The burger scene in Berlin is ridiculous. I’ve never met a city so infatuated with the things, with competition running stronger and tastier as each month passes. Every time I get around to trying a new burger, five more seem to appear. And thus, I have developed this noble and endless quest to find Berlin’s perfect patty.
One of the most notable events of the Berlin burger year is Burgers and Hip Hop. With a passionate cult following, Burgers and Hip Hop dominates the burger scene in this city; they select a secret venue to host their events, then quietly announce it via their exclusive channels and wait patiently as the subsequent starving visitors flock to the venue and line up for hours just to get a taste of Berlin’s best burgers. Several lucky local haunts are selected to participate, and votes are taken amidst a factory floor full of satisfied fatties getting down to loud hip hop and munching on juicy beef.
I have yet to attend Burgers and Hip Hop because, while I love a delicious burger as much as the next person, I won’t wait in line for an hour and a half to try one. Perhaps my naturally hangry nature is responsible for this, and perhaps this will change as my taste for the things continues to grow. I don’t know. What I do know is there are several Berlin burger venues I’ve tasted so far, but there are still many patiently waiting on my shortlist. These include the following:
- District Mot
- Tommi’s Burger Joint
- White Trash Fast Food
The burgers I am not looking forward to tasting — purely because they look like they’d leave you with the meat sweats for at least a week — include:
- The Bird
- Room 77
So, without further adieu, here is part one of my favourite Berlin burgers. This list will continue to be updated, so check back for more inconsequential deliberation over Berlin’s best burgers.
Often crowned Berlin’s original hole-in-the-wall burger joint, Kreuzburger is nothing flash — simply a celebration of the good ol’ fashioned hamburger. Opening its doors until 4am on weekends, Kreuzburger is a hot spot for those with the drunken munchies, but it’s also popular with anyone looking for a no-frills feast at any time of day. Simple. Inexpensive. Tasty.
Oranienstraße 190 10999 Berlin
Ban Ban Kitchen
After taking out the title of Berlin’s best burger at the Burgers and Hip Hop event late last year, my expectations for Ban Ban were soaring, but I wasn’t overly impressed. To make matters simple, they’ve divided the menu into three categories: ninja chicken, soy superstar and bulgogi beef. Serving ‘Korean soulfood’ from a small food stall in Neukölln, they offer each of these choices on either a burger, nori tacos, or in a bibimbap box. I had the burger and it was good but not great; the spicy aioli was awesome and the buns were fantastic, but the caramelised soy meat was a little tough and there wasn’t all that much going on in terms of flavour. The kimchi fries, on the other hand, are fantastic.
Hermannstraße 205, 12049 Berlin
Sun Day Burgers
I wouldn’t even classify these burgers as burgers — they’re too damn healthy. Sitting in a permanent stall at Kreuzberg’s popular Markethalle Neun, Sun Day Burgers dish up the best vegan tofu burger I’ve ever had. I know, it’s vegan and how can that ever compare? Well, with a choice of peanut, mango or sweet chilli sauce (or all three) smothered on juicy slices of tofu sitting inside crispy grilled buns, these burgers annihilate all competition, even the juiciest of beef burgers.
Schiller Burger was our first ever taste of Berlin burger goodness. Opening their first store only two years ago, they now have three locations and are dominating the Berlin burger community. Their menu is varied but not overcomplicated, and what I love about it most is that they have as many vegetarian and vegan burgers on offer as they do meat varieties. With buns freshly baked from the Schiller Bakerei next door, Schiller burgers have a signature softness and every single element is super fresh. You’re also given the option to add organic beef, and there are an abundance of different cheeses and sauces to add to your stack. Their sweet potato fries are also killer. Schiller Burger never disappoints.
Neukölln: Herrfurthstraße 7, 12049 Berlin
Kreuzberg: Schönleinstraße 34 10967 Berlin
Friedrichshain: Wühlischstraße 41 10245 Berlin
I can’t speak on behalf of the meat monstrosities at BBI — Joe can, however, and he recommends them highly — but the veggie burgers at BBI rule. The buns are soft and sweet, the sauce (some kind of honey mustard aioli?) is terribly addictive and perfect for dipping fries in, and the veggie patties are juicy, flavourful and rolled in toasted almonds. Amazing. If you can get a seat in the sunshine on a warm Spring day, you’ll be scoffing down BBI all afternoon in pure burger bliss.
Pannierstraße 5, 12047 Berlin
The first time I bit into a burger from Bao Kitchen my perceptions of the ideal burger were altered forever. Stewed BBQ pork belly on a sticky steamed bun combined with vietnamese pickled veg, fresh coriander and home-made spicy sauce is now one of the winning burger combination in my books. Close rivals with three-time winner of Berlin’s best burger, District Mot (which I have yet to try), Bao Kitchen is on a whole new level, and it rocks my burger world every time.
Bao Kitchen currently have no permanent location, but they can be found at various market halls all over the city, such as Neue Heimat and Markethalle Neun.
This Berlin burger journey will continue to roll on (sorry), and I will endeavour to update this page with any new juicy discoveries. Next up, I think it’s time to hit Tommis’s Burger Joint and Piri’s Chicken.