By Timoti, our Italian host living in Berlin
As an Italian food lover, moving to Berlin was kind of a scary move.
I love experiencing local food, but actually every time I asked around what’s the really authentic food to eat in Berlin, I got puzzling answers. Apparently they consider the currywurst (“Berliner Art”, they say), the Döner Kebab (which was actually invented here in the ’60), the Bouletten (pretty standard meatballs) as the typical “Berlin dishes” and that’s pretty much it. I’d be more than happy to find someone from Berlin who strongly disagrees with such a narrow picture and shows me more: but that hasn’t happened yet.
What makes Berlin an interesting city for food lovers is the wonderful variety of cuisines to be found: Japanese, Korean, Thai, Turkish of course, and Italian places…
I want to start from what I know really well: pizza.
Strangely enough, there are several places in town where you can have a “real” pizza, like in Italy. Maybe not like the best pizza in Naples, but definitely better than the average of my home town in northern Italy.
Here are my selections sorted geographically:
North (Prenzlauer Berg)
‘A Magica – Greifenhagener Straße 54. Good pizza, relaxed atmosphere, good uncomplicated service. People serving here are nice and welcoming. Many Italian customers!
Papa Pane di Sorrento – Ackerstraße 23. Again, the pizza is really good. It’s often very crowded, more international customers, personnel sometimes a bit stressed and slow, but it can’t be too different from that when you have so many people eating there at once…
De Noantri – Görlitzer Straße 63. Good pizza, plenty of space to eat outside, right next to Görlitzer Park.
For people who are more into the thin-crunchy version of pizza, the most successful pizzerias in town are Il Casolare in Kreuzberg, Due Forni in Prenzl’Berg and Ritrovo in Friedrichshein. Started by the same people, they’re usually packed, pizza is thin (not Napoletana) but ok, service is very often unpleasant, probably because of the crazy rhythm the waiters have to keep up. I’m not a huge fan, but many people are!
Staying on the theme of Italian kitchens, I’d like to make a strong recommendation for a new place. These people are from my region of Italy and, here in Berlin, they’re cooking exactly the kind of food we eat in Emilia-Romagna. Look here to see what Forbes thinks of that.
The place is called Osteria Emilia – Scharnweberstraße 59 and the food -believe me- is outstanding. Pasta is handmade, everything is done with the greatest regard to quality, cheap and made with love. You won’t find cream in your carbonara: before finding that disappointing please give real carbonara, without cream, a shot and I think you’ll change your mind. I recommend trying the “gnocco e tigelle”, the typical food of Modena. You can’t find that anywhere else in Berlin, or not as good for sure. Actually even in Italy many people don’t know about this food: it’s very specific to the region.
And speaking of pasta, make sure you don’t miss the green gnocchi with lardo di colonnata, rosemary and parmesan. A revelation.
The place is very poorly located, in a neighborhood where you wouldn’t go as a tourist, but it’s right next to the metro U6 (going to Friedrichstraße in 10 minutes) and it’s really worth a visit. Daniela and Marco deserve a great success!