This ridiculously diverse ‘hood is home to a ridiculous diversity of food, from kebabs to Michelin meals and everything in between.
EXB’s foodies know every NK food spot worth knowing, from the big hits to hidden gems. Here’s our guide to the best restaurants in Neukölln.
Neukölln’s best contribution to the Neapolitan pizza craze isn’t Neapolitan at all, but a new-school hybrid with a sourdough crust and local-artisanal toppings like custom-made salsiccia from The Sausage Man Never Sleeps. The restaurant’s secret weapon: a partnership with a buffalo farm in Brandenburg that supplies fresher-than-fresh mozzarella, ricotta and burrata for its pies, plus milk that’s turned into the dreamiest olive oil-topped soft serve.
- Hobrechtstr. 57, daily 12-22
Sonnenallee wouldn’t be Berlin’s Middle Eastern epicentre if it hadn’t been for this humble hummus haven. Some go for the mixed platters, brimming with falafel, halloumi, schwarma and/or roasted veggies and large enough to feed an army. We prefer the traditional breakfast dishes, like chunky, hand-pounded musabaha or nutty, yoghurt-smothered fatteh, plus a fresh-baked za’atar-coated flatbread or two.
- Sonnenallee 54, daily 9-23
Perhaps Berlin’s only real farm-to-table restaurant, Café Botanico serves mainly what grows in the permagarden right behind it. And what a garden it is. Hidden behind the inconspicuous Rixdorf facade, it’s hard to believe you’re in a capital city as you watch bees bumble from flower to flower. Here, ancient fruit varieties, vegetables and wild herbs are cultivated to arrive crisp and fresh on your plate. Our tip? The fennel and citrus salad with Nocellara olives and pepper, or the fresh pasta with wild mushrooms. A treat for body and soul, every time.
- Richardstraße 100, Tue-Sat 17-23, Sat +Sun 10-16
Whether it’s breaded chicken or crunchy deep-fried oyster mushrooms, crisp-edged smashburgers or unhinged specials like the “Ragin’ Rooster”, everything at this Aussie-owned sandwich shop is dialled up to 11. A slushy frozen margarita helps the fat and carbs go down easy, and smooths the burn of the infamous “Trauma Sauce”.
- Boddinstr. 61, daily 12-22
Anton Pilz’s Levantine tapas bar might just be the quintessential modern Neukölln eatery: laid-back, vegan without making a big deal of it, beloved by the artist and foodie crowd alike. It’s easy to while away an evening here, sipping Lebanese wine and grazing on crispy potatoes, tahini-coated cauliflower and labneh with homemade bread. That is, if you have a reservation.
- Weisestr. 58, Wed 17-22, Thu-Sun 12-22
La Stella Nera
At Berlin’s OG vegan pizza joint, expect your crust charred (“black” is in the name, after all) and some serious leftie vibes. At six years old, this place was serving up ethically sound slices before veganism was even vaguely hip, and it turns out cruelty-free pizzas taste damn good. The wood-fired dough is chewy, the homemade ‘ricotta’ creamy and the likes of Carciofina Piccante (soy cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and spicy house-smoked tofu) irresistible.
- Leykestr. 18, Tue-Sun 17-23, www.lastellanera.de
La Bolognina, a cosy, laid-back nook on Neukölln’s Donaustraße will relight anyone’s fire for Italian food. Here you’ll find ever-changing variations of ravioli, tagliatelle, gnocchi and strozzapreti, or piadina (stuffed flatbread). Finish things off with a homemade tiramisu, selected wines and a vinyl soundtrack (the place is run by Luca Spinogatti, whose DJ name is The Ivory Boy). Perhaps the best place for pasta in Neukölln.
- Donaustr. 107, Tue–Sat 17–22
Another seriously trendy Berlin restaurant with a tightly curated menu of farm-to-table shared plates accompanied by natural wine. Barra in Schillerkiez is a gourmet favourite, with creative raw fish dishes, homemade pasta and vegetable concoctions that do justice to Brandenburg’s finest produce. (You also have to pay a €40 deposit with your reservation, so don’t invite your flaky friends.) It also became an unlikely pandemic success story with its takeout fried chicken sandwich which launched two days into lockdown 2020.
- Okerstr. 2, Mon-Fri from 18.30
Over in Reuterkiez, cosy Myxa serves as a meeting place for young Greek expats in Berlin. In keeping with the small cafe’s rustic patina you’ll find a wholesome menu featuring classic Greek dishes like Gemista (oven-baked stuffed pepper and tomato), Spanakopita (traditional filo pie filled with spinach, leek and feta) to be washed down with a mocha, frappé or Mastika, pine-scented liqueur from the island of Chios.
- Lenaustraße 22, daily 11-22
The Spaniards love their fish, cheese and aioli – and you can get vegan versions of all these at Alaska, which offers all-plant editions of traditional tapas. Carrot “smoked salmon” on sourdough and patatas bravas with Sichuan chilli oil share menu space with classics like croquetas and already-vegan padron peppers. In summer it’s best to eat out on the pavement, migrating indoors for excellent cocktails and Spanish wines.
- Reuterstr. 85, Mon-Thu 17-24, Fri 17-2, Sat 12-2, Sun 12-24
Yet more excellent Italian cuisine is to be found in an oh-so-Neukölln setting: a former laundry that blends industrial sleekness with rustic ambience. Even more breathtaking than the open kitchen is the food that emerges from it: daily changing five-course menus featuring fresh pasta, grilled mains and the occasional contemporary experiment. Dinner will set you back €49 (€54 from 1.10.22) including water, half a bottle of wine, coffee and a digestif; those on lower budgets can treat themselves to a set lunch, with a discount for Hartz IV recipients.
- Flughafenstr. 46, Wed-Fri 13-23, Sat-Sun 17-23
Want more food tips? Check out the best restaurants in Wedding.