When I found out that one of the main food markets in Berlin has a street food night which takes place on a Thursday night and that I also would be in Berlin on a Thursday night, it was sliiightly obvious where I’d be heading. Inevitable almost. Heading to a food market is becoming a bit of a habit – both abroad and in London. I knew we’d have to find time for Berlin’s offering too. Berlin is becoming a bit of a haven for foodies and although I wouldn’t quite put myself in that category, it was still worth checking out.
Markthalle 9 is an unrenovated market hall in Kreuzberg, only a short walk away from the East Side Gallery. I say short, it doesn’t feel short if you’ve not long ago drunk a litre of German beer at a very touristy beer hall and you need the loo. That’s completely my own fault. There used to be around fourteen market halls all over Berlin at the end of the 1900s. Martkhalle 9 has escaped bombing, over renovation and has lain empty, apart from a few shops hidden in the corners. In 2009 a project came along to try and rejuvenate the space. It’s left an odd mix of a hall with its old charm and an Aldi at the back.
I’ll try not to keep comparing to Borough Market in London, but Markthalle 9 didn’t have the same charm and character. It was a fantastic building, but not as big as Borough market and didn’t have the same atmosphere. Having said that, we did turn up right at the start of the evening, we were able to walk around with relative ease and also managed to get a seat for when we decided what to eat. Apparently, around 5,000 people descend on Kreuzberg each Thursday for street food Thursdays, so it probably gets busier the later it gets. Maybe it gets a little more atmospheric. I’ve heard that the food can often run out by 9 pm, so if I had one tip for going to this, it would be to go early.
After quite a long walk around taking in all the different options, we decided on getting some veal ribs from a stall. I wish I could remember the name of the stall, but there were many different meaty options, and the ribs were pretty good. But I did feel a little ripped off by the price of them. We washed it all down with a beer from Heidenpeters, who sold a small selection of craft beers. A little bit of a cliche for an event like this I know, but definitely worth it.
If I had to pick, I’d pick Borough Market over markthalle 9 every time. But I suppose I would say that! Don’t let me deter you. If you’re in Berlin on a Thursday night it’s definitely worth a wander down there to see what’s on offer and to experience something that real Berliners do rather than just a tourist trap.