The Great Berlin Curry Wurst Expedition

Last week I was in Germany, in Weimar and Berlin, specifically, and on Sunday I got to do something that I’ve only done in one other city: To spend a day walking around and looking for the best of its most typical street food. Berlin’s most typical street food – aside from its ubiquitous doner kebap stands – would have to be the curry wurst.

Curry wurst is classic street food. It’s usually sold with fries and the wurst is smothered in a red sauce – which may or may not be ketchup, depending on who’s serving and who’s asking. It’s usually served on a cardboard plate and is best washed down with a beer, IMHO.

I’ve been to Berlin four or five times, and every time, my friend Micz keeps promising me that we’ll finally get to try a curry wurst. Something always comes up to prevent me from trying one – one time it was that we had to help a friend install kitchen cabinets from Ikea – but this weekend the time had come.

The idea was similar to something Tony Ozuna and I did in Los Angeles a few years back – there we traveled all around East LA in search of LA’s best taco. (We found it at King Taco, btw.)

In addition to being gastronomically-demanding, you can learn a lot about a place by checking out its street food culture. I found out, for example, that the number of curry wurst stands seems to be on the decline – partially because the vast majority of fast food stands are operated by Berlin’s Turkish residents, who not only prefer to sell food they know how to make, but also because the sausages used for most curry wurst are made of pork.

That said, we did come across a place that sells “Turkische curry-wurst,” which used a beef sausage. It was pretty good, but there were better curry wursts to be had.

I put all my findings up on a Google Maps page – along with my Flickr photos. Click here to see what I found.

6 thoughts on “The Great Berlin Curry Wurst Expedition

  1. Man, I miss currywurst. I should just cook it up on our grill in the back yard sometime; it’s totally easy to make yourself.

    The sauce is ketchup with red curry powder mixed in to add some zing. If you had trouble getting a straight answer about it from the vendors it’s probably because ketchup is a relatively recent addition to German cuisine — it’s almost certainly an American import.

    The currywurst stand is a postwar phenomenon but sadly the number of stands in Berlin had decreased substantially in the 1990s when I was last there. I’m glad you were able to find one!

  2. Ah, currywurst! I’d it in Alexanderplatz, when I visited Berlin. Chunky slices of juicy pork sausage served with sweet, tangy tomato ketchup and a sprinkling of curry powder for extra zing. I love to have one more…

  3. Drooooooooling. Instead of a cardboard plate I always get in a baguette because they sell foot-longs, too. I usually eat TWO while WALKING from Alexanderplatz to Kaufhaus der Welt. Yes, walking…

  4. I just got back from Berlin. We had several currywurst while there. We liked the one at the imbiss located to the left of KaDeWe the best.

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