On our first full day in Berlin we signed ourselves up for the Brewer's 'Best of Berlin' walking tour, a seven hour trek around most of central Berlin's attractions (some photographic highlights are included after this review). Halfway through the tour, our lovely guide dragged us all for lunch at Dada Felafel, a place that was already on my Berlin eating google map. Score!
Dada does a roaring trade - the outside tables were all full and a steady stream of people were coming in to load up on cheap goodies. The sudden influx of a tour group of fifteen put Dada to the test a bit, and their service started to creak - two of our three tables were served their food within about 20 minutes, but the third (ours of course), waited probably twice that. Still, it was just about worth it.
The menu is mostly vegetarian, with felafel, eggplant, haloumi and pastry rolls, a couple of salads, dips and a grand combo plate with a bit of everything. I was tempted by the combo plate, but saw one on its way to another table and decided it was too much for me to tackle. Instead, I went for the simple felafel plate (5€ ~ AU$6.30), which came with five felafel balls, hummus, garlicky yoghurt, chilli sauce, a spicy mango sauce, some tabouleh, cous cous and a few other salady bits. Plus bread.
Pretty reasonable value. The felafels were great - crispy on the outside and soft and spicy within - and the sauces combined to make a perfect melange of spiciness, tanginess and richness. I licked the plate clean.
We paired the felafel up with the pastry roll plate, which was basically the same deal but with cheese, spinach and mint pastry rolls in place of the felafel balls (5€ ~ AU$6.30).
This was even better than the felafel! The pastries were fried up to crispiness and were stuffed full of a tasty cheese and spinach concoction. Again, everything tasted even better with two or more of the sauces mushed on it.
Dada Felafel is one of Berlin's many felafel spots - we haven't sampled widely enough to know how well the quality is maintained, but Dada is setting a pretty high standard. It may not be the best place to go if you're in a hurry (especially if there's fifteen of you!) but it's cheap, tasty and filling, and well worth a visit. Vegans can have everything on the felafel plate except for the yoghurt sauce - the hummus plus the two spicy sauces will have more than enough flavour to satisfy you.
There are other good reviews from The Guilty Stomach, Vegan Backpacker, foodie in berlin, Stanford in Berlin, cravings and wanderlust, bit(t)e, TheKua does Food, Beats and Bobs, Capital Sisters and Pieceoplastic, with just ForeignerinBerlin a bit less enthused.
Linienstrasse 132, Mitte, Berlin
030 2759 6927
rolls 3.50€ (~AU$4.40), plates 5€ (~AU$6.30)
Accessibility: Dada felafel has at most a small step on the way in, but is pretty crowded inside. In the section of the restaurant that we sat, there was some table service, although we did pay our bills at a fairly high counter.
For those of you still reading and interested in our holiday snaps, here are some of the highlights from our walking tour (which I really recommend, although be prepared for a long, long day).
The new synagogue
The 1920s Clarcher's Ballroom, left unrestored post-war,
but still used for gigs and parties
The courtyard at Clarcher's Ballroom,
complete with sneaky street-art in the corner
Details from a wander through Kunsthaus Tacheles
Berlin skylines, featuring the Berlin TV Tower...
... and the Reichstag dome.
Government buildings, spanning the old East and West divide
Tasteful currywurst shop just outside
the quite moving wall memorial (pictured above).
Checkpoint Charlie, complete with tacky actors in uniform
Random street art
Our exhausted tour group and still energetic guide