In Berlin, you will find food everywhere, even in the subway. If your stomach is very easily influenced by delicious smells, this can become problematic. Self-restraint is very important. Those without it better be prepared to gain what I like to call the traveling twenty, in which study abroad students experience their freshmen fifteen all over again. Luckily, I’ve restrained from buying a Schokocroissant (chocolate croissant) in the subway every time I take public transport. However, the döner is the food every study abroad student should try to avoid as much possible, not because it isn’t good, but because it is that delicious. You will want it every time you see it, which will be several times throughout the day.
Although the döner originates from Turkey, it has become the unofficial Berlin specialty. This is a good example to show how the city’s diversity has influenced the food selection. American students love this food. I have rarely met people who do not approve of its delicious taste.
What makes the döner so good?
- Flavor: A döner is essentially a very big sandwich. A thin but fluffy piece of pita bread is cut in half and filled with thinly sliced veal, lettuce, red cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and sheep-milk yogurt. Although I personally believe the meat is one of the best ingredients, there are also vegetarian döners available. The vegetarian option comes with falafel, which also makes for tasty döner.
- Availability: Running late to school or work? Not enough time for lunch or dinner? No worries. Berlin food kiosks have your back. There are over 16,000 döner establishments in Germany. Döners can be eaten on the go or at a restaurant. However, since the döners are so large after they have been stuffed with all the ingredients, it can be difficult to eat them. Lucky for us, they invented what they call the döner box. This box is filled with fries and the meat. Napkins are still greatly suggested.
- Price: It is inexpensive for the amount of food you get. Döners range from 3,50€ to 4,50€. This makes this food option exceptionally tempting for American students who are living on a low budget.
Although this food is great, I do have two negative aspects to point out. Döners are not the ideal food to eat if you are on a first date because you will not look attractive when eating them. I would consider it the German version of a Sloppy Joe. Secondly, like I mentioned before, it is best to eat them sparingly. Döners are not the healthiest food, but a nice treat every now and then.
The world awaits…discover it.