The 'perfect' European cafe - I haven't found better. Beautiful garden, great food, the kind of service you always hope for, reasonably priced
The one place I always head for.
If you find yourself stuck in the culinary desert that is the glass and steel void of Potsdamer Platz, then a short stroll down Potsdamer Strasse leads to one of the cheeriest restaurants in town. Set in an unpromising commercial block almost opposite the Wintergarten Theatre, it's known as a book cafe but is also a terrific place to stop for an evening meal. Named after the 19th century Jewish author Joseph Roth Diele, who apparently wrote Radetzkymarsch in the locale, its calming, quirky decor is the work of the owner, film director Dieter Funk. The ludicrously good value menu is German with spatzle with cheese and bacon as well as a nicely cooked schnitzel all washed down by some terrific beer. On the downside, it's closed at weekends.
There are a few gems from medieval Berlin if you're up to searching for them. Not much is left after the bombs and the DDR but enough for the city to be taken very seriously. This is old Berlin - the two settlements of Berlin and Colln.
Go west and south of the Fernsehturm, across the busy Muhlendamm/Grunerstrasse road from Nikolaivertel's reconstructed old squares (and the magnificent Nikolaikirsche, the oldest church in the city), you seem to be in a characterless quarter with nothing to recommend it. But search out Klostersrasse, then Waisenstrasse and you find Zur Letzen Instanz, an old, much repaired bar/eatery in a narrow leafy street, built in 1621 and with a fine reputation for German cuisine and a history of serving Napoleon and Beethoven among many others. Some say it's the oldest restaurant in Berlin. There's a small beer garden to the side and just beyond that a genuine stretch of old Berlin wall from the 13th Century. A bit further past two bronze sculptures to the left there's the magnificent Gothic ruin of a Francescan monastery from the 14th century set in trees, but not far from the roaring traffic where you'll find a number of circular exhibition spots celebrating the city's 775th anniversary, with detailed info on the Berlin beneath your feet (English translation). Great to find such quiet gems amid so much noise and ugliness, just across a six lane highway from Alexanderplatz.
Two superb places to eat and drink. Wood throughout and lots of brewing equipment on display. Lively atmosphere, very friendly staff, great range of German food at different prices (good quantities) and they brew some of their many beers (the 'Natural' is a really tasty semi-dark one) while having different guest beers each month. They had tasty Oktoberfest brews from Munich in October.
There are two of these in Berlin. We enjoyed one so much we searched out the other which was almost better than the first. One is just off Hackesher Markt up Dirksenstrasse under the S-Bahn. The other is opposite Schloss Charlottenburgh (side on in Luisenplatz)with a superb view. Strongly recommended.
Middle-eastern restaurant with the best falafel I've ever had! Sides also wonderful: yummy, fresh and original (including something lemony the owner said was his recipe and lightly fried bread, cheese, vegs). Very reasonably priced. Sit at outdoor tables or carry out.
A fantastic little café in the lesser known neighbourhood "Der Wedding". Amazing coffee, four different kids of hot chocolate, homemade cakes, müseli for breakfast and potato wedges with Quark for lunch.
U-Bahnhof Rehberge, Müllerstraße 70b, 13349 Berlin
It's a vegan wagon with THE most delicious burger this side of NYC. If you go to Berlin, you MUST try this burger. I had the smoked chipotle chile sauce and also on the same burger, the Pineapple chutney, perfect match.
Only open Sundays, or should that be Sun Days, from late morning to about 5 or 6pm.
They are also at Kreuzberg Markt Halle Neun on Fri and Sat
The cosmopolitan city of Berlin is a great place to spend Christmas. Wrap up warm and set out in the snow to explore this fantastic city with its mix of ancient and modern history. Call in at the Christmas markets in Potsdamer platz, see the beautiful Sony Centre lit up in blue lights. Try an alternative Christmas dinner – the Berlin classic currywurst (a curried sausage) and a beer then join a million people for the famous New Year's Eve party at the Brandenburg gate complete with a fairground, live music and the midnight fireworks - Fröhliche Weihnachten!
A restaurant in Friedrichshain, a very short walk from Samariter Strasse (U5) station.
We arrived and it was busy with only one waiter. We had to wait quite a while but the ambience was lovely. Drinks were delivered quickly and we ambled over them waiting for our food.
The mains were very filling - a seafood risotto and a gnocchi with red cabbage. They were both flavoursome and tasty. We had a shared starter and a dessert and it cost 28 euros. We felt this was a bargain.
Worth the effort to get there
There aren't many old style restaurants in this part of Berlin, so this stands out for that reason - it's been around since the early 1900s. It serves traditional style German/Berlin food. Not everyone's taste, but if you're visiting, you should at least try it. There's plenty of meat and sauerkraut, and it isn't pricey. Inside is cozy, and great for winter. Outside catches the early evening sun from June to September.
Avoid the queues - and get treated like a diplomat all for the price of breakfast. Book online at the restaurant Dachgarten.
Go straight to the front of any queue to get into the Reichstag and tell them you have booked breakfast (or I guess dinner), get your name checked off the list by the guards (this is not something you can do on the spur of the moment and that makes the anticipation all the more exciting) and get escorted through security by your personal escort to the lift that carries you to the restaurant at the foot of the Richard Rogers glass dome. Terrific breakfast (and we are vegetarian) and then have the run of the dome and fabulous views over most of Berlin. Awesome. When we went about a month ago the Dome was closed in about three different languages unless like us you were eating in the restaurant!
If you are disappointed by this experience you have no soul!
Great restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg area of Berlin.
Seemingly this was visited by Schroder, Clinton & Albright during a visit to the area in 2000.
German / French /Swiss dishes on menu.
(€7 - €17)
Nearest metro Eberswalder Str.
Unsicht-Bar is Berlin's completely dark restaurant. Diners order from a cryptic menu, and then are escorted into a pitch-black dining room (the servers are sight-impaired). I had a blast.
Maru is a small and cosy Korean restaurant, which offers quality sushi. You’ll get a good portion of nigiri for about £5, you’re not stuffed but not hungry anymore as well. You can choose this place for a late dinner - they serve food till midnight. Korean sushi is a nice option, if you don’t like the typical Japanese sour rice; it comes with a well flavoured smooth sauce.
I especially liked the atmosphere, they haven’t chosen the typical Asian interior and it matches will with the small size of the place and friendly people working there.
It is a place to meet for a date, as well as for a business lunch. If you want to show up with a group, I recommend to book, as the space is very limited.
Rigaer Str. 74, 10247 Berlin
+49 30 26545652
Berlin in a nutshell. Peculiar mix of people - 70 year-old ladies in old-fashioned evening dresses and gentlemen in suits, urban bummers in Hugo Boss as well as crazy hipsters are to be seen in this old ballroom (existed since 1913) in the centre of Berlin.
Situated in a scraped building surrounded by numerous art galleries, the place was visited by Tom Cruise during his search for old-fashioned shooting locations for the film 'Valkyrie'. Good food and delicious home-made cakes. Music changes depending on the day (cha cha, swing, waltz and tango). In the summer, the garden is an additional attraction.
If you walk down the Auguststr (Berlin Mitte), you'll spot an enchanting garden and the scraped building behind it.
Clärchens Ballhaus, Auguststraße 24, Berlin Mitte.
Cafe 100 Wasser is a good place to have a chilled out meal and a beer in the evening. The menu includes couscous, pizza and pasta at affordable prices.
Good service, relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff.
This Friedrichshain bar has great atmosphere. Relax in the shabby chic surroundings (standard lamps, rugs, armchairs and wine-coloured walls) and enjoy whittling away the hours listening to the eclectic soundtrack, sipping beer for under two euros. Friendly staff and chilled out clientele. Look out for the wooden bowls of tea (bit odd and bitter).
Boxhanger Platz, Friedrichshain
Off-the-beaten-track but central (in Prenzlauer Berg)
little cute family-friendly cafe serving cornish pasties, PG tips tea, great ice cream and soups. With English-speaking owner.
senefelder platz U-Bahn
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