Laurel Kratochvila, owner and baker at Fine Bagels and co-organizer of Nosh Berlin, the city’s first ever Jewish food week, is playing a major role in defining German-Jewish food culture. In a country where Seinfeld only aired for two years because German viewers didn’t get the humor, reframing Jewish cooking from a gimmick to an attractive, growing trend has been no small feat.
Laurel rallied her Nosh Berlin co-organizer, Liv Fleischhacker, a food and spirits writer, and their foodie friends to come up with a must-do list of Berlin’s Jewish food scene just for us.
Top Picks from Nosh Berlin & Friends
The best bagels in Berlin, perhaps in all of Europe. Homemade with love, and it shows.
A sweet Israeli cafe-meets-record-store steps away from Tempelhof, the converted airport park in Neukolln. The sabich is the best in Berlin, and the grilled eggplant and skhug are perfection. Come for the bourekas and shakshouka, stay for the big hugs.
Since its opening in 2015, Kanaan has been Berliners’ go-to for Israeli hummus. The owners – one Jewish, one Arab – and aim to show the multiculturalism of Israel’s food. Enjoy the view of the S-Bahn tracks while you’re there.
Inspired by New York City’s Jewish delis and housed in an art gallery-filled building that was once an ulpena, a Jewish school for girls, this spot is known for its pastrami Reuben sandwich. Try the chicken liver brulee and matzo ball soup.
When horseradish is a restaurant’s primary condiment, we’re all in. This Jewish-Russian restaurant stands in a surreal spot: right in between the Ryckestrasse Synagogue and the former Gestapo detention facility. Pasternak represents the local Jewish community, which was 90% Russian until the 2000s. The kreplach are top of the line, and the Sunday brunch is excellent.
In the heart of old West Berlin, this delicatessen has been in business for nearly 90 years and serves the best smoked fish in town. Add a glass of Riesling or Grüner Veltliner to your order.
More Insider Tips
Laurel Kratochvila, Co-organizer of Nosh Berlin and owner and baker at Fine Bagels
Aunt Benny’s is a Berlin-via-Montreal cafe and bakery where I go for my cheescake fix. You’ll never eat anything less than perfect. Last year they added on a tiny bar doing some impeccable cocktails.
Liv Fleischhacker, Co-organizer of Nosh Berlin and food and spirits writer
Go to Barcomi’s for the cheesecake.
Yuval Belhans, Founder of Kidush Supper Club
Ruben & Carla is one restaurant with two identities, very appropriate for Berlin. During the day, it’s a pastrami bar. At night, the restaurant takes off its yarmulke and wears a dress, becoming Carla, a trendy restaurant famous for its tagliata (sliced steak).
Yafo opened a year ago and raised the bar for hosting in a professional, but informal way. With Middle Eastern music and vegetables scattered around the restaurant, it feels like you are sitting in the middle of a market. You must try the cauliflower. The bar perfectly complements the amazing food.
Itay Novik, Founder of Elements of Food
Eivgi’s is walking distance from the square where President Kennedy said “Ich bin ein Berliner.” It’s a daytime spot for homemade Israeli food. What makes this place different from other Israeli restaurants in Berlin is that it’s kosher, so it’s closed on the weekends. In addition to hummus, they offer salads and stews with a Moroccan touch.
Neni is an upscale Israeli restaurant and one of the most popular places in the city. On the rooftop of a hotel, facing Tiergarten, Neni offers the best view of the city and a prime location. Its hummus trio comes in three different colors and garnishes.
Shiloh is also kosher, but with a dairy kitchen. It has a bigger menu and offers Israeli classics like hummus and falafel.
Ilya Schneyveys, Founder of Neukolln Klezmer Sessions
I used to live upstairs from Azaam, so I never had to cook. Palestinian-run, best hummus in town. So cheap.
Hummus and Friends is great for the grilled cauliflower.