Top ChoiceRestaurants in KreuzbergMarkthalle Neun
Markthalle Neun is a wonderful reminder that Berlin is a city of second chances. The 19th-century market hall, an architectural marvel of iron beams and latticework, was in a state of neglect several years ago – but is now enjoying a new era of glory days. What to eat At this food hall in the trendy Kreuzberg neighborhood, local and regional producers present wares made with passion. All-stars include the Tofu Tussis, a female tofu-making duo, a sausage maker named Simon and one of Berlin’s best cake-bakers, Frau Zeller. From the artisan cheese producers to vegetable farmers, organic and sustainable are more than just buzzwords here. All the excitement of wafting aromas, taste test marathons and scenesters shooting the breeze is enough to get any stomach rumbling – and thankfully, you’re in the right place. There’s plenty to snack your way through such as the on-site butchery Kumpel & Keule’s burger (perhaps Berlin’s best, assembled from ingredients sourced across the Markthalle’s stands), fresh homemade ravioli and gnocchi from Mani in Pasta, fluffy focaccia from Sironi ’s Italian bakery, and much more. Craft beer from the on-site Heidenpeters brewery is prime to wash it all down. Markthalle Neun is a community space with purpose, bringing together neighborhood residents, foodies and some of Berlin’s best gastronomes under one beautiful open roof. It’s the perfect place to watch locals weave in and around rows of fresh produce, ticking off their weekly grocery lists or scoping out delicacies for evening dinner parties. Even the employees of some of Berlin’s most lauded restaurants, like Coda Dessert & Dining and Nobelhart & Schmutzig, can be seen shopping ingredients here for staff meals and even dinner service. Events at Markthalle Neun In addition to the regular market days, check the Markthalle’s website for an ever-changing list of events – from cheese festivals to sake tastings and new editions of the Schlachtfest (a German feast and slaughter tradition). The history of the Markthalle Neun As the name implies, Markthalle Neun was the ninth (of a total of 14) market hall built in Berlin in the late 19th century. The market was successful in trade for decades, including following the Second World War when it luckily only sustained minor damage. Despite this, over time, the market succumbed to competition from local supermarkets. In Kreuzberg, a West Berlin neighborhood that was low-income and predominantly migrant, it fell into neglect. Right up until the 1990s, the building was a haunt primarily for tacky discounters. This all changed in 2009 when three locals formed an initiative to keep the market hall out of the mitts of big investors. Their concept to use the space for a local and sustainability-driven project was approved by city officials in 2012 and the Markthalle Neun was born. Since then, to say the space has become a tourist hotspot would be an understatement. Other revamped market halls, including the Arminius Markthalle and Markthalle Pfefferberg, have followed suit, but Markthalle Neun still remains a beloved trendsetter. Several of the independent businesses here, from Sironi to Rosa Canina organic ice cream shop, have gained such cult followings here they’ve opened additional brick-and-mortar stores. Due to its popularity, Kreuzbergers community groups regularly advocate for locals from their gentrifying neighborhood who may want to shop here but cannot afford some of the higher-priced artisan goods. Stands like the Wildnergartnerei, a collective of hippie farmers outside of Berlin, sell their veggies on a tiered scale to accommodate the neighborhood’s disparate incomes. In 2019, when the Markthalle announced it would cancel the contract of the Aldi discount supermarket, locals jumped into action and protested the decision in support of lower-income families. Gentrification is tricky and no other Kreuzberg establishment indicates that better than Markthalle Neun. But in spite of it all, it’s also a symbol of a very certain kind of Berlin solidarity. Berliners do their best to make sure that no one gets left behind. Best time to visit Markthalle Neun Markthalle Neun is a sleeping giant. The market hall, like many German establishments, is closed on Sundays. Otherwise, throughout the week it is open from noon to 6pm. The only exception are Thursday evenings until 10pm when chaos ensues because of the blockbuster event: Street Food Thursdays. Every week in the historic market hall, a sea of hungry hipsters (mostly tourists) punch blindly between long queues and communal tables for international eats galore. It’s an exotic smorgasbord that might feature New Zealand meat pies, Taiwanese burgers, Argentine pulled pork sandwiches, Korean tacos or Vietnamese steamed pork buns. Pick and choose, score a seat at a table and chow down with a glass of wine or a pint of Thirsty Lady pale ale from Heidenpeters. However, if you want to experience the Markthalle Neun like a local, go on a Saturday afternoon. That’s when you can see the gastronomes doing their shopping for weekend service earlier in the day. Later on, Berliners ball out on all-day smorgasbords of their favorite stands, from the smoked barbecue sandwiches at Big Stuff to seafood platters at the Fisch Klub truck, cheese assortments from Alte Milch, and more. Along with a bottle (or two) of German sparkling wine from Weinhandlung Suff, you can’t do much better on a weekend afternoon. Getting there Markthalle Neun is most easily reached from the Berlin U-bahn station Görlitzer Bahnhof (about a five-minute walk away). You can also reach it by taking the M29 and 140 bus lines.