Although many things are closed, for the time being, many of these beautiful places will hopefully soon reopen. Until then, most of them have a take-away option and would be grateful for any support during current times. I lived in Berlin five years ago, and so much has changed since I left. Every time I’m there, I visit new spots, try different restaurants, and I’m happy that I can barely follow what popped up and where recently. The list below is my recommendation of five places you should go to when in the German capital.
Does warm chocolate mousse with extra virgin olive oil, crunchy sea salt flakes, cocoa nibs, and cardamom ice cream sound like music to your ears? Well, in that case, you shouldn’t miss Barra, one of my favourite restaurants in Neukölln, Berlin. I’ve been here three times already and I haven’t been disappointed a single time. Their menu is always seasonal and interesting, featuring the best products available. The place is small, minimalistic and I love sitting by the bar while peaking into the kitchen. Leather benches, wooden tables and chairs, and warm lighting make this a cosy place, where you want to drink one or two glasses of their interesting and well-curated wine menu.
This place is something Prenzlauer Berg needed. The name comes from the chef Vadim Otto Ursus, who has worked at renowned restaurants worldwide. The food concept here is zero waste, and everything on the menu will be seasonal and from the region. Fermented and pickled stuff, sourdough bread, and whipped butter are things you’ll come across in the small restaurant that offers around 20 seats (outside Covid-19 times, of course). The interior is kept in a brutalist style, with concrete walls, simple details or none at all, grey tables, and light coloured plates and napkins.
How thick should a pancake be? There are no rules on that, but the ones at Annelies in Kreuzberg would receive an award for fluffiness from me. They’re served with a generous dollop of cultured cream and berry-maple syrup, dripping down that pancake stack in a somewhat hypnotising way. Another dish that looks incredibly tempting is their thick slice of sourdough bread, covered with perfectly creamy scrambled eggs, and cause there’s never too many eggs, there’s shaved cured egg yolk on top. Kimchi is served on the side. A lovely spot that welcomes you for all-day breakfast with open arms.
4. Mrs Robinson’s
Living room charm combined with wooden details and furniture, light brick walls and inventive food. The restaurant’s hearts are chef Ben Zviel from Israel and Samina Raza, from London. Although being on the pricier side of Berlin restaurants, Mrs Robinson’s is a place to visit if you love taste combinations like shiso-bernaise, aged beef tartare sarnies, sake-saffron broths, or black tahini. Each dish here has something special, something unexpected to it that makes me smile like a little child. Dishes range from smaller sizes to bigger, so I guess sharing might be a good idea? I’ve also spotted dishes like croquettes with BBQ cherry sauce and smoked lard Mayonnaise, beautiful pâtés en croûte, 140-day aged Holstein cow on milk bread with preserved berry sauce, and a bunch of taste blowing desserts like Matcha cheesecake with cucumber ice cream and coconut foam.
Baldon is a restaurant in Wedding, located in a new brutalist complex made entirely from concrete. Baldon was founded by two women, Jessica and Caecilia, who built a creative space focusing on great food. A cosy room with high ceilings, light wooden tables with black metal details, and changing decoration by different artists. Baldon serves delicious dishes and hosts all kinds of events (not during Corona times, unfortunately). I’m deeply intrigued by their sourdough sandwich with Offenbach shiitake, miso mayo, black sesame, and sauerkraut or the cockles with chili, Szechuan pepper, and blue cheese. Everything here looks exceptionally appealing, visually thought through, and is always aligned with the seasons.