Rave reviews of succulent American BBQ, kimchi fusion, and English pies were all coming from an unusual place - a historic market hall in Kreuzberg. Street Food Thursday at the Markthalle IX has brought a new level of attention to this historic marketplace, but it is far from the only reason to visit.
Restaurants in Berlin have been upending the idea of what German food is, while simultaneously welcoming cuisines from around the world. There is a focus on quality ingredients and providers and an adherence to the slow-food movement that extends beyond a trend. Markthalle Neun is the perfect example of why Berlin should be on every food lover’s map.
History of Markthalle IX
Once just number nuen among fourteen market halls, this site has been standing against all odds since 1891. Miraculously missed by bombs in WWII, it is also one of the few marketplaces to avoid mass renovation.
Some of its counterparts have not been so lucky. Markthalle VI on Ackerstraße has been transformed into a modern supermarket and No. XII on Bergmannstraße has been gentrified past the point of recognition. The quaint days of shopping at the metzgerei (butcher), the local farmer, etc. are long gone.
In 2009, the site was mostly unused and about to be sold to developers. Local residents stepped in to restore it to original usage. With a successful initiative, Markthalle IX was re-opened in 2011 and since then has been a booming success.
Adhering to the guidelines of the Slow Food movement, there is bio (organic) vegetables, artisan bread and cheese, locally sourced meats and foodie events throughout the year. Although even within Markthalle IX there is a small outlet for the supermarket chain of Aldi (caught in its own microcosm of gentrification).
Street Food Thursdays at Markthalle IX
Since April 2013, Street Food Thursdays have been a phenomenon in the city. This weekly event offers a cuisine for every palate, with small bites that are far more elegant than typical street food. Everything from empanadas to bao to Hirschgulasch is on offer for 2-8 euro a dish. There are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free as well as regular meat-lover options.
Open from from 5–10 pm, The best plan of attack is to arrive early, right when the market opens. Crowds arrive in force by 7 p.m., making finding a seat a bit of a challenge and the chance of missing out on the best dishes a possibility. Once inside, circle the market to give your stomach some options. Pick your first bite and take a seat to eat, then get up for another bite, wait in line, and get another bite. This is the place to graze a full meal rather than fill-up in one place.
To wash it down, buy a glass of German wine or cider from Normandy or try every color of the beer rainbow at Heidenpeters microbrewery. A star of the crowded Berlin micro-brewing scene, their standards include an American Pale Ale and IPA, but something experimental is also usually on the menu like a Belgian IPA. The small bar is hidden away behind a corner and has a few seats to relax away from the activity of the rest of the market. Bottles of beer are also available to take home and enjoy the rest of the week.
And what international food crawl would be complete without dessert? Treat yourself to New York style cheesecake, a frozen yogurt or maybe another glass of wine.
The permanent on-site kitchen is open during events as well as offering weekday lunches supplied with local, fair trade goods. Currently, Bone.Berlin's ever-changing menu provides the best in fresh and seasonal.
A food market (open every day except Sunday) provides organic groceries. Sample the goods of the artisanal butcher, Kumpel & Keule, produce from the area like the Spreewald pickle and other German and international delicacies.
The "Breakfast Market" is held every third Sunday of the month. Everything you need to prepare breakfast, from hand-forged knives and cookbooks to coffee roasted in small independent shops, is on offer here. But the market also features all of the delights associated with breakfast, including all sorts of goodies from local producers, cooks and pastry chefs that are available to be tasted all day.
Don't forget to watch out for their "snack market" festival held several times a year. Often focusing on the sweet side, the Naschmarkt has everything from classic German desserts to high-quality macaroons, chocolates, and more.
Along with this regular festival, there are events like the Berlin Coffee Festival, Cheese Festival, Wurst & Bier (Sausages and Beer), and RAW wine.
Eisenbahnstrasse 42/43, 10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg
- Monday - Wednesday & Friday:12:00 – 18:00
- Thursday: 12:00 – 22:00
- Saturday: 10:00 – 18:00
- Sunday: Closed