When summer is here, you want to spend every moment of your spare time outside in the sunshine. But sooner or later your stomach will start to rumble, and what beats a barbecue in the park? You can still legally barbecue in Berlin in public areas, although not every park allows it. So, you’ve got the sausages and charcoal, but where should you go in Berlin?
Barbecue in Berlin or Let Someone Else Do It for You: Preußenpark
Of all the parks that allow barbecues, Preußenpark in Wilmersdorf should be the first to spring to mind. It is better known by the name “Thaiwiese” because every Saturday and Sunday, large numbers of Thai stallholders gather here to set up mini refreshment stands on the grass, complete with small barbecues where fresh fish, prawns, meat, or vegetables are fried to crispy perfection. The otherwise ordinary park is transformed into a colorful, lively market every weekend. Even from a distance, your destination is easy to spot, since every vendor decorates their stand with a brightly colored parasol. All you need to bring is a picnic blanket, and even the drinks are taken care of. Dishes are generally priced between €1 and €6, and the best strategy is, of course, to get something small from several different stands and create your own buffet. It has often been said that the park offers the best authentic Thai food outside of Thailand. There’s no need to be put off by the thought of unpalatable street food, the dishes are simply delicious and will transport you straight to Thailand. Oh, and if you’d rather be in charge of the tongs, the park lets you bring your own barbecue too.
Right in the Middle of Mitte: Barbecuing in Monbijoupark
If one summer evening you want to go to the park with friends from different areas of the city and enjoy a beer and a home-cooked barbecue steak, you can hardly get more central than Monbijoupark. Not far from Hackescher Markt square, the park allows barbecues in a small dedicated area. The park itself is surrounded by a number of 24/7 convenience stores, or “Späti,” where you can buy drinks and even disposable grills. The park is a firm favorite among tourists and families, so finding conversations and new acquaintances is almost a given. What can beat sharing food and picking up tips from fellow BBQ lovers?
Freedom and Space for Everyone: Tempelhofer Park
If Monbijoupark is too busy for your liking, make your way to Tempelhofer Park instead. The former airport grounds offer stretches of grass and asphalt paths, as well as a cozy allotment that tempts passersby to linger, and, of course, a number of designated barbecue areas for visitors. There is always enough room here, and if you arrive late in the afternoon, you will almost certainly be treated to the perfect sundown. What more could you ask for than dinner and a show? It almost beats a holiday on a crowded beach. Tempelhofer Park and its barbecue areas are easily reached by local transport, so you don’t have to carry your supplies far. The most important thing is, of course, to remember to take your trash with you when you leave or dispose of it in the correct trash can.
An East Berlin Classic: Friedrichshain Park
The oldest public garden in Berlin, Friedrichshain Park is the number one day-trip destination for everyone from the neighboring areas. It offers playgrounds, sports facilities, cafes, and even a grilling area. From time to time, people flout the rules and barbecue in non-designated areas of the park, however, this can lead to a fine. To be safe, it’s best to stick to the indicated barbecue areas even when unpacking the food. The park is a green space where you can make yourself at home, and if you feel like working up an appetite with a little exercise, you can play a game of beach volleyball or even jog a few laps of the park. Only then will you realize how huge it really is.
A Barbecue in Berlin on the Water
If you’re on the hunt for something a little more secluded, a barbecue boat could be your best bet. While you sail across the waters of Berlin, you can show off your barbecue skills and enjoy nature from the comfort of the boat, with no need to fight for a good spot on the grass. This is a unique barbecue experience. The choice of vessels includes the dinghy-like Grillboot (barbecue boat), which you can sail down the Havel river, or a wooden canoe that can be used to explore the scenery around Müggelsee lake. The barbecue equipment is already provided, all you need to bring are friends, family, and food, and you’re ready for a fun-filled day of barbecuing on the water.
So, it turns out you don’t need your own garden to throw a barbecue in Berlin. Bon appetit!