5 years, 7 months ago
Post and pictures by renowned food blogger Niamh Shields, as part of our #housetripping series.
I like a challenge, and when that challenge is finding the best currywurst in Berlin, that is a challenge that I can take on with relish – and extra curry powder. I have been working with HouseTrip to uncover such important details relating to some of their key destinations, and to share some of the best local recipes with you too. All so you can eat and cook the very best, when you visit there. You are welcome. (I love my job, I do).
What is currywurst? Iconic, and especially important to Berlin, the currywurst is a pork sausage that is steamed, then fried, and served sliced and drowned in curry ketchup or tomato sauce sprinkled with curry powder. Who knew that it would become so popular? Or that it could be so good? People are fairly obsessed with it and an estimated 800 million are sold each year. There is even a currywurst museum.
My first couple of nights, I spent in the trendy suburb of Prenzlauerberg. Having never had a currywurst up until this point, I was determined to seek one out.
Hip and cool, my apartment was tucked away in a sleepy leafy courtyard. I asked my host, Cenk, where I should go for this. He loves his food and had many suggestions – the main one being Curry 36, one that I would hear again and again. It was a little far and I wanted to explore locally so he dropped me on the main street where I discovered Alain Snack, dishing up organic currywurst and bratwurst. This seemed like a perfect place to start. I ordered one, with bread and chips (don’t ask me why, I think I panicked).
My currywurst arrived.
I had never seen one before, so I did what I always did, leaned in close and smelled it, only to inhale lots of curry powder, which nearly finished me off before I started. The first taste was a good start. Nice firm sausage, good sauce and curry powder. Peculiar and delicious. I trotted home to my cosy one bedroom apartment with my spoils and committed what I am sure is a culinary crime, I made a chip and currywurst butty. It was delicious, and felt very bad.
The next day, still in Prenzlauerberg, I wandered down the road a little, to Konnopke´s Imbiß. It is tucked neatly under the railway bridge, all proud in yellow, and is regarded by many as the source of some of the best wurst in Berlin. I joined the long queue, almost all of whom were locals. The currywurst was good, very good, and better than the last.
Two down, but that is not enough, I need to try at least 5 of the best to form an opinion. Curry 36 was firmly on my mind as most people I asked were proclaiming it their favourite, mainly for the quality of the sausage. Witty’s was popping up too. Near the iconic KaDeWe, a department store with a whole floor devoted to food, I would have to try their currywurst too, they were sure to have it.
I moved apartment to a glamorous loft conversion in Perleberger Str. This felt much too gorgeous and glamorous for currywurst, but I had a job to do.
For dinner, I persevered on my quest and popped to the little booth in Kreuzberg.
This was the best yet – soft, yielding and crisp. I had been told that they stood out for the quality of their sausage and this was clear from the first bite.
But I can’t say this is the best overall as I have two more on my list. Witty’s, while organic, proved to be the soggiest of the lot, although it was served by the most cheerful of staff. It probably didn’t help that I had to eat it in the snow, but snow does not a soggy sausage make. So, sorry Witty’s, that puts you to the bottom of the pile.
One more, KaDeWe. Glamorous surroundings and a whole currywurst section, this came served with matchstick crisps on top. I loved it. This was my winner. But for the bona fide side of the street Berlin experience, be sure to have one at Curry 36 also.
Your other option is to make one at home, of course, especially after raiding the food hall at the KaDeWe. Homecooked food is often best and the apartments that I stayed at had some great kitchens.
My first in Prenzlauerberg was cosy and bright with high windows and an open & very usable kitchen, stocked with everything you might need. It was perfect for the solo traveller but also for a couple.
My Kreuzberg apartment was a little bigger with an extra bedroom and lots more living space. The kitchen was smaller but has everything you might need.
My Perleberger Str digs were so gorgeous I didn’t want to leave. A dreamy kitchen, spacious and stocked with everything. This is the kind of apartment that I covet and want to live in. And so, it makes the perfect breakaway space. Luxury and still on a budget, best shared with friends. Browse their range of self-catering holiday apartments in Berlin.