Warming German food on cold days

It was cold outside. Very cold. So, what more did we want to do after a day’s exploring than to retreat somewhere cozy and devour something comforting? This post focuses on the culinary belly-filling delights of Berlin.

Warming up inside

On our first day in Berlin, we of course were excited to try some traditional German fare. So, after doing a quick search online for suggestions, we made a beeline for a restaurant that promised some traditional Bavarian cuisine. When we arrived, somewhat suspiciously, the restaurant had a giant statue of a guy in lederhosen outside of it, so we thought it was probably a tourist trap. However, surprisingly, inside we found a lot of locals and there were no English menus. Luckily our server knew some English so we weren’t totally in the dark, and she told us about the amazing lunch special which Kimmie was excited to find out was schnitzel – yum!

Delicious schnitzel with chips.
The jovial sign outside the restaurant.

At another German pub we had some lovely warming dinners. After eating these meals we felt far too full, and we didn’t want to leave and brace the cold outside air!

A lovely warming soup at Zur Letzten Instanz.
Classic pork knuckle at Zur Letzten Instanz.
Goulash and stodgy dumplings at Zur Letzten Instanz.

One day, we even stumbled upon an amazing chocolate shop, and enjoyed warming hot chocolates and an afternoon treat! We also may have bought quite a few treats to sample later…

An amazing chocolate Brandenburg Gate at Fassbender & Rausch. This was one of many chocolate sculptures.

Currywurst

When Kimmie was researching the attractions in Berlin, she came across the Currywurst Museum. What a strange topic to base a museum on, but sure, we were up for it!

The museum was small but it was also fairly educational. We learnt more than you would ever want or need to know about currywurst. They taught us the history of currywurst, the different types of currywurst stands, what goes in to currywurst, examples of famous currywurst, where you can find currywurst around the world, and more! We saw various currywurst models on display, including one with gold leaf.

Entry to the Currywurst Museum (which has now permanently closed).
Sausage chair, anyone?
Jase pretending to serve up currywurst.
A currywurst flavoured drink doesn’t sound tempting to us, to be honest.

While we would recommend this museum for a bit of a laugh, and because, we like random things, unfortunately we were some of the last visitors, as merely a week later the museum closed permanently.

We got to try some currywurst, because as part of the museum admission we were each given a voucher for a free currywurst. We tried both east and west Berlin style – east being without the skin, as apparently the skin was in short supply at one point! For comparison purposes, we also tried a few different currywursts from recommended places around Berlin. The spiced sauces were the main differentiating factor. After trialing a few currywurst Kimmie felt she had probably had tried more than enough currywurst for quite some time.

East and West Berlin style currywurst.
A cheap and cheerful currywurst stand that we found through online recommendations.

Outside at the Christmas markets

One of the main drivers for our trip to Berlin was to experience more Christmas markets! We had the previous year had such a great time at the Christmas markets in Vienna and Czechia and wanted to see how the German ones compared.

Berlin has no shortage of Christmas markets – we walked around over six different ones. Our favourite was probably Gendarmenmarkt, but it did get crowded at peak time (and you had to pay to enter then too). What added to the magic of that particular market was the fact that it lightly snowed while we were there, enjoying our warm mulled drinks.

Of all the warm drinks that we tried, Kimmie’s favourite was a non-alcoholic mulled apple juice drink – it was like drinking apple pie – delicious! Jase really liked the mulled wine, but some were better than others. It appeared to be a good idea to look out for the stalls with the longer lines!

We really enjoyed sampling the range of food at the markets – we tried interesting doughnuts, chocolate covered grapes (we thought they were strawberries, and were surprised when we took a bite!), nougat, grilled mushrooms, cheesy bread, bratwursts, and more. Not very healthy of course, but hearty and warming!

Blueberry mulled wine. Each market had their own cup design too!
Kimmie enjoying her apple pie drink.
The pretty Gendarmenmarkt and its huge Christmas tree.
A stall selling roasted nuts, honey, and cheese.
Bratwursts roasting on an open fire…
Yummy vanilla doughnuts and popular kreppel (we couldn’t decide so tried both).
These Christmas tree decorations were not cheap!
Nut-crackers!
Many interestingly shaped gingerbread men.

Impressive Alexanderplatz market decor.
Bratwurst!
Yummy mushrooms in creamy herbed sauce.
Market with ice skating rink near Neptunbrunnen.

In summary

Berlin has many delicious foods and drinks on offer during winter time. The Christmas markets are lovely. However, in truth, we would rate Vienna’s markets higher than Berlin’s. Czechia’s markets are the cheapest of all of them, but we were also lucky in that our friend spoke the language! I think we may have otherwise struggled to communicate in Czechia.

We very much enjoyed trying all the culinary delights on this trip, although, as you may have gathered, most weren’t very healthy! So, after our holiday it was time to hit the gym!

Jase and Kimmie