Following food trends in Berlin is a favourite hobby of mine. I moved over here in the height of the burger trend wave and after the city was sufficiently divided by the many various bespoke burger restaurants, many looked ahead to the next big thing.
A street food cousin of the burger, the humble hot dog had tried to make its name in the city but it didn’t really take on the momentum and bar a few select hot dog joints, most faded away to bow down to the trending taqueria.
However, I for one am grateful that Oishii hot dogs still stand strong. Prenzlauerberg was my neighbourhood when this store opened up and, being a Japanese culture fanatic, I was intrigued.
Years later, my mouth still waters when I pass them walking down Schönhauser Allee.
Oishii (Japanese for tasty) introduced Berlin to the concept of Japanese-style hot dogs, although the idea has been done all over the world. The form has essentially stayed the same plus the use of predominantly Japanese flavours or ingredients associated with the land of the Rising Sun.
On the menu you’ll find the “Ebi dog” replacing the sausage with 2 fried ebi tempura, “Wakame dog” sausage with Wakame cucumbers and teriyaki sauce and my personal favorite, “Japan’s Darling”, a sausage with kroketten, Japanese mayonnaise and nori strips.
You can also find gyoza alongside Chinese/ Korean snack foods, but the star is really what’s between those two bread buns.