The Döner Kebab is the number one fast food of Berlin and a must try for every visitor. Döner kebabs are by far Berlin’s favorite fast food item, and there is plenty of lore surrounding their history. Just about every block in this city is dotted with a couple of kebab shops.
The Döner Kebab is the one true love and hate food of Berliners. The fast food nobody really admits to eating, but yet everyone consumes once in a while, especially after one of those Berlin nights with a few too many drinks. It’s a quick and filling meal and by far the most commonly available fast food commodity in Berlin, you can literally get it at every street corner in the city. There is really no other food (except the Currywurst) that Berlin is more known for and visitors always ask me for the best Döner in Berlin. It would, in fact, make more sense to replace the bear on the Berlin city flag with a Döner. There sure as hell are more Döners than bears around.
It’s said that Turkish immigrant Kadir Nurman originally invented the döner kebab in the early '70s, turning the Turkish meat and salad -- which were typically served on a plate -- into a portable meal by stuffing them inside the fluffy bread. Today the döner is equally popular with Berlin’s massive Turkish population as it is w/ late-night revelers looking for a cheap meal.
Today, the Döner Kebab stands in the shadow of modern food pop culture and trends like the burger hype and is a dish that definitely hasn’t been assimilated by the “hipster culture”. The quality of a Döner can easily be spotted by the meat used; if the big, fat meat stick doesn’t consist out of large pieces of meat, layered on top of each other, but rather out of a pressed, solid meat mass, better looking for another one. The meat quality is imperative for a good Döner.