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Author: Mary Scherpe

Escape: Usedom

Sponsored in parts by Strandhotel Ahlbeck

Spending time by a big body of water is the ideal restoration for me – a lake is fine, but the sea is even better. The closest option to Berlin is the Baltic Sea and its many islands and peninsulas. Over the holidays I got the chance to visit one of the prettiest, Usedom, with its many classic Bäderarchitektur mansions. I stayed in Ahlbeck over the holidays, invited by the recently opened Strandhotel, which has one very important feat when it comes to staying by the sea: it’s in the front-row to the beach. Just a sidewalk and the dune is separating you from the breaking waves.

Frage: Warum ist das Essen in Berlin oft so schlecht?

Click here to read this text in English: Why is food in Berlin (still) so bad?

Erstmal: Verzeihung, aber das hier ist kein Rant. Denn natürlich gibt es jede Menge gutes Essen in Berlin. Mehr noch, in Berlin hat es schon immer exzellente Restaurants gegeben und es werden jeden Tag mehr. Aber ich begegne zunehmend Menschen, Tourist_innen sowie Einheimischen, die so großartiges über die Berliner Food Szene lesen (entweder auf diesem Blog oder den unzähligen anderen Quellen) und sich dann wundern, wenn die durchschnittliche Qualität immer noch eher … schwierig ist. Weder kannst du in irgendeine Bäckerei reinlaufen und erwarten, dass die Brötchen gut und handgemacht sind. Noch funktioniert es, sich spontan ein Restaurant fürs Abendessen um die Ecke auszusuchen. Gerade die Läden an schönen Orten (am Kanal, im Park, mit Ausblick) servieren eher unterdurchschnittliche Speisen. Und auch wenn man an den besonders gehypten Orten gerade am Wochenende gern mal eine Stunde ansteht, ist das Erlebnis doch überraschend oft eher durchschnittlich. Immer mehr Neulinge ziehen heute (gezwungenermaßen) in Bezirke wie Spandau, Lichtenberg oder Lankwitz und wundern sich, dass diese Kieze noch keine Läden hervorgebracht haben, die ihre hohen Erwartungen erfüllen. Was ist da los?

Recap & Winners: Warm Up #6

I am still floored from yesterday’s Warm Up at Markthalle Neun! You came out! You donated! We doubled the amount from last year and collected over 780 pieces of clothing as well as 113 pairs of shoes! And an additional 123 Euro! WOOOOW! We gave out over 1000 lottery tickets to over 170 people and filled over 50 boxes from our logistics partner Boxie24.com with over 200 coats and jackets, 359 sweaters, 218 pants and 38 tents, sleeping bags, or sleeping mats! So proud of you, really!!
This is a huge help for Moabit Hilft e.V., who will distribute all donations in Berlin and beyond.
Before we get to listing the winners of the amazing prizes, I also want to thank my lovely helpers Fanette, Lisette, Lucy, Majeed, Mariam, Mosch, Sandy! And a special shout-out to Helen Amiri, who helped find the prize sponsors. Now read on to see whether you won!

stacked pancakes at a brunch café in berlin

Berlin’s Best: Breakfast & Brunch Guide

I’ve been eating a ton of breakfasts in Berlin – starting from the 2003 all-you-can-eat brunch buffet with sweaty cheese in Friedrichshain to the 2016 2hrs-min wait-time at the hottest pop-up in a deserted factory in Moabit. I love my classics as much as I love a playful and creative menu. I value good coffee as much as its alternatives. So here’s my choice of breakfast excellency: From a quick Simit in Kreuzberg to extended Palestinian-Israeli feasts in Prenzlauer Berg, Southeast Asian twists on brunch classics in Neukölln as well as the classic German Frühstück in Lichterfelde.

Lieber auf Deutsch? Klick hier.

Thoughts on: Why is food in Berlin (still) so bad?

Lieber auf Deutsch lesen? Klick hier: Warum ist das Essen in Berlin oft so schlecht?

If you came here expecting a rant, I* must disappoint you. I very much believe that there is a ton of great food in Berlin. Indeed, there’s always been good food in Berlin, and we’re getting more and more every day. Yet I often encounter people who come to Berlin, having read about its thriving food scene (on here or via the countless other sources), and then wonder why the average quality of food still isn’t … great. You can’t just walk into any bakery and expect a well-made loaf or roll. Just choosing a restaurant on a whim can be less than rewarding. And places in nice locations (by the water, in a park, with a view) serve subpar fare at high prices especially often. Meanwhile, you might queue at a hyped place for an hour on a Saturday night and then be surprised how average the experience was. This city sees more and more newcomers (forced to) move to neighborhoods like Spandau, Lichtenberg, or Lankwitz, who then wonder why these boroughs haven’t yet sprouted restaurants to match the high expectations of these new Berliners. So what’s going on?