From fast food chain In-N-Out to Umami Burger, Los Angeles is home to some amazing burgers. I would argue the best burgers in America. So now that I’m living in Berlin, it seemed only natural that I immediately start hunting for the best Berlin burgers. While I couldn’t find any places grilling up turkey burgers, below are my favorite red meat burgers in Berlin.
#1 – The BirdAm Falkplatz 5, 10437 Berlin
Neighborhood: Prenzlauer Berg ($$$, wait time: 15 minutes)
With two locations in Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg and huge portions The Bird has the most American-friendly burger in Berlin. I tried Da Birdhouse and it was a messy, delicious monstrosity. To their testament, I ate almost all of the double-sized burger, which means either it was either really good, I was really hungry, or both. The chili cheese fries are amazing as well.
Bonus Points for English muffin buns, English-speaking servers, general addictiveness, and meat cooked to order.
#2 – BurgermeisterOberbaumstr. 8, 10997 Berlin
Neighborhood: Kreuzberg ($, Wait time: 30-40 minutes)
Burgermeister is built in a former public toilet, but the burgers that come out of what is essentially a toilet stand are fantastic. The buns are toasted buttery goodness, the meat is well-seasoned, and it all comes together nicely with the sauces that accompany the burger. Granted, the line is almost always a bit long, but you can go grab a beer at a nearby spätie or hunt down a seat while you wait for your burger.
#3 – Tommi’s Burger JointInvalidenstr. 160, 10115 Berlin
Neighborhood: Mitte ($$, Wait time: 15 minutes)
The peeps that run this joint are from Iceland, but you’d never know it while eating Tommis Burger Joint burgers. My cheeseburger tasted like a good, down home, backyard BBQ burger. In a city that loves a well-done burger, all the burgers come medium, which is a refreshing change. The fries are skinny and perfectly crisp. While the buns are closer to In-N-Out’s plain buns rather than the gourmet brioche buns many expensive burger restaurants go for, in some weird way, the cheeseburger and fries at Tommi’s tasted like home to me.
Bonus Points for atmosphere, the sauce bar that includes jalepeños, pickles, and various hot sauces and mustards, and writing patrons’ names on their burgers.
#4 – Piri’s Chicken BurgerWienerstr. 31, 10999 Berlin Neighborhood: Kreuzberg ($, Wait time: 10 minutes)
While a chicken burger isn’t actually a burger, Piri’s Chicken Burgers was so good I had to add it to this list. (Anything between two burger buns, they call it a “burger” in Germany. Whereas in America, if it isn’t meat or meat substitute grilled to order, we call it a sandwich.) Piri’s chicken burgers involves a fried chicken breast patty, lettuce, cheese melted to a crisp straight onto a toasted bun, and a generous smothering of legitimately spicy piri piri hot sauce all over the whole thing. If you need a break from red meat (or are a chicken and fish only person), it’s worth a try.
#5 – BBI
Pannierstr. 5, 12047 Berlin
Neighborhood: Neukölln ($$, Wait time: 30 minutes)
With huge portions and a gorgeous presentation many people would probably put BBI Berlinburger International higher up on this list. I liked it, but there were a couple problems. They don’t melt the cheese onto the burger and the meat was over salted and rather plain, but the freshness of the other accoutrements (lettuce/tomato/onion) kind of made up for this.
Bonus Points for presentation, freshness, friendly customer service, and amazing potato wedges.
Honorable Mention – Burgers & HipHopPrince Charles, Prinzenstr. 85, 10969 Berlin
Neighborhood: Kreuzberg ($$, Wait time: Varies)
Berlin’s Burgers & HipHop event happens every six weeks, but it’s worth visiting. Featuring seven specialty-themed burgers from the best Berlin burger joints (including a few of the spots mentioned above) eaten to a soundtrack of the best hip-hop songs from the 80s, 90s, and today, and washed down with craft beer from Heiden Peters and Brewers & Union, Burgers & HipHop is a match made in heaven.