Joe and I love food festivals. Whenever an opportunity arises to sample many different types of cuisine, we’re ON IT. Fortunately, we’ve encountered a number of delicious events celebrating food on this adventure. The latest culinary journey took us to southeastern Berlin where we descended upon the European Street Food Awards Finals. We were certainly in for a treat (or five!).
Berlin is a large city, and the number of possible events to attend can be a bit overwhelming. As I was Googling Germany’s Unity Day celebrations, I stumbled across an events page. After scrolling around a bit, I discovered this delightful, international food festival set to take place in two days. The serendipity! The immense good fortune! I immediately added it to our calendar and sent the link to Joe. He was clearly on board.
Attending the festival gave us the opportunity to get out of our (adorable, wonderful) little neighborhood and venture a bit further afield. Let me just say this: more cities in America really should get on board with the whole excellent public transportation thing. In this bustling city, there is the metro, the tram, many buses, the train, Uber, and, of course, innumerable taxis. You can get just about anywhere fairly easily and quickly.
Once we found the grouping of food trucks – after wandering around the large, brick, warehouse-district-esque Berlin Arena for a bit – our senses were thrown into overdrive. Put on by the Bite Club (a catering company that connects street food with events) in partnership with British Street Food, this festival brought 10-15 of Europe’s best street food operations together in one place for a final judgement. Here’s what we actually ended up eating:
Our first stop had to be this London-based food truck, known for its converted Mini Cooper grill. The Mini was absent, but their wood oven-packing bus churned out juicy, meaty calzones and delicate, smoked mackerel “tacos” just as well. They were the winners of last year’s British Street Food awards, and came in second this year. (England)
Perhaps the best wings we’ve ever eaten. That’s a bold statement, I know – but it comes from a true and delicious place. We ordered the small – and received six, humongous, flavorful, juicy, slightly spicy wings. Drizzled and sprinkled and topped with several tangy, nutty, and Asian-inspired sauces and seeds, each bite sent us a little closer to wing nirvana. (England)
We had to try the winner of this year’s British Street Food awards. The line was always longest for these folks, and we could see why: that pork belly bao was on point. More tender and flavorful meat than fat, that pork belly stole the show, sandwiched between pillow-soft cushions of bun. Topped with sauce, cilantro, and a hefty sprinkling of peanuts, the adorable owner made sure to double-check our lack of peanut allergy. (England)
*All the vertical photos 🙂 Pork belly bao, HUGE wing (or small drumstick), and smoked pork with Syrah BBQ sauce.
For our last two samples, Joe and I divided and conquered. I chose the seafood joint, and he picked the home-grown, farm-to-table, BBQ truck. Surprise, surprise. L’agosarada offered a delicious-sounding tuna burger, but the level of fullness of my stomach dictated that I try the shaved cod taco. I was not disappointed. Delicate, light, and Mediterranean, that taco brought me right back to Barcelona. (Spain)
Joe’s final choice advertised that their meat came straight from “my farm to your sandwich” – sounded like a good bet. Porcobrado also makes their own bread and sauces in-house. And man, was that pork tender and flavorful. The Syrah BBQ sauce was a nice touch, as well. We couldn’t even finish the whole, massive sandwich, but it was a solid finish to a tastebud-tantalizing afternoon. (Italy)
Overall, a perfect day
The weather couldn’t have been more lovely – 68 and sunny feels just about right after chilly clouds and rain – and the setting was ideal. Berlin’s Spree river flowed lazily past, and the Bite Club set up shop in a charming barge anchored just adjacent to the arena. The DJ favored 90s American hits mixed with some Rock ‘n Roll, the bartenders slung refreshing Aperol Spritzs and craft beers like nobody’s business, and the sun shone down on a bunch of people indulging in really great food. #Winning.