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Foodies take note: you can indeed eat very well in Berlin. While restaurants in London, Paris and Copenhagen have hogged the headlines in recent years, the culinary quality and breadth in Germany’s capital has quietly taken a quantum leap forward. For 2015/16, the city gained another five Michelin stars, pushing the total to 26 spread over 20 gourmet temples, including the sleek Pauly Saal featured on our list.
But it’s not just in the top echelon of restaurants where you can send your tastebuds into orbit. Berlin’s vibrant pastiche of people from 184 nations has also generated delicious culinary diversity. Apple pie to zebra steak, authentic Japanese cuisine as at Zenkichi or humble yet sublime hummus at Hummus & Friends (both featured) – you will find it here, along with plenty of authentic German food.
Lest you think of ‘authentic German’ as football-sized pork knuckles paired with boiled potatoes and greasy gravy, you’ll be in for a surprise. Today’s maverick chefs have seriously expanded their repertories, relying on seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients prepared in nutritious and yummy ways. Just try Restaurant Le Faubourg or Restaurant am Steinplatz to see for yourself.
Berlin has also finally embraced the street food trend with the fervor of a religious convert. Food trucks pop up all over town and the biggest food event of the week is Street Food Thursdays, held in a historic market hall. Aspiring hobby chefs from around the world lure hungry hipsters with an exotic smorgasbord that might include New Zealand meat pies, Argentine pulled pork sandwiches or Korean tacos. It’s a first-class journey at economy prices.