4 years, 6 months ago
Berlin’s dynamic personality is best experienced by visiting as many different neighbourhoods as you can. And rather than stand around when you get there with no clue what to do, you could set out on a street food and market tour of the city. From weekly farmers’ markets serving up fresh breads, organic cheeses and recently plucked vegetables to stalls selling aromatic street foods from around the world, these are the foodie markets in Berlin you, quite simply, just have to visit – one for each day of the week.
Ease yourself gently into a week of feasting with a quick visit to this weekly morning fresh fruit and vegetables market on Mitte’s Ackerstraße (also called Ackerhalle). A great place to get your hands on some basic supplies, you can and should also peruse their stalls for things lke handmade goods, vintage clothes and jewellery. Your nearest U-Bahn stop is Bernauer Straße, which is close to key sights like the Berlin Wall Memorial and MACHmit! Museum for Children.
In Neukölln there’s an outdoor Turkish market open Tuesdays and Fridays from mid-morning until early evening. Held on the banks of the Maybach canal, you can expect a kaleidoscopic display of ready-to-eat Turkish dishes as well as fresh ingredients including meats, vegetables and bags of herbs and spices to cook with yourself. Indeed this is one of the cheapest markets on my list and the perfect place to stock up if you’re staying in a self-catering apartment. Keep your eyes open for other Asian flavours and freshly cooked sweetcorn to eat as you wander and take in the striking colours and character of this singular market.
credit: Cher Amio
Over in West Berlin suburb Schöneberg is a bi-weekly farmers’ market. Held in the shadow of St. Matthias Kirche at Winterfeldtplatz every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 o’clock in the morning this is one of the best places to try a variety of Berlin’s famous wurst, sausage and cheeses. Fair warning: it’s tough to ignore the fresh bratwurst and other lip-smackingly tasty street foods sizzling away as you pick out your organic vegetables. This is also a great place to pick up more unusual ingredients like edible wild flowers and strangely shaped mushrooms.
A week touring Berlin’s food markets is incomplete without a visit to possibly the most famous of them all. Markthalle Neun is one of Kreuzberg’s most treasured hotspots having been rescued from disrepair and restored to new glory as a community-owned “place for all” market hall in 2011, almost exactly 120 years after it originally opened. Its long history is visible in its tall arches and glass roof, but the fresh smell of lunch radiating from the famous Kantine during the week reminds you this is a different market food experience.
Thursday is the highlight of Markthalle Neun’s week with its Streetfood Thursday evenings where you can take a pseudo tour of the world through the dishes on offer from many of Berlin’s vibrant immigrant communities. Don’t leave it too late to get fed though as many stalls run out way before the 10 o’clock closing time.
If you want to visit the more traditional market, Fridays and Saturdays are the days to fill your shopping bag with farm grown groceries and freshly baked breads, but throughout the week you can stop by to enjoy the aforementioned local produce as cooked at Kantine where delicious dishes are served up for a very small cost.
credit: Nicola Holtkamp
Considered Berlin’s most beautiful market hall, Arminiusmarkthalle has plenty of character inside and out. With its location in Moabit to the north of Mitte, an area rarely frequented by tourists, this is a great place to escape to and feel like a local in Berlin. You can easily get here after a visit to Tiergarten, which is just over a mile away. As with the others on this list, this is not just a spot to stock up on fresh ingredients, there’s also a number of restaurants to be found and more than a few places to sit and have a drink while people-watching.
I’ll give you two for the price of one on Saturday, as this really is the best day for Berlin farmers’ markets.
In Friedrichshain there’s the popular Eco Market at Boxhagenerplatz (also home to a fantastic flea market on Sundays). Join locals as they peruse seasonal produce, international street foods and watch out for delicious homemade cakes on sale. This is a good one to bring kids to as there’s a child’s playground just next door.
Over in Prenzlauer Berg, arguably East Berlin’s most gentrified suburb, there’s a farmers’ market taking place each Saturday morning in Kollwitzplatz, one of Berlin’s prettiest town squares. In addition to the usual farmers’ market staples, you will also find stalls for a local chocolate boutique, organic butchers and a very upmarket seafood seller.
credit: Still in Berlin
A quiet day for food markets in Berlin, you don’t have to go hungry on Sunday though. At least not in the summer as Sundays in the sun is when the unique “Thaiweise” takes place in Preussen Park in Berlin’s leafy Charlottenburg. Meaning “Thai Meadow” Thai food market will look very similar to those you may have enjoyed street markets in Bangkok or Chiang Mai and will certainly offer the same tastes and oriental produce to buy. A perfect place to go if you’re a little delicate after Saturday night – you could pop by after a visit to the grand Charlottenburg Palace – this Thai market starts at noon and goes on into the evening.
Cover image by Sofitel Berlin Kurfurstendamm