Layne Mosler is the author of Driving Hungry (Pantheon/Random House, 2015) and the creator of TaxiGourmet.com, where she documents stories and food recommendations of cab drivers around the world. She’s written for New York, The Guardian/Observer, NPR Berlin and the Travel Channel’s worldhum.com, and her work has been anthologized in The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011 and 2012. Her Taxi Gourmet blog has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

RESTAURANT PICKS

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BALIKCI ERGUN

This seafood restaurant and fish store under the S-Bahn tracks was a recommendation from a cab driver named Dirk, who told me he rarely ventures out of his Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood except to eat here. What started out thirty years ago as a lunch spot reserved for chef/owner Ergun Cetinbas’s immediate family has become one of the most iconic, if humble, restaurants in the city. Not only does Ergun cook flash-fried sardines, grilled dorado and lobster soup that do justice to the fish bazaars in his native Istanbul, he makes you feel as if you’re having dinner in his living room (albeit a living room papered floor-to-ceiling with letters of appreciation from happy customers).

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HOPS & BARLEY

The craft beer movement is in full swing in Berlin now, but Hops & Barley was making microbrews long before it was trendy here. Their goal is and has always been to enrich the city’s beer culture – and to combine traditional brewing techniques with new ingredients and different hop varieties. You’ll find pilsner, wheat and stout here every day, and a different specialty beer every week, along with house-made bread and sausage from the region. This is my local, my favorite place to watch Bundesliga games and Tatort, the cheesy-noir detective show that’s a Sunday night ritual for many Berliners.

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MARKTHALLE IX

That a renovated market hall could revolutionize the Berlin food scene may sound far-fetched, but that’s what’s happening at Markthalle IX, a newly restored, 120-year-old monument in the Kreuzberg district that has become a major culinary hub. Besides the weekly farmer’s market on Fridays and Saturdays, Markthalle IX hosts Street Food Thursdays, in which professional and semi-professional chefs from Canada to Korea transform the place into a hipster-friendly food court, offering everything from artisan cheese, sustainable smoked fish and organic pulled pork to Japanese-style croquettes (filled with octopus, tempura flakes and cabbage) and New York cheesecake.