Curry-wurst is the iconic snack of Berlin. On almost every street corner there is a imbissbuden (snack stall) selling curry-wurst. There are even people selling wurst from grills that they have strapped to themselves for the ultimate in convenience food. In recognition of the city’s passion for curry-wurst a curry-wurst museum opened last year just around the corner from Check point Charlie and it is entirely devoted to the humble snack.
So what’s all the fuss about? The curry-wurst is traditionally a lightly smoked sausage made of pork and beef that is dipped in hot fat and then chopped into small pieces. The sausage is topped with a lurid red sauce made from a combination of tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and a few other secret ingredients then topped with bright yellow curry powder. It is served either with a hunk of bread to mop up the sauce or chips with mayonnaise and tomato sauce.
Mobile wurst vendor. That is a grill she has strapped to her in one of the more bizarre things I have ever seen.
Curry-wurst eating is such an unhealthy habit that of course I developed an immediate addiction and in my three days in Berlin averaged at least one curry-wurst a day. Here’s my list of the best curry-wurst in Berlin adding to the places highlighted by Krista in her list of curry-wurst establishments.
Angie’s Grill is an outdoor curry-wurst stall just opposite the museum island in Berlin. The curry-wurst (£2.50) features a fat, juicy sausage complete with casing but there is not much heat from the thick, gloopy sauce and the accompanying bun is slightly stale.
Curry-wurst from Angie’s Grill
Details: Next to the museum island on Unter Den Linden, Berlin, Germany
The mobile curry-wurst stand Der Thuringer was right next to the Brandenburg gate during our visit. The curry-wurst (and other sausages) are cooked on a huge circular charcoal grill which is the ultimate BBQ.
Der Thuringer’s curry-wurst
So high tech is the operation that Der Thuringer even has an automatic sausage chopper to cut the curry-wurst into the requisite slices. The sausage meat has a nicely spiced bite to it and the meat was served in the ohne darm or East Berlin style without its casing. The sauce was not quite so radioactive a the version on offer at Angie’s grill.
The huge charcoal grill
Details: Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany
This stand is open until the wee hours of the morning and the curry-wurst is so good here that it is popular all night with around-the-clock queues. The place has achieved such cult status in Berlin that it even sells Curry 36 merchandise complete with Curry 36 baby romper suits – the perfect gift for infant curry-wurst lovers! If you are nowhere near this imbiss, don’t worry it is worth catching a cab to and the street outside the stall acts as an informal cab rank.
Curry-wurst and chips
The sausage meat is tender and the sauce has a great kick to it. You can order the curry-wurst with an accompaniment of chips drowned in mayonnaise and tomato sauce. For me, this was the pick of the bunch thanks to the dense sausage meat in its crisp casing and the smooth flavour of the all important sauce.
Curry 36 is very popular late at night!
Details: Mehringdamm 36, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany (Ph +49 30 251 7568) Open until 4am Monday to Saturday and until 3am on Sundays.
Gourmet Travel Tips
We stayed at Art ‘otel which is a modern hotel fairly centrally located in the Mitte district. It was clean and comfortable and not to pricey at €79 a night but did feel a little impersonal at times.
There is so much to do in Berlin that the three days we spent there were nowhere near enough. Highlights were a fat tire bike tour which gave us some orientation and a chance to find out some of the history, the Norman Foster designed Reichstag, the Jewish museum, the DDR museum and visiting what is left of the Berlin wall.