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My Berlin, For Friends

Posted by Natalie in Places - 9 November 2014

I’ve been compiling a list of favourite haunts, after frequent requests from visiting friends, and friends of friends. So I thought, why not share it with the world. Nothing too guidebookish; just my everyday Berlin.

Eating

Streetfood

Turkish: Imren. Not just doner and schwarma, also hearty dishes – go on a Friday afternoon from 12:40 pm (after Jumu’ah), when they cook up an extra special storm.

Vietnamese: Hamy – amazing slap-up meal for under a fiver. Chicken or tofu. Go for one of the two specials on the board rather than ordering from the menu.

Mexican: Chaparro.

Streetfood Thursday – what is says on the tin.

Bite Club – as above but fewer stalls, bit sexier.

Restaurants


Cocolo Kreuzberg (pictured) – out-of-this-world ramen.

Eckbert Zwo - traditional German.

Miss Saigon – wholesome Vietnamese.

Kimchi Princess – Korean barbeque. Decent meat but pricey if you go for the BBQ.

Kantine Kohlmann – for something a bit fancy.

Restaurant Richard – fancier still but wonderful.

Wok Show – irresistibly cheap and delicious Chinese dumplings.

Djimalaya – hummus bar run by Israelis. So, so good.

Katz Orange – for a special occasion or with the parents.

Pantry – amazing Asian fusion. Conveniently located close to the touristy bit.

Bar Raval - exceptional tapas. Painfully hip (but not pretentious).

Tabibito – Berlin’s best sushi. Tiny, cute place; reserve ahead.

Veggie

Most places have decent veggie options these days. Slow Travel Berlin have a couple of great resources for vegans (not my forte).

Cookies Cream – bit pricey but totally worth it.

Drinking


Fabelhaft – decent cocktails, nice atmosphere, superior service. Smoky.

Vin Aqua Vin (pictured) – excellent wines, reasonable prices. Non-smoking.

Room 77 – quirky, Bitcoin-friendly, American food with massive portions (but no decent veggie grub). Smoking from 10 pm.

Yuma – wonderful selection of (perilously powerful) Belgian beer. Smoky.

Pony Saloon – pool table, foosball table, darts, board games. Bad wine, good vibes. Smoky.

Clubbing

Griessmühle - nice garden, relaxed door policy, cool staff.

About: Blank – cool club, especially in summer (big, pretty garden).

Berghain – don’t ask me for guestlist, or how to get in. Use the force. Tip: go on a Sunday.

Prince Charles – former swimming pool. Nice outdoor area. BBQs in summer, chilled vibes year round.

Ohm – the new Horst, apparently. Small club; the place for bass-heavy beats and other stuff you’re unlikely to hear elsewhere in Berlin, which loves its tech house a bit too much.

Coffee

People have been blogging the shit out of Berlin’s third-wave coffee scene, so I won’t go over it again.

Five Elephantmy favourite. Squirrel’s favourite.

Squirrel in his favourite place ever: @fiveelephant

A photo posted by Natty Dee (@planetnatty) on Jan 1, 2014 at 2:16am PST

Galleries  & Museums


Haus der Kulturen der Welt (pictured) – singular architecture; inspiring, original programming.

C/O – Berlin’s best contemporary photography.

NGBK – free entry, interesting shows. Out the back of a cool bookstore on Oranienstrasse.

Hamburger Bahnhof – world-class modern and contemporary art in a massive former train station.

Smaller art galleries can be found along Potsdamer Strasse and August Strasse

Neue Nationalgalerie – cutting-edge temporary exhibitions.

For old stuff, check Museum Island. The Pergamon Museum is interesting, especially the Museum of Islamic Art section. Note: Pergamon Altar is closed until 2019 (still worth a visit imo).

Markets

The Wardrobe – regular design market at Platoon Kunsthalle.

Markthalle IX – revamped turn-of-the-century market hall, now host to numerous events (including aforementioned Street Food Thursday) and a farmers’ market on Fri & Sat.

Turkish Market at Maybachufer – every Tuesday and Friday.

Kreuzboerg and Nowkoelln flea markets – trendy, low on bargains but you might get lucky. Nice atmosphere, with live music and yummy streetfood. Former amongst a beautiful urban garden; latter along the canal in Kreuzkölln.

Most Christmas Markets are truly awful, tacky. My pick from this bunch would be Rixdorf. For something hipper, keep your eye on Urban Spree.

Parks and Green Spaces


Görlitzer Park – Rough around the edges. Great for people-watching. Populated by friendly local dealers. Don’t be intimidated.

Hasenheide (pictured) - huge, labyrinthine, beautiful. Also a pot hotspot.

The legendary Tempelhofer Feld.

Schlesischer Busch – good for games, home to one of Berlin’s three remaining Cold War watchtowers.

Grunewald – including the famous Teufelsberg listening station and a brilliant dog-friendly lake area.

Architecture

Horseshoe Estate – Bruno Taut’s interwar modernist masterpiece

Onkel Toms Hütte – modernist Utopia.

Karl-Marx-Allee – Stalin’s socialist centrepiece.

Hansaviertel – postwar modernism from an all-star cast of international architects.

Potsdamer Platz (lead image) – love it or hate it, the face of a unified Berlin.

For A Rainy Day


Philharmonic (pictured above) – treat yourself to a concert in this amazing building.

Yorck Cinemas – beautifully renovated arthouse cinemas showing critically acclaimed  films in their original language (look for OmU).

Neue Welt Bowling – nothing like chucking some heavy balls down an alley to the sounds of Europop. Terrible food, great beer.

Das Wellenbad – swimming pool complex on Spreewaldplatz. Open September to May.

Hamam – ladies only. Lovely space in a former chocolate factory.

Accommodation

Huettenpalast – quirky and affordable, in desirable Kreuzkölln area.

or AirBnB

Resources / Further Reading

http://ceecee.cc/en/

http://unlike.net/berlin/

https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/berlin-inspires/id445566589?mt=8

http://www.slowtravelberlin.com/

http://berlinfoodstories.com/

http://www.stilinberlin.de/

What did I miss? Add to this list in the comments!

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