Fancy a quick weekend trip abroad? Give Berlin a try – next to its array of history and culture and insane nightlife, the culinary scene has absolutely taken off. Here’s our insider’s guide to five of the hottest restaurants and bars in Germany’s capital.
Chutnify offers South Indian street food curated for eclectic tastes and those looking for a healthy alternative to the usually heavy conventional Indian food. So, if you are curious for chutney, mad about masala or digging the much-loved dosa, Chutnify should not be missed. Interesting fact: the restaurant’s name stems from a Salman Rushdie book in which so-called chutnification adds excitement to language. Continuing with this tradition, Chutnify is meant to add spice and colour to its dishes. The two restaurant locations in the heart of Berlin clearly testify to that. It simply shines through every little detail that owner Aparna Aurora and her team love what they do.
Berlin’s current hot spot is Nobelhart & Schmutzig, which opened its doors in 2015, and only nine months later received its first Michelin star. “The restaurant of the year 2017” (as voted by Germany’s most prominent food magazine, Der Feinschmecker) is a holistic eating experience. A prix-fixe 10-course menu (80 Euros) focuses on ingredients from the nearby region, deeply influenced by modern Nordic cooking and carefully selected for internal harmony. The prime directive is seasonal products, sourced locally. If Mother Nature doesn’t offer it here in the surrounding region, then the owners, chef Micha Schäfer and Billy Wagner, the latter one of Germany’s most outstanding sommeliers, won’t either. As the pair put it: “Food is “(ful)filling” — at an emotional and physical level. That rush is what we’re all about. Our most intense experiences are almost always tied to food that is simultaneously sumptuous and simple.” 28 guests can watch the magic happen: there are no secrets at the restaurant’s kitchen table as guests are seated right at the centre of the action.
Where? The restaurant is located at Friedrichstrasse 218, 10969 Berlin, just south of Checkpoint Charlie.
NENI has a stunning rooftop location on the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin and scores above all with its breath-taking panorama view of City West. Whilst choosing your dish from the international menu – chef Haya Molcho does not like restrictions: her creations are influenced by Persian, Russian, Arab, Moroccan, Turkish, Spanish but also German and Austrian cuisine – you can watch the monkeys play as the restaurant borders Berlin Zoo. The restaurant itself resembles a secret botanical garden and despite the array of visual pleasures around you, the menu’s mouth-watering dishes add to the fun factor. A must-try, for instance, is the Jerusalem Plate which consists of grilled chicken with pita bread along with their famous sweet potato fries.
Adjacent to NENI you’ll find this rooftop bar at the 25hours Hotel Bikini which shares the stunning views of the city from its 360° terrace and makes the visit memorable just because of its location. Thankfully though, the cocktail list does not disappoint either. It includes a broad selection of signature cocktails and classics with a modern twist. The Monkey Bar also has an extensive gin and rum collection. Take your pick, settle down on one of the Moroccan cushions outside and enjoy watching the sun set behind Berlin’s skyscrapers.
Where? You’ll find NENI and Monkey Bar on the tenth floor of 25hours Hotel Bikini: Budapester Str. 40, 10787 Berlin.
Bar manager and creative genius Arnd Heissen applies the techniques of a perfumer to his drinks creations and turns a visit to his bar Fragrances situated in the five-star Potsdamer Platz Hotel The Ritz-Carlton, into a spectacular journey for all the senses. As soon as you walk through the grand marble lobby and catch a glimpse of the black mirrored walls, orchid bouquets and black-gold columns you might ask yourself if you have just entered an incredibly sophisticated version of Alice in Wonderland. Heissen’s cocktail menu is based on 15 niche fragrances such as Bulleit bourbon or Penhaligon’s Vaara.
Where? The Ritz-Carlton, Potsdamer Platz 3, 10785 Berlin.
Still hungry? Visit OpenTable to discover more great restaurants in Berlin.
This is a guest post from freelance journalist Beatrice Clark. She has written for Vogue, Glamour and Vanity Fair, among others, and has spent the past 15 years living in France, England and Scotland. She is currently based in Berlin and is always on the hunt for the perfect Eggs Benedict.