Ramen in Berlin: Cocolo Ramen

Yasai Don with spinach, carrots and soy beans on rice (7 Euros)
Yasai Don with spinach, carrots and soy beans on rice (7 Euros)

You know this feeling, when the days get shorter, the temperatures sink and the rain gets heavier, and you’ve had a crazy day at work and feel that certain Berlin winter depression slowly lurking for you. And then you know what’s helping: a heart-warming Japanese noodle soup from Mitte’s best Ramen place: Cocolo. Just once you arrive you’ll realize, that you’ll have to get in line to get a seat. The tiny place at Gipsstraße 3 is usually crowded minutes after opening at 6pm and people line the street despite temperatures being well below zero. And then you worry how much your mood will drop while waiting and how many soups you’ll need to have to push it to a bearable level. But Berliners, fret no more! Cocolo Ramen opened a second location during the summer in Kreuzberg, which is not only remarkably bigger but also offers lunch. Winter is saved.

More space – the second location of Cocolo Ramen in Kreuzberg
More space – the second location of Cocolo Ramen in Kreuzberg

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain: Cocolo Ramen is the best place in Berlin for delicious, fresh noodles in a tasty broth, topped with meat or vegetables, eggs and wakame, and it is my personal favorite mood-enhancer in the dark season. I’ve never written about it, because Oliver, the owner, asked me not to when I approached him about two years ago, since already back then it was difficult to get a seat spontaneously in the tiny noodle shop. Alas, I might have been the only one following his request, and Cocolo Ramen at Gipsstraße has appeared in every guide and on every website about Berlin you can find. Don’t get me wrong, it earned every recommendation, praise and fame, but that also means considerable waiting time for soup nowadays. (And many times just deciding to get food somewhere else.)

Tantan Ramen soup - with spicy minced meat and vegetables
Tantan Ramen soup – with spicy minced meat and vegetables (9 Euros)
Spinach with sesame sauce (3,50 Euros)
Spinach with sesame sauce (3,50 Euros)

With the recently opened Kreuzberg location the space problem is solved, though. And not only is it more spacious, the team also added a lunch menu with a variety of Dons (7 Euros including a Miso soup, a side and a drink) and an additional soup with smoked chicken. And then there’s also an extended starter menu with sweet pork belly (Kakuni), Kimchi, spinach and so much more. Does that excite you? It’s making me, at least, very happy.

Cocolo Ramen's Kimchi (3 Euros)
Cocolo Ramen’s Kimchi (3 Euros)
Cocolo Ramen's Gyoza (4,50 Euros)
Cocolo Ramen’s Gyoza (4,50 Euros)

Now, there’s no more problem to recommend Cocolo Ramen to everyone you know and their friends, it’s a one-of-a-kind institution so originally Japanese and yet so very local and true Berlin.

Cocolo Ramen

Cocolo Ramen

Gräfestrasse 11

10967 Berlin Kreuzberg

Kottbusser Tor

Opening Hours:

Mo–Sat: 12:00–23:00


also leave a comment
  1. Jeni Fulton on


    Thanks for this Mary. Fantastic tip as usual – you have made my lunch/dinners so much more interesting!

    1. Mary Scherpe on

      you’re very welcome!

  2. Karoline on


    I just moved from Berlin to Hamburg – and I think I need to stop reading your blog for a few months it is simply too painful to read about the stuff I am missing out on …

    But – I’ll be back when my mental state and Hamburg love has gotten bigger and I a trip back to Berlino has been booked.

  3. Sylee on


    The light in these photographs is so inviting – and oh, it will be luxurious to enjoy their food in proper seats.

    1. Mary Scherpe on

      very good point, haha

  4. Minh on


    Thanks for this recommendation.
    I’ll definitely try out this place when I’m in town :)

  5. Helen on


    Great to know that they are finally in Kreuberg. It is also open for dinner, istn´t it?

  6. kubo on


    Kimchi is korean food.
    Yasai don is not like that actually.. It looks like korean food bibimbap.

  7. Nina on


    I just love this store…! Could go there for lunch AND dinner everyday! But you are so true, after all those recommendations waiting time really exceeded. :( But its worth waiting, I tell you ;-)

  8. Catherine on


    Cocolo Ramen is the first restaurant I fell in love with in Berlin. Was brought there by a Japanese girl who was in my German class group ! I go back as often as I can!

  9. Carly on


    Thank you for this post! I used to live in Berlin and loved going to this place. It was such a little treasure on a cold night. Your beautiful pictures brought back good memories.

  10. Rob on


    Cocolo is the only decent Ramen place in Berlin , even though it isn’t comparable to an authentic bowl of Ramen in japan, because the broth could be much more complex. Anyways I’m glad they are here and are doing a good job. They’re alkaline noodles are actually pretty good.

  11. Awadulcecity on


    I can’t believe they opened 5 min. from home and I didn’t know about it…. maaan! But thanks for the great post! I just found out about your blog and I’m thinking of subscribing because if you’re endorsing Cocolo… that’s already a good-enough reason to do so. It’s my favorite restaurant in Berlin, together with Sala thai

  12. Mona on


    Thanks for burning all good places down! You doing a great job.
    If the owner asked you not to write about it why don’t you respect this no matter how many places they open? No matter what other guides write. Thats your excuse to still collect your reward of ,knowing’? These places are busy to the maximum already.
    Its a bit sad to read the blog recommendation or some of them and see how the actual places burn to tourist traps. THANKS!

    1. Mary Scherpe on

      what a weird comment to make.
      First of all, I never quite understood why people would begrudge success and demand certain places remain “unknown” (which is certainly not the case with cocolo, the Mitte original has been packed for years, with me writing about it or not) – is it only so you can enjoy your soup in solitude?
      Second, I always wondered what kind of xenophobia lies behind the assumption that people who are “only” visiting the city (aka, the dreaded tourists) would not deserve to know about certain kind of places. Haven’t we all been tourists at one point or another, longing to experience a city as best as possible? By the way, I doubt that Cocolo will ever “burn into a tourist trap” because I doubt the owner would ever compromise the quality of his product just to cash in on more people (and assume this’d be what you meant by “burn”.)
      Third, you’re putting way more power in my hands than I deserve, I’m afraid. Yes, this blog has some popularity, but it is nothing against the real big deals in the guide-biz (who brought the busses to white trash, for example). But thanks for acknowledging we’re choosing “all the good places”. I’ll take that as a compliment.

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