Sometimes, people complain about the lack of local diversity on this very page. I wouldn’t 100% agree (look how spread out the over 450 places on this map are), but it’s true, I am focussed on the areas I frequent daily, where I live and work. For one, because Berlin is actually humongous, stuff is far and commuting can take too much time to just go for a quick bite. And I’m often lazy, it takes planning and willpower to go check out a place in northern Reinickendorf. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy traveling the city and I ensure you, I’m much more mobile than your usual Berliner, who needs strong incentives to leave the Kiez (that’s why we don’t have friends who live in other districts). Because all the Bezirke have their own distinct flavour, especially those beyond the park (my own wording). Breakfast in Grunewald feels like you went on a weekend trip (with the M29 bus), and dining in Charlottenburg feels like dining in another city. That is because Charlottenburg actually was its own city, until 99 years ago! So I want to encourage you to roam the city, like I did when I went to Wilmersdorf for breakfast and then to two places in Mitte! Told you, I’m lazy.
Lucky me, I was invited to join the annual Terroir symposium in Toronto, Canada, to speak on behalf of my side-hustle, the Feminist Food Club. I joined Soleil Ho, a gifted food writer (and the current restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle), chef and activist who I have admired from afar for a very, very long time, Petra Mutch, a passionate food entrepreneur and activist, and moderator Marie-Claude Lortie, a Montreal based food journalist and restaurant critic, to talk about how to achieve gender balance in the industry. I arrived a couple days earlier to take in the city, meet some people and get accustomed (thank you, cannabis dispensaries). During these days, I mostly just walked the city, watched a show at Second City, read books and fought jet lag by buying loads of ice cream. I haven’t had enough time to explore all worthy parts of Toronto, especially not the less central parts where I have heard is where the best food is to be had (I read about an awesome Egyptian brunch at Maha’s in the east; and a white rabbit candy soft serve in Markham!) So this list is referring to central, mostly downtown Toronto only and is by no way including everything you should eat when there, but it’s a good start.
It was my very first time in Shanghai, China and it couldn’t have been better: we did a ton of walks through the districts, marvelled at the many pink and white magnolia flowers that had just bloomed, and planned our days around where we would eat for lunch and dinner. We ate so much and we ate so well! Mostly at places serving various Chinese cuisines, so we could enjoy the many very seasonal vegetables and dishes only available in the weeks of early spring. We’ve also visited the Jing’An temple, the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, the Arts & Crafts museum (where I should’ve bought that glass statuette of my Chinese zodiac sign), wandered through gardens and roamed many, many, many malls. Mainly to walk off the last meal and create space for the next…
Are you frolicking in the sun while reading this? Reveling in the great expectation that is a long, free weekend with tons of sunshine and warm weather? Ohh, me too! Nothing quite like Berlin awakening from six months of depressing grey and remodeling itself into the green oasis we all love and need. After ten days in Shanghai, where I ate excellent food from morning till night (guide still to come), I’m readjusting to the local circumstances by being extra careful where to exchange money for food. So this one’s mostly old faves (plus a new highlight all the way at the end of the post). Starting today, I’ll be on the lookout for new food spots, and will let you know about the success of my discoveries asap, hopefully. Until then, enjoy the weekend!
Here’s to spring! All the petals and blossoms really pitched the mood in the city, everybody is slowly getting rid of winter feels and into their sunny madness. What could be a better time to look at the renewal happening in the foodie scene? Admittedly, my willingness to keep up with the speed of current openings (and closings, for that matter) is very, very limited. So many people are opening so many restaurants right now – I’m often just overwhelmed by the sheer number of places calling for attention. Fret not, I invested the time to wade through the streams of opening announcements and filtered out the ones I deem most interesting, just by affiliation, description and / or plain, old foodie gossip. Let’s see which ones will make it onto our regular radar, shall we?