Berlin and Brooklyn might be 4000 miles apart, but if you were dropped blindfolded in Mitte- the trendy arts district of Berlin, you could be forgiven for thinking you had landed in hipster Williamsburg. On my recent trip to Berlin, I found the similarities pleasantly akin; the young dynamic energy pulsing through the streets, the hipster-clad young professionals dressed in head to toe vintage. Berlin exudes “Cool”, in everything from its food, to its cafe’s, to its galleries and boutiques. Their love for recycling, or upcycling should I say, is evident throughout the city, and you’ll find some of the quaintest restaurants dotted with everything from vintage bell jars to used movie theatre seats as dining chairs. This is a city where artistic and tech stimulation is a-buzz, and their unique way of thinking outside the box is reflected immensely in their food.
Here’s my Travelista guide and pics of bustling Berlin:
Hotel Mani in the central area of Mitte is the perfect place to stay in terms of location and the cool factor. It also has a fantastic Turkish influenced restaurant
Start your weekend Brunch in the gritty and trendy Kreuzberg neighborhood at Restaurant Bastard. Try the Bastard Eggs and the Sweet Potato and chorizo Eggs.
The dining table made from old fashioned sewing machine tables
Kreuzberg is home to the revived 1891 Markethalle Neun,- a fantastic closed Food market full of epicurean stalls and gourmet restaurants, offering a variety of creative cuisines. Follow the foodies on Thursday nights for the buzzing food fair. Or come on a quieter lunchtime, and try classic german dishes with a twist at Kantine 9. Definitely the place to see what young Berliner’s are creating in the kitchen.
I’ve always like Rhubarb but in Berlin I became obsessed with their Rhubarb Juice. Delicious!
Currywurst at Kantine
Kantine’s special Fish Dish of the day. Love the play on colors. Deep Purple spuds, cabbage and beets layered with their light and moist white fish.
Find all things Berlin-cool from books, to sunglasses, to sneakers and jackets at lifestyle store, VOO in Kreuzberg. They have a great little cafe attached to the store called Companion Coffee. The store is slightly hidden so good luck finding it!
Graffiti on the streets of Kreuzberg
On Tuesday Morning along the canal in Kreuzberg, there is a fantastic turkish market, selling local and turkish delicacies, along with live music and a young creative energy.
Be a Berliner and ride on a bike..fitted with a baby seat
The neighborhood of Mitte, is filled with art galleries, local boutiques and the coolest coffee shops known to man.
Cafe Fleury and its sister coffee shop across the street Petit Fleury is the perfect place to start the morning for a Cafe au lait and one of their amazing pastries or cakes.
I will be replicating this Rhubarb Almond Tart at home!
There are plenty of other amazing cafe’s if you can’t find a table at the bustling Cafe Fleury….
Milche Halle is one of the few places that do Freshly squeezed healthy veggie juices as well as yummy glass pots of Muesli. It’s also a great example of the how Berliner’s love to decorate by up-cycling, along with a lot of artistic creativity!
If you wan’t some ‘work on your mac laptop time’ with your cafe latte, St. Oberholz is the place to settle in for the afternoon. (They also sell great cheesecake!)
The Barn is for serious the serious coffee aficionado, with a modern vibe
I love Factory Girl for its feminine 1950’s vibe and indulgent desserts
Keyser Soze is a Mitte staple, great for lunch or coffee, serving up classic german dishes too.
Oliv is fantastic for breakfast, lunch or coffee with daily specials. Grab a slice of quiche, a healthy salad made of local ingredients and a rhubarb juice, and spend the day reading newspapers and magazines with the locals.
My lovely server
Pumpkin, Beet and Arugula Salad with Feta and Sunflower seeds and a roasted Chicken leg at Oliv.
Kaffee Mitte has a young, dynamic and social vibe. Go for their Panini’s or cake and coffee, of course.
If you like your coffee at 2am, then you’ll love Mein Haus See Me in Mitte. (Near Hotel Mani) Over 2 floors you can experience the real Berlin vibe and style, dec’d in comfy brown leather chairs and vintage lighting. The best thing is its open all day and night so you can have your cake and coffee kick at whatever time you like.
Colorful tables and great waffles, Kauf dech Glucklich
Berlin is not lacking in great restaurants for dinner, (see guide below) from fine dining to cheap and cheerful. But my personal favorite is Katz Orange, a hidden little gem in Mitte. Romantic, rustic, a warm and inviting ambience and absolutely delicious food. Try the Slow Pork roast Katz Orange, as well as appetizers like Braised Pumpkin, Smoked Mackerel and Baked Guinea Fowl. The cocktails are fantastic too.
Nola’s am Weinbeg, overlooks the leafy Volspark in the neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. The airy but cozy indoor and outdoor restaurant is great for breakfast, lunch, a beer or coffee. This neighborhood is wonderful, home to young families, great restaurants, fab coffee and the uber hip sunday flea market, Mauerpark.
The streets of Prenzlauer Berg
Make a cafe stop at modern coffee roasting, Bonanza Coffee Heroes
Ka De We is the second largest department store in Europe. Head straight to the 6th and 7th floor for Food glorious Food. So much food, you will be wandering around there for hours….
More cool stuff around Berlin
Trendy young mum around the Mitte area of Berlin
What to wear in Berlin? Black leather ankle boots are a must.
A beautiful Fall day in Berlin
The Condensed Travelista Guide on where to eat in Berlin: (By neighborhood)
- Cafe Fleury- Breakfast, Coffee, Cakes
- Petit Felury- Same
- Milche Halle- Breakast and fresh juices
- Mein Hause See Me- Coffee anytime of the day
- Keyser Soze- lunch and coffee
- Kaffee Mitte- for Panini’s and cakes
- Oliv- Seasonal fresh salads and quiches, coffee
- Gluckhich am Park for waffles and coffee
- The Barn- Coffee, breakfast, snacks
- St. Oberholz- coffee and cake, vegan options too
- Lebensmittel- coffee, meats
- Tim Raue- Fine dining for lunch and dinner. Creative
- Mogg & Melzer- Pastrami Sandwich, cool vibe
- Mozzarella Bar & Bottega- try the eggplant capponata
- Strandbad- lunch and coffee
- Coco bahn mi deli- Vietnamese lunch
- Dudu- Sushi/asian, Lunch and Dinner
- Katz Orange- hidden, romantic, slow roasts
- Lokal – modern, farm to table, uber cool
- Restaurant Mani- in Hotel Mani, Turkish twist
- Pauly Saal- posh dinner and cocktail
- Weinbar rutz- traditional german fare
- Themroc- french, warm, inviting, fun decor
- Noto- Italian
- Babdol- Frech
- Cookies and Cream- hidden,very Berlin, vegetarian
- Tausend- speakeasy style, great ambience, cocktails, dinner
- Alpenstueck- traditional german
- Three Minutes- Dinner and lunch
- Toca Rouge- Cool modern Asian Fusion
- Al Contadino sotto le stelle- Italian, rustic
- Yumcha Heroes- fantastic dumplings
- Yam Yam- Great Korean
- Soho House- Cocktails, very trendy
- Hotel Amano Rooftop- cocktails
- Berghhain/Panorama- club, drinks
- Bastard Restaurant- brunch, lunch, coffee
- Five Elephant- Coffee-they roast on the spot, great cheesecake
- Katie’s Blue Cat- Coffee and Cake
- Companion Coffee- inside Voo concept store, great coffee
- Kantine in Markethalle Neun- Lunch, fantastic german yet modern fare
- Marush- the best diner kebab
- Schwarze Traube- speakeasy, handcrafted cocktails, hidden
Markethalle Neun- Thurs night foodie market & The Turkish Market on Tuesday Morning
- Bonanza Coffee Heroes- Pure cool coffee
- Nola’s am Weinberg- Breakfast, lunch, beer overlooking park
- No Fire No Glory- Coffee Bar, desserts
- La Soupe Populaire- fantastic, industrial, make reservation lunch and dinner
- Vietnamese Village- fab vietnamese
Don’t miss the Flea Market on Sunday in Mauerpark
Take a trip west and head to Ka De We Department Store in Schoneberg, for their massive Food hall. Then stop at nearby Paper & Tea for a tea tasting.