Blog updated: April 2020
Berlin is easily one of my favourite cities in the world. There’s so much good food and so many great and interesting bars. It’s also a good city to be in both if you’re a backpacker on a budget and if you want to treat yourself. I must admit, during my summer in the city, the main thing I did was eat so this guide will mainly focus on that but since many of these places also do good drinks, that really is a win win.
Schnitzelei – Charlottenburg
My Dad is a big fan of wiener schnitzel and found this place by googling the best places for schnitzel in Berlin. The restaurant is in a quiet residential area and is clearly a favourite with the locals, given the number of people there (making reserving a table a must). The menu doesn’t just consist of schnitzel – there is also a list of German tapas that is perfect for starters (or as a meal in itself). There’s baked potatoes with soured cream, trout mousse with rye crackers, meatballs with a mustardy sauce, plums wrapped in bacon, little pretzels with obazda cheese and currywurst – to name a few. I’ll say it now, I actually prefer the tapas to the schnitzel because it is that good.
There are a variety of different of schnitzels, good for people like me who don’t eat veal. On my first visit I tried the pork schnitzel (flavoured with horseradish and mustard) which came as three small pieces on a (huge) bed of (cold) potato salad. My meal was nice but there was a bit too much going on and I preferred the meat to potato ratio of my Dad’s huge weiner schnitzel and smaller side of potato salad. On my second visit I went for the cordon bleu (chicken filled with ham and cheese). It came in breadcrumbs so I figured it was basically a fancy chicken schnitzel. I definitely preferred this but the tapas is still the winner. But actually it’s not the food that makes me love this place: it’s the buzzy, local atmosphere and the incredibly friendly waiters.
Voner – Friedrichshain
As you will probably have already tweaked – I am not vegan. But I have a lot of friends that are and so I have often taken little adventures across cities on my holidays to find haunts my friends have read about. Voner – a vegan kebab place – was one such haunt that I was particularly keen to try. I love kebabs. My “voner” kebab was not bad at all but to be honest I’m not sure I’d go for one again. It reminded me of falafel (which I love) but which wasn’t going to satisfy my kebab cravings. What I would go back for, however, was the chips. They were insanely good.
1001 Falafel – Kreuzberg
1001 Falafel is the place that converted me to the ways of falafel. Their falafel and halloumi wraps, packed with salad and drizzled in garlic sauce, are reasonably priced (around €3.50) and absolutely amazing. I usually have meat in most things but I ended up here on many occasions. Even my falafel-hating Dad liked them.
Aki Tatsu Sushi – Kreuzberg
My love of sushi has been a relatively recent development so when I visited Aki Tatsu a few years ago I didn’t really appreciate it. My (then) sushi-loving (now vegan) Berlin Buddy, however, was in heaven – particularly given that their happy hour deal runs from 12pm – 11pm. Bargain.
Amrit Indian Restaurant – Kreuzberg
Amrit is nicely decorated and serves very tasty food. The portions are also enormous. I have a more than hearty appetite but even I asked for a doggy bag! The Berlin Buddy and I could probably have got one portion between the two of us but that would have meant we didn’t have some delicious leftovers for lunch the next day.
Brammibal’s – Kreuzberg
Brammibal’s is a vegan doughnut shop in Kreuzberg. I arrived at around 4/5pm one Saturday afternoon to find that the shop was open but the doughnuts were sold out. I left very disappointed. My second attempt, when I arrived at midday the next day, was more successful – I am not sure I could have handled being disappointed again. Thankfully, there were plenty of doughnuts waiting for me and I went for the white chocolate & coconut and the hazelnut & salted caramel – after two visits, I needed two doughnuts. They were nice but I was a little disappointed after I had gone to so much effort – they were a bit bready for my liking.
Burgermeister – Kreuzberg
Chances are you’ll hear about Burgermeister before you stumble across it. It once only lived in Kreuzberg, under the U Bahn line by Schlesisches Tor station. Now, however, it has a more conventional eat-in location in Kottbusser Tor as well. I’m not sure it quite lives up to the hype but, if the friends I went with on my first trip are any indication, that is certainly a minority view. I’m not saying I’ve not enjoyed my Burgermeister experiences – they are nice, reasonably priced burgers and I’ve had my share of Burgermeister cravings since – and a visit to its under the tracks spot in particular is a typically Berlin experience you probably should have.
Chaapa Thai Kitchen – Kreuzberg
Chaapa is one of my favourite restaurants in the whole of Berlin. The interior decor is very oriental, the atmosphere is relaxed, the staff are efficient and the food comes quick. The wantons and spring rolls make for very good starters but the highlight for me is the chicken phad si lew (fried noodles) which is what I order every single time.
You can only imagine how disappointed I am to say that Chaapa has now closed.
Gemuse Kebap – Kreuzberg
I very rarely meet a kebab I don’t like (and I’ve had a lot of kebabs) but my Gemuse Kebap kebab was something else. The Berlin Buddy had never tried one before and I’m glad she tried one this good but I’m not sure it was properly representative of kebabs in general. It came in a grilled bap and had veggies, salad which actually looked quite fresh, chicken, seasoning and feta cheese. You would have been happy if you’d been served this at a restaurant. It was both filling and a bargain and lasted for brunch the next day.
Green Bambo Vietnamese – Kreuzberg
I must admit, Vietnamese has never been my favourite cuisine but the Green Bambo proved me wrong. I am a big fan of fried noodles and the chicken pho xao I ordered here was amazing.
Paglia – Kreuzberg
Paglia is a really good value Italian restaurant (think fast food meets Italian cuisine). The interior is nice and there is also street seating outside. The pizzas are huge, the salads are tasty and the calzone are delicious.
Santa Maria – Kreuzberg
One of my favourite meals that I’ve had in Berlin was at Santa Maria. I’ve been to this Mexican restaurant on a couple of occasions but, on the first, I don’t remember being that fussed. On the second, however, I ordered the Puerco Especial burrito – a burrito filled with pork belly, guacamole, chipotle cream and salsa (and cheese if you’ll pay more for it, which I obviously did) – and I was won over. Either something has changed or my memory just sucks. I was also quite the fan of their happy hour deal on margaritas – where they are €5 between the hours of 7pm-9pm. What’s not to love.
Tiki Hut – Kreuzberg
Tiki Hut was designed in the kind of quirky way that made you feel like you should be somewhere more beachy rather than sitting out on a street in Berlin. The cocktails were yummy, as were the nachos and the delicious Jack Daniels burgers – and I don’t even like Jack Daniels. It was also pretty well priced.
Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt – Mitte
If you’re looking for some local delicacies then Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt’s Bavarian cuisine might not quite be typically Berlin but I like to think it’s cultural enough. My beef goulash was really good. It was served with Swabian egg noodles which I didn’t think were as good an accompaniment as some creamy mash potato or chunky chips but I was willing to overlook that for this stew.
Borchardt – Mitte
Borchardt’s history dates back to the 1800s. It is an expensive choice but seems to be a bit of a Berlin institution. When I arrived at 8pm on a Friday night, it was still a bit quiet but it wasn’t long before it became so packed that people were queuing for seats. Being so popular, the tables for two are tightly packed, so it feels like you’re dining with the people on either side. This gives the place a sociable atmosphere – although if you’re not a people person, this may not be for you!The service did slow down as the restaurant filled up but this was hardly surprisingly given the waiter-to-customer ratio. It kind of had the vibe of a Parisian brasserie – as the guy at the table next to me pointed out. It’s an open space with four big pillars in the centre and plush red seating, lined with golden bars.
I had the caesar salad to start (just with parmesan and without the chicken option, as this would have taken the price from about €9 to €18) which was lovely, followed by the half grilled lobster (€36). The lobster was tasty but I was left a bit hungry – for the price I would have liked a whole one.
Cafe Einstein – Mitte
Berlin is big on coffee house culture and it seems to be a favourite pastime in the city to sit outside a cafe and watch the world go by. I must say, I do see the appeal of it and at Cafe Einstein you can do it with some really good ice cream, which really is the best way.
Cecconi’s – Mitte
I first heard about Cecconi’s after my friend told me that they served pasta inside a wheel of cheese. She knows how obsessed I am with cheese so thought I might be interested to know – and I was. So off I went. Cecconi’s is a short walk from Rosa Luxemburg Platz in the beautiful Soho House. The building makes me think of an old aristocratic home, with big chandeliers and sculpted ceilings. There are some quite expensive options on the menu but the pasta and cheese wheel (aka tonnarelli cacio and pepe) is only €12. It turned out that you don’t actually eat the pasta from inside the cheese wheel. Instead, it is presented to you by a waiter who then whisks it off to swoosh the pasta around the cheese wheel so the sauce gets all nice and cheesy and then it is dished out onto your plate. Yum.
House of Small Wonder – Mitte
House of Small Wonder is a Japanese-inspired cafe in Oranienburger. An Instagram-worthy twisted staircase greets you when you walk in the entrance (don’t be surprised if you find a queue in there) and takes you up to the seating area. The menu was full of tasty looking treats and I settled on the kakuni (pork belly) sandwich with soup. It turned out to be less like a sandwich and more like a croissant but, either way, it was delicious. As there was a €25 minimum payment to pay by card, I also ordered an excellent chocolate tart. Between the food, the setting and the friendly staff, this instantly became one of my favourite Berlin eateries.
Rausch – Mitte
Rausch (formerly Fassbender & Rausch) is pretty much my idea of heaven. It’s a chocolate shop (complete with chocolate sculptures) with a cafe and restaurant where you can snack on a dessert or a full blown chocolate-inspired meal. I’ve only been for the desserts but, safe to say, I’ve been several times. During those times, somethings have changed – the sculptures, the menu, the name, even the introduction of a conveyor belt pushing round sweet and savoury treats – however one thing has not changed: the deliciousness. I’ve sampled a few of their delicacies but the torte with white chocolate mousse and raspberries, sandwiched between a layer of sponge and a layer of raspberry goo and wrapped in a thin layer of white chocolate is my favourite. It goes particularly well alongside their hot chocolate, which comes in either milk or dark chocolate varieties and with various flavourings. It’s so rich and delicious that it needs to be served with a little shot glass of water. I don’t think I need to say anymore.
Soy – Mitte
Soy was another discovery made on my vegan wanderings. It is a Vietnamese place near Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and probably the best vegan food I’ve found in Berlin. I’m a noodle girl through and through so I ordered the Bang Canh Hap which consisted of udon noodles with tofu, seitan, “various vegetables” and soy sauce. It was delicious. To be honest, I didn’t really need the seitan and I’ve never been a massive tofu fan – I would have been happy with just the noodles and veggies covered in soy sauce – but I actually didn’t mind the tofu here. Either my tastebuds are developing or this was better than average tofu. I washed it all down with a lovely “minzshake” – i.e. coconut milk mixed with pineapple juice and mint.
Bun Bao – Prenzlauer Berg
Bun Bao also holds the title of one of my favourite Berlin meals – or at least it did. When I first visited, after rave reviews from one of my friends, and ordered the ‘One and Only’ bao bun burger (basically a really big bao bun), which came stuffed with pork belly, onions, pickled radish, carrots, cucumber, coriander and roasted peanuts, I thought I’d found one of the best things I’d ever eaten. The lemonade with pineapple juice and mint that I ordered alongside it was also great. The service might have been incredibly slow but it was worth the wait. I went back a couple of years later and I could not have been more excited. I passed a lot of tasty looking (and busier) places on the way but I kept on until I arrived at a deserted Bun Bao. I ordered the same bao bun burger but this time it was so hot that I could barely touch it and it seemed to be so hot because it had been really overcooked and was really tough. Having been twice, I can’t say which is the odd time out (although considering my friend’s previous comments, I’m hopeful it’s the latter). If I go again, I’ll let you know.
Spooning – Prenzlauer Berg
After my failed second visit to Bun Bao, I decided to try and bring things back with a trip to Spooning – a cookie dough cafe I had passed on the way. I got a couple of scoops of different flavours, covered in chocolate. Unfortunately, I forgot how sensitive my teeth can be in the face of sweet things, and this was very sweet, so didn’t really work out for me either.
Sukho – Prenzlauer Berg
I found this Thai restaurant completely by accident when I got lost exploring Prenzlauer Berg and it turned out to be quite the hidden gem. My duck and fried rice was delicious and I could sit outside in the sun with a nice Thai Singha beer, which made me reminisce about my trip to Thailand. I then took a beer to Mauer Park opposite and relaxed surrounded by the locals who had flocked there. It was a great way to spend an evening.
Cafe Haberland – Schöneberg
If you’re interested in local history then Cafe Haberland is a place for you. I went to learn a bit about my own history, as the cafe is named after two of my distant relatives, whose company was responsible for a lot of construction in the area before World War II. The cafe has information on the walls and interactive screens with short videos about some prominent former residents of the area, including Albert Einstein and the Haberlands. The fact that the cafe also sells some tasty cake is just a bonus.
Konditorei Frau Behrens Torten – Tempelhof
The inside of Konditorei Frau Behrens Torten feels like a quaint French home. There are paintings on the walls, old-fashioned furniture and quaint china. My friends and I stopped in for vanilla chai lattes but, since the cakes on display looked particularly good, we also tried those. The Vegans had a vegan almond tart, the Veggie had a strawberry and cream tart and I had a huge slab of coffee and chocolate cake. We all left feeling a lot warmer and happier.
Anh Ba – Wilmsersdorf
Anh Ba is a Vietnamese restaurant not far from Hohenzollernplatz. The decor is quite beautiful and the food is delicious. As the menu was all in German, my family and I had to rely on the waitress and her recommendations. Thankfully, she was very helpful and picked out some great choices. To start, we had a couple of plates of shrimp wantons and a couple of coconut-y soups. Then we had a banana salad, red curry with breaded chicken, noodle soup and chicken skewers. The red curry and the soups were definitely the best.
Ars Vivendi – Wilmersdorf
Ars Vivendi is an Italian restaurant a bit off Uhlandstrasse. The setting makes you feel like you are sitting in someone’s rustic house in Italy. I ordered the ravioli and my only complaint was that I wanted more of it.
Benedict – Wilmersdorf
I’ve passed Benedict at the Max Brown Ku’damm Hotel many times (usually on my way to breakfast at Weyers) and every time it’s looked packed. When I eventually went, I faced a 45 minute wait for a table but, thankfully, there was space for my friends and I to take a seat and have a coffee while we waited so even though I was starving, the time didn’t drag. Too much. The menu is full of stuff you would expect to see on a London brunch menu – I ordered my standard order of Eggs Benedict, which was served with some thick slices of sourdough. Happily, this is one of the multiple orders that came with a mimosa. My breakfast was nice but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was worth waiting 45 minutes for but that might be because in London I have access to a lot of similar options whereas if you don’t have regular access to this elsewhere maybe you would want to hang around.
Blueberry Coffee – Wilmersdorf
Blueberry Coffee is a cool looking cafe on Uhlandstraße, just off the Kurfürstendamm. I set up on the benches outside one afternoon when I needed to get some work done. The chai lattes were good so I happily ordered a stream of them to keep me company while I worked.
Curry 36 – Wilmersdorf
I’d had a recommendation that Curry 36 was one of the best places in town for currywurst. Curry 36 is a stall near the U Bahn station at Zoologischer Garten. The number of people milling around on the Thursday afternoon I visited was a good indication that it had not been oversold. Although I have since been told this is more of a currywurst option for tourists rather than locals, I can confirm that it was still very good.
Daitokai – Wilmersdorf
When my Dad first took me to Berlin, him and I went in search of a Japanese restaurant in the Europa Center that his dad had taken him to around 20 years before. It was still there. The restaurant has wood panelling lining the walls, a little stream trickling through it (complete with fish) and waitresses in kimono. Daitokai is a teppanyaki restaurant which involves the food being cooked at the tables on an iron griddle so you get dinner and a show – this included having my ice cream set on fire, without it melting. When I first visited, I had duck and beef and, while the food lived up to the amazing setting, my own culinary skills did not. The rest of our communal table started giggling at the sight of me failing to use chopsticks and the chef offered me a set for kids – with an elastic band around the ends so you could pincer your food. I managed without those in the end. On subsequent visits I’ve had an incredible six course Japanese feast. There was duck, sashimi and other seafood, beef… I could go on but I slid into a food coma and cannot remember what else there was. I actually woke up with a food hangover.
Dean and David Cafe – Wilmersdorf
Dean and David was a brilliant find that specialises in healthy and fresh food. The salads are huge, the curries are fragrant and the wraps are tasty.
Egger’s Steakhouse – Wilmersdorf
From the outside looking in, I’m not sure Egger’s is a place you’d stop at if you were walking by and hadn’t heard about it before. It’s hard to describe the decor – to me it looks a bit like an old fashioned American sports bar. But I’m telling you that you should go because it does a really great steak. The steak also comes with a helping from the salad buffet for starters which you might not think is worth mentioning after I’ve already brought up the great steak but I actually really enjoy it as part of the meal.
Franceso Forgione – Wilmersdorf
If you’re in the mood for some warm, comforting Italian food then Franceso Forgione is the place to go. The staff are friendly, the food is homey and delicious and the wine is cheap. I can vouch for the pizzas, the ham and cheese tortellini and the carbonara. I appreciated the fact that the waiters leave a big pot of parmesan cheese on the table, instead of grating a bit for you and then taking it away – that way I can ladle on as much as I want without feeling guilty for ending up with more cheese than pasta.
Kerszberg Cafe – Wilmersdorf
I’ve been meaning to stop by Kerszberg Cafe ever since I passed by and saw breakfasts being served on those cake stands used to serve afternoon tea. When I actually went, I wasn’t quite ready for so much food (and wasn’t sure what on the menu involved a cake stand anyway) so instead ordered the interesting sounding “At Mom’s” combo which included scrambled eggs with chive, Gouda cheese, boiled ham, herbal cream, jam, fruits and salad. I’m not entirely sure it’s a combination I’d order again but each thing was nice on its own. I’ll go back to try and find the afternoon tea breakfast.
Krasselts Imbiss – Wilmersdorf
I decided to visit Krasselts Imbiss, near Blissestraße, after a chef at Rausch told me it was her favourite place for currywurst in the city. Normally, currywurst sauce tastes like curried ketchup. This one tasted more like curried HP sauce. I’m not sure if I would say that was better but I’d certainly agree with the Rausch chef that this is one of the best currywurst I’ve had in Berlin.
Max und Moritz – Wilmersdorf
Berlin is a good place to go if you’re a fan of kebabs – you can get something really special here. I’ve heard that Max und Moritz often has queues of people waiting in line for their kebabs, so when I passed by late one night when it was quiet and nothing else was open, it seemed like the perfect time to try their doner. It was presented to me like a trophy on a plate. Instead of a pita, the bap was like a big crusty roll which had the bread centre taken out and replaced with tasty meat, fresh salad, garlic mayonnaise (optional) and even the odd chip. I could see what all the fuss was about.
Nea Knosso – Wilmersdorf
Nea Knosso is Greek restaurant that seems to be a firm favourite with the locals – in any event it’s usually been packed when I’ve been and the owners clearly know the majority of people who visit. The menu is huge but when I first went I wasn’t feeling well so just ordered the aubergine and courgette fritters and a tuna salad (which turned out to be huge). They were both good but I did get food envy over my Dad’s lamb cutlets. On my next trip, I still wasn’t in the mood for lamb so tried the feta salad to start (a great choice – I was rewarded with huge slabs of tasty feta) and moussaka for main. It was good but I was defeated and my Dad had to step in to assist. On my last visit, I finally tried the lamb chops and, let me tell you, they were worth the wait.
Reinhard’s im Kempinski Hotel – Wilmersdorf
In comparison to some of the other restaurants on this list, Reinhard’s is very expensive but it is also very good. In fact, I ordered the best steak I’ve ever had here. I find that steaks either have no taste or all of the taste and this one was most certainly the latter. It also came covered in sauce and alongside some pretty tasty chips. My pea and parmesan ravioli soup (a piece of ravioli surrounded by a bit of soup) was also faultless, except for the portion size.
This is also home to one of my all time favourite breakfasts. It may have been expensive but it was huge and consisted of a buffet with everything you could possibly want – cold meats, fish, cheeses, fruit, cereal, breads, yoghurt, eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms and even mini muffins and doughnuts. It was amazing.
If you just fancy something lighter (and cheaper), the mozzarella with pesto and tomatoes on brown bread is a popular and refreshing choice. You can sit and eat it with a coffee at one of the tables outside on the pavement and watch the world go by.
Serrano – Wilmersdorf
Serrano feels like a fine dining restaurant with a Peruvian twist. It turned out to be quite differently priced to the restaurants I had visited when I was actually in Peru (by which I mean it was not cheap) but the food is delicious. I tried the selection of nine little plates of Peruvian tapas (I finally tried cerviche, something I had not managed during 3 weeks in South America) and I topped this off with a Pisco Sour as well. As a main I went for Lomo Saltado – a dish comprising of beef, onions, chips and rice – and, for dessert, chocolate cake with foamed cream. If I could use the drooling face emoji here I would.
Weyers – Wilmersdorf
Weyers is easily my most frequented breakfast place in Berlin. The place has the feel of a quirky hotel restaurant, with painted brick walls, white tablecloths and menus that were sandwiched between hardback covers of old Vogue magazines. The staff are friendly, the orange juice is freshly squeezed and the menu has a lot of options. There are some things I am more of a fan of than others. I wasn’t crazy about the scrambled eggs with bacon, ham and onions (aka an omelette) as the onions were a bit overpowering or the big cooked breakfast but which turned out to be more like a frittata and was a bit dry. What is great (the piece de resistance, if you will) is the breakfast for two, with a selection of breads, meats, cheeses, fruits, jams and salmon. My Dad and I used to order this often but the problem is that it would put us into a food coma that didn’t exactly make us feel ready to go out walking and exploring so we’ve had to branch out. Thankfully there are other tasty options, like the fried eggs (with lovely runny yolks) and crispy bacon and the pancakes with fruit and maple syrup.
Weyers isn’t just a breakfast place – it’s an all times of day place. I’ve been for dinner once and, as in the mornings, the place was busy but I managed to get a table and I had a fantastic steak dinner. It turns out that this place is a good all rounder.
Cafe Luzia – Kreuzberg
Cafe Luzia is one of my favourite bars in Berlin and it is suitably hipster. The walls have been stripped back, there’s lots of exposed pipes and wires and the place is filled with a random collection of furniture. It feels like someone began completely renovating the building but gave up and just filled it with stuff. And I mean that in a good way. The vodka and cokes I ordered there were expensive but the prosecco was cheap and during the summer days they open up the big glass windows lining in the front of the bar so that people can spill out and lounge half on the street. On my last visit, they had some live music which involved a guy jumping up onto the tables and getting up in the audience’s faces while screaming into a microphone. Unsurprisingly, it cleared the place out somewhat. I was actually a bit scared but it definitely felt very Berlin.
Tiki Tonga Bar – Kreuzberg
Tiki Tonga has a pretty interesting decor – there’s a gold square board above the bar that actually moves. I think it was meant to resemble rustling leaves but it did freak me out a bit. I had to wait a little long to order but the cocktails were lovely and the fact that the happy hour lasted from 6pm – 10pm made it a very happy hour indeed.
Prater Biergarten – Prenzlauer Berg
The first time I went to Prater Biergarten was when I was taken by a friend in 2013 – so before free data roaming in the EU was a thing (this is an important point in the story). I didn’t know the name of the place and I only paid so much attention to where we were walking. What I found was a big, lovely beer garden – so lovely I tried to go back again the next night with different people. Unfortunately, we never made it because I just got us lost and I had no access to Citymapper (instead we ended up finding Sukho and Mauer Park which was no bad thing). I had no idea what the place was called and didn’t really think about it until one of my more recent trips to Berlin when, while with my Dad, he suggested going to a nice beer garden he’d found not far from where we were in Prenzlauer Berg. I wondered if it may be the same place and, as it turned out, it was! So now I can go back whenever I want.
Mein Haus am See – Mitte
Mein Haus am See was a bar recommended to me by some Berlin locals, which I took as a good sign. It seems to be known for having staggered seating that’s inspired by baseball stadium seating. It also has a good atmosphere and was pretty busy, even on the weekday night I went.
Newton’s – Mitte
The bar in Newton’s runs alongside the wall on one side of the venue and, in warmer months, gets extended so that it actually curves out onto the path in front – so there is plenty of space to pull up a stool and have a drink. There’s a good vibe and there is something classic about the decor, with its brown walls and red leather arms chairs. Although, there are also photos of nude women on the walls, taken by the bar’s namesake, Helmut Newton. The gin and tonic is expensive (€12) but you certainly get your money’s worth as far as the amount of gin is concerned. The beer is much cheaper (€5).
Weinerei – Mitte
The idea behind the Weinerei is that you rent a glass and then help yourself to wine throughout the night. Before you leave, you just pay what you feel you owe. I can imagine people taking advantage of this but it seems people must be pretty honest and I think I actually overpaid for my share! I do love the idea and it certainly attracted it’s fair share of people who agreed with me on that.
Radke’s Gasthaus Alt-Berlin – Wilmersdorf
As you may have gaged from this list so far, I spend quite a bit of time in Wilmersdorf and I often visit Berlin with my Dad. However, we’ve not actually found a local bar – we just end up in restaurants. So when we ended up grabbing an early dinner at the Christmas market by the Gedächtniskirche, we were left at a bit of a loose end. We didn’t want to just go back home and watch TV but I wanted to find something more German than the Irish bar in the Europa Center that my Dad suggested. We went for a wander and ended up in Radke’s Gasthaus Alt-Berlin. The inside is kinda old fashioned and it has character – I particularly enjoyed that the bar stools were decorated with Santa outfits. We might have been far from the only tourists in the area but considering the area we were in – off a main shopping street, close to the KaDeWe – I did feel like we’d found a more local option and we ended up staying until we got chucked out (surprisingly early, at around 10pm).
Alcatraz Backpackers Hostel – Prenzlauer Berg
I stayed in the Alcatraz hostel on my first night of my summer in Berlin and found that it was way more welcoming than the name suggests. The staff were helpful and the atmosphere was friendly. The location was also very good, on a main road through Prenzlauer Berg close to Eberswalder Strasse U-Bahn station, although this did mean that it was quite noisy. Still my room was clean and comfy. I’d left it pretty last minute but was able to get one night in, just not more after that, which was a shame because I enjoyed my stay.
Lette’m Sleep Hostel – Prenzlauer Berg
Lette’m Sleep was where I stayed when I couldn’t book back into Alcatraz. It was only a stone’s through away on a side street in Prenzlauer Berg, meaning that it was much quieter but still close to bars, restaurants and an U-Bahn station. The common area was quite buzzy and I was able to spend a day in there using wifi to send off some job applications. Again, I enjoyed my stay but left it too late to be able to book more than a couple of nights.
Corner Hostel – Prenzlauer Berg
The location of Corner Hostel wasn’t quite as convenient as Alcatraz and Lette’m Sleep as it was in a more residential part of Prenzlauer Berg, but it was still walking distance from the local amenities and U-Bahn station. It didn’t feel quite as modern as the others but I ended up in a nice room with some friendly people. I did get locked out of my room for a few hours one night and, on my first day, I had problems with another guest staying in my dorm but I was offered another room and after that the staff went out of their way to look after me and make sure I was okay. They also put out free, coffee and cakes in the common area, which I certainly enjoyed taking advantage of.