On the fourth Thursday of November, people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, probably the biggest national holiday and with that something that will be missed while abroad. Thankfully, there are a lot of American expats that brought the tradition to Berlin with them. Here’s a few places that offer authentic American Thanksgiving food as well as tips on where to find ingredients if you want to cook for yourself!
1. Tasty Take Away at Stella
Pick up the year’s most special dinner at Fortuna’s Table & Stella, located in the heart of Neukölln! If you order for a minimum of 6 people before Nov 17th, you will get to indulge in their originally American-style turkey (they also have vegan options.) You can choose between 3 different courses, with prices ranging from 38€-70€.
Ready made heat and serve menus by pick-up or delivery. On offer are a full menu (39,50 € per person) or a lite menu (29,50 € per person), including a vegetarian option. They also offer to cater your party with a whole turkey and all the fixins by request.
Thanksgiving – for all who prefer to cook themselves
Germans eat turkey for Christmas, if at all, so it’s good to organize your bird in advance. Most Fleischereien will be able to sort a bird out if you give them a week’s notice. Plan on 500 grams per person when ordering, more if you’re fond of leftovers.
… and where to get it:
Rogacki, Wilmersdorfer Str.145/46, Charlottenburg: Fresh turkeys available for ~9 €/kg. Giblets are included for no additional charge. Some have said Rogacki can be relied on to have turkey in stock, but it is recommended to place an order. Open: Tue-Th 10am-6pm, Fr 9am-6pm, Sat 8am-2pm, Tel. 030 3438250
Kaufhauf des Westens (KaDeWe), Tauentzienstraße 21, Schöneberg: Battery turkeys are ~7 €/kg, organic ones are ~13 €/kg, giblets for ~6 €/kg. Open: Wed-Sat 10am-8pm, Mon-Tue 10am-8pm, Tel. 030 21210(poultry counter)
Fleischerei Domke, Warschauer Str. 64, Friedrichshain: Frozen turkeys are ~10 €/kg, while fresh ones are ~12 €/kg (without giblets). They say it’s best to come by in person to place an order, but Domke always has a few turkeys (presumably frozen) on hand. Open: Mon-Fr 6:30am-10pm, Sat 8am-9pm, Su 11am-9pm Tel. 030 2917635.
Make your own vegan loaf:
This vegan meatless loaf is so moist and flavorful that you won’t need stuffing or even gravy. It’s gluten-free and soy-free, too!
Since you can’t turn to admittedly-terrifying bags of stuffing mix, you’ll want a sturdy white bread that won’t fall to bits nor stay too stodgy. We suggest cubing Soluna’s La Boule or else what’s called französisches Landbrot, which is sold at many organic bakeries. Vacuum-packed chestnuts are easy to find in Berlin grocery stores and often more affordable than in the States, so they’re suited well as an addition to your stuffing.
The mashed potatoes
Look out for potatoes described as mehlig or mehligkochend (i.e. floury potatoes): they’re the best substitute for russets.
The pumpkin pie
You can find canned pumpkin at KaDeWe and Broken English. As a cheaper alternative, fresh pumpkins are available at most general supermarkets at this time of the year.
The sweet potatoes
If you want to make a sweet potato casserole, Süßkartoffel and marshmallows are sold in most grocery stores in the city.
The cranberry sauce
Cranberries can be found at most large grocery stores like Edeka and Kaufland, as well as most organic shops.
It’s easily one of the most iconic meals in the United States of America – the hamburger. And if you’re looking for a taste of home during your stay, Berlin has you covered. There are, in some districts quite literally, burger joints around every corner. Many of these places serve you puns with their buns, with names like Burgermeister or Burgeramt. However, my favorite burger place in Berlin has a more straightforward name: Tommi’s Burger Joint.
Tommi’s doesn’t reinvent the wheel – and it doesn’t have to. Their burgers may be somewhat basic, but the ingredients are high-end, and so is the taste. In addition, they also have very solid vegan and vegetarian options. Originally from Iceland, Tommi’s has now become an international phenomenon, with three stores in Berlin alone. One can be found at the Kurfürstendamm (Kurfürstendamm 212), one in Mitte (Invalidenstraße 160), and one near Boxhagener Platz (Gabriel-Max-Straße 17).
Their burgers may not be exactly cheap, but they are well worth the money. They also offer a large variety of condiments for everyone to use for no extra charge. And if you go there on a Tuesday, you’re in for an extra treat. On Tommi’s Tuesdays, you can get a whopping four euros off their Offer of the Century (i.e. burger, fries, and a soft drink).
Oh, and there’s also Tommi’s Playlist, which they play in their stores. It slaps. You can check it out here:
But for the real experience, you should go to one of their locations yourself while you’re in Berlin. You won’t regret it!
One of our favourite restaurants to go to with a group of friends is the Schnitzelei. Not only do they serve the probably most delicious Schnitzel you can find in Berlin (they are huuuge), but they also make their own Schnaps from all different kinds of fruits (Obstler). When you order the Obstler, they serve it in a big bottle that marks each 5cl. By the end of the night, you only pay what you ended up drinking Plus, the first round is usually on the waiter/ waitress. The best day to go is Monday – it’s their Schnitzeltag. This means their Schnitzels cost only 13.31 € instead of 19.50 € (and you are free to choose either potatoe salad or pan-fried potatoes on top of your order). Additionally, you will be handed a small beer on the house upon arrival. For all the vegetarians and vegans under us or for those who are simply not big fans of a Schnitzel, they offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan Schnitzels and loooots of other super yummy dishes. Check out their menu.
Where? Schnitzelei Charlottenburg, Röntgenstraße 7, 10587 Berlin
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 4pm – 12am and Saturday – Sunday 12pm – 11pm
Where? Schnitzelei Mitte, Chausseestraße 8, 10115 Berlin
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 4pm – 12am and Sunday 12pm – 10.30pm
If you want to add a little color to your dinner, we recommend to check out Best Friends Berlin (formerly called ‚Little Long‘, meaning Small Dragon) in Kreuzberg, a modern Japanese restaurant that combines traditional Japanese flavours with a western touch and a very colorful interior (all paintings you find in the restaurant are hand-painted by the owner). If you are only a small group, reservations are not necessary (provided that you come early; between 6pm and 7pm). We recommend to start your evening with different starters (Kimchi and Edamame are always a good idea), and proceed with one of their main dishes (the grilled tuna can be very much recommended. For the full menu see their website here). Finally, if you still have room for desert, we have to warn you: you need to be a fan of Matcha, because there is no way around it when it comes to their desert.
Where: Wiener Str. 60, 10999 Berlin
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday noon-midnight
Shakespeare and Sonsis an English-language bookstore located close to the railway station Warschauer Straße in Berlin-Friedrichshain, selling a wide variety of new and used books and offering a great selection of the best (allegedly) bagels in town. And granted, bagel dreams do come true when you stand in front of their bagel display. The hard part comes when you need to decide for your kind of bagel: poppy seed or sesame? Onion or rosemary? Plain or cinnamon raisin? You finish your order by picking your spread to go with it (for example standard cream cheese, avocado, hummus, goat cheese, and a few special compilations). This sounds mouth-watering to us, but don’t come super hungry, as there probably will be a waiting line.
Where? Warschauerstrasse 74, 10243 Berlin
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 8am-8pm
There are, obviously, tons of places in Berlin where you can get yourself some real‘ good Humus (bad as well, I might add, but to find those places we leave up to you). This being said, at Yafo Berlin you can enjoy delicious Humus AND a very cozy environment. This certainly invites for a long and extensive humus feast. Prices lie above the usual Berlin humus price, but in return you get some top-notch quality for your money. One humus plate is probably enough for two people, if each has another main course to go with it (we learned this the hard way, struggeling to finish our own). As far as the humus dish is concerned, we highly (!) recommend their „Yafo über alles“: Humus garnished with slow roasted cauliflower, matbucha, zchugand tahini.
Let us start by saying that it is probably a good idea to reserve a table at La Lucha, as it seems to get extremely busy. The high demand is justified though, as La Lucha adds a very interesting and, more importantly, very delicious twist to Mexican staples.
What seems to become a trend right now – La Lucha orientates itself toward authentic flavors, but takes them up a notch. For example, what would you say about ‚blue corn tortilla with smoked ricotta, melted gouda, crispy parmesan and figs‘? We’d say „yes, please!!“ Modern cuisine might often have the problem that it wants to be too modern, too pretty and too visual and then forgets all about the flavour. As far as we are concerned, this certainly is not the problem here. The food tastes as good as it looks, if not better.
We also especially like the restaurant’s belief in sharing food. To encourage this, every order is served as soon as it is ready, without a schedule in mind. We thus recommend to order a bunch of smaller meals and then share everything once it is on the table (have we mentioned the blue tortillas!? Because they are amazing).
In Spanish, La Lucha means “the struggle.” Mexicans are passionate and hard working people, and they use the term La Lucha in a positive way, to refer to their drive to achieve what they believe in. We share the drive and passion of the Mexican people, and strive everyday to bring you an honest, delicious and authentic Mexican experience. La Lucha is our struggle to bring Berlin a taste of the real Mexico.
Right opposite the Volkspark Hasenheide (*rabbit-heath*) in Kreuzberg, you find the restaurant Con Tho, which is Vietnamese for rabbit. Coincidence? We don’t think so. If you like Vietnamese food, but are a bit bored of the same old standard menu, Con Tho offers a different take on the typical Vietnamese cuisine. It’s a fusion of local ingredients and typical Vietnamese staples. Appetizers are sorted by small and medium dishes (recommendable are the black rolls or the in coconut water simmered tofu with garlic-mayonnaise sauce). For the main course you need to decide between Com Tam (different rice dishes served in a hot stone bowl), Banh Xeo (different variations of a riceflower crepe) and a Hue Bowl (different interpretations of lemongrass soup). Also recommendable are their own creations of lemonade and tea. As far as we are concerned, it’s almost impossible to make a choice that you’ll regret. Seating situation in the warmer months is perfect due to the nice outside terrace. As long as temperature is on the chilly side, you’ll find a cosy spot inside between bamboo sticks and big lampions. Consider making a reservation, if you come to prime time dinner times (8pm onwards), because it gets crowded quickly.
This little joint in Neukölln has not been named Burrito Baby for nothing. Upon ordering one of their burritos, be ready for being handed an almost toddler sized one. Seating is scarce, which makes it especially nice during the summer months, because you can sit outside. This being said, we still recommend coming here, no matter the season, simply for the following dishes: one of their well-filled burittos or their ‚House Nachos‘. Find their full menu here.
For us, Umami finds the perfect balance between traditional asian flavours and slightly more unusual creations. This is not only true for their food, but also for their homemade lemonade and tea offers (our tip for tea fans: order the ‚Herbstlaub‘ tea). Don’t be discouraged by the queue that is forming at peak times. Waiting time is usually not that long and well worth it (we can only speak for the Kreuzberg location though). Try the ‚Buddah Burger‘: a sautéed seitan patty with mango-coleslaw and sweetpotatoe fries or the ‚Dragon Barbeque‘: grilled king prawns with honey, vegetables and sweetpotatoe fries on the side. For a glimpse into Umami’s menu, visit their website here. If you come with a larger group, plan ahead and try to make a reservation for the seating area where you sit – traditional asian style – on the floor.