Guide to Cool Berlin
Berlin is amazing. It’s a huge city, but manages to be so laid-back and cool. As soon as you leave the busy tourist areas and go to the neighborhoods of Prentzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain or Kreutzberg you will find peace and lots of space on the terraces. The city is filled with cool shops too, I’ve added a few in case you’re interested in doing some shopping in between the meals.
Breakfast and brunch are big deals in Berlin (in Germany overall I’d say) so be prepared to find lots of great (and not so great) brunches all over the city. Usually the dishes are huge and will for sure keep you satisfied until dinner.
I did add a couple of nightclubs too, in case you feel like dancing off all that food..!
Mitte is the city center, it can be very touristy but there are lots of gems to find.
Katz Orange: This place is like something out of Pinterest. Even the bathrooms are really cool! The food is great and the drinks gorgeous.
House of Small Wonder: So charming! Breakfast and lunch. It's a Japanese-influenced place, the staff is (Japanese and) very friendly and the food is great. There is jazz playing in the background. Oh, and they have matcha latte..!
Kaschk: If you like beer then this is the place to go; they have lots of craft beers on tap and the place is really nicely decorated. You can do a tasting board with 4 different beers if you like, and the coffee is supposed to be very, very good quality.
Do you read me? The best magazine shop I've ever come across, with only really cool and beautiful magazines. Worth a look.
Gestalten Space: This shop is on a back yard, and it's filled with lots of interesting things like books, things for the home, amazing Mast Brothers chocolate... Really worth checking out.
Neukölln is the place to be at the moment, so hipster it hurts but still has that authentic feeling to it.
Klunkerkranich: It's a bit difficult to find but very much worth the effort. Look at their website for directions. You go into a shopping center and take the elevator to the 5th floor. There is a parking lot that you walk through, and then walk up to the 6th floor. There is a huge beautiful rooftop bar there, with little sheds where drinks are made, lots of plants, a DJ playing, gorgeous views and wooden tables and seating.
Roamers: A wonderful place for breakfast or brunch (on weekends I think they service brunch until 16.00) and dinner too I believe. The place is small and charming, and the food is fantastic. Everything is presented really beautifully, and there are great also alcohol-free drinks like home-made lemonade, beautiful cakes, amazing French Toast, huuuuuuge salads.... It doesn't matter what you order, it will be good. The dishes are big though, so don't order too much at once. :) And it's not expensive.
Friedrichshain has so many adorable bars and restaurants, there’s even a street that’s packed with brunch places.
Aunt Benny: Brunch, lunch, dinner... This place is so cool! I particularly recommend the antipasti plate to share for brunch, and the smoothies, and the cakes.... Everything here is so good, and the place is gorgeous. I could eat here every day for the rest of my life. And in Roamers. And in House of Small Wonder..!
Home-Made: The street where you can find home-made is full of brunch places, but this one is really cute and has something special that the others on this street don't. It's all very home-made as the name suggests and tasty, and has a big terrace outside.
Boxhagener Platz Market: On Sundays this place fills up with stalls selling all sorts of stuff; vintage, art, vinyl records, clothes… It’s busy and touristy, but I like it!
I love Kreutzberg for brunches and drinks before a night out. IT’s very eclectic and the main streets are packed at nights.
Bastard: This place serves a very typical Berlin brunch with cheeses and cured meats and delicious warm home-made bread. The terrace is cute. The interior has a really nice rugged Berlin charm.
Markthalle Neun: You HAVE to go here! It's the most hipster market in the universe! Every little stall is soooo cool, and it's the perfect place to go for breakfast or lunch. It's a MUST!
Freischwimmer: This is a bohemic little boat/café/restaurant/bar by the river, walk along a little path with lots of big green trees around it and you'll find it. It's lovely for sitting with a mojito in your hand and look at the duck families swimming by. Very relaxing. :)
Saveur Champagne: I love this little French place, it has a little terrace by a park, and it has lots of delicious cheeses and cured meats and patés that you can enjoy with really good bread and a glass of magnificent French wine.
Prenzlauer Berg is so darn charming, and it’s packed with beautiful little places for drinks, little cafés, lots of terraces, cute shops…
Kaffeerösterei Pakolat: I think this café is so charming, with beautiful old sofas and chairs and amazing cakes....
Café Anna Blume: This place is half flower shop and half café, and their brunches are out of this world. You can get a three-tiered set of all sorts of good stuff, and then they have a huge assortment of cakes that are to die for.
A couple of nightclubs worth mentioning:
Salon zur Wilden Renate: In Kreutzberg you can find this supercool place, it’s a big house filled with different rooms, it feels like a labyrinth. It looks like someone’s home, but someone who used to live there a long, long time ago. You have several different DJ:s playing cool music in different rooms, there are a couple of rooms with a bar, some with sofas to sit down in, one with a bed you can lie down on if you’re tired, one room with a mezzanine… You can go on all night discovering the coolness of this place. Outside you can find a garden with big swings you can sit down in and relax for a bit.
Berghain: This place is notoriously famous for being very picky when it comes to who they let in. That’s why it has a lot of haters too, from those who didn’t get through the doors..! But if you manage to get you’ll remember it forever, I can guarantee you that. Here only top-notch DJ:s are invited to play their tunes, and they manage to create an atmosphere of total decadence. The building itself used to be a power plant of some sort, so it’s huge and very industrial. You’ll see everything and more in there, but if you love to dance it’s a fantastic place for that.
There are lots of tips and tricks online on how to get it, but here are a few that I found useful:
Don’t dress to the teeth. This is not the place to put on your highest heels, glitzy dresses or a jacket. Dress down, as if you’re there to do what the place is for: dance. I like to wear my Converse.
Don’t come drunk/high/stoned. They won’t let you in. They also do a rigid check once you’re inside for cameras, drugs, etc.
Don’t come in a large group. It’s best to come alone or in a couple.
Be quiet. Don’t talk loudly, laugh or make lots of noise. The guys at the door pay a lot of attention to what’s going on in the queue. You’ll notice that the closer you get to the door the quieter it gets. It’s dead quiet the last 10 meters.
Learn a couple of words in German. They sometimes ask you in German how big your group is for example, and then it’s helpful to be able to reply in German.
Look like you’re a nice guy/girl. Here everybody should feel accepted regardless of gender or sexual preference, and if you look like you’re an a-hole you won’t get in.
Places I didn't have time to visit but I really want to go to:
Suicide Sue: Great breakfast, looks so cool!
Manufactum (shop): A shop with very cool things and I think it might be worth a visit.
Cabslam: American style breakfast with pancakes etc, seems delicious!
Michelberger Hotel: A hotel that also has a café and a bar where food is served too. The place is amazing!
Neue Heimat: A huge space (mostly outside) where something going on all the time, especially weekends, streetfood, DJ:s, gallery, live jazz, design markets... Check their Facebook page to see all the dates.
The Barn: If you like coffee this place is famous all over Europe.
Daluma: This place is supercool and SUPERhealthy :)