Bar at Bandol Sur Mer, Berlin, Germany

Bandol Sur Mer

No longer the hidden spot it once was (thanks to several Brangelina visits), this French bistro is a local favorite. The often-changing menu is written on a chalkboard, the small Parisian-style tables spill onto the street (the dining room is tiny) and the atmosphere is laid-back and fun. After a meal here, you can stroll to Clärchen’s Ballhaus for some cha-cha or swing dancing, or have a nightcap at popular Weinbar Rutz.

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Dinning Area at Bieberbau, Berlin, Germany


Cozy Bieberbau, in West Berlin, is housed in a beautiful space with gold-leaf-adorned stucco and a low, wood-beamed ceiling (it was once the atelier of stucco master Richard Bieber). Local foodies have warmed up to the simple but delicious fare prepared by young chef Stephan Garkisch: muscat pumpkin soup with walnuts, corn-fed chicken, red beet and kohlrabi salad and turbot served on pea risotto with mustard sauce.

Food at Cordobar, Berlin, Germany - Courtesy Jens Oellermann


Just around the corner from Berlin’s iconic Clarchens Ballhaus lies this gem of a restaurant in the charming Mitte neighborhood. An oenophile’s paradise, Cordobar wields an impressive tome dedicated to all things wine, with a special emphasis on German and Austrian varietals. But this is no place for just an after-dinner drink; with a small but creative food menu, Cordobar elevates traditional dishes with flair and creativity, offering a tapas-style menu with Germanic fusion cuisine. Should one opt to start with the “bread & butter,” a freshly-baked loaf and beetroot-infused whipped butter will arrive at the table, served on delicate pastel colored pottery. These simple but thoughtful touches imbue each dish, from the daring (black pudding pizza) to the oddly comforting (fried chicken with wasabi sauce), and are what make Cordobar so special. For a romantic summer meal, request a table in the inner courtyard; with just a handful of tables, the ambiance cannot be beat.

Exterior View - Gugelhof, Berlin, Germany


For a meal with Bill Clinton in 2000, German chancellor Gerhard Schröder brought him to the lively and casual Gugelhof, a wood-paneled Alsatian restaurant in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood that specializes in Flammkuchen (a thin-crusted pizza usually topped with crème fraîche, ham and onions) and choucroute (a plate of sausage and other meats on a bed of sauerkraut).

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The West Berlin neighborhood of Kreuzberg is a culinary Mecca with talented chefs running small, intimate restaurants. One of the best is Horváth, in a restored 19th-century building. The menu reflects influences from Berlin to Bangkok. A Thai salad is topped with pike-and-perch quenelles on lemongrass sticks, and foie gras and smoked eel are layered between sheets of pasta. Ask for a table in the front room.

Katz Orange

Set in a castle-like former brewery with a lovely vine-filled courtyard, Katz Orange is not a typical restaurant. The eclectic venue puts equal emphasis on cuisine, art and atmosphere, which encourages socialization. With tables spread throughout various rooms featuring exposed brick, wood paneling, mason jars filled with wild flowers and rustic, western-meets-alpine adornments, Katz Orange serves as a lovely dinner spot for families and couples.

As many Berlin hotspots do, the restaurant incorporates contemporary art. A small gallery houses temporary exhibitions from food-centric artists. The ambiance is diverse and as well suited for a romantic evening as a fun night out with friends or dinner with kids. The service is friendly and relaxed and the food combines organic farm-to-table cuisine with a large selection of locally sourced, slow-cooked meats. Downstairs is a lively bar where the bartender whips up specialty cocktails and a Ray Charles look-alike DJ plays hit tunes.

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Food at Neni, Berlin, Germany


The rooftop restaurant of the super trendy 25hours Hotel in West Berlin has become one of the coolest restaurants in the city with tables booking up weeks in advance. People come for the greenhouse-on-a-roof design; the views (of the city and into the Berlin zoo); the delicious Middle Eastern food (don’t miss the hummus trio); and the people watching. The Monkey Bar next door has a great DJ in the evenings, but lunch is the time to go for maximum views and a bit of shopping at the Bikini Mall down below.

Interiors at Schneeweiss, Berlin, Germany


The all-white Schneeweiss, located in the up-and-coming Friedrichshain neighborhood, is a trendy option for new German cuisine.

Bar at Volt, Berlin, Germany


Opened in 2010, Volt quickly became the darling of the Berlin foodie scene. Located in Kreuzberg, the restaurant is headed by young chef Matthias Gleiss who masterfully transforms German cuisine with a light, creative touch. The dining room is contemporary and cool; the seasonal menu also offers some stellar vegetarian options. The three-course menu is a bargain.

Bar at Weinbar Rutz, Berlin, Germany

Weinbar Rutz

The city’s top wine bar, Weinbar Rutz, has a top-notch kitchen too. Chef Marco Müller serves up experimental but well-executed fare, like White Rabbit, a rabbit soup with chocolate and almonds. There’s also a new take on crème brûlée, using cream cheese and thyme. The wine list is excellent, with roughly a thousand bottles, both domestic and international. Book a table on the second-floor terrace.

Editors' Picks
Food at Zenkichi , Berlin, Germany


If you find yourself craving delicious Japanese small plates, head to Zenkichi in Mitte. Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margulies, the husband-and-wife duo behind the hip Brooklyn Japanese restaurant of the same name, have brought their brand of Japanese brasserie to Berlin. Guests enter the immaculately-designed subterranean space via a dim, maze-like passageway. Meals begin with fresh sashimi and dessert should not be skipped—among the options, the frozen black sesame mousse is a favorite. For a more informal option, you can head upstairs to Zenkichi’s sister cafe, House of Small Wonder.

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