Sometimes when on the road, you’re just destined to cross paths with a local foodie institution. And when it does happen, you profusely thank the foodie gods for their divine intervention.
While alone in Berlin, I took a walking tour to discover the subtleties of the city’s history and architecture. The tour guide (shout out to Rob at New Berlin Tours for his captivating narrative of Berlin. See link below) highlighted that the best Döner in the city could be found at Mustafa’s in Kreuzberg.
Obviously intrigued, a fellow solo traveller and myself went on the hunt for this famed Döner. Now let’s be clear about one thing: Döner places are a dime a dozen in Berlin. They are everywhere. So as a visitor, it’s hard to know where to find a quality specimen of Döner. In situations like this, local word of mouth is key. Also, here’s a fun foodie fact: it was a Turkish immigrant in Berlin who first served döner kebap in a flatbread and the fast food has been a staple in this city ever since.
We were warned that there would likely be a lineup at Mustafa’s, and sure enough when we arrived there was a steady row of people stretching out from a small food stall. There was no way this line up was going to stop us now though! Another testament to Mustafa’s popularity is the consistency of the line up: it never seemed to lack an influx of new patrons. Mustafa’s is a simple stall, not more than 3m × 5m, with an unassuming exterior. BUT what it lacks in appearance, it more than makes up for in mind blowing flavour.
About that flavour…let’s get to it.
We both opted for the Hähnchen Döner mit Gemüse (chicken Döner with vegetables). Now I need to break down all the individual components of this masterpiece in an attempt to share with you its brilliance.
Step 1: The flatbread is a crunchy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside sturdy pocket worthy of holding its heaping contents.
Step 2: The three sauces – herb, garlic, and spicy – are slathered into the flatbread pocket. They are creamy and smooth. You get a choice, but you should definitely get all three. You didn’t wait in line for 30 minutes to only get one sauce!
Step 3: The juicy Döner meat is lovingly shaved from the rotating skewer and onto the grill below. The staff are clearly pros at this. The chicken is tender and juicy with a slight crisp. SO GOOD.
Step 4: The roasted vegetables are a huge bonus. Seasoned carrot, onion, red pepper and yellow pepper sizzle on the warm grill until it is their time to grace the interior of the flatbread.
Step 5: A vegetable medley of fresh red onions, spring onions, tomatoes and cucumber is packed into the flatbread. You know, to be healthy.
Step 6: To seal the deal, the entire concoction is topped with a sprinkle of feta cheese and lemon juice. As if this wasn’t already delicious enough, the feta cheese takes this to a whole ‘nother level because cheese is the greatest.
And there you have it, the winning combination for arguably the best Döner in Berlin. By the way, this will only set you back a meagre €3.20. Whaaaaaatttttt? GET IN THERE! These guys have clearly put thought into their Döner ensemble and it shows. It’s definitely delicious and highly worth the wait. So find a pal or bring a book and while away some time in the line up all in the name of delicious food.
New Berlin Tour: http://www.neweuropetours.eu/berlin/en/home