7 Best Traditional German Restaurants in Berlin

If you have a hankering for pork and kraut, these places will satisfy all your porcine cravings.

Sometimes Berlin hardly feels like a German city at all. Case in point: you can't throw a faux meatball without hitting a vegetarian restaurant, Vietnamese and Turkish eateries are ubiquitous, and there are some very good Italian spots. This is a good thing. But when you want to go super traditional with pork, sausages, and kraut, here are 7 places to pig out in Berlin.

Click here to view an interactive Google Maps list of all the best places to get traditional German food in Berlin.

Sausages and sauerkraut
Sausages and Sauerkraut are staples in the German diet. kabVisio/Getty

Lebensmittel

A hybrid deli and southern German restaurant, Lebensmittel (which means "food" in German) is a solid choice if you're in the Mitte area. In warm weather, grab a seat outside and peruse the chalkboard of changing menu items. The wine list has a choice selection of German and Austrian wines. It's hard to go wrong with anything here.

Roch Strasse 2

Mädchen ohne Abitur

Translated as something like "little girl without a diploma," this lovely Kreuzberg restaurant serves high-quality German food – so much so you'll eventually stop thinking what the name is all about. The menu is mixed with well-executed traditional fare -- Königsberger klopse (meatballs) and Berlin-style fried veal liver – as well as more worldly dishes like curries and some Italian staples.

Körte Strasse 5

MEatballs
Meatballs in a mushroom sauce are typical German fare. Allyso/Getty

Max und Moritz

Serving up porcine delights and clogging arteries since 1902, Max und Moritz is a lovely treat for the senses. Dig the Wilhelmine furniture that is still scattered around. The menu hasn't changed much, either. Expect old Berliner specialties like hearty beef goulash, plus-sized pork knuckle called Eisbein, smoked pork and sauerkraut, and Königsberger klopse, traditional meatballs wading in a cream caper sauce.

Oranien Strasse 162

Max und Moritz
The exterior of the famed, historic eatery. Max und Moritz

Thomas Eck

This Charlottenburg spot has all the trappings of a traditional pub, but one that serves high-quality fare. It should be a dining destination for those seeking a pork-alicious meal. The long menu has all the Berlin hits: sausages, Eisbein, roasted pork with sauerkraut, sausages, goulash, Königsberger klopse, and sausages. There are about a dozen beers on tap, mostly all from big breweries, including Jever, Schultheiss, and the Czech brew Pilsner Urquell.

Pestalozzi Strasse 25

Sausages and beer
Sausages and beer like the ones served at Thomas Eck. rez-art/Getty

Zur Haxe

Bavarian fare in the northern district of Pankow (just above Prenzlauer Berg) is definitely worth the journey. The specialty here is – surprise, surprise – a big ol' pork dish. Specifically, schinkenhaxe, a fat pork knuckle with fried pork cracklings sprinkled around it. Hog heaven. Don't be too alarmed by the lederhosen-and-dirndl-clad staff. They like dressing that way.

Erich-Weinert-Strasse 128

The staff at Zur Haxe
The lederhosen and dirndl wearing staff. Zur Haxe

Zur Kleinen Markthalle

As the name suggests, this atmospheric Kreuzberg eatery began life as a 19th-century indoor food hall/market. Sadly, most of these covered markets have since shut down but Zur Kleinen Markthalle was saved (sort of) by becoming a traditional Berlin restaurant and pub. The menu is loaded with classics but the real reason to come here – the thing they do really well – is the crispy half chicken. The meat is tender and juicy and the skin is taut and crispy. Just as it should be.

Legiendamm 32

Zur Kleinen Markthalle
Grab some crispy chicken and sit outside at Zur Kleinen Markthalle. Zur Kleinen Markthalle

Zur Letzten Instanz

Established in this same place in 1621, this uber-traditional restaurant is the oldest restaurant in the German capital. Not surprisingly, it has had some regal visitors, including Napoleon and Beethoven, as well as a handful of German chancellors and other heads of state. The thing to get here is the Eisbein, a softball-sized pork knuckle that comes with kraut. It's enough to feed a small family or perhaps cause an artery or two to clog before you finish. Zur Letzten Instanz is BYOL: Bring Your Own Lipitor. It might save your life!

Waisen Strasse 14-16

Zur Letzten Instanz
The pork chop at Zur Letzten Instanz is mouthwateringly good. Zur Letzten Instanz

7 Best Traditional German Restaurants in Berlin | Culture