Germany's capital city is famous for the Berlin Wall, the jelly roll, its underground club scene, legendary art world and most important — its food. When you're not playing tourist, checking off a long bucket list of gallery, museum and flea market stops, you should make reservations at every one of these worthy destinations. 🍽
The closest (most epic) thing you'll get to farm-to-table eats in Berlin. This laid-back gem is on everyone's must-visit list, partly because of its kitschy interior with exposed brickwork and quirky knickknacks, but also because of its international menu of artful dishes crafted with seasonal produce. Don't miss out on the Hokkaido pumpkin flan (red onion, smoked bell pepper, pumpkin seed), veal tartare (partridge fried egg, violet carrot mash, preserved lemon), candy on the bone (slow roasted for 12 hours and served with its own gravy and lemon garlic yoghurt), or the freshly cut french fries (fried in organic goose fat with housemade dips like mojo verde, ketchup, cajun mayo and blue cheese). YOLO.
Pauly Saal is so damn chic you won't want to leave. Perfect for a weekend brunch, or a leisurely champagne or rosé-fueled lunch, it's the type of place you take a date or your girlfriends and keep coming back over and over. Huge open windows, whimsical animals perched on shelves, cool green velvet banquets and a massive wall-mounted missile all make an appearance in the décor scheme of this former school for Jewish girls, turned restaurant. Plus, there's a cozy outdoor terrace and adjacent bar decked out in contemporary artwork — definitely worth perusing with a cocktail in hand. 2, 3, and 4-course prix fixe tasting menus are offered as well.
When you put a gastropub with a gourmet twist in an industrial setting flecked with neon bulbs, you get Volta and it all just works. Everything from the furniture to the lighting is basically repurposed in this German, American, Indian and South East Asian concept spot with a long list of craft beers and reimagined bar bites headlining the menu. Order the pork belly blinis and the ceviche wan-tan and don't miss out on the beef lollipops, the burger and shrimp hot-dog — trust.
Awesome Asian-fusion can be found in the heart of Berlin Mitte at Prince, next to the trendy Lux 11 hotel. Begin at the bar to see and be seen for a drink or two, before moving down a flight to the dimly-lit dining room for dim sum, killer curries and flavorful coconut-based soups. PS — if you're in need of accommodations while visiting, Lux 11 is a viable option given its apartment-style rooms, close proximity to everything and affordable prices.
Cookies Cream and Crackers
There's no cooler venue worth planning your night around in all of Berlin, than vegetarian hotspot Cookies Cream and its swanky bar-restaurant downstairs, Crackers. Nightlife icon Cookie was notorious for throwing the ultimate ragers and going to this glamorous eatery (that you have to ring an anonymous buzzer to get into) is the closest thing you'll get to his infamous (now closed) club, Cookies. The menu changes weekly, but regular staples are the quail egg in brioche, grilled leeks with black sesame, celery essence with apple gyoza and parmesan dumplings with truffles. So so good. Start with dinner upstairs at Cookies Cream, followed by libations downstairs at Crackers and commit yourself to an all-nighter.
Café Einstein Unter den Linden
When you're in the mood for a traditional German breakfast or lunch, pop into Café Einstein Unter den Linden — one of the oldest cafe-restaurants in Berlin with a historic vibe, tons of framed photos, dark wood and outdoor sidewalk seating. They have some of the best schnitzel in the city and it's great for people watching. The locals also love it, so you know you're in for a solid meal here.