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.
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
This cake translates to “bee-sting” and ironically does not contain any honey. Classic yeast dough with a lot of vanilla cream and a caramelized almond flake crust on top.
Made with the German dairy product “quark,” German cheesecake is significantly less sweet than its American counterpart. Please don’t leave Germany without trying it at least once.
To commemorate the city of Frankfurt am Main as the coronation site of the German Kaiser, this “Frankfurt Wreath” is supposed to depict a crown. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s favorite cake from his hometown is basically all buttercream and almond brittle.
The “Danube wave” gets its name from the wavy layer of vanilla and chocolate cake. Topped with buttercream and a chocolate glaze.
The rest of Germany calls them “Berliner” and Berliners call them “Pfannkuchen”. Made from yeast dough and in its most classic form filled with red fruit marmalade. Traditionally eaten on NYE or during the carnival season (though not in Berlin!).
The “Black Forest Cherry” Cake is probably Germany’s most famous cake. Made with “cherry water” (very much not water, actually high percentage alcohol) and – you guessed it – a lot of buttercream.
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.
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.
If you are like us and have discovered your love for whiskey pretty late in life, you hopefully have friends that quickly point you into the right direction when it comes to finding the perfect place for you new craving. If not. Listen up. Keith Bar is a rusty little bar in Neukölln, specilaizing in – and we quote „good whisky. And good music. And good food pop-ups. And good performances. And good art. And good cocktails. And good times with friends. And good beers…“. The bar is cozy and dark (the lighting mainly comes from candle light, as is common for so many bars in Berlin) with vintage wood furniture. Prices are quite reasonable and we never had to fight for a table – yet.
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.
Lalibela is a cute little place in the heart of Neukölln that serves delicious Ethiopian food. This is the perfect place to come with a small group, not because of the place’s size (au contraire, it’s rather small, so you might want to reserve a seat, if you don’t want to wait -> reservations can be done online), but because of the fact that the typical Ethiopian dish, the injera, is the perfect meal to share. Injera is an Ethiopian flatbread (made out of teff flour) that is served flat on a big iron plate with a variety of toppings, like lentils, salads, vegetables, potatoes, stews, etc., with more injera served on the side. What might need a little getting used to at first is that you will not be served utensils, since this dish is traditionally eaten with your hands, using small pieces of injera to scoop up the toppings. This makes the injera simultaneously a food, an eating utensil and also a plate. We recommend to mix and match the combos to get the full hands on experience.
Where? Herrfurthstraße 32, 12049 Berlin
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 2PM – Open end.
Dumplings – who doesn’t love these cute little wonders of dough full of delicious sweet or savory fillings? One place that does them especially well is Momos (named after the South Asian version of dumplings) in Mitte, a small restaurant that specializes in dumplings of all kinds. Here, you can choose between six kinds of dumplings (all vegetarian or vegan), such as spinach and cream cheese, pumpkin and chickpea, or broccoli, mushroom and tofu, pick your dips, and decide if you want them steamed or fried. For the indecisive ones, mix and match plates are available, which are great for sharing (or trying them all by yourself if you’re greedy like we are and don’t like to share your dumplings). And if your plate is empty and you still have room for some dessert, try the sweet momos filled with banana, cinnamon, and maple sirup! In addition to their delicious food, Momos is a business worth supporting because they only use organic ingredients, they care about sustainability (all their to-go containers are compostable and they use green electricity), and they are active in sustainability organizations.
Where? Chausseestraße 2, 10115 Berlin (U Oranienburger Tor)
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 12PM – 10PM