Ugh, it’s cold outside, for real. The kind of cold wind that makes your throat burn when you try to cycle against it on one of Berlin’s way too wide streets. Coming back from Beirut’s 30 degree was a bit of a shock, and I needed a couple of soups to get back on my feet. Okay, more like a couple of cocktails.
But this one also includes three meals I ate before I left for Lebanon, so it’s eight places, from drinks to soups to noodles to so called health food to a real German classic. Enjoy!
The Panda Noodle
This quirky place is high on my “wanna-love” list, and they’ve come a long way since opening – I really like their interior with their gaudy deco, blinking lights and low-maintenance furniture. I’ve never really conquered the original menu on a poster above the counter, so I rather order the specials. Which can be hit or miss, but mostly they’re what you want when temperatures outside are going down. And they have a ton of condiments ready if you wanna spice it up. I’m rooting for the panda!
Einstein Unter den Linden
I took a friend to Einstein unter den Linden for his birthday, because he’s never had a proper Wiener Schnitzel since arriving in Berlin 3 years ago. First of all, I like this place for its Kaffeehaus interior, it’s basically always open and always serving classic, quality food. The service has that typical Berlin charm while being professional and polite. So, while he had and very much enjoyed the Schnitzel, I went for the Schlutzkrapfen filled with spinach, which are giant ravioli, that came with a Kopfsalat, one of my favs from the salad spectrum. Einstein unter den Linden is a reliable place to enjoy a classy and delicious breakfast, lunch, Kaffee und Kuchen or dinner. And one if not the only place to go to in this area.
Clean Eating is so over, seriously, don’t bowl me. However problematic, it did leave a legacy of light, produce-focussed dishes and this is celebrated at LAB kitchen. It’s housed inside of Adidas’ run base, a hub for fit people who like to exercise, run, and sweat in public. So yeah, you’ll be surrounded by people who’re either going to or just coming fromm a class, and the food supports this: the vegetarian menu features bowls created to nourish and support you, and they indeed have an acai bowl, spirulina smoothies, a protein porridge and a brownie made with beans and beets (didn’t try). There’s also a pasta bowl, scrambled eggs (again, the protein, but delicious), and (!) lil pints of artisanal dairy ice cream made by Süssfein in Mitte. In itself a reason to go.
After returning from Beirut, I enjoyed cycling around Berlin so much – which meant I was also kinda freezing all the time and yearning for some hot soup. My friend Aida and I went to Ryong in Mitte (thanks to the suggestion from someone on Instagram. because I couldn’t for the world come up with where to eat in Mitte, ha). I had a pho, which was good and warming and had some fun royale (Eierstich) with mushrooms in it, and proved again how Ryong is one of my fav places for vegetarian soups. However, Aida had something the menu called a wrap, which ended up being a burger in a cabbage leaf – very impractical to eat and not really worth the mess, either. Stick to their soups, strictly.
Filled with hot soup, we took a walk to Mitte’s nicest cocktail bar – Mr Susan. Located on a corner of Oranienburger Straße, just meters of Museumsinsel and the Synagogue, it’s a center of tourist activities. When I was enjoying a drink outside sometime during the summer, I stopped counting after about 5 pub crawls (still a thing, I guess). Now that it’s too cold outside, you can retreat into Mr. Susan’s hip, Californian style interior in LA-sunset colours to get your booze. The pictured gin drink is called Quince and was of their seasonal menu and very recommendable. They also do Kimchi popsicle Micheladas and always have a slushie waiting for you.
Would be my preferred booze haven if I still lived in Mitte.
10115 Berlin Mitte
Tue–Sat from 18:00
Shaniu’s House Of Noodles
As much as I love chickpeas, I needed a slight contrast to the many Arabic food I had in Lebanon and craved some Chinese spiciness. I went for Shaniu’s House of Noodles close by Spichernstraße with enough friends to order everything, especially their gluten dish with peanuts, but also the salt and pepper tofu, the deep fried peppers and some meat for my friends. And the dumplings! Shaniu now has a long menu of dumplings, illustrated with the cutest drawings – among them two veggie versions! Get some extra vinegar to dip them in and go gorge.
Finally, the place with the minimal egg dish! Isla has a new chef for their weekend brunch, so I had to check her new menu out – everything’s still based on seasonal and local produce, but somewhat more reduced in style. I ordered the bread & egg, which is literally that: a slice of Albatross bread with mustard butter, and two soft boiled eggs sprinkled with rosemary salt. It was great, though and really focussed on the egg, which was delicious. For a certain touch of opulence (needed for a brunch, I’d say) we ordered the bread pudding after, however, that wasn’t entirely up my alley. The bread pudding wasn’t pudding enough for me. It sat on a caramel cream and was topped with not enough sour cream to cut through all the rich flavours.
12049 Berlin Neukölln
Mon–Fri 07:30 – 18:00,
Sat–Sun 09:00 – 18:00
This must be one of the worst pictures I’ve ever published on this blog… However, I need to tell you about Natty (and the pictured food items were actually supreme). It’s a somewhat quarterly happening of natural wine enthusiasts hosted by Liv Fleischhacker, Anna Kuefner and Madeline McLean. They offer a curated list of wines (by which I mean, the menu follows a certain, suggested drinking order) and small bites. October Natty happened at Geist im Glas, and I chose to combine just one of the wines, a slightly sparkly Lambrusco with the dessert of the night: a messy, sticky, sugary and thus amazing mix of brown butter, cornflakes and oreos aka Halloween candy.
Follow their Facebook for more events.