The Best Currywurst in Berlin? What is Currywurst? And where to FIND it!
It’s not a shock, if you are looking for the best Currywurst Berlin is the place to go. After all, Currywurst was invented in Berlin… and there is a currywurst stand on every other corner. There is even a Berlin Currywurst Museum! On my last visit I tried as many as I could (in the name of science, you see) and I found some really good ones, and some OK ones. And the truth is… the BEST Currywurst in Berlin is a hard thing to nail down.
What is Currywurst?
Let’s start with the basics… what IS Currywurst? When I first heard about it, I thought the sausage itself had curry in it. Nope, it’s all about the Currysauce. Generally Currywurst is ordered from a little take-away stand (although you can get it in restaurants). It’s made from a bratwurst that’s been grilled, and then sliced into bite sized pieces then SMOTHERED in Curry Sauce. The curry sauce is not like an Indian curry… it’s more like curry added to a ketchup or tomato sauce base. Different places use more or less of a ketchup/tomato base. (Some add Worcestershire…. others have onion pureed into the sauce). My favorite places sprinkle the top with a bit of curry powder for extra flavor. You may be able to order mild or scharf (spicey).
In my opinion, the BEST way to have Currywurst is with Pommes (French Fries). I love dipping the fries into the Curry Sauce…mmmmmmm.
Your portion will probably arrive on a rectangular paper tray, and you eat it all with a little fork.
Get Your Own Currywurst Plates HERE
These are porcelain plates, made in Germany, and modeled after the German Currywurst Plates… they can be used over and over again at home.
A Little Currywurst History
As the story goes, Herta Heuwer owned an Imbiss (small take away place) on the corner of Kant & Kaiser-Friedrich Straße. She was able to get some Ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce (although this ingredient is disputed…) and Curry Powder from some British Troops. She combined them, poured the sauce over a Bratwurst, and on September 4, 1949, served her first Currywurst. The combination was a huge hit! And Currywurst became the semi-official food of Berlin.
In fact, today it is estimated that of the 800 Million Currywursts eaten in Germany each YEAR, 70 million of those are eaten in Berlin. When you consider that Berlin has a population of 3.7 million, that’s a LOT of currywurst per captia (although, I’m sure the tourists do their part to boost the numbers!)
Now, of course, some food historians may argue that versions of Currywurst already existed around Germany… but the legend of Herta Heuwer lives on. And, on June 29, 2013, Google honored her 100th birthday with her very own Google Doodle.
Berlin Currywurst Museum
The devotion to Currywurst in Berlin is so strong, that there is even a Currywurst Museum! This qwirky little museum is tucked away on a street near Checkpoint Charlie (so… If you visit Checkpoint Charlie, and you get a little hungry, don’t go to the McDonalds, take a short walk around a corner to Schützenstraße 70). Since the museum is “Hands On” you get to touch and play with everything, sniff the various spices, and even lounge on the sausage shaped sofa. Most things at the snack bar are under €3 (the exception is the sampler … you get three different currywurst types, a drink and a “Shrippe” (which is Berlin-ish from Brötchen).
Learn more about the Currywurst Museum HERE–> http://currywurstmuseum.com/en/
Best Currywurst Berlin
So, you want to find the best Currywurst Berlin has to offer. I would say, look for the line. One of the most popular Currywurst stands is in front of the Zoologischer Garten Train Station… Currywurst 36. (In Fact, it’s on all of the top 10 lists of best Currywurst Berlin) There is a line ALL OF THE TIME! First thing in the morning, late at night (especially late at night) and even in the rain and snow. There is a bit of cover, but this is a typical Stand-Up and eat place. They serve with Pommes… mit oder ohne Mayo (with or without Mayonaise). You can order sausage with or without skin (with is best… the snap). The Currysauce (that they sell in bottles to take home) comes in mild or scharf (spicy).
On the other hand… I thought their Curry Sauce was a little too Ketchupy…
My FAVORITE Currywurst in Berlin is the Ka De We Imbiss in the plaza next to the store. It’s got more of a curry flavor… maybe because they sprinkle the whole thing with extra curry powder.
And of course, you can’t go wrong at the home of the Original Berliner Currywurst… Konnopkes! (Schönhauser Allee 44B, 10435 Berlin, Germany)
Where ever you go, you are certain to enjoy the Currywurst in Berlin… with or without Pommes (French Fries)
Make Currywurst at Home
You don’t need a Currywurst Recipe to make Currywurst at home. Your favorite Bratwurst, grilled, then topped with curry sauce is all it takes.
Now, you can spend hours over a stove creating the perfect curry sauce, and there are about 3789 recipes online for you to figure out which you like best. But I find that it’s MUCH easier to just have a bottle of German Curry Ketchup in my refrigerator. It’s also possible to mix up a quick batch from a powdered mix. Just don’t forget that final sprinkle of curry powder for extra authenticity… and you can have the best currywurst Berlin makes, right at home.
Zeisner Curry Ketchup 17.5 ounceHela Sharp Ketchup Sauce, 13.53 OunceRemia Curry Gewurtz in tube /Remia Curry KetchupKnorr Fix curried sausage (Currywurst) (Pack of 4)Knorr Fix for Currywurst Sauce Mix -Pack of 10 Pcs
And, of course, if you love the Pommes… you NEED a little Pommes fork. These little 2 prong forks are made from Bamboo, so they are eco-friendly!
Still Curious about Currywurst?
Learn more about this iconic Berlin meal here….
NOTE! both of these books are in German!
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