Despite the city’s landlocked location several hundred kilometers from the sea, Berliners nonetheless have a big thing for fish. Standing ready to sate all seafood cravings is a wide range of local restaurants, ranging from unbridled luxury to hole-in-the-wall.
When it comes to the former, everyone will agree that one place stands for the fanciest seafood money can buy in this town: Fischers Fritz. With two Michelin stars and an opulent ambience, this is a special occasion place where big spenders can feast on the likes of Breton lobsters served from a rare silver press, Langoustine carpaccio, and wild sea bass baked whole in a salt crust.
For high-end seafood with a somewhat less dramatic price tag, make a booking at Pauly Saal, also Michelin-starred but with a hipper, more contemporary style. Chef Arne Anker grew up in fish-loving northern Germany and lets those culinary roots come out to play in his restaurant’s fish-focused menu. Local, seasonal ingredients are his greatest inspiration, which means humbler fish like catfish and mackerel get his star treatment alongside prized Russian caviar and imported salmon.
For a very different but no less memorable fish experience, head to the infamous Balikçi Ergun, a charming Turkish fishmonger-turned-restaurant tucked below the S-Bahn tracks in Moabit. The concept is simple: Whatever’s fresh and in season is grilled or fried before landing on your plate with lemon wedges, crusty bread, and fresh, herby salads for the table to share. Make sure to try some Turkish-style fried anchovies and a whole, grilled Dorade—seabream. Thank-you notes from years of happy customers cover the walls and even dangle from the ceiling.
For fish the classic German way, head to the southern tip of Treptower Park and climb aboard Klipper, a 19th-century sailboat transformed into a homey floating restaurant. Take a seat by the gently lapping water of the Spree River and feast on local favorites such as herring tartare served with horseradish and pumpernickel, cured salmon in mustard-dill sauce, and rainbow trout smoked right there on the dock. If the whole thing leaves you in a nautical mood, Klipper even offers chartered tours of the river in their own fleet of boats.