The authors of this Berlin travel guide, specialised on food and Berlin restaurants, are experienced foodies. Kevin Knapp and his fiancé Hutch moved from San Francisco, a city with a great food scene to Berlin some years ago. In the meantime, they’ve not only produced house music, but went hunting for great Berlin food spots. In this Berlin Travel Guide by Kevin Knapp and Hutchtastic, they are sharing their secret treasures like street food and Thai food spots, as well as the must-visit-localities. Without any doubt, it’s difficult times for the club and restaurant scene in Germany and even more important to support your favourite ones with takeaway orders.
Kevin Knapp and his fiancé Hutch recently launched their new label ‘Plump‘ on which they’ve released their first EP ‘Plump Sounds’ last month. We recommend tuning in, while checking out their Berlin food tips here.
‘Plump’ is a creative partnership and collaboration between Kevin Knapp and Jessica “Hutch” Hutcheson, AKA Hutchtastic. Hutch is a visual artist, vocalist, Detroit native, burgeoning producer and overall performer and art personality who also featured in their powerful video ‘Cute’. Kevin Knapp is electronic music producer, DJ and vocalist, with a slew of releases on formidable labels in the dance music industry.
Kevin Knapp & Hutchtastic about Berlin’s Food Scene
Food is something that is really important to both of us. We love to cook, and often spend our days off taking on some new cuisine or recipe we haven’t tried before, but we love to eat out as well. We both spent significant portions of our lives in San Francisco which has one of the best food and restaurant scenes in the world, so our standards and expectations are pretty high when it comes to cuisine. Having both moved from San Francisco to Berlin, food was definitely one area of life where we experienced culture shock. While Berlin is not necessarily known on the international scene for its food and restaurants, over the last decade there really has been a shift and it seems that every year more and more exciting things are happening in the food arena.
Here is our guide to Berlin with a few of our favourite food spots we recommend you check out next time you are in Berlin.
Berlin’s Best Fried Chicken Sandwich at Barra
We have a lot of friends who work gastronomy, and if you ask any of them their favourite place to eat in Berlin, nine times out of ten the answer will be Barra. Tucked into a quiet side street in Neukölln, Barra serves small sharable plates from a frequently changing, seasonal produce-driven menu. A small intimate space with a great neighbourhood vibe. They also have an exceptional wine list dominated by natural and low intervention wines which we love. As we are all aware Covid has been especially hard on restaurants (as well as bars and clubs of course) but Barra has deftly managed to take it in stride by making an incredible fried chicken sandwich at lunch for takeaway that has been the talk of the town, which in fact is featured in the quarantine addition of Kevin Knapp Beats N Eats which we put out back in May.
Regional Thai Cuisine in Berlin at Khwan
Khwan describes themselves as ‘Regional Thai Cuisine – Wood Fired BBQ’ and has some of the best Thai food either of us has ever tasted. Khwan started as a food truck and then was a pop-up in the same location they eventually took over as a permanent restaurant. The menu is definitely not your typical Thai spot – no Pad Thai or sweet coconut milk-based curries to be found here. The food is bold – intensely flavoured and in your face in the best possible way – smoky, spicy and acidic but perfectly balanced. Favourite dishes include their barbecue chicken seasoned with tamarind the whole fried fish with fresh herbs, and the grilled oysters. We have never had a dish there we did not love, and so our favourite this is to go with a big group of friends so we can just order the entire menu and not have to miss out on anything!
Get the Best Pizza in Berlin at Il Casolare
On a corner in Kreuzberg next to a popular bridge over the canal, Il Casolare is possibly as famous for the bad attitude of the old Italian punk rockers that make up the waitstaff as they are for their incredible pizza. The walls are covered in Fellini posters and tags scrawled by patrons – they repainted a couple of years ago but left a few choice circles untouched to preserve some of the graffiti. The pizza options are quite extensive, favourites of ours include the ‘Veneta’ which has prosciutto and Gorgonzola and the ‘Incredible’ which has spicy salami, bresaola, mushrooms, grana padano, and walnuts. Make sure to check out the chalkboard specials as well – they change daily and are usually excellent.
Gemüsekebap in Berlin without queueing at K’Ups
Anyone who has spent any time in Berlin knows that the Döner Kebab is one of Berlin’s most classic street foods. We, however, prefer the variation known as the Gemüsekebab. Both feature seasoned meat sliced from a giant rotating spit, but the Gemüsekebap is made with chicken as opposed to the lamb/beef blend usually found in a classic Döner. The other big difference that the Gemüsekebap has roasted veggies added, Gemüse means vegetable in German, usually thin slices of eggplant, zucchini, potato and bell pepper. It’s available either as ‘Dürum’ which is like a wrap, or ‘im Brot’ which is more of a sandwich. The most famous spot for Gemüsekebap is a spot in Kreuzberg called ‘Mufasa’s’, but there is almost always a huge line there. Whereas K’Ups Gemüsekebap is across the street from Kevin’s old apartment on Kastanienalle in Prenzlauer Berg, never has a line, and is just as good in our opinion.
Street Food and Market Stalls at Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg
Markthalle Neun is a big food-focused market hall in Kreuzberg. Filled with different stalls, it is a great place to shop for fruits and veggies, cheese, baked goods, fresh pasta, wine and pantry items. It also has one of the best butchers in Berlin who also sell their own homemade sausages which are delicious. In addition, there are some stalls that offer prepared food ready to eat, including tapas, barbecue and ice cream. Pre Covid they held a weekly ‘Street Food Thursdays’ event on Thursday evenings that would host a rotating collection of Berlin’s best street food vendors, fingers crossed that will be returning once it is safer to eat indoors once again.
Middle East Cuisine at Michelin Star Standards at Prism Berlin
Definitely at a higher price point than the rest of the places included on this list, but we think Prism is too special not to mention. Prism is ‘Modern Levantine Cuisine’ which means flavours of the middle east refined and elevated to Michelin star standards. We went for our anniversary last year and were absolutely blown away. Taking inspiration from traditional dishes from Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan and the chef’s native Israel (as well as other countries in that region of the world) and blending them with European fine dining techniques and plating, evening at Prism is pure delight. The wine list also contains many selections from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel showcasing wines that may not be well known, but come from a region that has been producing wine for centuries longer than anywhere else on the planet, challenging the idea that Europe knows best when it comes to winemaking.
Keen to check out more restaurants, food spots and other locations in Berlin? Check out our Berlin Travel Guide with tips from local DJs, such as Oliver Koletzki, andhim, Jan Blomqvist and Britta Arnold.