Several Ossi (East) restaurants have simply stuck around long enough to come back into fashion, while others are leading the Ostalgie (combination of the German words for "east" and "nostalgia") charge. Sharpen your knife and whet your appetite for the best East German restaurants in Berlin.
Opened in 1621 in a building built in the 13th century, this two-story Kneipe (bar) and restaurant have served illustrious clientele such as Napoleon, Charlie Chaplin, and Jack Nicholson. Located near the old city center, Nikoleiviertel, there is an atmosphere of Gemütlichkeit encased in the wood-paneled walls. There are big platters and big appetites for classic Berliner food. Try the elegant Eisbein (pork shank) with Rieslingkraut (riesling sauerkraut), erbspüree (pea puree) and Rauchspeck (smoked bacon).
Address: Waisenstraße 14-16, 10179 Berlin
Offering Futtern wie 'bei Muttern' (Food as good as Mama's) , this restaurant provides a bite of home for former East Berliners. For everyone else, their handwritten menu with dishes like Tote Oma (Dead Grandma) will invite you to a different time.
Address: Scherenbergstr. 27, 10439 Berlin
Located on iconic Karl-Marx-Allee, Café Sibylle and its history are part of the most historic boulevard in the city. Original East Berlin furniture, DDR propaganda posters and even piece of Stalin's statue's mustache adorn the cafe with a small museum documenting the history of the area. The cafe is best for kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) and it caters to the Germans' obsession with ice cream in summer.
Address: Karl-Marx-Allee 72, 10243 Berlin
As one can guess from its name, Wilhelm Hoeck was opened in 1892 and has been serving Berlin ever since. Artifacts of great stories, like an oar from the founder's son championship row in the 1932 Olympic Games and WWII shrapnel embedded in the bar, line the wall.
Order the Blutwurst (black pudding). My first bites of the stuff were had here and I don't think anything else will ever live up to it. Marcus Benser produces it in Neukölln and has been honored for his efforts by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin, a French culinary organization.
Address: Wilmersdorfer Straße 149, 10585 Berlin
This traditional Kneipe built in 1845 also serves a boisterous lunchtime crowd. Shouting "Mahlzeit!"(meal-time) on entry, the place fills with workers then fills their bellies with one of two daily lunch dishes. Expect a stew or soup with good German bread or something with pork and potatoes or cabbage.
Besides the food, the place was known as the haunt of the late Bruno S., an artist, actor and beloved Berlin performer. He had a permanent spot at Stadtklause and frequently showed up to just perform.
Address: Bernburger Str. 35 in Kreuzberg
This is totally fancy Oma's house. Specializing in dishes from East Prussia, this place (like most places offering East German cuisine) is a vegetarian's nightmare. There is the obligatory Königsberger Klopse and goulash, as well the common substitutions for more expensive meats like falscher gänsebraten (false goose/actually pork).
Address: Mommsenstraße 9, 10629 Berlin