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Best German Food (savory) and the Berliner restaurants to try them.
On this article about traditional German Food and restaurants in Berlin, we will cover some of the most iconic “German/Austrian dishes” and the best restaurants to get them. Mind you, “German food” has evolved and changed over time. Berlin’s multi-cultural makeup ads a complete new twist to it. In this article we will only focus on what is regarded as “old school” and traditional Germanic food items. We also wrote an article about typical Berliner foods, in case you are interested.
Let’s start by explaining what the dishes are. Below each dish you will find at least one suggestion of a good restaurant to get them. We hope you enjoy them and as always, please feel free to write us with your favorites. We promise to try them!
Schnitzel – The most famous version (and our favorite) is the Wiener Schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel is a dish consisting of a thin slice of veal (or sometimes pork) that is breaded, fried, and garnished.
Need to know: There are 3 main groups of sausage types that can be differentiated by the way they are cooked. They can be scalded, smoked or cooked/grilled. For more on German sausages, check our this article on the 6 most famous German sausage varieties.
When in doubt on whether to order Blutwurst (blood sausage), Frankfurter (Bockwurst), Knackwurst, Leberwurst, Leberkäse, Weisswurst (white sausage), etc…we advise trying them all (make sure to go in a group!).
*Also, not properly a restaurant, “The Sausage Man Never Sleeps” has been sourcing some of the best sausages in town. You can find their sausages at most of the restaurants on this list and at Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg. You can alaso order their sausages online.
Photo from Kumpel & Keule’s Facebook Feed.
Maultaschen – Swabian style “ravioli”
Pasta dough which encloses a filling traditionally made of minced meat, smoked meat, spinach, bread crumbs and onions and flavoured with various herbs and spices.
Spätzle – Traditional Egg Noodles (often Käsespätzle – with cheese)
The Italians aren’t the only pasta-lovers. The German answer to pasta is Spätzle. Compared to Italian pasta, the Spätzle dough is moister and softer. A crowd pleaser, these “German noodles” are often served with tons of cheese and various toppings.
It is basically the end of the pig’s leg, just above the ankle and below the ham portion. A variation of this dish is known in parts of Germany as Eisbein, in which the ham hock is pickled and usually slightly boiled. Don’t go for the Eisbein, get the Schweinshaxe!
Photo By Anagoria – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47261094
Goulash – Paprika spiced stew/soup of meat
Although Goulash originated from Hungary, it is quite popular in Germany. It is a stew/soup of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices. It is quite rich and comforting! We love it when it is served with Spätlze!
We all know that the coffee game is strong in Berlin. The third wave craft coffee scene doesn’t stop developing, with newcomers and established cafés opening second, third addresses – and even their own roasteries.
Coffee lovers are certainly delighted with the variety of good quality places they can find in Berlin. But what about tea lovers? Indeed, the tea scene is not as big, but there are some tea houses and tea shops that are definitely worth a visit if you are “a tea kind of person”.
It does not matter if you like the British tradition or the Japanese tea ceremony. There is always a pleasant tea house waiting for you in Berlin. We selected five of the best tea houses and shops in town. Enjoy!
It is definitely the paradise on Earth for herbal tea lovers! At this Greek tea house and shop, you will find a great selection of herbal and rare mountain tea options. We dare say that this is the best place to enjoy tea in Berlin!
The seating area is small, but the back room is really cozy. It is a perfect spot to spend an afternoon reading over tea – and enjoy yummy sweets.
If this was not enough, all the products, including honey and olive oil from the Peloponnese, are organic. Plus, the owner will give you precise advise about the ideal mix of herbs according to your taste. And, on top of that, the prices are bellow average for this hip area of Kreuzberg.
Forget about the hip Asian restaurants in Neukölln and don’t be fooled by the unattractive building façade: this little Korean tea house and restaurant is a hidden gem in the southern neighborhood of Friedenau.
The cozy wooden interiors, full of small details, are perfect to enjoy an afternoon green tea, solo, or after a Bibimbap or an Udon. Dabangg offers green tea from the Hadong region in South Korea, harvested according to the first rain showers in May. The leaves can be infused up to three times. Tip: the second time is considered the most tasteful. There are also floral teas, prepared with lotus, mulberry or kaki flower and the classic ginger-cinnamon-honey tea.
The green tea can be also served cold, which is an ideal pick for a hot summer day in their small outdoor terrace.
Located in a quiet courtyard on the busy Rosenthaler Strasse in Mitte, this Vietnamese tea house and restaurant serves great teas in cute clay pots. Among their specialties, you will find exotic flower tea options, like blue butterfly, lotus and chrysanthemums, that can be mixed with rice milk, and “Viet tea staples”, like ginger or jasmine tea.
The high ceilings, the vegetation and the hanging paper lamps create a romantic, yet fancy-ish atmosphere, which is perfect for a Bumble/Tinder date or a chill break after a shopping stroll around the neighboring Torstrasse.
Sencha, genmaicha, yamecha, matcha… If you are into Japanese green tea, Mamesha is your place! This Japanese café and shop in Mitte is open from 12h until 19h, except on Sundays, and also serves bento-style small dishes until 15h.
After picking a favorite green tea, we often go for a delicious Japanese pastry, like the matcha cheesecake, the rice balls or the mochi ice cream.
Their iced matcha latte is to die for and is a must when the weather asks for it!
Following the British tearoom tradition, the thatched cottage located in the beautiful English Garden in Tiergarten, close to the Victory Column, serves afternoon tea with a variety of small cakes, light snacks and meals.
Besides the indoor seating room, the large terraced area turns into a charming Biergarten during the summer. We highly recommend booking a table if you are in a group, since they host a lot of events. Unfortunately, the Teehaus is closed during the cold season, from November until beginning of March.
With two shops, in Charlottenburg and in Mitte, Paper & Tea is not only about beautifully packaged high quality tea presented in a minimalistic atmosphere. They offer a great selection of tea from all over the world, including rooibos, mate, matcha and chai blends. They also have a huge choice of tea accessories and fine stationary goods.
And to help you make the best choice, the teas are displayed with open samples, so you can see and smell them!
The tea assortment of this shop in Charlottenburg is for sure one of the biggest in Berlin. They offer all kinds of Asian tea, from Japan, China and India (check their impressive list here!), stored in beautiful metallic canisters, and also lovely tea accessories, like porcelain tea cups and kettles.
And, as the name implies, you can also enjoy one of their infinite options in one of the tables spread around the shop.
Following the motto “drink global, brew local”, this small shop, hidden in a courtyard at Paul-Lincke-Ufer in Kreuzberg, makes amazing cold, fresh and raw tea beverages, including kombucha in three different flavors.
They are only open from Thursday to Saturday, between 12h and 18h, but you can find their products in other shops, organic groceries and cafés throughout Berlin. Check their “Where to find” interactive map here.
First, a disclaimer: This is a list of my favorite restaurants in Berlin right now. I am sure there are a million other great restaurants that are worth a visit. My goal with this article is to give you a shortlist of where I like to eat these days. These restaurants have proven to deliver delicious food and satisfying experience, CONSISTENTLY. Yes, chefs and staff may have bad days, but I guarantee that these places have way more amazing days than otherwise.
You may be disappointed, as I am not going to tell you about the *newest* restaurants in Berlin. Most of the places I am recommending have been around for a while. I catch myself going back and that, I think, is a good sign.
I want to personally give you solid options that I truly love and are here to stay (I certainly hope so). Take it as a recommendation between friends. I have also mostly selected restaurants that are not going to break your bank. They range from my trusted Turkish joint, where you can eat for 10 bucks to my favorite mid-range restaurants, where you can get an amazing dinner for around 60-70 Euros.
If you are looking for fine dining options, check out this article I wrote just about that.
Over the past few months, I have revisited all of them to ensure their food and service are still great. And they are.
**With the exception of Doyum I recommend you make reservations to all of them. Make sure to visit their website for opening hours/dates.
My go-to place for real Turkish food on a hidden corner near scruffy Kottbusser Tor. NEVER DISAPPOINTS. I often go simple here with an Adana Kebab and a Kunefe for dessert. That’s all I will ever need to be happy.
Photo by our friends from Berlin Food Stories (www.berlinfoodstories.com)
Cool, amazing, cheap, creative, diverse, unforgettable… All these adjectives can certainly be used to qualify how vibrant and exciting a visit or a long stay in Berlin can be. The German capital has countless attractions, sights and landmarks to keep you busy any time of the year.
However, like in every big city, some places can be real money-greedy lures and worth skipping. Let’s be honest: they do not deserve even a peek!
So, if you want to take the best of your “Berlin experience”, we selected some of the touristic places you can avoid while visiting our lovely city. We also propose at least one trap-free alternative for each one of them. Here are Berlin’s tourist traps and how to avoid them!
Taking a selfie at Checkpoint Charlie.
Checkpoint Charlie takes the cake as the mother-of-all-tourist-traps! Today, everything about this historical site is fake: the guardhouse standing there is a replica, the soldiers wearing U.S. Army uniform are actors and even the picture of the so-called Charlie officer is a trickery. ALSO…for the record…the name of the checkpoint (the real one that no longer exists) used by foreigners and diplomats during the Cold War era, was taken from the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha for A, Bravo for B, Charlie for C…) and not from a soldier whose name was Charlie!
None of the original structures at Checkpoint Charlie remain. This Disneyland-ish place is just a selfie factory, surrounded by cheap street food vendors and souvenir stalls. In case you want to see the original guardhouse, it is exhibited at the Allied Museum, in the southwestern neighborhood of Dahlem. You will realize that the reality was way less charming than it looks today…
Buying fake pieces of the Berlin Wall and military Soviet caps.
Is it possible to believe that, nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, small parts of it can be sold as a relic? No, the answer is definitely no! Don’t be bamboozled: the piece of concrete they try to sell you was probably taken from one of the many construction sites in Berlin!
And why buy a fake fur Soviet ushanka if you can take home a genuine article designed and made in Berlin? For more creative and original ideas, browse through our some cool Berlin souvenir ideas.
Picture from Of Berlin’s Website (https://www.ofberlin.com/en)
Searching for the best skyline view atop the TV Tower.
The view from the top of the highest structure in the Berlin seems to be perfect place to have a panoramic view of the city, right? But it is not. If you are up top, you will miss one of the most emblematic constructions in Berlin, with its beloved retrofuturistic “disco ball”: The TV Tower itself!
To admire the skyline of Berlin and avoid waiting in the long queues to have access to the observation deck of the TV Tower, head up to the Panorama Terrace at the neighboring Park Inn hotel. Located on the 40th floor of the building, which is one of the highest skyscrapers in Berlin, the panorama terrace is the closest you can get to the TV Tower! Also, check out more options on places to see Berlin from above.
View from the Victory Column. Photo Credit: Flavio Edreira Photography
Browsing through the East Side Gallery.
Along the Spree river, the 1.3 Km stretch of the original Berlin Wall is the world’s longest open-air gallery. Even though the mix of art and history is still impressive, the more than 100 “freedom thematic” murals are far from what we would consider edgy street art. But if you do decide to visit it, make sure to explore “the back” of the Wall, facing the river. There are quite a few interesting open-air exhibits hapenning throughout the year.
For more interesting street art, go to the Revaler Strasse/Urban Spree area. It is just a 10 minute-walk from the East Side Gallery and you will also be able to enjoy a cool skyline view of the city center from the Warschauer Brücke on your way there! If you are into street art, check out the many articles we wrote covering the subject!
One of the only walls worth visiting at East Side Gallery.
Shopping for trinkets at the flea market at Mauerpark.
We love a Sunday stroll at Mauerpark, blending Berlin Wall monument, public hangout and karaoke shows. But the weekly flea market does not deserve your attention. All you will find are pricey furniture/trinkets and East Germany memorabilia offered along with counterfeit phone chargers…
Just skip it. And before or after your Mauerpark exploration, head to the flea market at Arkonaplatz. Located 1 Km away from Mauerpark, on the border of Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, the sellers offer vintage furniture and artworks from local artists and designers, with more affordable prices. The market is open every Sunday from 10 to 16h.
Fleamarket at Arkonaplatz, a better alternative to the Mauerpark fair. Picture from Arkonaplatz Trödelmarkt’s website.
From the last weekend of November until end of December, Berlin offers more than 60 Christmas markets, spread all over the city. So there is no reason to visit the Christmas market at Alexanderplatz, with its crowded alleys, overpriced mulled wine and craftwork of doubtful taste.
If you want to enjoy a popular and authentic Christmas market atmosphere, pay a visit to the one located at Richardplatz in Neukölln (only during the first weekend of Advent) or venture out to the one in the old town in Spandau with its traditional small village vibe!
Spandau Christmas Market. Photo by Domingos Lepores.
We all agree that having a row of shops in a covered area makes shopping easier when the weather outside is “moody”. On the other hand, we also know that we cannot experience real life inside a shopping mall.
All the high street fashion brands present on the two main shopping malls in Berlin also have shops at Ku’damm, the City West shopping mile, which is, in our opinion, a more pleasant shopping alternative. And if you really like a shopping mall ambiance, next to Ku’damm, the “concept mall” Bikini Berlin will provide you with a more “Berliner shopping experience”.
Photo from Bikini’s Website.
Taking one of the City bus tours.
The hop on, hop off tour buses are very convenient and let you easily discover the most famous landmarks of any city. But in Berlin they are unnecessary: regular bus lines, like the 100 and the 200 pass through the most famous sights of the German capital. On the double-decker public buses – without taped or live guides – you will admire Unter den Linden, the Museum Island, the Brandenburger Tor, the borders of Tiergarten, Ku’damm, the Zoo and City West.
Plus, you will save money, since the regular bus ticket is five times cheaper than a ride on a city bus tour!
At first sight, you may find that a museum dedicated to the most famous Berliner street food is an amazing idea. But think twice: why would you go to a museum if you can have an authentic Currywurst tasting experience in one of the most emblematic luncheonettes in Berlin, the Konnopke’s Imbiss.
The location, beneath the rail tracks of the U-Bahn station Eberswalder Strasse, in Prenzlauer Berg, is the perfect spot to enjoy the cult snack: a curry-flavored sausage, served with French fries and a bread roll. And don’t forget to put mayo on your fries if you want to look like a local!
Konnopke’s is a Berlin institution. Photo from Konnopke’s website.
Another legendary Berliner creation, the Döner Kepab is a Turkish bread filled with grilled meat and salad. It is certainly the food to have after a fun night out. Almost every busy corner in Berlin has a Döner stand, but Mustafa’s got the reputation of being the best one for reasons nobody can explain!
At any time of the day, there is always a queue of tourists in front of this ultra-famous stall, facing the U-Bahn station Mehringdamm, in Kreuzberg. For a late night snack, head to Doyum (at Kottbusser Tor) and avoid excessive waiting time. The restaurant and the take away parlor are open late.
Photo from BerlinFoodStories.com
Going for a beer on Simon-Dach-Strasse.
Friedrichshain is one of the most bohemian neighborhoods in Berlin and Simon-Dach-Strasse gathers hordes of tourists looking for fun and cheap beer. We have nothing against people willing to have fun and spending little money (we also do it!), but the establishments on Simon-Dach-Strasse are often overrated and overpriced.
For a more local experience check out our selection of cool spots around the nearby Boxhagenerplatz and avoid paying more for less!
Any time of the day, you will find people waiting for a free spot in one of the banquettes at this Vietnamese restaurant in Mitte. It seems that its main attraction is tourist people watching (locals don’t go there!), since the food itself is just okay and the prices are above average, even for this hip area of Mitte, on Alte Schönhauser Strasse.
Right around the corner, we prefer Qua Phe, for more authentic and inspired Vietnamese dishes. And if you are really into people watching, walk towards Rosenthaler Platz and queue for a table at the Thai/Indonesian bar and restaurant Transit. The tapas-style dishes are good – and cheap at least!
Queue in front of Monsieur Vuong in Mitte. Photo by Domingos Lepores.
Your night highlight at Watergate will certainly be the view of the Spree river from the dance floor. But is that why you are going out? The nightlife options in Berlin are infinite, so there is no reason to queue – on purpose – for hours to get into Watergate, pay for expensive cocktails and dance to tacky tech-house if you can have a techno blast at the legendary Tresor or at the world renowned Berghain.
Photo from Tresor’s Website.
Article written by Domingos Lepores and edited by Tulio Edreira.
We love Berlin’s unique neighbourhoods – there are so many interesting streets to explore across the city. One of our favourites is Rykestraße, a wide, tree-lined street in Berlin’s Prenzlauer district. Not only is this street FULL of things to keep you busy should you find yourself hungry or wanting to do a bit of shopping, it also has two very notable sights: the Wasserturm Prenzlauer Berg, and the Rykestraße Synagogue.
Photo by Natalie Lunt.
Rykestraße runs from the Wasserturm on the corner of Knaackstraße to Danziger Straße. It’s not a particularly long street for Berlin, but there’s more than enough to see and do.
The synagogue is Germany’s largest and the second biggest Jewish place of worship in Europe. The building has been around since 1904, surviving the Second World War relatively undamaged. Today it can hold up to 2000 worshippers inside. It’s worth taking a look at its beautiful interior and tours are available during the week in both English and German.
Photo from Jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin’s Website.
The Wasserturm is Berlin’s oldest water tower, and was in use until 1952. An adjacent machine hall was actually the first concentration camp in Nazi Germany, though this building was demolished in 1935. Nowadays it is full of very sought-after apartments and is surrounded by a very pretty park area.
Now let’s talk about what else is available on Rykestraße:
Café’s & Restaurants
There are quite a few places to eat on this street. Some are quite small (and popular) which means seating can sometimes be tricky, of course it’s easier in the summer when there are more options to sit outside, but in the colder months you might have to wait for a table. Some of our favourite spots are No Fire No Glory, which serves really great coffee & cake, ABC (Allans Breakfast Club) who do a very tasty avocado toast and general yummy brunches, there’s also Si An specialising in very tasty Vietnamese cuisine, and set in a beautifully-designed space. There are also a couple of ice cream shops on the street, one in particular we like is Tribeca Ice Cream, serving delicious vegan ice cream in some amazing flavours.
Photo by Natalie Lunt.
The shops are mostly small, independent stores selling unique items and cool designs. We really like ting, a shop selling everything from jewellery to stationery – you can pick up some one-of-a-kind pieces here. Go to Funi Shop for bright, colourfully-designed products such as wrapping paper and cards. And when you want to spruce up your apartment (or your wardrobe) head to Schones aus Skandinavien whose pretty patterns cover scarves, mugs and handbags.
Photo by Natalie Lunt.
Bars & Pubs
After all that shopping, you’ll need to stop for a drink or two! And of course, Rykestraße has no shortage of bars, either. For delicious cocktails (and a smoke-free bar) head to BRYK – they even produce their own brand of gin. The bar has a very trendy industrial style and friendly staff. Haus Bar is a nice, small, cosy bar to relax in that plays good music and makes good drinks. There’s also a small terrace for when the weather is nice. Yard is your typical small pub/kneipe experience, that also has a pool table inside (which we don’t see many of these days). It’s dark, cosy, cheap and plays good rock music.
You’ll also find a spa, a wine shop, even a vet on Rykestraße – there’s just too many places to mention, so it’s best you go take a look yourself!
Find more ideas on what to do in Prenzlauer Berg HERE. You may also enjoy these other street guides we wrote: Torstrasse, Brunnenstrasse, Gräfestrasse. Do you have any favourite streets in Berlin? Let us know.
*Article written by Natalie Lunt and edited by Tulio Edreira.
Südblock is undoubtedly one of the most important queer spaces in Berlin. Right at Kottbusser Tor (Kotti for the locals), this café, bar and party venue is a real Kreuzberg experience, with all the diversity that makes this Berliner neighborhood so unique and exciting.
Quizz night at Südblock. Photo from Südblock’s Facebook Feed.
We dare say that the main attraction of Südblock is their public: everyone is welcome, excepted those who can not respect the cultural mix of Kotti. Thus, homophobes, transphobes, queerphobes and any other -phobe or heteronormative inclined people will not find their place there.
Together with the Gayhane party at S036, Möbel Olfe and Café Kotti, Südblock forms the Kreuzberg “queer quartet”. In the past 10 years, this “Kreuzberg institution” caters to the local community, including LGBTQ+ crowds and open-minded visitors. Südblock is a place where you are bound to share one of the communal tables with women wearing headscarves, an international drag queen and a young refugee trying to learn German!
Photo from Südblock’s Facebook Feed.
Anytime of the day, from 10 a.m., the venue opens for breakfast, lunch and afternoon cake and turns into a bar/party space in the evening, with a program as varied as its crowd.
Located in a small square, just on the southwestern corner of our beloved Kotti d’Azur, at the foot of a social housing complex, the outdoor seating area, in hot summer days, is converted into a Biergarten, with a view to one of U-Bahn station entrances.
On Sundays, the “pay what you want” brunch is a must. The open-buffet has vegetarian and vegan options, including German breakfast staples, like eggs in all its variations and pancakes. At the end of your meal, you decide to pay between € 7.50 and 14.50, excluded drinks, depending on how much you consider you had. It can be very busy on the peak hours, so it is highly recommended to book a table if you go in a group.
The alternative club nights include parties, concerts, karaoke, drag shows, readings, pub quizzes, art performances…
There are regular events, like the Salom Salam, on Mondays, from 6 to 9 p.m., offering haircuts and eyebrows plucking, spiced up with tarot readings, the Hartzer Roller, on Tuesdays, a social counseling service, the weekly Sprachklub aquarium, where everyone interested in learning German is invited to practice the language in an open public chat, and the successful brunch on Sundays.
The “trashy but happy” CherrYO!-kie, the karaoke dance party, happens 4 times a year and it is certainly one of the funniest nights you can have in Berlin! Another hilarious night is the always sparkling Pub Quiz, hosted by the DJs Tama Sumo, Prosumer and special guests.
Photo from Südblock’s Facebook Feed.
Südblock also promotes soli refugees parties and political discussions about discrimination faced by minorities. Be sure to check their extensive agenda, like their Facebook page or to subscribe to their newsletter to get updates about their special events.
And finally, a bonus for cig-free people: at Südblock, smoking is allowed only in a separate room!
*Article written by Domingos Lepores and edited by Tulio Edreira.
Boxhagener Platz (aka Boxi) is a fairly large square that has become the heart of Friedrichshain, due to the many shops, restaurants, and cafés around it. It also helps that it has a wonderful food market every Wednesday and Saturday, as well as a nice flea market every Sunday. Lots of people live in the area, so it can, at times, feel very busy for Berlin standards.
Photo from www.boxhagenerplatz.org
Due to the large number of people (including some “in-the-know” tourists), there are also many traps in the area. Yes, it is nice to stroll along Simon Dach Straße illuminated at night. That said, I am comfident that most of the places you’ll find along this strip are below average with above average prices. So I came up with this guide is to help you explore the area and avoid some traps by selecting the best in the Kiez.
What to do
If the weather is nice, you are bound to find lots of people sitting on the grass, drinking beer and eating some takeaway burger in the middle of the square. The small playground, which is separate from the adult, beer-consumption area, will also be full of kids and chatty parents. It is a diverse area, with people of different backgrounds and styles. This is definitely a good place to hang out on a sunny day and, in summer, people stay there well beyond sunset. The food options around here are plentiful and diverse enough to make everyone happy – and you can still find a decent takeaway meal for less than 5€.
Photo from www.boxhagenerplatz.org
On market days, even though most of the stands are selling uncooked food, it is possible to try out artisanal sausages or Italian street food delicacies, as well as cakes, coffee and more. It is worth coming here, even if you are not planning on cooking. If homeccooking is your thing, though, this is a must! You’ll find very fresh vegetables, hand-made pasta and quite a few locally sourced food items to inspire you.
On flea market days you will find the the square in its most crowded state. Even when it is bitter cold and snowing. From vintage/old furniture to handmade cut-out greeting cards, one can find charming items here – and, let’s be honest, some not so extraordinary items as well. But it is easy to make a Sunday outing out of it. Stroll around the flea market, have brunch or lunch nearby, then enjoy the local coffee scene, which is very well represented here.
Here are some shops, cafés, restaurants and bars I recommend you try while exploring Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain.
Photo from Victoria met Albert’s Facebook Feed.
Victoria met Albert: a mix of clothes, household articles, shoes and funny random designerish articles makes this shop a dream for those who like pretty things. Watch out, as the prices can be quite hefty!
Lesen und lessen lassen: beautiful books, cards, and notebooks. A small, friendly bookshop delivers that neighborhood feel.
Schwesterherz: a bit farther away from the square, but totally worth the stroll. This shop offers design objects, be it for the kitchen, personal use, or decoration of the home. Very much in the similar direction as Victoria met Albert, but with a less hipster approach.
Boxi Kiosk: the best späti for beer lovers, end of story. With a very wide selection of local craft beers and international classics, there’s no better späti in this area. Very conveniently located on one of the square corners.
Cozys (Gabriel-Max-Straße 15A, 10245 Berlin): this newly renovated café offers a very friendly and cozy atmosphere without compromising in style. Delicious coffee, very friendly service, and no attitude! Breakfast and brunch are also highly recommended here, as well as their delicious smoothies.
Photo from Cozy’s Facebook Feed.
Neumanns Café (Gabriel-Max-Straße 18, 10245 Berlin): a relatively newcomer, it offers good coffee and a typically minimalistic space that, although not memorable, feels comfortable on a rainy day.
KuchenRausch (Simon-Dach-Straße 1, 10245 Berlin): the most Berliner of the cafés in the area, with a vast, daily-changing selection of homemade cakes, as well as a complete menu. Not the friendliest or fastest of services, but definitely a more local experience than the Scandinavian-inspired cafés above.
Mamman (Gabriel-Max-Straße 2, 10245 Berlin): Vietnamese quick and dirty, but also delicious and inexpensive.
Il Ritrovo (Gabriel-Max-Straße 2, 10245 Berlin): Pizza with an attitude.
Datscha (Gabriel-Max-Straße 1, 10245 Berlin): Russian dumplings and brunch buffet on Sundays.
Burgeramt (Krossener Str. 21-22, 10245 Berlin): Nice burgers, friendly service.
Photo by Helena Nacinovic.
Lisboa bar (Krossener Str. 20, 10245 Berlin): Delicious Portuguese tapas, and slow, but extremely friendly service.
Sanabel Imbiß (Gabriel-Max-Straße 16, 10245 Berlin): The best falafel plate in the area, just a tiny door with two outside tables.
priMaria (Gärtnerstraße 12, 10245 Berlin): Bulgarian goodness, very nice atmosphere, and a bit more upscale service.
Hot Dog Soup (Grünberger Str. 69, 10245 Berlin): hot dogs and soup, as the name says! Very nice for a quick meal near the square.
Dachkammer (Simon-Dach-Straße 39, 10245 Berlin): Skip the front of the shop, which looks more like a café, and go to the first floor for some nice cocktails and a cozy atmosphere, with several rooms full of comfy sofas.
Szimpla (Gärtnerstraße 15, 10245 Berlin): a Hungarian café which offers draft craft beers and a wider bottle selection. One of the few bars in the area to separate smokers from non-smokers, as they serve food as well.
Photo from Szimpla’s Facebook Feed.
Feuermelder (Krossener Str. 24, 10245 Berlin): a Berliner left-wing bar, with cheap drinks and a smoky atmosphere. Perfect and friendly!
Behind its rough, grizzled exterior, Berlin is really a city of students and book nerds at heart. As the weather gets colder and it gets time to move inside from the parks and spaeti benches, check out our recommendations for the best bookstore/café combinations in Berlin.
This unpretentious café in Prenzlauer Berg is just a short walk from Bernauer Strasse, serving up the usual Milchkaffee and assorted pastries (although you can get sandwiches, too!) The real treat is the atmosphere – it’s the kind of bookstore/café where no one is worried about how long you’re hanging around, making it the perfect place for a meeting with your tandem language partner or Tinder date. Some of my latest finds in their used book section – German classics (written in beginner German if you still need to practice) and a whole shelf of Portuguese and Spanish novels.
Shakespeare & Sons is known by bookworms and non-bookworms alike for for one thing: amazing bagels. The heavily curated selection of books – everything from Bulgakov to Anthony Bourdain, German film to Japanese manga classics – feels a bit like checking out the bookshelves at a party in a trendy New York apartment. Love it or hate it, Shakespeare & Sons keeps it all about the books and good old fashioned conversation by limiting WiFi to specific hours and keeping the back room laptop free – finally, an excuse to get some reading done!
With warm walls, mismatched chairs, and location just around the corner from Frankfurter Tor, café Tasso feels like a relic from the days before Friedrichshain was filled to the brim with hip cafés. The back rooms are packed with used books, with a room in the basement dedicated to English language books, all for only €1.50 (recently up from just €1 a book), so it’s impossible to leave empty-handed (and if you’re like me, maybe with a stack of books about Berlin history and pre-war photographs). Bonus: go with a fellow book lover on a lazy weekend morning and grab the Tasso breakfast for two – you’ll get in some great people watching on Karl-Marx-Allee and get all the energy you need to explore every shelf.
If you’re into minimalist style, strong espresso, and Moleskine notebooks, Ocelot (“Not just another bookstore!”) might be more up your alley. Just down the street from Handbestand, it’s a great spot for some post-Mauerpark caffeination. Their selection of books is infinitely hip and design-centric, with a heavy selection of glossy art and architecture books. Ocelot’s advantage? Tons of books in other languages (from Greek, Spanish, Turkish, Polish, and more) as well as language coursebooks, means you’ll be sure to find something to practice your language skills apart from DuoLingo. For more on what to do around here, check out Neighborhood guide to Brunnenstrasse.
Maybe you’ve been around the block, and the suggestions above aren’t news to you. Antiquariat Mackensen & Niemann, in between Seestrasse and Nauener Platz, is a true hidden gem and the perfect place to spend a rainy day. This place is filled with antique books, surprising vintage finds, and unlike the places above, has a true local following. If you’re an art lover, this is the place for you – you’ll find huge photography books and exhibition retrospectives for a fraction of the price. OK, so it’s not technically a bookstore/café combination, but it might as well be – Schrader’s, a Wedding institution and one of the most popular neighborhood cafés – is just across the street. Here are some more ideas on things to do in Berlin Wedding.
If you feel like a more “corporate” and super bookstore/café combination, then Dussmann in Mitte is the place to go. This bookstore has, for the longest time, been the reference in Berlin for all sorts of book needs. Browse through the many floors before finding a perfect spot at their downstairs café, right by a most wonderful green wall! Yes, given its lcoation and fame, this bookstore might feel a bit too mainstream. The café, however, will transport you to somewhat of a hidden urban oasis. Trust.
Photo from Dussmann’s website.
Do you have a favorite bookstore or café in the city? Tell us in the comments below!
*Article written by Olea Morris and edited by Tulio Edreira.
Brunnenstrasse can be considered the b-side of Torstrasse and, together with this main boulevard, is one of the coolest areas in Mitte. The 2.3 Km long road begins at Rosenthaler Platz and ends at the S- and U-Bahn station Gesundbrunnen, from where the street got its name. We love it so much that we decided it was time for a comprehensive Brunnenstrasse guide through our eyes. We hope you enjoy it. Tip: Avoid Sundays and early mornings as most businesses are closed. For specific opening hours, make sure to visit the establishments’ websites.
This interesting street connects the hip Mitte with the popular Wedding district. The metro line U8 runs along the entire length of Brunnenstraße, passing by Bernauer Strasse and Voltastrasse stations.
Until the Second World War, Brunnenstrasse was a popular shopping street with many boutiques, cinemas and pubs, including the former department store Jandorf. In fact it was called, along with Friedrichstrasse, the “Ku’damm of the North”.
The construction of the Berlin Wall, during the Cold War years, separated two parts of Berlin – and of Brunnenstrasse. The Wall used to stand alongside Bernauer Strasse, making both ends of the crossing roads dead end streets. Today this spot is marked by a double row of paving stones and it is also a section of Berlin Wall Memorial.
Photo from the Wall Memorial’s Website
Curiosity: The metro station Bernauer Strasse was closed and became a ghost station, through which the trains ran without a stop from West to West Berlin, directly from Moritzplatz to Voltastrasse.
Walking Brunnenstrasse all the way up from Rosenthaler Platz to Gesundbrunnen you will notice how the different sides divided by the former Wall present different architecture, street lamps, shops and cafés.
Even though the Wall has fallen in 1989, there is still an imaginary wall, that separates two different populations. The western section of Brunnenstrasse, from Bernauer Strasse to S- and U-Bahn Gesundbrunnen, is the address of truly examples of ugly German architecture and their indefectible satellite dishes. However, it has some points of interest.
The first one is the big red building complex of the former industrial site of the electric supplies company AEG. The factory buildings, constructed at the end of the 19th century, are partially protected and you can walk into the former facilities area.
Volkspark Humboldthain is a large green getaway in a very grey neighborhood. Don’t miss the beautiful Rosengarten and the nice view over Wedding from the top of the Flakturm (Above-ground anti-aircraft gun blockhouse towers constructed by the Nazi Germany). The flak towers are also one of our favorite sunset spots in Berlin.
For the foodies, every third Sunday of the month, the street food market Brunnenmarkt takes place between Bernauer Strasse and Stralsunder Strasse, gathering specialities from the four corners of the world. Volta is a gastropub that serves a tasty gourmet burger, in a very sophisticated ambiance.
Let us focus now on the former eastern section of Brunnenstrasse, from Rosenthaler Platz to Bernauer Strasse. This neighborhood is characterized by its mix of decadent façades and brand new refurbished ones, updated with the latest minimalist architecture trends. It makes a charming contrast with the courtyards full of grafitti, stencil and stickers and the remaining businesses like the watch-workshop Uhrenwerkstatt and the GDR-style Kneipe Zum Bier-michel.
Around Rosenthaler Platz, you will find hotels, Spätis and a plethora of fast food options, like pizza, kebab, burgers, burritos, Currywurst and Asian mix food, that are perfect for midnight cravings. Weinbergspark is one of our favorite summer hang outs. Grab a beer from one of the Spätis nearby and find a free spot to chill on the (often) crowded hilly lawn. A true Berlin experience.
This corner is also the address of the former department store Warenhaus Jandorf, in operation until 1945. It then served as the Institute of Fashion Design during the GDR times. The building, yet to be renovated, is used for exhibitions, art projects and temporary events location like the Berlin Fashion Week these days. From here, you can also play “peek-a-boo” with our beloved TV Tower.
Photo from Kaufhaus Jandorf’s Website
In order to help you explore the variety of interesting places Brunnenstrasse offers, we divided its attractions in art galleries, wellness spaces, shops, cafés/restaurants and bars:
KOW and Zagreus Projekt are two of the most newsworthy galleries on Brunnentrasse. Besides their always fascinating exhibitions, the building used by KOW is a delight: the translucent façade of the concrete box changes its colors according to the intensity of the sun-rays! Zagreus Projekt is a gallery and gastronomic space. The chef, gallery owner and curator Ulrich Krauss organizes exhibitions in relation to food or gastronomic concepts, with a different menu for every new exhibition. Kind of wacky…very Berlin.
Photo from Zagreu’s Website
Next to both galleries, you can not miss the building with a façade celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. It reads: “This house used to be in another country”.
Brunnenstrasse seems to be the address for yoga lovers. There are at least three yoga studios: the well known Jivamukti Yoga Berlin, that also has a yummy vegan canteen, the yoga center and small organic grocery shop Vielfalter and the yoga school Ashtanga Yoga Berlin. To make your heart beat faster and healthier, Becycle offers indoor cycling and HITT classes. Next to it, at My Goodness, you can recharge your batteries with a healthy and plant based whole food.
Shopping maniacs will not be disappointed by a stroll along Brunnenstrasse. Some of the most interesting boutiques in Berlin have their address here.
Civilist is the garments provider for the Berliner cool kids, with its always amazingly curated streetwear collections. It is where you can cope capsule collections items from adidas/Palace and from upcoming brands like Dime and Bronze 56K. The next door space is dedicated do Nike SB and Vans Syndicate sneakers.
Ben Weide offers menswear collections focused on functionality, with hints of minimalism and sportswear. The clothes are almost only locally produced (they are made in a 300 Km radius around Berlin).
Handmade in Germany, Elena Mancu “makes clothing for women who seek to refine their style without being obsessed by fashion”. Expect clear cuts and hidden details on her pieces. More made in Germany can be found at DRESP. The brand creates and sells high-end women sportswear that can also be your outfit for a Sunday afternoon at Berghain, after your crossfit training session. ; – )
Argot Life Store and Studio 183 are the two concept-stores of Brunnenstrasse. On the first one, you can find selected magazines, coffee cups, sunglasses and made in France tricots. Studio 183 “integrates high quality design, fashion and art and offers a platform for young designers and entrepeneurs to sell their products in a curated retail context”. Located on the ground floor of a building that once was a house art project.
For the vintage lovers, Ghata Berlin displays a selection of clothes, bags and shoes from the 20th century and Cafe Irma offers not only coffee, but also GDR memorabilia, like plastic chicken-shaped boiled eggs holders.
Bookworms can be fed by the second-hand books at Handbestand. They have a lovely terrace which is perfect for a coffee and cake combo to accompany a reading session. Ocelot is “not just another bookstore”. The cosy oak interiors invite you to read over coffee. The space also hosts talks, exhibitions and small concerts. If their book selection can’t provide what you are looking for, the Phillip Schaefer public library is located on the courtyard of the building!
Photo from Ocelot’s Website
Brunnenstrasse also offers options of furniture and design shops: finest Scandinavian pieces of Wohnkultur 66, houseware supplier Objets Trouvés Berlin, contemporary design at Brunnen 190, bedding store Polkra, upclycling boutique Nutz&Zier, exquisite stone fashion, tech-accessories of Roxxlyn and urban design of S.Wert, a good place to find a souvenir from Berlin to take home.
Besides the fast food options at Rosenthaler Platz, along Brunnenstrasse you can find many other places that serve nice and tasty food.
Following a successful Kreuzberger/Neuköllner café style, Hermann Eicke, whose name pays homage to the creator of the first coffee machine, has good fresh bagels and sandwiches, and Joris makes yummy baked potato topped with creative ingredients and decent salads.
On the corner of Bernauer Strasse, Central Café Bar is a good vegetarian option during a visit to the Berlin Wall Memorial. Next door, L’Épicerie Brunnenstrasse is a grocery shop with a nice cheese and wine selection. Across the street, the main attraction of Ost-West Café is the very photographable East German Trabant police car, parked outside.
Almost on the corner of Invalindenstrasse, Unicorn.Berlin offers coworking spaces, healthy food, meeting rooms and an event space.
Photo from Unicorn’s Website
Asian food can be found at the Chinese noodle house The Tree and at the Japanese grillhouse Aiko, with their lovely – and symmetric displayed – paper lanterns.
Sweet tooths will be delighted with the french pastries of Du Bonheur and with the original ice cream flavors of Die Eisfabrik.
Either to start or finish your evening, bar options do not lack on Brunnenstrasse. Kim Bar is open from Tuesday to Saturday and is a good choice for music and drinks.
Bar Milano needs no further introduction. It is our favorite spot for a Negroni night opener! Tarantino’s is a cocktail bar dedicated to the universe of the American filmmaker.
Buck and Breck is a somehow secret doorway speakeasy and it was elected one of the best bars in Europe. In one only intimate and dark room, the cocktail bar, that is also a Champagne house, has a black communal table, in front of which the bartender mixes your drink. Reservation is mandatory.
Sharlie Cheen is a more affordable cocktail bar option and has a very “instragramable” ceiling, with its hexagonal lamps.
Open 24 hours, Mein Haus am See is a café/bar/club with a mix crowd and a small stage for live concerts.
As you can see, you can basically spend quite some time just exploring Brunnenstrasse and the areas around it. Make sure to also check our guide to Torstrasse and if you are in the mood for something more Kreuzberg, explore our guide to Graefestrasse.
*This article was written by Domingos Lepores and edited by Tulio Edreira.
The transition from the shining Summer sun to the grey skies of Winter marks the end of the outdoor fun. But not in Berlin! Even though the temperature cools down quite a bit and the days get shorter, in Autumn, the warm colors of the changing season invite everybody to go outside and enjoy the melancholic yet beautiful atmosphere.
Do not go on hibernation mode just yet, we selected some of the best things to do in Berlin this Fall!
Stroll around in one of Berlin’s wonderful parks:
Berlin has hundreds of parks and gardens (check our top 10 here) spread all over the city. For a Fall outdoor walk and foliage color enjoyment, we especially love Tiergarten, Schlosspark Charlottenburg, the surroundings of the Landwehrkanal and the off of the beaten path Schöneberger Südgelande.
Autumn is the harvest season and brings apples, quinces, pumpkins, chanterelles and the recently fashionable Grünkohl (kale) to the table. Most of the cafés and restaurants in town will add pumpkin soup and apple pie to their menus. But if you want to play the masterchef, head to one of the weekend markets. Kollwitzplatz in Prenzlauerberg, Winterfeldtplatz in Schöneberg, Maybachufer in Kreuzberg and Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain (which is also a flea market on Sundays), are considered the best in town. At these farmers markets, you can find seasonal produce, like fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, marmalades and apple cider. The city’s market halls also hold special Fall events with seasonal goodies! Vendors also sell Turkish, Thai, French and German dishes.
Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg.
Pick mushrooms in Grunewald:
Photo By pixagraphic under CC BY-ND 2.0
Not only for children, picking mushrooms is one of the nicest Fall activities and the Green Forest is the best place for it in Berlin. Warning: don’t forget to download a mushroom idenfification app (Yes, there is such a thing!) or take a book to identify the edible ones and dismiss the poisonous ones!
Enjoy oysters and champagne:
Even though the bivalves are available all year, avoid to eat them during the warmer months (the months that do not contain an “R”). In the colder months, the oysters are bigger, since they use their energy to reproduce during the Summer.
And the best way to enjoy them is with a glass (or two) of “bubblies”. We strongly recommend the oyster bar on the 6th floor of the classic department store KaDeWe. Besides the traditional species, they offer a special oyster of the month option.
Spend a rainy afternoon in the Museum Island:
Autumn in Berlin can be very rainy, especially in November. With almost 200 museums, Berlin is said to have more museums than rainy days. And the Museum Island is defnitely the crown jewel of Berlin museum complexes! 5 of the most amazing ones you will ever visit. Find out more here.
Autumn also brings strong winds – and the particularly piercing Siberian kiss from Eastern Europe -, making it the perfect season to play outside with your homemade kite. There are even festivals for the “dragons”, as Germans call them, the Drachenfest. The deactivated airport Tempelhof is the obvious destination for the kite lovers, but the hills next to the abandoned spying/listening station at Teufelsberg, in Grunewald, are also very windy and offer great views over Berlin!
Photo from https://gruen-berlin.de/tempelhofer-feld/veranstaltungen
Take a bike ride along the former Berlin Wall:
The former death strip along the area where the Berlin wall once stood is today a 160 Km bike path called Mauerweg. Besides being a great way to observe how the city has been changing since the fall of Wall, some of its stretches have amazing cherry and chestnut tree lines that are nice spots to watch the Autumn foliage. Check the area below the S-Bahn station Bornholmer Strasse, the surroundings of the Landwehr Canal, alongside Lohmühlenstrasse, and the 2 Km long cherry tree row in the Lichterfelde district, in the southwestern Berlin.
Neues Tempodrom Berlin. Photo from Tempodrom’s Website.
With the arrival of the Fall, the theatre and opera season starts again. It’s time to attend classic pieces at Deutsches Theater, avant-garde experiments at Volksbühne and celebrate the reopening of the stunning Staatsoper on Unter den Linden. There is simply no shortage of topnotch classical music venues: here is a cool list of options.
On October 3rd, Germany celebrates its reunification with a national holiday called Tag der Deutschen Einheit, the German Unity Day. There are concerts, fireworks and – of course – politicians speeches. In Berlin, the main celebration happens around the Brandenburger Tor, symbol of the German reunification.
October is also Oktoberfest time. While Munich gathers thousands of people, Berlin offers mini Oktoberfests all over the city. Choose one here to enjoy the company of girls in Dirndln and boys in Lederhosen, all of them drinking huge beers!
Days get shorter in Fall and the early dark evenings are perfect for light shows. Berlin has two light festivals happening in October. The main one is the Festival of Lights, illuminating some of the most iconic monuments and sights in the city center, like the Berliner Dom and the Brandenburger Tor. On its turn, Berlin Leuchtet focuses on less known architectural spots, like the Bundesrat (Senate) building near Potsdamer Platz and the deactivate Gasometer in Schöneberg.
For a more – let’s say – eco-friendly experience, the Indian embassy promotes the Diwali lightning lamps festival. Expect a blast of colors and lights, blended with typical dances.
Food lovers should not complain during the Fall season in Berlin. On the third week of October, the Berlin Food Week takes over the Kaufhaus Jandorf in Mitte to showcase the last culinary trends.
On the first weekend of October, the Berlin Harvest Festival takes place at the Domäne Dahlem. Take your basket and fill it with fresh potatoes and pumpkins. You can not go for more locally produced than this!
The northern part of Berlin has also its harvest celebration. On the first Sunday of October, the Botanical Garden in Pankow opens for the traditional Autumn festival, offering the possibility to pick up carrots and potatoes. The event is very children-oriented, with fairytale walks, nature games and honey tasting.
We can not talk about Autumn without mentioning Halloween. Halloween celebrations has gained popularity in Germany in the recent years, with shops offering some treats to the good kids, and even the stern Kino International cinema promotes a Halloween party! Our friends from Berlin.de came up with a fun Halloween party list.
And finally, we saved the best for last: on the 21st of November, Christmas markets start popping up all over Berlin. It’s time to heat up the body temperature with Glühwein (mulled wine) and give it the most delicious German comfort food! Here are our favorite ones!
*Article written by Domingos Lepores and edited by Tulio Edreira.