Chicago Williams, BBQ, Mitte

Chicago WIlliams

While I would argue that America’s soft power has taken some considerable hits over the last decade, its food culture is thriving abroad.  It crops up in the most unlikely places- like on Hannoversche Strasse.  A street that even a die-hard Mitte resident will struggle to locate.  There on the former site of BarCelona next to the cutsie Maialino is Chicago Williams.

Its walls are bare brick.  There are meat hooks to hang your coat on.  And a giant Beelonia smoker, hunched against the back wall like some sort of dormant beast.  Behind it,  “Don’t mess with the chef!”  is spray painted onto the wall.  (Because you might end up in the smoker?).

You place your order at the bar.  There is a wonky shelf, affixed at such an angle that the carefully stacked ceramic beer mugs seem sure to slide off with a crash.  There is a lot of humor in that shelf.   2 slushie machines whir and churn like fat hula dancers promising perfectly icy Margaritas.   When I try to order a diet coke for my husband I am told that it’s bad for you and they don’t serve it but would I like an Africola instead?
“What? And a platter of smoked meat is good for you?” I quip.
“It’s good for your heart.” Comes the answer.

And I see where they are coming from. This place is conceived from the heart. There is a lot of pride in their platters of meat. The pulled pork and the jerk chicken are great. On the other hand the pastrami is dry and the baked beans are half tender and half most definitely not quite there yet.  The service is excellent, friendly and personal.  Lovely place, already a favourite.

Meat Platter at Chicago Williams

Chicago Williams
Hannoversche Straße 2


  1. says

    We went here on the 4th of July (my parents were in town and demanded we eat American food on our American holiday) and were definitely impressed. The service is a huge plus in a city that doesn’t seem to always understand the concept of being nice to customers. :)

    • says

      Oh! That’s nice to hear. And yes – service! I don’t get it either. Best business comes from repeat customers so why are they so unpleasant sometimes?

  2. beautycalyptique says

    mmmmmmh, meat with more meat aside! 😀
    blackened meat, BBQed meat, beef jerky meat…

    (I loved this diet. earlier ;))

  3. says

    Love the review (and photo!) but am curious for more information. Who runs this place? Are they American, or Germans who love America and its food (or, um, just the food)? Why this location? Did they have the idea before or after the BBQ people at Markthalle IX? What else do they serve? Any desserts?

    I guess all this is an indication that I should get off my backside and just go there and ask them, but I like my favorite food bloggers to do all the work for me 😉

    • says

      Ha ha! First I apologize for the awful picture of the food. It’s an iPhone shot – which isn’t really an excuse- but we were so hungry I barely managed that one.
      No idea who is behind it but its been opened for a year. Guy seems pretty passionate in the restaurant. Also on the Facebook page. They seem to have gone on some sort of meat trip in the US. There’s a picture of him with the owner of Katz deli.
      But ya- don’t really know anything for sure though…
      Bad food blogger…

    • Holger says

      Hey Giulia ,
      Chicago Williams is Run by a Holger and Nawid . We are both german ( Nawid got persian roots ) and opened our place in November last year . The idea came during our last NYC trip .
      It was about the same time when Anna from Markthalle IX decidet to Open her BBQ .
      Hope to See you son ,

  4. Morgan says

    On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays they drag a little wooden keg of beer up from the cellar and use a mallet to drive a tap into it, and serve some very delicious beer.

    A friend of mine favours Chicago Williams’ cheesecake as the best in Berlin, my money is still on Five Elephant.

    Every time I’ve been, service has been very friendly.

  5. ellie says

    I tried it last night! The meat was delicious, we had a platter for 3 people. The chicken was outstanding. The sides were lacking – the mac n cheese was just ok, the coleslaw was a hit with those who love mayo, and the baked beans were not good at all. They tasted like vinegar and as you said were mostly undercooked. But that can all be over-looked with the incredibly friendly service (such a nice change of pace for berlin!) and the great meat, which is what it’s all about anyway. Also, they gave us a tasting of a corn chowder they had. It was tasty with a kick of spice, but the consistency was not right (pretty liquidy with lots of whole corn). All in all, I’m a fan and will be returning! Thanks for your review to get us over there and try it!

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