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.
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 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.
Even my carnivorous boyfriend said eating at Berlin's vegan and vegetarian diner, Yellow Sunshine, was one of the best meals we had in the city. The menu is extensive and has many veggie burger varieties such as cheese and 'bacon' (the veggie kind!) and Mexican (the tasty one I tried, which comes with crunchy nachos and spicy peanut sauce). Most of the food here is organic or 'bio' certified - including the yummy chips. And as well as fab grub, there is a good range of beers - organic ones too (or fruit shakes for non-drinkers!).
But the funky, warm atmosphere is another great reason to check out Yellow Sunshine - helped by the fact it is located in happening Kreuzberg. You'll find vegetarians and non-vegetarians enjoying the food, which is always a positive sign, I reckon. Oh, and with burgers averaging around the 4 Euros mark - you know you'll have some money left for going out later!
A determinedly old-fashioned 1920s-style bar-restaurant in an area of town that is obsessed with the new. There's an airy bar space plus a cluster of interlinked dining rooms where you can tuck into traditional fare. The pork and cream pastry starter is enough for two and the Berliner meat platter is superb. In the summer, there's also a nice beer terrace (biergarten's pushing it a bit). It's non-smoking and doesn't take credit cards.
It's a restaurant with creative and modern Mediterranean cuisine, with weekly fresh and seasonal menu. The wine list is interesting and un-expensive, and the non-pasteurized fresh Svijany beer from a small brewery in Czech Republic is simply fantastic. It's definitely worth trying it!
+49 30 53156662
Open daily from 18h
Google map: bit.ly/917Wqk
Bar/restaurant in heart of Kreuzberg since mid 19th century.
It became famous for its confectionery, so much so that cakes were sent to New York in the 1920s via the Hindenburg airship.
It is now a bar and restaurant with German/ international food.
Great restaurant serving Indian and Singaporean fusion cuisine.
The portion sizes are absolutely huge.
We had two starters and two mains one night and could not finish half the food. We should have watched the locals as they shared starters and mains.
Excellent value and excellent food.
There are two Mirchi restaurants in Berlin. Additionally the sister restaurant Amirt serving Indian food is also one we'd recommend.
Oranienstraße 204, 10999 Berlin, Deutschland
Nearest metro - Oranienburger Tor
Google map: bit.ly/cmYzlo
Oranienburger Straße 45
10117 Berlin, Deutschland
Google map: bit.ly/a7XiGA
Nearest metro - Oranienburger Tor
Good solid pizzeria in Berlin. Very good value in nice surroundings.
Cost us €20 for a large margharita (that we customised with our shared starter) as well as drinks.
By the looks of it a very popular place.
Kastanienallee 28, 10435 Berlin.
Google map: bit.ly/9ePB7P
A recent five day visit to Berlin, found me eating at a tiny Asian food place at the bottom end of Friedrichstrasse three times. ‘Dai An Asia’ is at number 237, next door to a kebab/burger place. Generic Asian fare is served, but the house is essentially Vietnamese. Run by a husband and wife team from an internal dining area no more than 8ft wide by 12-14 ft long, the end of which becomes the kitchen and cash desk area. There are well over a hundred dishes, numbered in the way of such places, but with over a dozen Vietnamese specials running to 6.70euro at the most expensive for the Vietnamese Duck. I had the excellent Saigon style chicken in coconut milk sauce with lemongrass, among other dishes. Many dishes were on avarage five euros. Help yourself to a fantastic Berliner or similar ½ litre bottled beer from the fridge and open it with the opener on the string yourself. At 1.50euros, it’s only marginally more than the supermarket price! Around 10 covers inside and six or seven outside in the summer. Also take away is on offer. Don’t let the big, brightly-lit picture display of the dishes outside put you off, the food is terrific, and served by a friendly, efficient team. After a tiring trip to the fantastic, Daniel Libeskine-designed Jewish Museum at the end of the E.T.A. Hoffmann Promenade opposite Dai An Asia, do yourself a favour and pay them a visit. Closed Sundays.
237 Friedrichstrasse, Kreuzberg
nearest metro: Kochstrasse, line U6
+49 (0)30 25292278
Google map: tinyurl.com/27be68a
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.
An amazing restaurant on Bleibtreustrasse.'The Twelve Apostles', introduced Berlin to 12 types of pizza named for the 12 apostles. The most popular version is the Judas. I have never eaten food so tasty in such perfect surroundings. It is always very popular, so booking is recommended.
Bleibtreustrasse 49, Berlin, Germany 10623 · +49-(0)-30-3121-433
CHARLOTTENBURG - WILMERSDORF
The 12 Apostel is housed under the arches of the S-bahn railway in the heart of the 'Mitte' part of (what used to be East) Berlin. Every last square centimeter of the walls and ceiling is covered in sumptuous murals, and every so often the whole place shakes as a train passes overhead. Irresistable reminder of Liza Minnelli screaming at Michael York in 'Cabaret'. Often crowded, unsurprisingly, as the food (pizzas) is terrific too.
Georgenstrasse 2, S-bahn Bögen 177-180, Berlin 10117. Phone 030-2010222. Nearest U- and S-bahn stop: Friedrichstrasse.
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