1. Sample Currywurst
You'll find currywurst in fast-food stands (imbiss) throughout Berlin and also in other major German cities.
Debates rage about who makes the best currywurst in town. The oldest operating currywurst stand in Berlin is Konnopke's in Prezlauerberg, under the U-Eberwalder Strasse station; or get a deeper education at the Currywurst Museum.
2. Splurge on the Best German Cuisine
For creativity and enthusiasm, Zum Alde Gott, in Neuweier is worth the trip to Germany alone. Chef Wilfried Serr explores the Black Forest during the day, and incorporate what he finds into his inventive menu. For instance, blood root, a local herb, is distilled into schnapps and made into sorbet as a palate cleanser.
3. Visit a Market Hall
One of the most beautiful Market Halls in Germany is in Stuttgart. The original building was Art Noveau, constructed in the early 1900s. It was destroyed during World War II, but painstakingly restored. The market is a bustle of goods both German and International, and there are restaurants on the second floor.
4. Explore Germany's Wine Country
The largest and most diverse wine-making area is Rheinhessen, about 45 minutes from Frankfurt. The area region is filled with small wine producers who are often supplying their own inn and nothing more.
Anywhere in the world, wine country is reliably beautiful, but Germany's is unusually picturesque, whether pitched steeply along the Rhine or nestled in the Black Forest in the Baden-Wurttenberg region. Learn about German wine regions here.
5. Compare German Regional Noodles, Meats, Seafood & More
There's a bewildering array of wurst and meats -- including the infamous Black Forest Ham, best sampled in the Black Forest itself. Bread comes in many forms, and especially in a pretzel, and noodles and dumplings are also regionally distinct. Check out this guide to German regional cuisine, and see if you can taste the reigion, whether you're sampling Swabian kässpätzle (cheese noodles) or Thüringer Rotwurst (red sausage from Thuringia).
6. Explore Berlin's Hidden Restaurants
Berlin is a city that doesn't reveal all of its richness at first glance from the street -- much of life is lived in courtyards accessed through almost-hidden alleyways.
This carries over into the food, where speakeasy-style restaurants flourish, whether at the better-known Rodeo Club (pictured here), which is serves food in a former Post Office, or in someone's living room -- receive the coordinates via email. You can eat in a "rented chair" at an art gallery, or you can find yourself wandering through an alleyway. These aren't easy places for visitors to find. Hire a guide like Berlinagenten to help you find what's hidden.
7. Grab a Kebab
8. Lift a Pint of German BeerWhether you're hitting a beer garden, or simply ordering a beer to accompany your food, you almost can't get more German than beer. The laws surrounding German beer production are old, dating back to 1641, and specify that German beer can only contain four ingredients: water, malt, hops, and yeast. Once again, regional specialties emerge. Beer from the south tends towards the malty, while beer from the north tends toward the hoppy.
9. Savor German Pastries and Desserts
German dessert is not something to skip. Whether it's a pie that makes use of local berries, like Black Forest cake, made with chocolate, cherries and kirsch, or cherry liqueur. Or maybe you're more in the mood to tuck into the many forms of kuchen, or cake, like streusel kuchen, which is like coffee cake, or a Berliner, or jelly donut, (known as pfannkuchen in Berlin, or just some really great chocolate or ice cream.
You're not counting calories when you're eating German food, so why not do it like you mean it? Wash it all down with a eiswein, or sweet ice wine -- after all, you're in the country that invented it. And then wrap the whole thing up with a bit of schnapps. As you'll hear from many a German, it's good for the digestion.