Thai Park Berlin
Thai park has been a thing in Berlin since 1995, when members of the Thai and other Asian communities would congregate in Preußen Park in Wilmersdorf. They’d transport themselves to their homelands; sitting under umbrellas, telling stories and cooking their traditional cuisines. As the decades went by, word spread fast and the park soon filled up with curious local Berliners, who could eat all kinds of exciting Asian cuisines, that, for whatever reason, the cities restaurants failed to provide. It ended up in chaotic scenes, as every Friday-Sunday the park would be overly full with chefs and customers. Pretty soon large parties spread out around the park. Back when I first visited in 2018 were there were Brazilian and Cuban cocktail stands, mixing powerful drinks which only fuelled the mayhem further. The residents near the park had had enough – not only was it noisy and messy in the extreme, but the park was also trampled and turned into a dustbowl on a weekly basis. However; the food was so good, and Thai park so popular, that in 2020 a compromise was reached. A maximum of 60 licensed stalls can still operate there, and they have to be transparent with their prices and the ingredients that go into their dishes. They also placed a deposit on all their plates, cups and utensils, to encourage people to bring them back rather than littering. The food now is still excellent, and I’m happy to report it’s hardly turned corporate – there are still rogue traders wondering through the picnic blankets selling dumplings, skewers, weird alcoholic drinks and snacks. If you want to make a party of it, you’d do well to bring a cooler or some ice – the supermarkets fridges nearby tend to empty in a flash.
by Eddie Rickenbacker
Brandenburgische Str., 10707 Berlin
This article will feature in Treetop Travel Journalism‘s upcoming summer magazine