Tourists swarm all over Berlin and almost all of them line up for currywurst. This simple but versatile snack has been feeding Berliners for more than six decades and tens of thousands of them are eaten across Germany every week. Every suburb in Berlin has a currywurst kiosk and this beloved Berlin street snack is prepared in a variety of ways. Tucked away beside the Audi store in city west however, is a temple to currywurst that is much more than a kiosk. Bier’s at Kudamm 195 has been serving Currywurst for more than 50 years and most of Germany’s most famous faces have eaten here.
Popular opinion is that currywurst was born in Berlin after the Second World War, as scarcity of ingredients made for creative thinking. British soldiers were responsible for the arrival of curry powder in Berlin and a dash of it added to tomato paste went some way to replace ketchup, which had become unavailable.
Currywurst at Bier’s was quick to establish a good reputation and people’s opinion of currywurst was elevated as a result of the ‘eating at Bier’s’ experience – partly due to their location in West Berlin, but also due to the quality and originality of the preparation. There are no pre-made combos here! Sausages are sliced by hand and sprinkled generously with curry powder and paprika, then drowned in a thick rich tomato sauce.
You can also have a fresh bread roll or crispy salty French fries with your currywurst and it’s even served on porcelain (rather than the standard disposable paper plate). But more importantly for the Ku’damm glitterati – you can enjoy a chilled bottle of French Champagne with your currywurst. There is also beer and wine on the menu if the champagne is not to your taste (or your budget!)
If you take your time at Bier’s you will experience a slice of life in city west that is only evident within the walls of a suburb’s most beloved institution. Bier’s is a family run operation and as I wait for my portion of currywurst, regulars pop in to say hello, a wurst is passed over the counter for the dog and a young couple look excitedly at each other as they order two portions of currywurst and pommes and a bottle of Moet & Chandon.
Not everyone is passionate about currywurst but whatever your opinion, it is unarguably the true taste of Berlin and without a doubt the easiest to find snack as you stroll around enjoying the sights of the city.