This article is sponsored by WeShare – my opinions are not.
Berlin’s food scene is not only the fastest growing restaurant hot spot in Europe – it’s also one of the most diverse and forward-thinking scenes on the whole continent. Germany’s capital has 12 boroughs, and there are several that truly embody the rapidly evolving food offering of Berlin, but the one that stands out is the district of Neukölln.
“From an incredible Levantine street food scene to hip restaurants and high-end Michelin starred restaurants, there is something to eat for every taste and budget”
Located in the southeastern part of the city, Neukölln is a West Berlin borough directly bordering the former GDR that has historically experienced a continuous influx of immigrants. Turkish, Greek, Italian and Moroccan guest workers in the 50s and 60s, Lebanese war refugees in the 70s, Iraqi and Syrian war refugees in the 10s, and Spanish, Italian and British “hipsters” in the early 2000s – Neukölln has always attracted people coming to Berlin in search for affordable housing.
Neukölln is a place that is in a continual state of evolution where cultures and realities clash in real time. You can eat anything at any time in Neukölln. It’s the literal manifestation of Berlin’s bountiful restaurant offerings. From an incredible Levantine street food scene to hip restaurants and high-end Michelin starred restaurants, there is something to eat for every taste and budget.
“With WeShare we set out to document the food of Neukölln, right in the middle of a pandemic lockdown”
With WeShare as a partner, we set out to document the food of Neukölln right in the middle of a pandemic lockdown. With restaurants closed for in-house dining, we had to settle for curb-side dining instead but, luckily, we had the 100% electrical WeShare ID3 Volkswagen to warm up between stops. Silently and sustainably, we moved through Neukölln from the canal crossing at Hobrechtbrücke into the northern parts of “Kreuzkölln” to Sonnenallee and Karl-Marx Strasse in the southeastern outskirts.
We spent a whole day with the team from Gazzo Pizza, a fascinating experience where we ventured far beyond pizza, got to meet a few of the local Gazzo suppliers and learned about the extraordinary approach to sustainability and quality (watch the documentary HERE and you’ll also find it below). Barra is another modern restaurant that’s made a name for itself far beyond the borders of Neukölln, and for the lockdowns, people from all over Berlin have been flocking to Schillerkiez to stan in line for their legendary fried chicken sandwich (we of course did exactly that).
“The divine Za’taar Manaqish is best ripped apart and eaten straight from the Tandur oven”
We checked up on one my favourite Döner Kebaps at Pi Love on Karl Marx Strasse, and the incredible chicken shawarma at Aldimashqui near Sonnenallee, a buzzing place that’s become an important social hub for the Syrian expat community. Another “must” stop when in the area is Damaskus on Sonnenallee for a few samples of their insane Baklava (I always leave with WAY too much). One of the best discovries of the trip was the divine za’taar manaqish at Kurdish eatery Barakat that’s best ripped apart and eaten straight from the tandoor oven – that much I know now – and if you’re into Polish cooking like me, a stop at Polish delicatessen Pyza is a must when you’re in the area.
Every journey into Neukölln is a discovery of something new. And every time I cross the canal back into Kreuzberg on the way to my home up north, I contemplate what I’m going to eat when I next return. What ever it will be, I know it’s going to expand my food horizon.
Disclaimer: Please be gentle, it’s a rental. No food in WeShare cars & always take out your trash.
My stops in Neukölln:
Hobrechtstraße 57, 12047 Berlin
Okerstraße 2, 12049 Berlin
Karl-Marx-Straße 84-86, 12043 Berlin
Sonnenallee 93, 12045 Berlin
Reuterstraße 28, 12047 Berlin
Karl-Marx-Straße 168, 12043 Berlin
Anzengruberstraße 24, 12043 Berlin