By C H Kwak in Berlin—
Döner kebap, currywurst, burgers and fries… There’s no shortage of options when it comes to fast food in Berlin. But why compromise when you can sit down and have a square midday meal for the price of a latte?
Here are five weekday lunch deals that won’t set you back more than €5:
Since we’re on the topic of fast food: The tiny restaurant’s symbol, a W, may look conspicuously like an upside-down McDonald’s emblem—for a legitimate reason. W is a bizarro-world Mickey D’s: Everything served here, including the naan, is freshly prepared and complimented by seasonal ingredients. An artichoke/chipotle wrap will set you back €5, but it won’t cost a dime to stare out the window at Kastanienalle, also known as “Casting Alley” for its fashionable denizens.
Ideal for the indecisive, this market hall in Kreuzberg’s picturesque Bergmann neighborhood has dozens of food stalls offering everything from German to Greek, Thai to Tibetan. Popular among locals, the newly renovated hall is bright, spotlessly clean, and best of all, has plenty of seating. Think food court, except with that old European charm. There are also plenty of cheese and fruit vendors.
Esstaurant’s German and Mediterranean cuisines are popular among nearby office workers—so popular, in fact, that DaimlerChrysler’s employees are known to have their meals delivered. Situated between Mitte and Kreuzberg, the restaurant has a constantly changing roster of offerings like gnocchi with vegetables, which goes for €4.95.
4. MS Hoppetosse
Eichenstraße 4, Kreuzberg
Pull into port at MS Hoppetose, a boat/restaurant that used to ferry passengers across the Nordic Sea. Today, it stays afloat by the popular Treptower Park and serves vegetarian and meat dishes for €5 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday, by the way, is “Schnitzel Day.” (Closed through April 2011.)
Kollwitzstrasse 64, Prenzlauer Berg
Open: Sun-Thur 9 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-3 a.m.
Right on the trendy Kollwitzplatz, Istoria serves Italian feasts. Penne, farfalle, spaghetti… whatever your fancy, every plate of pasta and pizza costs €4.90. Or, for an extra euro, you can treat yourself to a meat dish. Buon appetito!
Extra cheapo tip: Berlin boasts excellent tap water, so don’t be shy about asking for “Leitungswasser” (LIE-toongs-vah-sir).