In celebration of the relaunch of the map of this very blog, I decided to write “one of those articles”, a boiled down list of current favorite places to eat in this very city. Because of course these are the questions I receive the most: What’s your favorite restaurant? What’s the best place for sweets? Where do I get the best brunch? What’s the best ice cream? And yes, I do have answers. Very personal, subjective ones, that is. So this is not a final list, nor one that claims to be exhaustive, or timeless. I’ve only added brick-and-mortar places, no pop-ups, no trucks, no supper clubs. And there’s no hierarchy. But seriously, if I had to tell you 10 of my favorites, these are it.
I’m publishing these now to show off the new features of this site, namely that the guides now include a handy map showing you all the places. But the new map is even more exciting. What was once just an afterthought in the initial design process, is now a vital part of stilinberlin: a map that shows you all the exciting places in Berlin, from coffee shops to cinemas, from brunch to bars, from Chinese food to vintage fashion stores. The categories and their dots are now sorted by color, there’s more information on the places themselves, plus, you have the possibility to show your own location on the map, to save your favorites (!!), and send them to yourself via mail! There are over 500 places on this map, so dive in!
Of course I’m leading with ice cream! This one is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite ice cream – it’s made all by hand in small batches by French patissier Gabrielle Jones in her shop in Schöneberg. Her flavors are bold and intense, the texture is on point, and the scoops are served in freshly baked, buttery waffle cones that are simply to die for. Their best seller since day one? Salted butter caramel. My new summer love: roasted chicory, a malty flavor between caramel coffee and liquorice (and I don’t even like liquorice)!
Ps, Want more ice cream? Check this guide.
Lode & Stijn
After a long, long stretch of less than impressing experiences while testing new restaurants this spring, all I wanted to eat was a full menu at Lode & Stijn in Kreuzberg. Nowhere, fine dining feels so casual while being so surprising, inspiring, and taste-bud-pleasing. Their approach is definitely fitting the ongoing trend of focussing on local and seasonal produce in five to six courses tasting menus, without ever being overly intellectual about it. The flavor and texture profiles of their dishes are so spot on while being unusual enough to leave a lasting impression. You just want to eat more and more. Oh, and their rhubarb pavlova dessert is heavenly.
Read the full story here.
If you wanna know why the Berlin food scene is as good as it is today, come here. The take-over of this 19th century market hall by three overly ambitious guys in 2011 was a milestone in the development of the city, and the Street Food Thursday initiated by Kavita Meelu in 2013 was the starting point for many young food entrepreneurs. Today, the hall features an eclectic mix of permanent vendors like the extraordinary Italian sourdough bakery Sironi, the beloved smoked meat place Big Stuff Smoked BBQ, the sustainable and transparent butchery Kumpel und Keule (of which many say they make the best burger in Berlin), the artisanal pasta shop of Mani in Pasta, the delicious cakes of Aunt Benny, a vendor for regional products from north of Berlin, a cheese monger, a weekly market, a canteen with bold dishes from all over the world, and so much more. Better bring some time and an empty stomach.
This fine dining restaurant has pushed the local Thai food scene to a new level. Dalad Kambhu took over Edd’s when its owners moved back to Bangkok, and turned it into a place celebrating the many flavours and textures of Thailand. Her kitchen is showcasing the diverse flavours and textures of her country’s cuisine with a unique drive and ambition. While keeping with the tradition of making curry pastes and condiments herself, she uses more local ingredients to keep her menu sustainable. So instead of importing green papaya, she experiments with kohlrabi, apple and radishes. Can’t wait to go back and eat more.
Read a full review here.
Bonanza Coffee Roastery
I’m gonna go out on a limb and state that no one could predict how much the local speciality coffee scene would grow over the past ten years. Which was when one of the main inciters opened their tiny shop and roastery in Prenzlauer Berg. Started by Yumi Choi and Kiduk Reus, this coffee roasting and making business is popular far over Berlin’s city boarders. With their new roastery opening last year in Kreuzberg, they managed to create a place that is as beautiful and focussed as is their coffee. The sweet treats they offer come from Albatross, one of the most skilled bakers we currently have. Having a cappuccino together with an apricot pastry is my favorite jump start into a Monday morning.
Read more here.
10999 Berlin Kreuzberg
Mon – Fri 09:00 – 18:00,
Sat & Sun 10:00 – 18:00
It’s obvious how much Germany benefits from migration, and this place in Neukölln is a perfect example for that: Tamem al-Sakka and his family had to flee the war in Syria in 2013, and left behind their thriving pastry shop that was founded by their father 40 years ago. They opened their new shop on Sonnenallee, called Arab Street by many, and we’re so lucky they chose Berlin as their new home, because they’re making the most delicious desserts, baklava, and kanafeh. While my personal favourite is Nabulsiya, a kind of kanafeh with nabulsi cheese which you eat warm, you should also and definitely try their Halawet el Jibn, rolls of semolina dough filled with white cheese and flavoured with rosewater. Prepare for a sugar shock that is so worthy.
Read the full review here.
Wanting a bowl of ramen at this place means coping with waiting in line for up to 45 minutes at most times, but despite this craze, and despite its innumerous mentions in all the guides, I have to stand by it: their ramen soup is just delicious. The quality has not waned in the 10 years since the opening of the first tiny shop in Mitte, the side dishes are simple yet creative (get the white cabbage with sesame dip), and the atmosphere and interior are unbeaten. You’ll just have to wait a bit.
Read more here.
Really good food is giving me the shivers. I also kinda wanna clap my hands, when I eat it, and sometimes I even do (like, a silent clap, but still, I’m applauding the chef). And whatever I eat at Kanaan usually gives me that feeling. Their hummus is very, very high on my list of absolute Berlin favs, it’s made with the best tahini and chickpeas and so creamy and delicious, I lack the words to describe it. But I also love all the other veggie dishes that leave their rather makeshift kitchen in their shack by the railroad tracks in Prenzlauer Berg. The background story of it being a place started by a Palestinian and an Israeli, with a kitchen crew from all over the Arab and Middle Eastern world makes it even more worthwhile. I’d eat there every day if it wasn’t so far away from my usual rounds, which just means I cherish every time I’m around.
Read my first review here and the second one here.
Obviously, there can’t be a top 10 list without a brunch entry, right? Sometimes it seems we’re spoiled by brunch choices in this city, and while yes, there are a couple of really good places, it became such a buzzword that too many people jumped the b-train who can’t even poach an egg properly. However, not here! This one’s not only good at poaching eggs, but also at baking them into slices of sourdough. And Isla is aiming for sustainability all around, instead of acovado, there’s white bean spread, they’re using left-over milk to make ricotta, and the bread pudding is made with left-over kouign amann (which is, again, baked by Albatross). There coffee is delicious, the space is pretty and bright, and the staff super friendly. All you need on a quiet weekend morning.
Read the whole review here.
12049 Berlin Neukölln
Mon–Fri 08:00 – 18:00,
Sat–Sun 09:00 – 18:00
Da Jia Le
Order the tofu skin salad. And if you’re more than three people coming together for a Chinese feast, order two portions, otherwise there’ll be struggles for the last bit. And then order the spicy potato stripes, and most of the aubergine dishes. Just come with as many people as possible and order everything. But leave some space for the caramelized sweet potatoes for dessert, it’s an experience in itself: they come boiling hot, you pick them up, creating sweet sugar strings, and cool them down in ice water before you eat that crispy sweet mess. It was tough to decide on a Chinese restaurant, (Shaniu’s is also great) but Da Jia Le won me over with its peculiar neon green waiting hall interior, the grumpy charm of the service staff, and the craft beer menu.