Oh my god, did I have to kiss a lot of toads to get here, or rather eat a lot of burgers before finding Monte & Popsy’s Hamburger Heaven.
If you ask Berliners where to get a good burger, most will send you to The Bird in Prenzlauerberg gushing how “it’s the best burger in town, they grind their own meat, there is a lot of meat, portions are big.” I find The Bird is a little bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. I fall in the latter category.
Probably because my favourite burger places tend to be petite, in venue size and hamburger size, and rather more civilized. Ranking among my top 3 favourite restaurant joints are: Lucky 7 in Notting Hill, London, IN-N-OUT in the US, and Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, New York (although they now have a lot of branches).
Because, yes, sometimes I feel like a burger but I don’t want to leave feeling like Vietellius or Claudius from ancient Rome. Neither do I want blaring music, sticky tables and coming out smelling like I have been deep-fried.
Popsy’s Hamburger Heaven is just a little Kiosk in Kreuzberg, so all the cooking smells are inside and you are on the outside. Granted, the weather has to be good so that you can take advantage of the outside tables or you can sit in the tiny caravan out front (so small that if there is even one more person sitting in there, you will be cramped).
You can see straight onto the grill, order a free-range or organic burger (€5.00). Afterwards you can go for a stroll along the canal and if you are lucky, catch a game of pétanque. Or if you feel you have some room left, go to Hudson’s for a lovely piece of cake.
I also like the burgers and fries with cheese sauce at Burgermeister (it reminds me of something similar I used to eat at Wendy’s in Athens when I was a kid); but will write it up separately. And if you ever want something basic and quick in Prenzlauerberg, I like Marienburger, complete with a jaunty little flag, it’s vaguely reminiscent of a McDonald’s with a bit more gristle in the patty but somehow it works. I recommend you eat it on a bench, between the outdoor ping-pong tables.
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