Effortlessly cool, edgy and gritty are words I’ll use to sum up Berlin – with it’s street art, vibrant culture, party scene and of course, rich history, Germany’s capital is well worth a visit and if like me, a big part of exploring a new city is to try out it’s food and drink offerings, you will be utterly spoilt for choice in this treasure trove of quirky, interesting and hip bars and restaurants!
Best for good coffee: Distrikt Coffee– after dumping our bags at the hotel we set off in search for breakfast and stumbled across this gem. It has an industrial feel with brick walls, open bulbs and visible pipework. It was fairly busy which we thought was a good sign and had that hipster vibe of course. The customers were a mix of tourists and freelancers tapping away on their laptops. Top marks for a very good breakfast and a lovely waiter who gave us lots of recommendations for things to see and do on our short stay in Berlin.
Best for a detox: House of Small Wonder – originating in Brooklyn, this all day eatery serves a range of food with a Japanese influence. The tables are slightly too close together and you may have to wait a little while to be seated but you’re guaranteed a great meal in pretty surroundings. Bright and airy with lots of plants, this place will definitely make your Instagram page! Tip – the restaurant does not take reservations and is cash only.
Best for brunch: Silo Coffee – with a small, simple menu to match the minimalistic décor, Silo is the place to go for a fuss free brunch. You can’t go wrong here. We swung by to fill our bellies on our last day before heading to the airport.
Best for cocktails in a secret location: Fahimi Bar – we came very close to missing the entrance to this place, which is hidden in and old car park stairway, covered in graffiti which doesn’t smell all that great – but don’t let that put you off because once you get inside (you need to push the door hard!) you are in for a treat. It’s dark, moody and glam and the espresso martinis are to die for.
Best for watching the sunset: Monkey Bar – after a day of sightseeing we headed to the bar located within the 25 Hours Hotel to watch the sunset whilst sipping many a cocktail! Making use of limited space, the bar is surrounded by steps which groups of friends lounged on as the light began to fade and the music was turned up a notch. The atmosphere was friendly and laid back and it wasn’t long before we were chatting to the groups on either side of us. Tip – a popular spot, arrive early to beat the queues!
Best for ambience: Das Hotel – an unassuming exterior and a beautifully raw interior – the plaster was peeling from the walls and the furniture was all mismatched… I think our table was actually an old crate tipped on it’s side – the bar was lit entirely by candles, which adorned every available surface and was decorated with flowers hanging from the ceiling – romantic yet unashamedly undone. My friend and I swore that we’d open up a bar like this at home!!! Tip if you’ve made it here, you aren’t far at all from Fahimi Bar! (see above).
Best for chilling (and where I wish I’d stayed): Michelberger – should I visit Berlin again, I will definitely be staying at this hotel! We popped in for a coffee after visiting the Eastside Gallery and it was quirky and fun and great spot to stop and plan your next move. Even if you don’t stay here, you can book to eat in the restaurant which uses only organic ingredients and has a vegetarian and vegan offering.
Best for a post night out fast food fix: Burgermeister – right, let’s get one thing straight – I don’t even like burgers that much, hadn’t eaten meat for about 3 months and was sure as hell that I wouldn’t cave for a burger, but the moment I walked in to this place I was salivating! It doesn’t look like much from the outside, just your average fast food joint, but the queue was huge and I think that’s saying something! I was adamant that I wouldn’t order a burger however when we got to the front of the line I was practically drooling, so I ordered the goddamn cheeseburger and it was delicious! I devoured the thing in about 30 seconds and honestly, best burger I’ve ever had. Go there, try it and let me know what you think.
If you’re visiting Berlin soon, I hope this list provides a few ideas and please let me know if you find any hidden gems on your travels…