We had an extremely good time in Berlin. Our tours of the historical and alternative aspects of the City gave us a real grasp of what Berlin is all about. But, of course, no trip with me is complete without some great food. Our moms trip to Europe was no exception to this. Our goals, as always, were to keep prices down while taking flavor to the max. However, this trip was a little more complicated. Stephanie and I eat basically everything, so normally finding restaurants is easy. However, with our moms with us I was finding it difficult to match our meals to everyone’s preferences. Luckily, none of us are vegetarians, so it is hard to go wrong with some amazing chicken. For amazing chicken in Berlin, you go to Henne. Period. The end.
Henne has been in business for over 100 years. This is extremely impressive given it has lasted through two world wars, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, East Germany, and now Reunified Germany. What is even more shocking is it has survived these things while in essence serving only one dish, chicken. Now when I say chicken, I do not mean chicken served multiple ways or even in a particularly unique way. It is literally 1/2 chicken, fried. That is it. That is basically all Henne has been for over 100 years. If you can stay in business for over 100 years on chicken, it must be damn good chicken.
Those of you who are very close readers may have noticed that I used a few qualifiers in the last sentence. Technically, Henne has a couple more dishes. They have potato salad, slaw, and currywurst, but those are really just sides. While they are something you can order, the only true main course they offer is 1/2 chicken, and if you go to Henne and plan on not getting the chicken, there is really no reason to go. Henne is all about the chicken.
I made reservations for Henne a few weeks in advance, and trust me reservations are necessary. The restaurant itself is very small, and even in February when we visited it was packed. It is not just a tourist attraction either. While at Henne, I did not notice any other tables speaking english. The people next to us were speaking italian, but other than that everyone was speaking german.
When you walk into Henne you step back in time. Maybe not 100 years but at least 20-30. They have kept its interior traditional, just like its food.
We had the chicken. I could probably leave it at that but I won’t. We decided to split 2 1/2 chickens between the 4 of us (I guess that means we split a whole chicken). Really, what human being needs a half chicken just by themselves? Unless you are the Hound from Game of Thrones, and you want want to eat every F****** in this room (NOTE: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE IN THE CLIP).
As they don’t start the food until you order, it takes about 30ish minutes to get your order out after you place it, but the wait is without a doubt worth it. In my family, you know it is a good meal when no one says a word while eating. This was one of those moments. While the chicken itself was extremely simple (just fried not even breaded), it was absolute perfection. The skin was perfectly crispy and the inside remained tender and moist. It is old-world good food. Plain, simple, but extremely well done. The hound would approve. Luckily he wasn’t there, I really had no intention of dying for the chicken.
The chicken at Henne will run you a reasonable 9.40€ per portion. This is really great if you decide to split between two people (which you can easily do if you choose to get a side or two), for 4 people it came out to just over 30€ before tip (about 7.60€/person). An amazing deal for some of the best chicken you will find in Berlin.
Henne has outlasted empires, countries and reichs. Surviving 100 years serving just one thing. Chicken. It is damn good chicken.