Who said that German cuisine is limited to sausage, sauerkraut and beer? Certainly, there are widespread views on just about any issue but one of the most uninformed is that one will eat poorly in Germany. If you are German or a Germanophile and feel offended every time someone says the food of your country is no good, you can always respond with the fact that Germany is in fourth place when it comes to the number of Michelin stars that have been awarded worldwide. Indeed, Germany has a total of 333 Michelin stars restaurants: 11 3-star restaurants, 37 2-star restaurants, and 226 1-star restaurants. And I doubt very much that they have been awarded for their excellent currywurst and good beer.
At the epicenter of this boom of German cuisine is the country’s capital, Berlin. Although it is not the city with the most Michelin stars in Germany, it is a city where gourmet cuisine is growing in a disproportionate way. In the last five years in Germany, there has been a 25% growth of restaurants with Michelin Stars in Berlin and it continues to grow. According to Michelin editor-in-chief Ralf Flinkenflügel, “The demand is there. If nobody went to these restaurants, they would not exist. Berlin is developing as one of the European gourmet capitals, thanks to its five two-star restaurants and nine one-star restaurants.” When asked for a comparison with Paris, Flinkenflügel responded to the German weekly Der Spiegel, “what has been accomplished in Berlin in the last twenty years is simply amazing”.
So I hope this has whetted your appetite to sample some of the best restaurants in the German capital. One of the best, if not the best, is Fischers Fritz. Chef Christian Lohse is in charge of this gourmet temple at the Regent Hotel in Mitte, which specializes in seafood dishes such as a cassoulet of sea bass or a tartar made of smoked eel. It is even possible to eat in your own private dining room and order a set menu for € 35. Another important restaurant is Hartmann’s, located in the district of Neukölln, where chef Stefan Goldman creates delights of contemporary French cuisine that combine sweet and savory flavors in the same dish. Another venue with two stars is Reinstoff, which combines avant-garde cuisine with experimental recipes created by chef Daniel Achilles in the district of Mitte.
Undoubtedly, this growth that Berlin is currently experiencing according to Flinkenflügel, and the numbers back this up, will continue in the years to come. Right now there’s an entire generation learning to cook with some of the best chefs in the world and creating a new generation who will certainly continue to build on the number of Michelin stars in the German capital.