In Berlin, modern architecture sits alongside graffiti-tagged streets and Michelin-starred restaurants nestle against cute, classic taprooms. It’s the cool kid of European cities, with a creative heart and a big history, and it was the perfect getaway spot for a food fanatic like myself. If you’ve got a day or two to spare, bookmark the following addresses and get ready to eat and drink until you can’t take anymore.
After a day exploring the city, a typical German pub is bang on the money. With long wooden chairs, tall beers and a Jägermeister machine standing at eye level, they don’t get much better than this. Leave your judgement at the door, and get ready to feel like a full-on Bavarian. We ordered a huge range of pork – knuckles, schnitzels, belly, and sausages – and can heartily recommend it all. There’s only one thing you should drink here, and that’s a pint of cold beer.
Leipziger Straße 65, Haupteingang Markgrafenstraße, 10117 Berlin, Germany
If you’re one of the lucky few to find Berlin under blue skies and sunshine, then Nest is a must-visit. This sweet, stripped-back eatery – it’s near Görlitzer park – attracts a cheerful crowd, so be sure to get there early if you want a seat outside. With just-cut flowers dotted on tables, and great coffee to boot, once you’re settled you may not want to move again.
Görlitzer Str. 52, 10997 Berlin, Germany
Our trip to the luxury department store KaDeWe was mainly for the 6th floor, where the crème de la crème of food halls resides. Stop in for a visit and indulge in a pick-me-up of rich cheese, fresh oysters and crisp champagne. We recommend snagging a stool at one of the in-house food stands, with a window view of the city.
Tauentzienstraße 21-24, 10789 Berlin, Germany
For a chilled-out vibe, you need to make Berlin’s Yaam a city break stopover. The name itself stands for Young African Art Market, which lends a clue as to the appeal of the inside-out space – expect arty nooks, street food and live music events. It’s not a place to take your kids, but it epitomises the laid-back cool with which Berlin has become increasingly synonymous. What did we love? The food carts offering a selection of tasty bites and the strong, German coffee.
An der Schillingbrücke 3, 10243 Berlin, Germany
If there’s one thing you have to try on your trip to Berlin, it’s currywurst – the original comfort food that’s become an icon for the city. We tried a few different stalls on the way to visiting Berlin’s best sights, but we kept finding ourselves coming back to Curry 36 for the most delicious fix. Top tip: order a bratwurst and a currywurst to share with friends, but save room for an authentic kebab from Mustafas next door.
Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin, Germany
A home to beers with names like Raging Bitch, Backbone Splitter and Holy Shit Ale, you’d be forgiven for thinking this spot is reserved only for those who love a drink. But fear not, the food is more than just an afterthought. Vegetables are the hero here, whether they’re smoked, fermented or fried, and the kitchen has plenty of dishes that are sure to impress. But there’s something for meat lovers too, so whoever you come with, they’re bound to leave full and happy.
Schöneberger Str. 16, 10963 Berlin, Germany
We came here expecting to be knocking elbows with coachloads of tourists thanks to its close proximity to Alexanderplatz, but ended up spending an entire afternoon with a bunch of locals and no-one else. While we didn’t get to experience the (legendary) band playing, there were still more than a few cheering singalongs going around the beer garden as the sun was out and the brews were flowing. The servers are in classic Bavarian dress, the beers are cold and the atmosphere is light, making this a lighthearted choice for an easy afternoon escape.
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 30, 10178 Berlin, Germany
This bar, set in the central Mitte district, feels just like a gentlemen’s club that happens to be open to all. With lounge music playing, Helmut Newton ladies lining the wall (hence the name) and comfy armchair seating on offer, you’ll come for the cocktails and stay for the vibe. The mixologists behind the bar were all experts of blending the perfect tipple, we heard the Vespa and Negroni came out on top. Top tip: if you’ve planned an evening at the opera or the philharmonic, Newton is just around the corner for the perfect nightcap.
Charlottenstr. 57, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s got its own take on Asian cuisine thanks to two-Michelin-starred Chef Tim Raue blending European and Southeast Asian dishes to perfection. Fragrant, honest dishes are at the heart of the kitchen, which is careful to source only the best ingredients to make its fusion fare taste even better. Make sure you book in to guarantee a table at one of the world’s top 50 restaurants.
Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 26, 10969 Berlin, Germany