Legend has it that the Döner Kebab (Doner Kebab) was invented in Berlin in the 1970s and I have seen the discovery credited to both Kadir Nurman and Mehmet Aygün. Many however would dispute that either have any right to claim to have invented a snack that has existed in various forms for centuries.
Regardless of when, where and who came up with the idea, Döner is a hugely popular snack in Berlin and the versions sold here are far superior to most of the soggy messes I have eaten in the UK.
Please note that the Kebabs are not listed in any specific order, as I would find it almost impossible to rank them, especially as I have different favourite dishes at each. You can click on the name of any Döner Bude to take you to a more detailed description with more photos.
Balli Döner – Multiple Locations
There are 9 Balli Döner Imbiße across Berlin so the chances are that you’ve wandered past one at some point. Next time, pop in and treat yourself.
My Advice: Have a Dürüm. They are massive and absolutely delicious. Oh, and make sure you have chips/Pommes/fries in it.
Konyali – Kreuzberg/Neukölln
Kotti (the area around U-Bahnhof Kottbusser Tor) has a bewildering choice of Kebap options and my restaurant of choice is Konyali, which is next to the station entrance on Reichenberger Straße.
My Advice: Order the Spezial Döner – a plate of chips/Pommes/fries with a generous helping of Döner meat, covered in salad and topped off with tasty sauces.
Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap – Kreuzberg
I know it’s a cliché but I’m yet to find a Kebap in Berlin that can beat the Gemüse Döner at Mustafa’s, though some on this list are its equal. This place appears in all the Berlin guidebooks and is therefore insanely popular.
My Advice: Try to avoid peak times when the queue can go all the way past Curry 36 and it can take 40 minutes or more to get served.
K’UPS Gemüse Kebap – Prenzlauer Berg
You don’t have to endure massive queues to get a Gemüse Kebap fix. This place on Kastanianallee is every bit as good as its more famous rival on Mehringdamm.
My Advice: In summer, forego a drink with your Kebap and head over the road afterwards for a beer under the trees at PraterGarten.
Imren Grill – Multiple Locations
The Kebap Spieß (the rotating skewer of meat) at Imren is unlike any other I’ve seen in Berlin so far and the meat tastes very different. Their secret is a homemade mixture of marinated and seasoned beef flavoured with lamb fat.
My Advice: If you want to take a photo of that incredible Kebap Spieß, ask first – I was asked to delete the photos I took at the Neukölln Bude.
Hisar – Schöneberg
If you want to leave that difficult ‘chicken or beef’ question to the last minute you can get both at Hisar. Just queue at the window with the chicken or cow symbol depending on your preference.
My Advice: Go with a friend (or a big appetite) so you can try the beef and the chicken at the same visit.
According to Berlin Döner there are 1300 Döner Buden (shops or stalls) in Berlin so naturally I can’t be sure that I’ve eaten all the best ones yet, though I’m trying my best to work my way through them. For that reason, this list is and always will be 6 of the Best Berlin Kebaps rather than the best Döner Kebaps and I’ll update it whenever my preferences change.
If you have a favourite Döner Bude in Berlin that doesn’t appear on this list please let me know in the comments. My quest for the best Berlin Kebaps will never be over and recommendations are therefore always welcome.