When I decided to visit one of my best friends in Berlin, Germany, I knew exactly what attractions we were going to see. Iconic landmarks such as the Reichstag and the Berlin Wall were absolute musts, and I fully expected to taste authentic bratwurst and salted pretzels.

However, what I didn't anticipate was that the city would also provide me with a range of cuisines from around the world, "Berlin-ified" to create something new and unique. By stepping away from the clichéd plates found in German restaurants across the globe, I dove into a whole new world that changed the way I viewed tradition and cultural identity. 

My food journey was incredible, and below are my favorite things that I shamelessly devoured. 

1. Kalte Platten 

Marie Chantal Marauta

I kicked off my journey with a simple (albeit stereotypical) plate: cold cuts and a lightly-salted pretzel, enjoyed with a cup of hot tea and a lovely view of the lake on which my friend's houseboat was docked.

However, I know I promised more quirk, so please read on.  

2. Currywurst

Marie Chantal Marauta

This. Was. My. Favourite. Dish. Of. The. Whole. Trip.

This pork sausage was first steamed then fried, and then seasoned with spiced ketchup and curry powder. The condiments' tangy flavour mixed perfectly with the soft texture of the warm meat, and a happy Chantal devoured the dish before continuing on her walking tour of the city. 

Historically, British soldiers brought Indian curry to Berlin after WWII, and would put it on German sausage in order to make it less bland. 

3. Berliner Weisse 

Marie Chantal Marauta

This sour, wheat-based flavoured beer was my introduction to German alcohol, and I enjoyed the drink's bittersweet taste and the tingly feeling it gave my tongue. When made fresh, Berliner Weisse gets its bright color from the inclusion of a shot of syrup. Otherwise, you can also buy ready-mixed bottles.

Seeing as it only has 3% alcohol, it's perfect for lightweights, and its unique flavor makes it ideal for people who detest the taste of beer but feel like they need to try a glass of it while in Berlin. 

4. Ramen (quite literally the best I've ever eaten) 

Marie Chantal Marauta

I'm not sure what they did to the ramen broth to give it a nice, smoky flavour, but I absolutely loved it. Cocolo Ramen has become one of Berlin's iconic hidden gems, and though you may have to queue for up to an hour to get in, their unique home-made bowls are completely worth the wait. 

I lived in Asia for a few years, and somehow managed to enjoy this ramen ten times more than any I'd eaten in its continent of origin. Perhaps the way Cocolo made it catered more to my tastebuds, which are more used to Western flavours.

This alludes to the intriguing phenomenon of how, at times, foreign cuisines do little things to adapt to the general palate of the country they are in (e.g. tempura sushi with mayonnaise, while popular in America, is not so traditionally Japanese). 

5. Poké

Marie Chantal Marauta

The basic white girl in me really came through when the time came to create my own poké bowl at MA'LOA. People from all over Berlin come to create bowls as basic or authentic as they want, and as this is the city's first (and only) poké restaurant, it's introduced Berliners to a new way to excite their palate. 

As late as 3:30pm, the café remained bustling, demonstrating the extent to which poké and Berliners have hit it off.

6. Ritter Sport (I made my own!) 

Marie Chantal Marauta

Okay, this is a German chocolate brand, so this item is not multicultural like most foods on this list. The cool thing about this experience, however, was that at their huge store and museum in Berlin, there's a little station where you can create your own chocolate. It was really fun to watch the chocolate-making process; I customized my bar and felt like Alfred Ritter himself. 

7. Falafel Kartoffel 

Marie Chantal Marauta

This dish is the DELICIOUS love child of Germany's potato obsession and the cuisine of the country's large Arab immigrant population (which increased exponentially in the latter half of the 20th century).

By putting together traditional aspects of these superficially polar cuisines, Falafel Kartoffel is a celebration of Germany's (and, more specifically, Berlin's) vibrant, unique and multicultural nature. 

8. Avocado Toast (because I needed my avocado toast fix)

Marie Chantal Marauta

For brunch, my local friend took me to a place where she and her friends often meet up. As seen above, Spreegold had delicious brunch staples such as salmon-avocado toast, boiled eggs on smoked salmon, and yoghurt pots with fruit and jam. Turns out that being "basic" doesn't just happen amongst college girls in 'murica. 

Though these brunch foods presented nothing extremely special, they were fresh and filling, and gave me a glimpse into the daily gastronomical patterns of brunching Berliners. 

I've concluded that Berlin's cuisine is very much like Berlin itself: a multicultural, deliciously unexpected mélange of tradition and modernity. There is no one way to live your Berlin culinary experience, and if you're the type of person who detests eating the same thing and who likes to tease your tastebuds, then a food trip to Berlin may be just the thing for you. 

For more on Germany and its wonderful food, check out the following links: 

- 5 German Foods that Put American Food to Shame 

- How to Navigate Studying Abroad in Europe as a Vegetarian

- The 50 Best Foods to Eat in Germany Before You Die