If you ask a Berliner about the best burger in town, chances are that they will mention “The Bird” in Prenzlauer Berg, the U.S. food institution with a reputation that reaches far beyond the Kiez limits. The Steakhouse serves outstanding burgers, steaks and wings along with a lot of heart and also a guarantee for a memorable dining experience.
No food story about Berlin is complete without mentioning The Bird, the city’s most famous burger joint.. It’s one of the busiest restaurants in the city, always packed to the last seat and notoriously difficult to get a table – if you want a one for more than four on a weekend you better book more than a week in advance. We’re definitely not talking about a standard burger joint.
No food story about Berlin is complete without mentioning The Bird, the city’s most famous burger joint.
The Bird is located in a quiet corner of Prenzlauer Berg right off Falkplatz which is a small park connected to the northern end of Mauerpark. Not the busiest corner in the district and this restaurant is pretty much the only famous place in the nearby area. The venue has everything you would expect from an U.S. Steakhouse with a rough look and a buzzing atmosphere undermined by rock music from the speakers. Waiters are usually U.S. American and most times you’re better off ordering in English than in German.
The menu is classic steakhouse meaning that apart from burgers there is also a wide selection of different Steak cuts along with some other dishes like Chicken Wings and Cesar’s Salad. The menu itself is also quite a read, providing a lot of information about the different dishes and making it very clear that it’s not accepted to order your meat well done. And this is part of the deal, The Bird has an in-your-face attitude and they are not ready to make any compromises to their food experience. Which I fully support by the way, because they are spot on when it comes to how burgers and steaks should be cooked. Some of the other “rules” are a bit exaggerated, for example giving you a bad conscience if you eat your burger with your cutlery.
It truly stands out from the competition
The stars of the Bird experience are the burgers, they differ a lot from what you get in other places starting with the fact that they are made from high quality steak meat which is ground on site in the Bird kitchen. The result is an exceptional meat patty which is very compact, extremely juicy and packed with flavour. And it truly stands out from the competition. The patty is served in a home-baked bun which also is great as it’s not as dry and unspectacular as many other burger buns, it’s thin and small and merely serves it’s purpose which is to be a container for that delicious meat patty. The choice of topping is yours and if you don’t find your favourite among the 15 different burgers on the menu you can always compose your own.
The Bird is famous for it’s burgers but what most people don’t know is that they also serve some of the city’s best steaks. In times when steaks have become the fashionable food of high society members at restaurants like Grill Royal, The Grand or Brooklyn Beef Club, the Bird has been serving the same kind of U.S. imported steaks all along. You can get all the classic U.S. cuts like the Flank Steak, Rib-Eye and NY Strip, chargrilled to perfection in massive cuts of 400 to 600g. How good are the steaks? Pretty damn good! I wouldn’t go so far to call them the city’s best but they are very tasty, cooked to perfection and served with a massive portion of fries and delicious sautéed spinach. I love that spinach by the way, cooked perfectly with tons of butter. The only thing which puts me off is the fact that the steaks are oddly expensive, in a place like The Bird is feels very weird to cough up 50€ for a steak, that’s even more expensive than the before mentioned Grill Royal which is notoriously overpriced.
The Bird in Prenzlauer Berg is simply THE U.S. Steakhouse institution in Berlin and the right place for some genuine U.S. food culture
Also worth to mention are the famous Chicken Wings which to my knowledge also seek it’s counterpart in the city. These wings are the real deal which means that they are cooked with a hot barbecue sauce that will blow your socks off, definitely also worth a try if you ever feel like something else than red meat.
The Bird in Prenzlauer Berg is simply THE U.S. Steakhouse institution in Berlin and the right place for some genuine U.S. food culture. It’s also one of the better restaurants in the city. The exorbitant waiting times for tables and the expensive steaks are details which prevent me from being a frequent guest and sometimes I wish no one ever heard about The Bird so I could just drop in for a casual burger once in a while. But the guys are great at what they do and they really deserve the reputation they have. The one question which some of you will want an answer to is the one about the best burger in the city. Can The Bird boast with such a claim? I choose to answer neither yes nor no, because I have reached the conclusion that there is no such thing as a general “best” burger as there are several different species of burgers. The Bird burger is a U.S. style “sloppy burger” and in that category I think it’s safe to say that it stands out from the competition. So I will leave everyone to answer the burger question themselves. Until then – may all your burgers be juicy and made with love.