so quickly it’s hard to keep up.
Pick any of the many Berlin neighbourhoods and an invigorating restaurant is not far. From the all-time classics to the stylish local ‘Kiez’ joints, let by Michelin-star masterminds or ingenious restaurateurs, the best spots in Berlin are all sprinkled with a touch of that exhilarating ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes the city entirely its own. Looking for an extra-special night on the town? Let us show you the best of the best the city has to offer offer. Settle into that edgy extravagance and let your palate be swept away.
- 1 Where to eat in Berlin? Our Best Restaurants in Berlin.
- 2 The Best Restaurants in Berlin: The bottom line
Where to eat in Berlin? Our Best Restaurants in Berlin.
Not far from the rough-but-trendy Kreuzberg neighbourhood where he grew up is the eponymous restaurant of Tim Raue, the German celebrity chef whose provocative nature in both character and cuisine catapulted him swiftly to being a household name. His Asian-fusion cooking, which revolutionized German cuisine, earned this trendy locale two Michelin stars, plus the distinguished 31st spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. If you love a shock to your palate and affront to your expectations – in the best ways possible, of course – the dishes of Tim Raue are certainly in order.
Now a hub for plant-based menus, Berlin was lacking great vegetarian cuisine when Cookies Cream opened its doors in 2007, taking the reins as the pioneer of vegetarian fine dining. Helmed by famous nightlife figure Heinz ‘Cookie’ Gindullis – known for his legendary Cookies club from the 90s – the restaurant’s interior is indeed decked out for a party, from its industrial architecture to glittering disco balls. Cookies Cream earned its first Michelin star in 2018 under the inventive talents of head chef Stephan Hentschel, the first to be awarded to any purely vegetarian restaurant in Germany. But whether veggie or not, this spot is sure to excite anyone stepping foot inside.
Another name drawing troves to Kreuzberg is Nobelhart & Schmutzig, more ‘gastronomical concept’ than simply restaurant. Centred around a self-described ‘vocally local’ philosophy, the Michelin-star kitchen likes to shift the spotlight from its (incredible) experts – led by owner-sommelier Billy Wagner and head chef Micha Schäfer – onto its suppliers and producers, emphasizing exceptional quality and produce. Seating runs around a snake-like counter circling the prep area, so you can get in on the excitement from start to finish.
In many ways, Einsunternull is a love letter to Berlin – at the very least, it’s a proud embrace of it. West- and East-Berliners Silvio Pfeufer (head chef) and Ivo Ebert (owner) shape the restaurant’s culture, seeking to carve out a unique identity for their beloved city in the culinary sphere. This dynamic, young team are ably assisted by sommelier Anna, whose anti-alcoholic creations and enormous wine list beautifully accompany the rich cuisine that Einsunternull is renowned for. Earning a Michelin star for their creativity, sourcing regional ingredients to create dishes, best described as “new German kitchen”, the Einsunternull is a feast for your eyes as well as your stomach. The beautifully designed space, as well as the open courtyard where beer was once brewed, are adorned works from Berlin designers, making dining here the ultimate urban experience.
You’d have to know where to look to find Ernst, hidden behind a stainless steel door next to a graffitied shopfront in Berlin’s Wedding neighbourhood. What is now one of the most coveted Michelin-star seats in the city had humble beginnings in 2013, as a best-kept secret in the home of its creator, Canadian chef Dylan Watson-Brawn (19 years old at the time). The prodigious chef lets an electric, cultivated flair colour all his creations, influenced from his time in ‘Ryugin’, Tokyo’s three-Michelin-star venue. With a local tasting menu of 25 courses, and only 8 seats at the counter, a visit to Ernst is intimate and unmissable.
Immediately upon opening its doors in June of 2020, Osterberger was a buzzing locale, its outdoor terrace bringing life to the quiet side-street location in Berlin’s central area of Mitte. Dubbed a ‘Kiezrestaurant’, the spot brings the full charm of your favourite local restaurant, guided by the welcoming hospitality of owners and partners Thorsten Osterberger and Stefan Gruber-Osterberger. Here, all is done with a degree of extra finesse, from delectable dishes and drinks to design. The interior by Berlin architect Martin Davidson is Bistro Chic to perfection: bright, stylish and sophisticated with endless elegant details.
Dinner and a view? Say no more. Golvet oozes exclusivity, fit for its magnificent panoramic city views overlooking some of Berlin’s most famous sights from Potsdamer Platz to the Berliner Philharmonie. It took this kitchen just six months after its opening in 2017 to earn its first Michelin star, which it’s since upheld effortlessly with the exhilarating flavours of head chef Jonas Zörner. The bar’s cocktail creations from award-winning mixologist Andreas Andricopoulos add the final touch to this luxurious ambience.
When it comes to culinary innovation, the ‘dessert dining’ of Coda takes the cake. Backed by two Michelin stars and over 20 years in fine dining, mastermind René Frank turned to the world of pastries rather late in his career, heading the three-Michelin-star venue ‘La Vie’ in Osnabrück before creating Coda. With an unassuming facade in the diverse borough of Neukölln housing a sleek space indoors, Coda serves up an inventive menu of dessert dishes (not all for the sweet tooth), each with its own exquisite drink pairing.
Doubtless a beacon of the ultra-modern, Berlin is also a spring of deep history and tradition, and in this realm falls Borchardt. An institution datingback to its opening in 1853 by August F.W. Borchardt, what was then a favourite of German royalty, bankers and industrialists, continues today to be frequented by the city’s well-to-do and preeminent. Tucked in a traditional townhouse at the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt with a splendid courtyard terrace, this is classical “charm meets trendy” refinement that, of course, amazes with its incredible international cuisine.
Phoenix, the restaurant of the modish Provocateur hotel. Described as ‘Paris meets Shanghai’, its mesmerizing design is reminiscent of a sultry French bistro with moody lighting and eye-catching accents, while the dishes combine traditional French techniques with the nuanced, ancient flavours of Chinese cooking. The end result is something personal (Ngo draws inspiration from childhood dishes) while still being stimulating and entirely novel.
Craving an Entrecôte with a side of celebrity sightings? Grill Royale is the spot to book. From a prime location overlooking the river Spree, Berlin’s most luxurious steakhouse sits at the 21st spot in the list of the World’s Best Steak Restaurants, but of course that’s not all they have to offer. Boasting an assortment of mouthwatering international fare, their menu is prepared consistently with a minute attention to detail, holding this institution as a leader in the pack of Berlin’s culinary scene.
From the outside, Ryōtei 893 resembles an abandoned store, now a canvas for graffiti artists and vandals. And was, in fact, a drugstore before the retail company went bankrupt in 2012. Fortunately, no signs of its past life exist within. Instead, guests are greeted by an energetic open kitchen, atmospheric lighting and elegant marble countertops. It shares Kantstraße and the surrounding area with some of Berlin’s best Asian cuisine but the sense of surprise upon entry, the joy of watching its chefs in action and, of course, the food mean Ryōtei 893 is undeniably one of the best. If you’re still not convinced, its mastermind creator Duc Ngo is also the chef behind Cocolo Ramen, Kuchi, Funky Fisch, Ngo Kim Pak and The Golden Phoenix.
Dae Mon’s plush interior is overlooked by a pair of Gatsby-esque eyes that survey the restaurant from above the kitchen. Incandescent lighting makes everything from the artwork on the walls to the furnishings all the more alluring. Defined as “open-minded cuisine,” the menu is a fusion of European-, Japanese- and Korean-inspired dishes. However, in the spirit of open-mindedness, chef Raphael Schünemann sources inspiration from around the globe. Dae Mon has also been recommended in the coveted Michelin Guide which awarded it a Michelin Teller — not quite a star but still a noteworthy endorsement.
Locally sourced farm-to-table food has been on the menu at restaurants across Berlin and the world for a while now but newcomer La Côte has applied the same philosophy to its interior design too. The terrazzo tabletops supplied by Kentholz, a Berlin-based business handmaking premium and sustainable furniture, are the first thing you’ll notice as well as the lush green tiles from Berliner Fliesenmarkt. La Côte also works with local wine stores to pair vino with its fresh and uncomplicated menus.
Most cities offer hit-and-miss Italian food, even in Italy, and Berlin is no different. But when someone’s paid careful attention to designing not just a restaurant’s dining area but the bathrooms too, you’re possibly onto a winner. MINE is considered by many to be one of (if not the best) Italian restaurants in Berlin and I wouldn’t argue. On the menu, you’ll find traditionally-made dishes alongside rousing modern portrayals of classics. And you’ll enjoy them in a setting like no other in the city. A bar cart by mid-century Italian furniture designer Aldo Tura is just the cherry on the cake.
A Berlin staple, but a beautiful one nonetheless. Pauly Saal occupies what was once the gymnasium of a former Jewish girls’ school. Its original features, lofty ceilings, luscious green seating, large windows and a six-meter replica rocket set the scene for a Wes Anderson film. But it’s also the ideal setting for chef Dirk Gieselmann’s classic French menu with the option for three to six courses. As for service, few restaurants in the city offer anything quite like it.
Unless you’re a traveller committed to keeping off the beaten path, Richard isn’t a restaurant you’re likely to stumble upon. Yet, Richard is housed within a 19th-century building that’s been home to restaurants for almost a decade. The latest is the work of Hans Richard, a Swiss chef and artist whose combination of talents lend themselves to both a changing four-course menu and carefully curated contemporary works of art throughout the space. While you might come for the food, you’ll stay to stroll from corner to corner as if visiting a gallery and peer up at the elegantly carved ceiling above.
As you can see, all that is daring and bold about Berlin can be discovered in its most exceptional restaurants. Now that you’ve got the list of the best restaurants in Berlin to choose from, go ahead and book a table, pull up a seat – we’ll be right there to join you.
Once in Berlin, surely you will look for the ideal spot to stay in this modern metropolis. We’ve got you covered: we gathered them all in our article about the best hotels in Berlin for endless elegance and sensation.
Food is incredibly enjoyable for all of us, but of course the perfect trip also requires the perfect hotel. To make sure you're not left out in the cold, we've put together a list of the best hotels on Santorini. If you're more drawn to the mainland, the best hotels on Portugal's Algarve coast are also a stunning option. Have fun browsing!