Hamburg Street Food
During my time in Istanbul I was fortunate to meet a friend who likes food as much as I do and we traveled the city together. When I told her my plans to visit Berlin a few months later, she told me about her hometown of Hamburg and how much she loved it. When I told her about my passion for street food, she said I needed to see to show me some of her favorite Hamburg street food spots. Being a vegetarian, she also wanted to show me her favorite falafel shop. I continued to hear nothing but great things about this city and Hamburg street food from others as I traveled and decided to add it to my list.
From the Gothic architecture to boat rides and Christmas markets, I’m so glad to have ended up here. I found Hamburg to be a beautiful city with an engaging vibe similar to Berlin. It offers good nightlife, interesting people, and as my friend explained, lots of delicious food. Here’s some of the best street food I found.
Falafelstern – Schanzenstraße 111, 20357
Open Sun-Thurs 11:00–24:00, Fri-Sat 11:00–02:00
€3-6 per person
One of the favorite local falafel spots in Hamburg is Falafelstern. After walking in and seeing the quality and number of ingredient options they have to offer, it was difficult to disagree. The falafel is fried fresh in front of you. I learned a few weeks later in Israel this is mandatory for quality falafel. After that, the falafel is inserted into the pita and topping options are selected, allowing you to make your favorite type of sandwich. Add to that some additional tahini and spicy chili sauce and it’s time to enjoy your meal.
The falafel was crispy on the outside and juicy and flavorful in the middle. The roasted eggplant, hummus, beets and pickled red cabbage are some of my favorite topping options. Overall, this was one of the best falafel wraps I enjoyed in Europe. I look forward to trying more topping combinations on my next visit. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.
Strandperle – Oevelgönne 60, 22605 Hamburg
Open Mon-Fri 10:00-23:00, Sat-Sun. 09:00-23:00
€6-15 per person
A delicious fish sandwich with a view of the water? That’s difficult to refuse. Head to Strandperle by taking the HVV Ferry 62 to investors Museum Oevelgönne, Neumühlen along the Elbe River. They have a number of fish sandwich options to choose from. I went with the fish cake made with white fish and a mixture of herbs and seasoning. It comes served on a fresh bun with a special sweet and spicy mustard.
The fish and herbs are complemented well by the perfectly balanced sweet and spicy mustard. The sandwich tasted fresh and wasn’t fishy. There’s a minimal amount of breading in the sandwich but the bun can be a little much. About half way through I removed the lower half of the bun without the mustard and thought this balanced out the flavors and the bread didn’t overpower the fish. I would come here again but would lose the lower half of the bun the whole way through. The location of the restaurant makes for a relaxing and enjoyable meal.
Imbiss bei Schorsch: Beim Grunen Jager 14, 20359
Open 10:30 – 0:30 daily
€3-6 per person
For a quick meal out one evening before checking out Hamburg’s nightlife, we stopped by Imbiss be Schorsch. Reminiscent of the currywurst I enjoyed back in Dresden, this little mom and pop shop did not disappoint. They have a range of sausages on the grill and they’re just waiting to load up a plate for you at a very affordable price. The sausages are cooked perfectly and are packed with flavor. The currywurst is homemade and was one of my favorites in Germany. Fast, personable, and delicious, this is a perfect neighborhood spot to grab some quick street food. I only wish I was hungrier so I could have enjoyed more.
Pizzeria Alt Hamburg – Hans-Albers-Platz, 20359
Store hours not listed but they’re open late!
€2 per small pizza
It was getting late and we needed a quick meal before heading home. I was thrilled to hear about a great little pizza spot in the area with small pizzas that were all priced at 2. They offer a variety of vegetarian and meat toppings. We were happy to see that the pizzas only take a few minutes to prepare.
The crust is thin and cooked perfectly. The sauce, cheese and toppings are all good quality and will leave you wanting a second pie. That said, consider ordering two. The salami pizza was fantastic, as was the Hawaiian. This great little late night spot may not win any international awards, but the speed of service, affordability and good flavors make it a great spot worth visiting. I’ll definitely be back.
Otto’s Burger – Bahrenfelder Str. 175, 22765
Open 11:30-22:00 daily
€10-15 per person
For my last meal in Hamburg I was craving a burger. We passed by Otto’s Burger in a trendy district and it looked too good not to try. I went with the Otto’s Burger which was made with a beef patty, red cheddar cheese, pickled onions, lettuce, tomato and homemade smokey mayo.
The burger was packed with flavor. The sauce was a little heavy but went perfectly with the beef, cheese and pickled onions. Though I might order the sauce on the side next time, I thoroughly enjoyed the burger and would definitely order it again. I also appreciated that I could enjoy both the regular and sweet potato fries. I asked for a side of the truffle aioli as a dipping sauce which was so good I would return just for that reason. It’s simply incredible.
My friend ordered the vegetarian portobello burger (also available in a vegan option). The burger was topped with a portobello patty, herb butter, red cheddar cheese, homemade smokey mayo, slaw, pickled onion, lettuce. She said the burger was very good. She also enjoyed the regular and sweet potato fry combination with truffle aioli as much as I did.
Locations: Street Food Hunting in Hamburg
- Check out weekly Street Food Sessions every Thursday from 17:00-23:00 at Spielbudenplatz, 20359. Multiple vendors and a range of culinary options make me wish I had been in Hamburg on a Thursday to give this event a try.
- Food Truck Festivals are currently planned in 2016 on May 5-8 and September 9-11. Make sure to add these to your calendar if you’ll be in town!
Meeting people is one of my favorite parts of travel. Having them show you around their hometown is something special. I would have had a tough time seeing so much of Hamburg in such a short amount of time on my own. I also would have also missed out on some of the local food and vegetarian options.
Regardless of which city I visit, it’s always so wonderful to see a place and experience the food through the eyes of a local. Whether it’s through connecting with a friend, Couchsurfing, or another opportunity that presents itself, try to see a city through the eyes of a local while traveling. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Prost! (Cheers in German)
*A huge thank you to my friend in Hamburg for her hospitality, love of food, and friendship.