Deciding where to eat can be difficult when you’re a) indecisive and b) a group of three or more friends with very different appetites. One is craving pizza, one tacos and the other Bánh mì. At Markthalle Pfefferberg, the new Prenzlauer Berg food court, you can now enjoy all three without the arguments. Owners Michael Heiden, who formerly ran the Bird BBQ, and Heribert Willmerdinger, the founder of fashion label The Dudes, have teamed up to provide a home for cuisines from all over the globe. Unlike other Markthalles, Pfefferberg hosts a small handful of vendors specializing in quality over quantity. Moving from one part of the 1600sqm space to another is like stepping foot in another restaurant entirely: the decor transforms and the scents wafting from the kitchen grill transport you to different continents. Welcoming visitors at the front of the hall, butcher Maurice Wengatz sells cuts of local, organic meat (the sausages are a must-try). Opposite, Ivette Pérez’ Mexican grocer has all the ingredients you’ll need for taco night, including hot sauce and cuttings of fresh cactus leaves. Continue inside to find natural wine and pantry goods at Valla Vino as well as Vietnamese spot Si An, which serves a line-up of steamed bao burgers in endless combinations. Liquid accompaniment comes courtesy of the cocktails at Hero Dot, while Pfefferberg-themed merch can be picked up from The Dudes.
But the highlight at Pfefferberg has to be the Taquería El Oso restaurant: co-owned by Michael Heiden, Tortillería Cintli’s Jesus Garcia and Pablo Vázquez of Sabor a mí, it offers traditional Mexican dishes paired with one of seven salsas that range from mild to fiery. The crowd favorite is the Al Pastor, a dish consisting of shaved slices of tender, seasoned pork that is slow-roasted on a rotating spit-grill. This method was brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants in the 1960s and is also commonplace in Berlin’s shawarma and döner shops. If you do want to dial down the spice, the hall is also home to sourdough pizza from Friedrichshain’s Salami Social Club and indulgent smokey Texas BBQ from Filthy Pleasures. Still can’t decide on one of the options? Do what we do: get two!
Text: Claire Mouchemore / Photos: Kateryna Firsova