Because I keep getting emails, tweets or comments on here with questions on how to do Berlin like a local (and not like your parents), I compiled some of my favourite places where you’re very likely to find me on weekends. I use Google Maps to “star” places as that makes it easy to rediscover places you love and to see when you’re in the area. Highly recommend that method also when you’re travelling!
Cabslam and Zimt & Mehl are perfect for a lazy breakfast or brunch, and they’re literally across the street from each other in Neukölln. As well as various variations of egg (Zimt & Mehl) or pancakes (Cabslam), you’ll great a fresh breeze from the canal for free!
Osmans Töchter is a classy Turkish restaurant in the middle of the catwalk that is Prenzlauer Berg. Perfect for special occasions and long summer nights outside. District Mot is an Asian eatery with colours and flavours that will spice up your taste buds who may have gotten a little too accustomed to kebab! Just saying. Cocolo Ramen Bar is the place for ramen, and their pottery is to die for. On summer days, you should sit outside and enjoy the view on the canal. It’s also close to Admiralbrücke (see below). Prater is a traditional Berlin beer garden with a huge outdoor space and the few memories that I can still recall are… er, very fond.
If you know me, you’ll that that I’m very serious about my burgers, so I’ll only give you three great ones. One for breakfast, one for lunch, you get the idea. So here’s my Top 3: Burgeramt in Friedrichshain, Shiso Burger in Mitte and Lily Burger in Neukölln. Oh, and the cheeseburgers at Tommi’s Burger Joint aren’t too shabby either!
Fresh flowers, fresh brew and super friendly baristas
No Fire No Glory
My favourite cafe when I lived in Berlin for a few months back in 2012.
Café am neuen See
Located in Tiergarten park and next to the lake.
An old pharmacy turned cafe in Kreuzberg.
Others: Cafe Liebling, Oslo Kaffeebar, Coffee Impala
Grab a beer, watch people ride their fancy bikes over Admiralbrücke, sit down and listen to the musicians play a few tunes. Bürgerpark Pankow is a hidden gem that’s not as crowded as many other parks in summer. It also has a very local (aka family) touch to it, the “old Berlin” if you like. Schlachtensee and Müggelsee are my favourite lakes, but if you have a car, your best bet will be to drive out to Brandenburg for Summter See, Groß Glienicker See or Griebnitzsee. The empty airport space Tempelhofer Feld is made for picnics, bike rides and watching kids fly kites. Bring on Sunday! Grunewald is a large forest that will help clear your thoughts and the natural park Märkische Schweiz is a one-hour train ride away if you really, really need to get out.
There are some classics that will look fantastic on your Instagram account but have become a little too crowded. The House of Small Wonder in Mitte, the Klunkerkranich bar on top of the Neukölln Arcaden shopping center and Roamers coffee.
Music and CLUBS
If you’re in search for a club, you might wanna look into the line-ups of Prince Charles, Wilde Renate or Jonny Knüppel (which has actually become one of my favourite bars and clubs recently). Lido is great for gigs or poetry slams, and I’ve discovered some of fantastic indie artists at Prachtwerk.
The northern district of Wedding is my home base. My aunt, who has lived in Berlin all her life, still refuses to visit me here because she thinks it’s some kind of horrific ghetto – but that couldn’t be further from reality. Over the last 12 months alone, Wedding has been through a huge transformation which would explain the sudden explosion of cool spots and… rising rents. I’d rather keep these secrets to myself, so don’t tell anyone please!
Pizzeria Stranero: The best pizza!
Rebel Burger: Need I say more!?
Alin Gaza Kitchen: Best falafel in Berlin, hands down
City Kino Wedding: Indie cinema
Himmelbeet: Urban garden project
Plötzensee: Lake and forest
Esthetiko: Vintage furniture shop
Vagabund: Beer, beer, more beer
Flop Bar: Their happy hour tho!
Nussbreite: Bar with fab interior