Looking to explore the Berlin food scene?
Our 2019 Berlin Food Guide features 20 of the city’s best cafes, bakeries, restaurants, markets and beer gardens.
Enjoy a culinary walking tour of the city and sample the the most famous Berlin dishes, from classic Currywurst to Turkish doner.
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Berlin Food Guide Arlene Stein
There’s no better way to taste your way through the Berlin food scene then by restaurant hopping with a local expert. In Spring 2019, Dobbernationloves spent three days tasting through the best Berlin dishes with Arlene Stein, the founder and Executive Director of the Terroir Symposium.
Since 2006, Terroir Symposium has convened international and Canadian industry leaders annually at a two-day symposium in Toronto. Stein expanded Terroir’s reach in 2014 by offering off-shoot events across Europe and North America—for education and community building around food and culture.
Arlene Stein and her family moved to Berlin in 2012 for a one year sabbatical. They fell in love with the city, its creativity and the energy of its people that they moved here permanently in 2015.
Stein explains her families move, “We relocated to Berlin originally for a sabbatical – we needed a change – perhaps a mid-life crisis. When we arrived the city was still in the process of metamorphosis, especially in food. I have seen so many changes, so much growth but there is still a lot to come – so many more opportunities. What I miss most about Toronto is the multi-cultural aspect and openness to other cultures. I miss the strong food and farming culture that has been built up over the last 20 years – but I can always pull on that for inspiration when I am working on projects here in Europe.”
Stein comments about the genesis of Terroir Symposium, “We started Terroir in Toronto simply as a way to create a community in the hospitality industry, share resources and provide support to help strengthen and build knowledge. It grew very organically from a meeting of 107 people to today’s event that attracts over 1000.”
Since moving to Germany Arlene Stein has launched Terroir Berlin. She explains, “It was simply a natural progression. I wanted to become part of the food community in my new city and the best way to do that was to share my network and knowledge. I have over 20 years of experience in events, meetings and building communities.”
Terroir Berlin has united internationally acclaimed chefs including Mark Best, Amanda Cohen, Matt Orlando, Magnus Ek and Jeremy Charles with Berlin’s best restaurants including Horváth, Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Rutz, Ernst, Lode & Stijn and Dóttir for a Chef’s Symposium and Collaborative Dinner that allow delegates and guests to experience Berlin’s rich culinary food scene and gastronomic heritage through fresh eyes.
Arlene Stein’s Terroir events offer guests an excellent opportunity to explore the best of the Berlin food scene.
Best Hotels to Explore the Berlin Food Scene
Looking to plan an edible getaway to taste your way around the Berlin food scene? We suggest spending a minimum of 3-4 nights so you can visit the top attractions and sample the best Berlin dishes.
The best hotels in Berlin can be found in the Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhoods. All of Berlin’s boutique luxury hotels offers swanky bars, delicious restaurants and chic suites.
We’ve included helpful links to the best hotel booking sites so you can compare prices and availability.
- Hotel Oderberger Berlin 4 STARS: located in Prenzlauer Berg, this boutique hotel features a fine dining restaurant, lounge and indoor swimming pool.
- Hotel Adlon Kempinski 5 STARS: located in Mitte, this 385 room luxury hotel is steps from Brandenburg Gate. The Kempinski in Berlin features three restaurants, full-service spa with indoor pool and two chic bars.
- The Ritz-Carlton 5 STARS: located in Mitte, this 5-start hotel features a fine dining restaurant, cafe, two bars, indoor pool, and 24-hour fitness centre.
Best of the Berlin Food Scene
We chatted with Terroir Symposium’s Arlene Stein about the state of 2020’s Berlin food scene.
Stein chirps, “The most exciting thing about the food community here is the possibilities and opportunities. I see people moving here from all over Europe and the rest of the world and getting involved with food and food systems. Berlin is more accessible in terms of the start-up cost to build something here, so it’s easier in some ways to open a restaurant here. Less risk so people can be more creative.”
She adds, “I think the Berlin food scene will become more mature and more established. The biggest trend I see right now is the ethics around food. Berliners tend to be conscientious – so clean, ethical eating and responsibility around food and food systems is fundamental.”
So where should a first time visitor start a Berlin food tour? Terroir Berlin’s Arlene Stein suggests, “I would say that you need to go to Prater Garden or if it’s winter a Christmas Market – ideally at Gendarmenmarkt. I suppose you should eat currywurst and a doner kebab and then I always recommend a trip to Adana Grillhaus to get a taste for our Turkish food. I love Madame Ngo in Charlottenburg for the best Pho and spring rolls. If you want classic Berlin dishes, then you must go to Zur Letzten Instanz for Eisben (Pork Knuckle) or Königsberger Klopse (The Kings Meatballs) served in caper cream sauce on mashed potatoes!”
Best Berlin Food Tours
Looking to book the best food tour in Berlin? Sometimes the best way to explore a city’s culinary scene is by joining an organized food tour. Check out our favourite food tours in Berlin:
- Berlin Evening Food Tour: this 3.5-hour tasting tour gives the inside scoop on Berlin’s culinary hotspots. Visit bars, restaurants, and food stalls in Berlin’s vibrant Kreuzberg neighbourhood, tuck into street food at the Neun Markthalle, and sample up to 10 different foods and drinks.
- Secret Food Tours East Berlin: taste the best of East Berlin during this 3 hour walking tour sampling the area’s history along with a mix of tasty ethnic eats and traditional German staples.
- Berlin Beer Tour: visit 3 of the city’s bars and breweries for tastings to learn about the history of brewing in Berlin. A traditional German snack is also included.
- Berlin’s Best Sweets and Coffee: this 2 hour tour allows sweet lovers to taste delicious homemade ice cream, coffee and cake!
2020 Berlin Food Guide
Our 2020 food guide to Berlin features everything from bakeries, beer gardens, cafes, cake shops and Michelin starred dining!
Stargarder Str. 72, 49-176-80103080
Hokey Pokey is Berlin’s best ice cream parlour. On a hot day local families and gelato fans can be found patiently waiting in line for a refreshing sweet fix.
Our Berlin food guide Arlene Steins says, “Hokey Pokey offers exceptional ice cream and a nice walk from my home at the top of Prenzlauerberg. They offer great flavours and quick service, so even if there’s a line of 100 people – it moves fast!”
Hokey Pokey’s best ice cream flavours include Sea Buckhorn, Banana Peanut Butter, Creme Fraiche Rhubarb, Sicilian Pistachio, Indian Mango, Blueberry Meringue and Bourbon Vanilla with Crunchy Caramel Crisps.
Hokey Pokey sells ice cream for 1,60 Euro per scoop and only accepts cash.
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Kastanienallee 7-9, 49-30-4485688
Terroir Berlin’s Arlene Stein says “The Prater is a classic German beer garden and the oldest in Berlin. It’s just really great fun to meet up with friends in an easy casual way.”
Open since 1837, Prater Beer Garden is located at Kastanienallee in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. On weekends on a sunny day it often gets crowded as people love to stop by for fresh beer and a snack after spending the day in nearby Mauerpark.
Step inside the outdoor beer garden in Berlin and you’ll find row upon row of wooden tables and benches, which invite you to enjoy a Pilsner under the shade of trees. Once the sun sets, the branches overhead are illuminated with fairy lights, making it one of our favourite romantic Berlin food places.
Beside the open-air garden is a German restaurant serving classic Berlin dishes such as soups, Leberkäse, trout with butter almonds and crispy duck with potato dumplings.
If you’re visiting Prater Beer Garden for a casual sip and nibble be sure to bring cash. You’ll find two separate line ups serving a selection of beer and popular Berlin street food such as pretzels and sausages.
Pappelallee 29, 49-30-54622839
On our Berlin food tour with Arlene Stein she chirped “I love Mrs. Robinson’s restaurant and the couple Ben and Samina that run it. They serve creative cuisine with local products and a great wine list. Very modern and never fails to impress an out of town guest.”
Mrs. Robinson’s is located on Pappelalle in Prenzlauerberg. You’ll find an outdoor patio out front or an intimate dining room if you skip up the steps. The casual, hip and lively restaurant serves some of the most beautifully plated Berlin food.
The petite dining room features wooden chairs and tables, fresh flower bouquets and an open concept kitchen with bar stool for those who like to watch cooks prepare their meal.
Samina is in charge of front of house and Ben rules the kitchen brigade. The menu at Mrs. Robinson’s restaurant changes regularly depending on what’s available at local farms and whatever sour treats have finished fermentation.
Highlights from a recent Mrs. Robinson’s menu include Chargrilled Octopus & Dry Aged Beef Fat Skewer, Ricotta Gnudi with Pistachio Pesto, Grilled Seabass with Kimchi Broth and Whole Roasted Quail with Southern Biscuits.
Rykestraße 45, 49-30-28839233
If you’re a morning person we suggest waking up to the world by indulging at one of Berlin’s best coffee shops. Our Berlin food guide Arlene Stein says, “No Fire No Glory is in a central part of Prenzlauerberg in Kollwitzkiez where there is a great market on Saturdays. The coffee, cake and service are as spectacular.”
The owners of No Fire No Glory work with Danish coffee specialists who purchase raw beans from small growers directly. The fair trade coffee shop in Berlin serves aromatic cups featuring a higher acidity, less bitter than Italian espresso.
Visit No Fire No Glory on a sunny morning and you’ll find local hipsters sipping frothy latte’s on the restaurant’s street-side patio. Step inside and you’ll find a vintage espresso maker and table filled with freshly baked Berlin dishes. Pair your pretty cup of coffee with a slice of carrot cake, flakey croissant or fried egg-topped avocado toast.
Terroir Berlin’s Arlene Stein says “The Barn is a fundamentalist institution of roasters. They take coffee very seriously, so you need to pay attention.”
The Barn has two outposts in Berlin: the original cosy and cute coffee shop at Augustrasse and Grosse Hamburger Strasse and its newer and more spacious cousin, the sweet-smelling roastery in Prenzlauer Berg.
The coffee aficionado’s who brought The Barn to Berlin focus on direct trading to support local producers. Visiting java junkies can order coffee via four unique brewing methods.
Wander around the best cafe in Berlin and you’ll find detailed descriptions on the origin and flavour profile of each coffee bag. A selection of popular Berlin food items are on offer at check out including gourmet sandwiches, selection of German cakes and freshly baked pastries.
Important to note, The Barn has a no laptop and no stroller policy. It’s the management’s attempt to ensure that those visiting the cafe take their time to enjoy a quality coffee experience.
Max-Beer-Straße 37, 49-30-97005479
No Berlin food tour is complete unless you’ve sampled the city’s best Vietnamese restaurants. Qua Phe brings a cool vibe to Berlin’s small but thriving Vietnamese food scene.
The restaurant’s exterior offers a front patio featuring wooden stools and tables topped with romantic flickering candles. Step inside and you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a trendy dining room in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Halong Bay or Ho Chi Minh. The interior design at Qua Phe mixes Vietnamese and industrial elements in a harmonious way. It features a large communal table, dangling overhead bamboo lamps and massive Vietnamese mural.
Qua Phe offers some of the best Berlin dishes for Vietnamese food fans. Wag your finger down the menu and you’ll encounter Vietnamese small plates such as Bánh Giò, Bánh Bao and Pho Cuon.
Lebensmittle in Mitte
Rochstraße 2, 49-30-27596130
Our Berlin food guide Arlene Stein says, “There is no better place to get a classic German lunch at a great price then at Lebensmittle in Mitte. Schnitzel, rouladen, sauerbraten, Käsespätzle are all served in great big German portions for around 10€ a plate!”
Step inside Lebensmittel in Mitte and you’ll find a casual dining room that looks like an old grocery store. The owners used to sell a selection of fresh produce, but today visitors can shop for quality canned goods, bottles of fine wine and freshly baked bread.
Step up to the cashier and place your order. Overhead you’ll find rows of drying sausages, a fragrant wreath of garlic and glass display case featuring wedges of European cheese.
The cosy dining room at Lebensmittle in Mitte is filled with antique wooden chairs, tucked into sturdy vintage tables. During the warmer months of the year, the restaurant’s petite patio gets packed.
Lebensmittel in Mitte serves the best Berlin dishes from southern Germany. Whiz through the menu and you’ll find classics such as Spätzle, Maultaschen, Schnitzel and Schweinebraten.
The best Berlin food on offer can be found on the restaurants daily menu, which is scrawled on chalk board above the counter. The daily offering allows the chef to get creative and utilizes the freshest ingredients of the season. Highlights from the past include Fried Trout with Spinach Potatoes and Blood Sausage with White Asparagus.
Torstraße 180, 49-163-3547189
Germany’s most cosmopolitan city is at the heart of Europe’s growing vegan and vegetarian food scene.
Berlin food guide Arlene Stein shares, “I really admire what these guys are trying to do with their vegan no-waste restaurant. The chef comes from SILO in the UK and is now sharing his ideas in Berlin – which fits well with the ethics of the city. They only opened in spring 2019 so they are still working through the process and menu development, but they are growing in a good way.”
FREA vegan restaurant is where visiting vegetarians will enjoy the best Berlin dishes. The popular vegetarian restaurant offers a spacious patio perfect for people watching on a sunny day. Step inside the dining room and you’ll find bright white walls contrasted against handsome exposed brick.
Diners sit perched on rustic antique wooden chairs, peaking into the open kitchen in anticipation for their vegan feast. Highlights from the plant-based menu include plump ravioli adorned with pickled red onions and a faux bolognese made hearty with lentils and bright beats.
Tucholskystraße 37, 49-30-28092760
Keen to indulge in Germany’s tradition of Kaffee und Kuchen, otherwise known as coffee and cake time?
Berlin food guide Arlene Stein recommends Princess Cheesecake, “I love this little jewel box of a cake shop. Germans have a tradition of Kaffee und Kuchen mid-afternoon, and this is a great place to enjoy the celebration with quality cakes in the heart of the design neighbourhood in Mitte.”
Step inside Princess Cheesecake and gawk at their mouth-weather cakes, tarts and torts, which smile and wink behind a slick glass case. Princess Cheesecake has developed somewhat of a cult following with local Berlin food fans. The pastry chef creates dreamy desserts that reflect the seasons. Celebrate quality German sweets with cakes covered in plump cherries, fluffy meringue topped rhubarb tarts or decadent dark chocolate delights!
Auguststraße 11-13, 49-30-330060770
Mogg is housed in an old red brick building, which was formerly a jewish girls school. Designed by Alexander Beers in 1927, the historic building features a modernist exterior.
Mogg opened in 2012, quickly becoming an institution in the Berlin food scene. The Jewish deli restaurant’s cozy dining room features wooden tables paired with comfy bright purple benches.
Berlin food guide Arlene Stein cheers for Mogg restaurant, “I love deli sandwiches and I especially love Rubens. They are really difficult to come by in Berlin and this place is outstanding. Be sure to order their massive pastrami sandwich!”
The restaurant serves one of the heartiest Berlin dishes, a towering Reuben sandwich served on rye bread with grilled Swiss cheese, pickled cabbage and Russian dressing.
Other highlights on Mogg’s deli menu include Chicken Liver Brulee, Pastrami Salad, Pulled Pork and Shakshuka.
Torstraße 1, 49-30-405044550
The Store in Berlin offers a foodie meets design space that we wish Soho House Toronto would adopt on the asap.
Berlin food expert Arlene Stein explains the concept, “This is a very stylish design shop in Soho House Berlin. Although the bespoke designs are not for those on a budget, it’s a great place to find inspiration about style and fashion. Every table dotted throughout the store is available as a co-working space. A lovely little cafe, that is embedded in the space, serves breakfast and lunches that reflect local and seasonal ingredients.”
The Store’s menu has a decidedly Los Angeles vibe about it. On the beverage menu you’ll find a slew of healthy smoothies, freshly pressed juices and kombucha. Feeling peckish? The Store may just serve some of the best brunch dishes in Berlin. You’ll find a parade of avocado toast options as well as a hearty aromatic bowl featuring spicy curry, raw yogurt and poached eggs.
Okerstraße 2, 49-30-81860757
“This is a new restaurant in Berlin’s trendy Neukölln neighbourhood. The team has a solid culinary pedigree and has created a charming neighbourhood restaurant with a seasonal menu paired with low-intervention wines. It was one of my favourite meals in Berlin this year,” says Berlin food aficionado Arlene Stein.
Head to Barra in the early evening and snatch one of the restaurant’s coveted patio tables, which wobble while perched on the slanted sidewalk. Skip inside and you’ll find an intimate dining room features a wall of exposed brick and slick wooden bar, which doubles as a chefs table.
The Barra kitchen is run by two Brits, Daniel Remers and Neil Paterson, with Kerry Westhead overseeing the natural wine list. Highlights from a recent summer Barra restaurant menu include signature Cheddar Choux Buns, Pici with Spinach and Pine Nut, Saddleback Pork Neck with Artichoke and Bagna Cauda, and Cod with Peas and Horseradish.
Graefestraße 71, 49-30-40751175
With the explosive growth of the Berlin food scene, St. Bart Pub in Kreuzberg reminds us of what a great gastropub can be.
Opened in August 2017, St. Bart Pub is owned by Australian-born Lee Thompson and his wife. Their neighbourhood restaurant offers a culinary homage to St. Bartholomew, patron of chefs and mountain climbers.
Looking for a casual and affordable dinner in Berlin? Hop up on a stool at the bar and you can enjoy a burger or back bacon sandwich with a beer for less than 10 Euros. Is a more formal dining experience your current mood? Skip to the dining room in the back and find a seat around an antique wooden table.
Highlights from a recent St. Bart Pub menu include Scotch Eggs, Radish with Sweet Butter, Brick Chicken with Lemon, and Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Tart. On Sunday’s St Bart Pub serves a popular British roast, perfect for those craving Yorkshire Pudding.
Schönhauser Allee 44B, 49-30-4427765
“If you must eat currywurst, then this Prenzlauerberg institution that sits under the U-Bahn is the place to go,” says Terroir Berlin’s Arlene Stein.
Konnopke’s Imbiss is a famous snack bar that is considered to be the first food stall in East Berlin, originally opening in 1931. It was here, in 1960 where Germany’s famous currywurst dish was introduced. The reason for this in-house development was that initially no ketchup was available in East Berlin after the construction of the Berlin Wall.
Currywurst is now a traditional German fast food found at food stands across the country, from Dusseldorf to Rudesheim. The dish consists of steamed then fried pork sausage which is cut into slices and covered with curry ketchup. The dish is usually served alongside crispy French fries.
Konnopke’s Imbiss is one of the best cheap restaurants in Berlin. The restaurant’s signature currywurst with fries costs just 3.50 Euro. Eat your street food lunch while standing around one of the tall tables that sits under the train tracks for a truly unique Berlin food experience.
37 Admiralstraße, 49-30-61656127
“This is a proper Turkish restaurant, with excellent Adana Kebab. One of the best culinary assets of Berlin is its overwhelming amount of Turkish food, thanks to a substantial population (the largest outside of Turkey). You can overwhelm the myriad of mediocre options, but this place serves a taste that is as close to home as possible. The Künefe is wonderful here as well,” says our Berlin food expert Arlene Stein.
Doyum Restaurant is located a short walk from Berlin food mecca, The Turkish Market. The friendly neighbourhood restaurant features a large patio that wraps around its corner. In the late afternoon the outdoor tables fill with school children who chat with their mothers in Turkish over fragrant kebabs.
One of our favourite Berlin dishes is Doyum’s lahmacun or pide, a Turkish thin-crust pizza covered in a spicy blend of minced meat, herbs, onions and tomatoes. The menu also features plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes, our favourite being a huge Turkish dip platter topped with fresh cheese and stuffed grape leaves.
“This market happens every Tuesday and Thursday and is a super fun visit for tourist. It gives you a sense of the Turkish community in Berlin with great street snacks. It’s like a little trip to Turkey,” says Terroir Berlin’s Arlene Stein.
The popular Berlin food market is located in Kreuzberg just off Kottbusser Tor. Turkish food fans will be happy to find Gözleme, Börek, Dürüm and many other Ottoman specialities.
We suggest arriving in the morning to enjoy a cheap breakfast in Berlin. Purchase a few freshly baked pastries and then grab a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and hot cup of Turkish coffee.
The Bread Station
Planufer 92d, 030-70220200
“The Bread Station is a Danish bakery that you can stop into after you stroll the Turkish market. They bake the best rye, whole wheat and sourdough in the city,” says Berlin food guide Arlene Stein.
This Nordic bakery sells some of Berlin’s best freshly baked loaves. It is also famous for its frothy lattes, cinnamon buns and selection of flaky croissants.
The original bakery is in Copenhagen and was started Per Brun over 20 years ago. The Berlin outpost is the brands second location, opened in 2015 by Magnus Grubbe. The Bread Station’s mission is “to bake bread without any industrialized production methods and only from pure natural ingredients.”
The Bread Station is an excellent brunch and breakfast restaurant in Berlin. Its cozy cafe is a great place to wake up to the world over pretty pastries and poached egg topped toasts.
Reichenberger Str. 36, 49-1515-9899294
“Arabica Berlin Kreuzberg is a fun space offering great coffee, good food, and fantastic Japanese toilets. If I’m in Kreuzberg, I always make a detour here,” says Terroir Berlin’s Arlene Stein.
Located in Berlin’s multicultural melting pot, Arabica Berlin Kreuzberg is a popular hangout for artists and hipsters. Its spacious dining room pays homage to German interior design aesthetic, inspired by iconic Braun designer Dieter Rams.
Arabica Berlin Kreuzberg’s founder owns a coffee farm in Hawaii, and trades green beans from all over the world. The brand is best known in East Asia, with outposts in Kyoto, Hong Kong and Dubai. Arabica Berlin Kreuzberg is the Asian cafe brands flagship concept in Europe.
Wag your finger down the menu and you’ll see Berlin dishes that explore East-meets-West. Pair quality coffee with freshly squeezed lemonade and spicy Chinese cucumber salad for a refreshing vegetarian lunch.
Friedrichstraße 218, 49-30-25940610
“The owner of Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Billy Wagner is likely one of the most interesting characters and controversial in the Berlin food seen. Know for being outlandish and outspoken, he is a firm believer in creating a new identity for German cuisine. His restaurant is slightly secretive and irreverent but upholds top standards for gastronomy and service, including a custom vinyl soundtrack curated by Billy himself. Chef Micha Schafer works exclusively with local producers creating a unique and distinctly modern German cuisine. They are also firm believers in supporting the entire restaurant scene and are one of the founders of Die Gemeinschaft, which is about building community amongst the restaurant industry in Berlin,” says Berlin food expert Arlene Stein.
Located a short stroll from Checkpoint Charlie, Nobelhart & Schmutzig is one of the best restaurants in Berlin. Awarded 1 Michelin star in 2018, Nobelhart & Schmutzig is best described as a fine dining Berlin food bar.
The talented cooks in the open concept kitchen make guests feel as though they are partaking in interactive culinary theatre. The fine dining restaurants seasonal 10 course tasting menu offers romantic couples an unforgettable feast. Its inside Berlin’s Michelin starred speak easy that you’ll have the opportunity to sample the best from Brandenburg’s boutique farms.
Oderberger Str. 57, 49-30-780089760
“Hotel Oderberger Berlin is a charming boutique hotel in the middle of Prenzlauerberg. It was refurbished and opened in 2016 in what was once a public swimming pool. The rooms are spacious and elegant and they serve a typical but beautiful German breakfast in a lovely courtyard. It’s always my top hotel recommendation. And if you have time, you can still use the public pool and sauna,” says Terroir Berlin’s Arlene Stein.
Hotel Oderberger’s Kaminbar is located across from the lobby and enjoys a pretty view over the Fireplace Room. The bar is popular with locals who come here to sip on creative craft cocktails, local brews and award-winning German wine. It’s especially popular among Prenzlauer Berg residents for after work drinks and on Thursday nights, when there’s live music starting at 7:30pm.
After cocktail hour skip over to the Hotel Oderberger’s signature restaurant, located in a three-level space featuring a spacious sky-high ceiling. Restaurant Oderberger was originally unveiled in October 2017 and occupies what used to be the building’s power station. Fresh floral arrangements offer an awesome contrast against rusted equipment such as old thermometers and protruding girders.
The fine dining restaurant’s menu specializes in showcasing a modern take on seasonal German cuisine with local influences from Berlin and surrounding Brandenburg. Highlights from a recent menu include Meat Pea Stew, Meatballs “Konigsberg” and a playful dish called Berlin Heaven on Earth featuring black pudding, dark chocolate, apple, onion, potato and marjoram.
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