Hallesches Haus (Kreuzberg): Restaurant, cafe and general store all in one. Walk down a whimsical alley and enter into this plant lined, bright and minimalist space with high ceilings, hanging macrame and big windows. Come for breakfast, brunch or lunch and choose from tons of options like eggs, soups, salads and sandwiches with plenty of vegan & vegetarian options, grab a specialty coffee or tea beverage (or glass of wine) and peruse the boutique while waiting for your food. They carry tons of gift items for your home & kitchen, beauty products, art, books and plenty more.
Roamers (Neukölln): Intimate cafe and all-day brunch spot. Plants dangling everywhere, sidewalk patio and rough bleached wood set the scene. Try seasonal cakes, sandwiches, salads, toasts and eggs served on wooden boards with parchment. Cash only.
Michelberger Restaurant (Friedrichshain): Located inside the popular boutique Michelberger Hotel you’ll find this delicious and seasonal restaurant serving local, organic eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Definitely dine al fresco in their courtyard patio in the evening. Tons of snacks, meat and veg options to suit all dietary needs.
Mädchenitaliener (Mitte): Delicious, unpretentious, Italian restaurant with fresh pasta dishes that are out of this world. Homemade tagliatelle noodles, big portions and delicious appetizers too. Try the tagliatelle al tartufo with fresh black truffles or the tagliatelle rustica with bresaola (vegetarian option available), fresh and dried tomatoes, arugula, olives and capers.
Mmaah (Neukölln): Mmaah is a Korean BBQ street food joint with several locations around the city. This one is just outside Tempelhofer Feld and is takeaway only with picnic tables nearby. Choose from a variety of meat and vegetarian options like bulgogi, dumplings, kimchi and curries.
Attila Hildmann (Kreuzberg): Vegan snack bar serving tons of different burgers, fries, döner and soft serve ice cream.
YamYam (Mitte): Small, minimalist Korean restaurant with a sidewalk patio serving mandu (dumplings), soups, bibimbap, rice bowls,, wraps and other Korean snacks with plenty of vegetarian options.
Beuster (Neukölln): A favourite Gastro pub on Weserstraße with a lively atmosphere, hip, young crowd, delicious French-influenced menu, wood furniture, dark green wall tiles and adorned ceiling. Come here for cocktails or late bites and then head out to explore the neighbourhood which is filled with more cool bars and restaurants.
Five Elephant (Mitte): Specialty, quality coffee roastery, bakery and minimalist cafe in one of Berlin’s most popular neighbourhoods. On weekends it’s bustling but on a weekday morning the best spot to grab a coffee or tea to stay with a book and grab a stool at the window for people watching.
Cafe Krone (Prenzlauer Berg): Coffee shop and kitchen with a lovely patio, serving light bites like sandwiches, pancakes, soups, salads, eggs, granola, pastries and vegan options like tofu scramble and tomato avocado toast.
Distrikt Coffee (Mitte): Specialty coffee shop serving a healthy twist on all-day breakfast and lunch items. Distrikt sources beans from Berlin but also London, New York, Sweden and Denmark. A pre-war building with exposed brick walls, large communal table at the back, leather couches and two levels of seating, bright interior and cozy feel.
Isla Coffee (Neukölln): Specialty coffee and zero waste, sustainable cafe. Also serves seasonal brunch and baked goods. Minimalist design, several tables, free Wi-Fi, vegan and vegetarian options, friendly baristas, nice quiet patio/garden area out back too.
Bonanza Coffee Heroes (Prenzlauer Berg): Just down the road from popular weekend flea market, Mauerpark, Bonanza is one of the first cafes to bring third wave coffee to Berlin and is very well-known amongst locals. They serve high quality, specialty, light-roast coffee and delicious fair trade tea at several locations around the city.
Companion Coffee (Kreuzberg): Operating alongside and residing in concept shop, Voo Store, Companion sources high quality beans from roasters across Europe and beyond. Owners Shawn Barber and Chris Onton explored the world of specialty coffee in Vancouver and Perth before settling in Berlin in 2013. Exceptional, eponymous tea range as well sold at multiple cafes across the country and around Europe.
Meine Bar ICI (Mitte): Intimate local-loved bar with great wine, coffee and cocktails. The kind of place you’d stop by for a few minutes or one drink and stay for hours. Genuine atmosphere, good conversation, wood furniture, friendly service, people watching and cigarette smoke.
TiER (Neukölln): Cozy, living room cocktail bar with a relaxed vibe, low-lit nooks and tons of drink options to choose from made by expert bartenders putting twists on classic cocktails.
Nathanja & Heinrich (Neukölln): Super hip bar with a simple, cozy, living room, antique vibe. In the afternoon this spot serves coffee and cake, and by night you’re looking at delicious, creative cocktails, wine and natural craft beer. In the evenings the bar gets busy quite fast, populated by a young crowd filled with regulars and larger groups.
Prater Biergarten (Prenzlauer Berg): Self-service beer garden with hundreds of seats at communal picnic benches under chestnut trees for locally brewed beers, soft pretzels and a hip, local crowd. Open during the warmer months from noon until midnight.
Clärchens Ballhaus (Mitte): Vintage, mirrored live music venue with dancing and dance classes. In the courtyard in warmer months you’ll find a secluded beer garden also serving German and Italian eats. Lightbulbs hanging from trees in this secret garden, a perfect mood to drink the night away.
Fahimi (Kreuzberg): Cocktails with a view and fun music. Start off here if you want to begin a night of bar hopping in the area with a speakeasy vibe.
Monarch (Kreuzberg): Next head over to Monarch through a hidden door in the same stairway as Fahimi. Stay for a few drinks and DJ set.
Paloma (Kreuzberg): Paloma is a whirlwind of DJ-spinning, two levels, window nooks for seating and a narrow balcony for a smoke and a quick paint on an easel they’ve got set up.
Tempelhofer Feld (Tempelhof): Once the site of the Berlin airlift and German military practice and now a huge park with picnic tables, communal garden areas and long, smooth paths for cycling, running or strolling.
Tiergarten (Tiergarten): One of Berlin’s most popular parks (and the oldest in the city). Wide, tree-lined paths for cycling, walking & running, small streams & lakes, bridges, gardens and more. If you’re looking for a place to stay in this neighbourhood, 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is great as they’ve got great views of the zoo and park on their rooftop restaurant & bar, Monkey Bar, and in the jungle-themed rooms (equipped with binoculars). Bike rental available as well.
Soda (Mitte): Great magazine & book shop with tons of publications.
Paper & Tea (Mitte): Fine tea shop with a focus on ‘pure, 100% natural whole-leaf teas sourced at origin from small-scale farms across the globe’ and a wide inventory of all different types of tea and both modern and traditional accessories.
Bocci 79 (Charlottenburg): Showroom for mesmerizing Canadian lighting design housed in a former 19th century courthouse, constructed in 1896. Endless floors of twisted metal, glass and wire. Bocci 79 exhibits a fascinating contrast between old world Berlin and new world Vancouver.
Voo Store (Kreuzberg): Creatively-driven concept space selling a curated selection of luxury, designer brands from local and international designers for both men and women. Browse through clothing, accessories, jewelry, magazines, books, art, footwear, home decor, fragrances and more. Take a break from shopping at Voo’s in-house cafe, Companion Coffee.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Mitte): Also known as the Holocaust memorial, this installation is comprised of 2,711 vast, maze-like concrete pillars, each with the same length and width but varying in height from zero to four meters tall. The narrow space between each pillar allows for only one individual to pass through at a time. Designed by American architect, Peter Eisenman.