In my previous post, I promised my next post would be about some of my favorite food and shopping discoveries in Berlin. This is going to be tough because there is much and plenty! And honestly, it’s not all sausage and beer (although that deliciousness can be found without even looking).
One of my favorite German words is Gemütlichkeit which means “a situation that induces a cheerful mood, peace of mind, with connotation of belonging and social acceptance, coziness and unhurry”. Exactly! This undoubtedly is the very ingredient which sets many experiences apart in Germany. For example, when you order a cup of coffee, it doesn’t arrive “to go” hurried away in a paper cup, no it arrives freshly brewed, piping hot in a cup and saucer with an equally neat creamer of steamed milk, another little container of various sugars and of course a perfect biscuit. Just so. And you can stay and sit for as long as you want and enjoy it. No one will hurry you. No one will question you. It’s just you, your coffee and that moment. So that, a lot of that in Berlin.
And in pictures…
Brunch is a big deal in Berlin. I’m sure there are plenty of winners, but Cafe Anna Blume was delicious and conveniently in our neighborhood, so let’s just say we went more than once. Sit outside (they’ll bring you a blanket if you get chilly) and order the tiered breakfast platter. Indulge, then swoon.
If you like outside markets, Berlin is for you. There are many, particularly on the weekends. (L): Farmer’s markets are aplenty, this one was in Prenzlauer-berg. (M): If vintage is your bag, head to Oderberger Strasse in Prenzlauer-berg or to (R): Mauerpark where there is a giant flea market with rows of relics from cleaned out attics.
Markthalle Neun is food magic. Utter bliss. Every Thursday from 5-10 all the best sidewalk vendors in Berlin (German and International tastes as well) join together in an old warehouse and set up a wonderland of deliciousness. We made ourselves very at home.
Our best shopping happened mostly by accident. Prenzlauer-berg is a haven for independent designers. We loved wandering down the streets and popping in to one well-curated shop after another featuring mostly Berlin or European designers. (L): These little red shoes were found at Shoeting. (M): A trip to Berlin is not complete without a stop at KaDeWe, the second largest department store in Europe featuring every high-end designer known to (wo)man. Equally mind-blowing are the art exhibits and top-floor “cafeteria” with views of Berlin. (R): One of my favorite finds was wandering in to shops that are also workshops. Art in action.
We frequently found ourselves saying, “Is this place real?” Activities seemingly normal for Berliners were magic for our American eyes. (L+R): Gypsy music by Tralalka at an open-air theatre—how can you not dance? (M): Swing, Tango, Salsa by the river, late in to the night. Don’t dance? No problem, just grab a drink and watch. There are no open-bottle rules in Berlin. They trust you to just enjoy life!
Next stop on the This Can’t Be Real tour was Clarchens Ballhaus. My cousin informed me that legit Wienerschnitzel and Spätzle could be found here. You know what else can be found there? More swing dancing—to candlelight with boys that actually ask you to dance, and know how! The schnitzel-and-noodles were just as good as my mama’s, but don’t tell her.
Wurst! You really can’t escape it, but why would you want to? Undeniably habit-forming. Never met a salty meat I didn’t like. Don’t leave Berlin until you’ve sampled Currywurst, best paired with a crusty roll or pommes frites.
Prosit! Wurst and Beer, can’t split ‘em up. The beer gardens in Berlin are everywhere—some hidden, some in plain sight. All offering a sampling of the local brews. The Berliner Weisse is a classic but not everyone likes it. Here is a guide to the some of Berlin’s best beer gardens where there is something for everyone.
Also on the short list:
Badeschiff: By day, a pool on top of the river. By night, a place to listen to music, dance and have a few drinks. By winter, an outdoor/indoor sauna. Oh, okay!
Club der Visionarre: This place! Also some sort of magic. Along the river with all sort of lanterns hanging from trees, music and people drinking something good under the trees, dangling their feet in the river. It’s like a rustic house with a big porch that all your favorite people are at.
Berlin, I’ll be coming back to you. Until then, Auf Wiedersehen! And thanks A+H readers.