Best of Berlin
"Let's get into trouble." My bright eyed friend Marisa just spent four days with me in Berlin. We ate like Bourdain and drank like Bukowski, danced until six in the morning, made new friends and a pocket full of memories.
My time in Berlin is almost up and I'm glad I had an excuse to drink up a little of its magic before leaving. This city is for dreamers, artists, and trouble makers. It will always feel a little like home.
A dear reader asked me to share some of my favourite spots. Please keep in mind I have an affinity for the bizarre and wonderful, far from other tourists and anywhere that has a line up. I like to drink coffee with the locals and gin in places where the walls are lined with pink fur.
Here is a taste of my Berlin. Guten Appetit!
START YOUR DAY:
Antipodes is a small coffee shop run by a hilarious couple from New Zealand. They make incredible flat whites and the ultimate bacon and eggs on Sunday. (Fehrbelliner Straße 5)
Bonanza Coffee Heroes produces some of the best coffee in Berlin. The coffee is produced with a Synesso Cyncra—a machine that is extremely thermally sensitive— and is watched at all times with a measuring system on an iMac. Apparently there are only three of these insane machines in all of Europe. (Oderberger Straße 35 / Mon – Tues 8:30 am – 7:00 pm, Sat – Sun 10:00 am – 7:00 pm)
Mogg & Melzer is a sweet little New York deli where they smoke their own pastrami. I live for the pastrami salad, epic caesar salad and chicken liver brûlée. Get all three and share and save room for a slice of cheesecake. (11-13 Augustrasse)
Konnopke’s Imbiß has been called “King of Currywurst East” . This stand has been run by the same family management since 1930 and has its own old world feel. It is clean, cheap, delicious and has some handy undercover seating available under the train tracks. I also recommend Curry 36 or What a Wurst. (Schönhauser Allee 44A)
Michelberger is kind of like the Ace hotel of Berlin. They do great brunch, lunch, dinner, cocktails, and have cozy rooms to spend the night in. They also produce Fountain of Youth - their own delicious coconut water to cure your sins from the night before. (Warschauer Strasse 39-40)
TIME FOR A DRINK:
Pauly Saal is a bar restaurant with a spot on cocktail menu, including my personal favourite - The Last Word. The waitresses are cute and the selection is great. If you stay for dinner share the Ox. (Auguststraße 11)
White Trash Fast Food for trashy good times. There’s rock ‘n’ roll cabaret shows, regular live music and DJ nights to accompany classic American grub. There's also a tattoo parlour downstairs. (Schoenhauser Allee 6-7)
Rose's Bar - A gay bar with pink fur walls, latex ceilings, a disco ball and kitschy elements all around. Everyone is welcome and the owner is a gem. (Oranienstr. 187)
Gin and Tonic bar - yes that is all they serve. And they do it well. I like the navy strength Plymouth. (Friedrichstraße 113 / Mon – Sun: 20h– 3h)
Santa Maria does decent Mexican food and excellent margaritas. Taco Tuesdays the place is wall-to-wall with hungry hipsters and 2$ tacos. (Oranienstraße 170)
Das Hühnerhaus for the best rotisserie chicken I've ever had. Get a huge plate with fries, salad, spicy sauce and garlic sauce for around 5 euros. It's open til 3am and tastes best at the end of a night out. (Skalitzer Str. 95 A)
Street Food Thursday at Markethalle Neun is a food lovers paradise. Depending on my mood I can go for a killer veggie burger or the epic barbecue plate. There's even a bar, so grab a Moscow Mule and try to find a seat amongst the crowds. (Thursdays, 17:00-22:00 - Eisenbahnstraße 42/43)
Sauvage restaurants are the first Paleo restaurants in the whole world. I don't abide by any diet but love that everything is house made and that cavemen drank wine (well it's on the menu, ok). The food is delicious and free of grains, gluten, refined sugar, dairy or vegetable oils. (Winsstrasse 30 or Pflügerstrasse 25)
Tausend is a bar and a cantina. They serve up high end Iberian-Japanese fusion cuisine and some of the freshest seafood I've ever tasted. Do not - I repeat - do not, leave without trying the miso cod. Make a reservation and don't be intimidated by the obscure entrance. Tausend bears no sign, bell or light at its entrance, only a bare iron door beneath the Paris-Moskau railway. (Schiffbauerdamm 11)
BUY ME SOMETHING NICE:
Dudes Factory was founded by good friends with a common goal of building a brand that reflects and develops their own creative interests and lifestyle (eating, drinking, and having a good time). The store sells collections of art, silk screened apparel and accessories from cool as f* artists like mcbess. (Torstraße 138)
Soto is a great menswear store in Mitte. I go for the accessories and brands like Acne, Super and Herschel. (Torstrasse 72)
Voo Store is a store in Kreuzberg with offers a constantly rotating selection on collections and design objects, as well as gift ideas and literary classics. There's also a coffee shop inside, so grab a flawless flat white to accompany your browsing. (Oranienstraße 24)
Modulor is the ultimate art store. I go for the pens, Copic markers, sketchbooks and craft supplies. (Prinzenstraße 85)
Viktor Leske for the best haircut (or tattoo) and a fashionable crowd. (Joachimstrasse 8)
TAKE ME SOMEWHERE FUN:
Monster Ronson's Ichiban Karaoke is a fun place to go with a group of friends. Last time I was here a bearded man in a miniskirt was owning Eminem's Stan on stage.
Museum Island is a little island on the Spree river where you can explore five museums. I love the Pergamom Museum which has original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings and artifacts including the huge Altar of Zeus and the famous Ishtar Gate from Babylon.
Arkonaplatz flea market has old records, retro shades, handbags, and various other knick knacks at reasonable prices and find something special to take home. (Arkonaplatz - Sunday- 10:00-16:00)
At Mauerpark you can lie on the grassy hills, listen to live music and venture through their bustling flea market, food stands and beer garden. (Gleimstraße 55 / Fleamarket Summer: Sun, 8:00-18:00, Winter: Sun, 8:00-sunset)
And if you're up for a challenge, you can always try to get into Berghain.