There is much debate in Berlin about where to get the perfect burgers. Having sampled many I have come to the following conclusions: The best chicken wings hands down are from Bird (Prenzlauer Berg) the best onion rings are to be had at White Trash (Mitte) but the best burger (if you like burgers that are no frills, all flavour) is from Berlin Buger International in Neukölln (Pannierstr. 5, 12047).
BBI is a no frills Imbiss style restaurant that is regularly packed with Neukolln’s washed out hip contingent and wide-eyed tourists alike. For about 5 euros you get a huge beef patty, loads of crisp salad, decent cheese, ketchup, mayo, and my favourite - pungent, creamy burger sauce! They also do about 4 different types of potatos (chilli fries, normal fries, wedges, etc).
One for the old school heads.
Cappuccino and a blueberry and lime torte from Sankt Oberholz in Mitte. This place is a 5 minute walk from my apartment, which is pretty dangerous. The coffee may only be a little above average, but you really stop by here for the food. Their New York cheesecake and this blueberry torte are indescribably incredible, and their savoury spread, especially their frittatas, pack a similar punch.
In Beijing you have a couple of choices: retreat from the sheer, brain-melting expanse densely populated with flesh, cars, noise, pollution or jump in with two feet until you’re up to your torso in abrasive new experiences. Or something. (Five hundred yuan for a cab? Get outta here!)
If you choose the latter you’ll probably end up at Houhai where dudes in rickshaws pester hard and chaps in huts sell these caramelised mini-apples on sticks (Bingtang Hulu). Of the variety of street foods on offer, these are probably the most instantly appetising to cosseted Western tastebuds.
After testing your brain and body through three high tensile days (and nights) at Barcelona’s Sonar festival, wise sorts head to Sitges to regain marbles hitherto lost.
Brassy, heaving with tourists and disarmingly impersonal, Viking Restaurant is hardly a gourmand’s last stand. Mind, when you’re sunstruck and festival-fatigued it hits the spot. On our first night we grabbed a generous paella for two loaded with mussels, langoustine, prawns and shrimp. It was nicely flavoured if a touch overdone.
The best meal was at a smaller tapas establishment around the corner whose name we frustratingly neglected to get. Washed down with ANOTHER fine bottle of Spanish white, the owner then gave us a huge carafe of dessert wine too.
The baby squid from a tapas bar in Barcelona back in 2010 was exceptional. In fact the huge selection of baby squid, calamari, razor clams, langoustine, mussels and more, was not only delicious but great value. I rolled out of the restaurant hours later drunk on Spain’s finest food and wine.
Devastatingly back in Barcelona in 2011, we tried to find the bar again, but to no avail..
Henne is something of a Kreuzberg institution - 100 years old and counting. The food is as comforting and homespun as the decor - think stocky tables, an auspicious oaken bar and brass pumps. Food? Well, the name is a giveaway, right? Chicken, with a side order of chicken, chicken or chicken (potato salad and sauerkraut is also available).