I’m a sucker for markets, I have to say. Sundays in Berlin is Flea Market day. On Tuesdays and Fridays one can stock up at the cheap Turkish Market along the canal in Kreuzberg. But I do have a favourite. After a morning coffee next door at Café 9, I really do love a slow wander around Markthalle Neun on my Saturday.
Unfortunately in Berlin, many of the old market halls no longer exist, having either been sold to private investors who have since transformed them into supermarkets or discount halls, or been destroyed in WWII. Markthalle Neun is an exception, however, and is counted among only three of the original fourteen market halls remaining across the city (hence the original name, ‘Market Hall Nine’). An initiative dedicated to restoring and maintaining these historical buildings for their original purpose helped save Markthalle Neun from following the fate of the other eleven halls.
There are a few reasons why this market place holds the title as my favourite Saturday market in Berlin. First and foremost, the quality of the produce available here is unparalleled. It is here that you can find organic, free-range meat and locally grown produce from the immediate region. Many of the vendors here are family businesses and they are truly passionate about the quality of their goods.
It is here that you will find one of Berlin’s best bakeries, Sironi, run by Italian Alfredo Sironi. The entire baking process is on display to passersby who can watch through the large windows to the side of the shopfront.
I cannot visit Markthalle Neun without stopping by Big Stuff Smoked BBQ for lunch. American-style smoked meat is not hugely popular across Berlin just yet, but this place is changing that, fast. This truly is THE place to get your meat on. Using an oven especially imported from Tennessee, the resulting slow-cooked, smoky meat really is something else. Three cuts are generally available: pork belly, beef brisket and pulled pork and you can choose to have this juicy melt-in-your-mouth goodness served in either a sandwich or on a meat plate. Drool.
Of course, there are plenty of other options to keep your belly full, such as the famous Glut und Späne (traditional smoked fish from the Baltic sea or the local lakes) or the hearty German fare from Kantine Neun. Drink options are also aplenty.
And why not pick up some fresh flowers while you’re there? Pink peonies are my favourite at this time of year.
The farmer’s market on Fridays and Saturdays isn’t the only time to head to Markthalle Neun, however. Every Thursday evening, the hall hosts ‘Street Food Thursdays’ from 5pm- 10pm — an event attracting a wide range of vendors without on-site kitchens who showcase their speciality bites from around the world. More on this great little weeknight street food party coming soon.
Wochenmarkt (weekly farmer’s market) is open every Friday and Saturday from 10am to 6pm.
Street Food Thursday happens every Thursday from 5pm to 10pm.
The brand new Breakfast Market will launch on the 15th June and will occur every third Sunday of the month.