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hasir cutting the doner

Up Next: On Bourdain’s Trail to the Cradle of Döner Kebab

My three German co-adventurers and I had no idea that our taxi driver had steered us to the birthplace of döner kebab when he dropped us off at Hasir Restaurant in Kreuzberg last week – nor that Anthony Bourdain had also tasted the lamb there when he visited Berlin.

Stay tuned for the story of our ride with the cabbie from Konya, our unprejudiced/oblivious tasting, and the spectacular dessert that stole the show.

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  1. Hi Layne,

    are you still in Berlin?

    You should try real Yaprak Döner. For example in the Boppstrasse in Kreuzberg. It’s a small, short street. You can’t miss the little turkish restaurant close to the corner Kottbusser Damm. It’s called IMREN.

    The difference betwen Yaprak Döner and “normal” Döner is, that Yaprak consists of marinated thin slices of veal and lamb meat put on one of these huge, rotating skewers and getting grilled Döner Style.
    Ordinary Döner is processed, fat meat with a lot of taste enhancers and spices. It’s edible, but the Yaprak style is the real thing. MUCH, MUCH better! Trust me.

    good luck


    • Greg, I’m still in Berlin. And I think this is one of the best food tips anyone has ever given me. I’m already obsessed with Döner – I expect to go over the edge when I try Yaprak Döner.
      Bless you.

      • Layne, you will love it!

        I recommend ordering it as a sandwich in turkish bread (alternative: arabian bread) with the yummy homemade sesame sauce _and_ the homemade hot sauce (german: “scharfe Soße”) . They’ll ask you wich bread and which sauce.

        Imren is a very good and quite cheap turkish restaurant. The lentil soup (in german “Linsensuppe”) and the chicken (“Hühnersuppe”) soup are also very good. But the Yaprak Döner is my favourite.

        bon apetit!

        Let me know how you liked it!

        • I am going this week. I’ll order both sauces and try it on Turkish bread and let you know how it was. I’m so hungry…Thanks again!

          • Hi Layne,

            how did you like the Döner at IMREN???

          • You know what? I didn’t. The meat was very dry – and they were cutting it with an electric knife (which isn’t usually a good thing). But I’m wondering if I ordered the wrong one when I went? Three people told me this is the best doner in Berlin…

  2. Hi Layne,

    I have to add another recommendation to the list if you’ve not tried it already: Köfte. Which is basically grilled long meatballs with interesting herbs and spices. It’s best to have it at a place that specializes in it and does not have the Döner. My absolute favorite is the Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci — Kottbusser Damm 80 in Neukölln. Also open 24 hours. The Köfte Teller does not disappoint! The salad included is amazing… Ask for all three sauces too.

    Love the site!

  3. Hello Layne!
    What Greg suggested is exactly what I wanted to recommend to you as well. IMREN has the best Döner WORLDWIDE, that is sure.
    They have two places in the Boppstrasse, one restaurant and another very small one 100 meters along the street, which has this incredible Döner…
    Enjoy it!
    Best regards,

  4. I like it in turkish bread or wrapped in fresh made Lahmacun, have to go there again the next days, too…

  5. Hi Layne,

    Nice blog.

    In case you get tired of turkish food you might try some excellent roasted chicken at Restaurant “Henne” (Leuschnerdamm 25, Kreuzberg.)Open Tue. to Sat. from 19:00 hrs, Sun. from 17:00 hrs. Please reserve a seat in advance (http://www.henne-berlin.de/kontakt.htm). It’s definitely worth it and perhaps the best chicken you might have ever tasted. (You will find a description in english here: http://www.nileguide.com/destination/berlin/restaurants/henne/558568.

    All the Best

    • Thanks for the tip, Frank! I’ve tried the roast chicken at Huhnerhaus and think it’s delicious – do you think Henne’s is better?

      • Hi Layne,

        Definitely. Some people consider Hennes roast chicken as the best of the world. Hühnerhaus might be the best ‘Imbiss’ in Berlin for roast chicken but the Henne is special because of the “Milchmast-Hähnchen”, the chicken are fed mostly with milk. Please try them and consider a telephonic reservation in advance. The place itself is also worth having seen it because of its original furnishings from 1907.