Let’s start this year all new and fresh, with loads of motivation, and a shit ton to do. Because the Berlin food world isn’t standing still just because temperatures dropped below zero last week, or lovely white snow is covering everything, making the city very silent, and pretty. And I need a list of new places to defend the lurking winter depression, to keep me excited, and yes, to give me a reason to go outside instead of hiding from the grey cold under soft blankets all day. Tasting food at new places is certainly one of the things to get me out of my warm and cosy home during hibernation. If you’re anything like me, please use this list to make your schedule for the weeks coming. And if you need even more, have you checked off everything on the last list?
Let’s get this new list started with three trusted speciality coffee places who just opened new locations. First one up: Silo Coffee from Friedrichshain and their new place in Mitte, where yes! they’ll serve their delicious brunch plates we all know from Silo. Since they have a bigger kitchen, new delicacies like French Toast will soon be included. As well as their delicious coffee drinks with beans from their own roastery, Fjord Coffee, obviously. At night, a new cocktail menu designed by Damien Guichard will turn Commonground into a bar.
Rosenthaler Straße 1, Mitte, daily from 07:30
And the next one – Five Elephant, the specialty coffee micro roastery, bakery and café beloved for its spectacular cheese cake, opened a new coffee shop in Mitte. For this new location, they’ve not only introduced loads of more cakes, but also a new variety of their bestseller in a smaller, personal size, but still going by the same recipe. And the interior looks amazing!
Alte Schönhauser Straße 14, Mitte, Mon–Fri 08:00–20:00, Sat 10:00–20:00, Sun 10:00–17:00
Last but not least, speciality coffee powerhouse The Barn took over a location with a long history out West: Café Kranzler. Once the most beloved meeting point on Kurfürsten Damm, it’s been neglected for years, and will hopefully regain its former glory with the new owners. As usual, the crew of The Barn only goes big, the typically reduced interior with wooden stools also includes the first Mavam under-counter espresso machine in Germany. It will be exciting to see how the very focussed concept of The Barn is received in the West! I’m personally hoping for loads of cakes and Torten, remembering the olden days of Kranzler.
Kurfürstendamm 18, Charlottenburg, daily 10:00–20:00
Winter is certainly not the best season to open an ice-cream shop, but the Woop Woops are probably not worried, since their ice-cream is more than just a refreshing sweet. Thanks to the use of ice-cold liquid nitrogen, they’re preparing the treat before your very eyes, creating a smoother and fresher ice cream than anywhere. After touring the city with a truck, their new brick-and-mortar location will probably bring the possibility of more varieties.
Rosenthaler Straße 3, Mitte, Thu–Sun 12:00–20:00
While a more or less classic brunch-food-hype is currently celebrated in the whole city, more unusual morning food is still waiting for us to go all crazy about it. A first step could be Maison Han, who dedicate themselves to promote the Vietnamese way of breakfast in Berlin. For now, it’s less pho soup or cháo rice porridge, but bánh mì ốp la – baguettes served with sunny side or scrambled eggs in a small pan, and various toppings, plus loads of sweet cakes like banana bread, matcha pancake cake, or mango cheese cake. The coffee comes from their own Han Roastery, fairly traded directly from Vietnam, and is traditionally filtered and served with super sweet condensed milk.
Pannierstraße 40, Neukölln, daily 09:30–18:00
A new building with a facade fully covered in a vertical garden has just been finished on the corner of Reichenberger and Glogauer Straße in Kreuzberg, and befitting their strive to bring new ideas to the world, a restaurant opened downstairs, serving “modern European” cuisine. Run by chef Ben Scales from Rootdown restaurant in London, and host Claire D’Orsay of Frameworks Berlin fame, the restaurant is currently in its soft opening phase with dishes like tempura tofu with smoked aubergine puree, carrot salad and pickled cucumber, savoury goats cheese cake with sesame and poppy seed base and red onion jam, or sea bass with black pudding bon bons, lemon & seaweed gnocchi, beetroot puree, and Jerusalem artichoke velouté.
Reichenbergerstraße 86, Kreuzberg, Wed–Fri from 19:00–22:30; Sat 10:00–16:00, and 19:00–22:30; Sun 10:00–22:00
Obviously, I’m partial to vegan and vegetarian places, however – this new Vietnamese burger and noodle place is attracting me mainly because they insist on making everything in house, from the noodles to the ginger lemonade. Some of their dishes sound quite a bit experimental – like the dragon egg where avocado, lemon grass, and soy-“meat” is hugged in a spinach-tempura coat – but others like the dragon bowl with fresh spelt noodles and a strong and spicy broth are probably just what wee need to get through the winter.
Torstraße 59, Mitte, daily from 12:00
Update: One of the most delicious veggie broths in Berlin, read the review here!
The name could be translated to secretly faithful, or hidden (&) true, depending on the angle you’d like to take – the menu is just as tricky to decipher with the known trick of only naming ingredients: forrest mushrooms, berries, malt soil; pak choy, soy, celeriac hay; or trout, pearl onion, hazelnut. However, the interior seems cosy, the reviews are properly excited, and the drinks look amazing.
Anklamer Straße 38, Prenzlauer Berg, Mon–Fri 12:00–14:00, Mon–Sat from 18:00
Update, I went, and was seriously underwhelmed.
It was only a matter of time until a place opened that dedicated itself fully and only to the bestest meal of the day: Benedict Berlin is doing exactly that. They’re hailing from Israel, where five locations already serve morning meals 24/7, and are hoping to convince Berliners that breakfast is indeed more than a meal eaten at the beginning of the day. It’s already packed, and I hear mixed reviews, but hey, they definitely have the longest breakfast menu in the city: from eggs benedict in many variations, to pancakes, french toast, shakshuka, and even Korean breakfast bowls.
Uhlandstraße 49, Charlottenburg, daily 07:00–23:00
A new restaurant with a very likely very exciting new mix of Japanese, Chinese, and European cooking just opened in what was long neglected as a proper home to innovative chefs: Prenzlauer Berg. Mrs Robinson’s is serving buns filled with buttermilk fried chicken, or deep fried soft shell crab, or chocolate sorbet; and fried silken tofu; slow cooked ox tail dumplings; or edamame ice cream: as well as drinks with home made tonic, and szechuan pepper. This one has only opened in the beginning of November and already received loads of praise of local food bloggers, with some of them calling it their favorite ever.
Pappelallee 29, Prenzlauer Berg, Tue–Sun from 18:00
Update, when I dined there, all dishes were either hit or miss, with a slight tendency towards miss, unfortunately.