The ‘kiez’ around Kulturbrauerei
District guide Prenzlauer Berg
For the impatient: Food and Accomodation
We are fortunate to have found a home for our headquarters in one of Berlins most beautiful industrial complexes from the 19th century. Kulturbraurei (culture brewery) and its surrounding micro-district (the indigenous call these hyper-local communities a ‘Kiez’) are in and of itself one of the city’s major landmarks. In the nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the area has changed tremendously and now gives a home to a myriad of bars, shops and restaurants. So, we’d like to invite you to spend a couple of hours in beautiful Prenzlauer Berg and go exploring for a bit, after your bike tour.
If after reading this guide, you still haven’t got enough information you can head over to TIC (Tourist Information Center) a tourist info especially for Berlin’s north-east. Between 10am and 7pm there will always be someone knowledgeable waiting to tell you more about Prenzlauer Berg. RambaZamba theatre is an inclusive theatre run by people with and and without Down-sysdrome and always offers a new perspective – if you speak German that is (there’s an English language theatre in Kreuzberg as well). Soda Club has open dancefloors Thursday through Sunday.
Their average crowd is a bit on the younger side (def. below 30) and the music mainstream enough to alienate noone. The attached restaurant is open 7 days a week and offers an affordable lunch. Directly across are two big venues for varying events from business congresses to jazz festivals; Kesselhaus and Palais. Frannz-Club beside the entrance at Schönhauser Allee can at different times be a beergarden, club, concert hall or a restaurant, but whatever function it has on a given day it is always relaxed and less self-absorbed than the average club in Berlin.
If you enter the brewery from Knaackstraße you will not only notice yellow signs leading the way to Berlin on Bike but a museum: Alltag in der DDR (every day life in the GDR) is the name of a permanent exhibition you can view for free(!). We suggest a visit as the ideal supplement for our Berlin Wall Bike tours.
The times you could smoke a Cuban at Pool & Cigars are long over, but it is still one of Berlins most spectacular pool halls. Around 20 tables occupy a room with 18 foot ceilings and golden walls. Panda-Theater is an important hub for the russian art scene in Berlin, especially on the weekend when Dmitry the creator of the kiss of brotherly love at EASTside gallery has his open studio. During the rest of the week it features a changing program of Salsa lessons, concerts and readings for an international crowd. Kino in der Kulturbrauerei shows many movies in their original language on Mondays and offers an alternative to cinestar original for English language movie buffs. While the big multiplex at Potsdamer Platz shows mainly blockbusters our local cinema has a more eclectic selection including many indie films. On top of that, there are about two dozen companies, including advertising agencies, a photostudio, a shop for sustainably produced furniture, a computer shop, a publishing house, a travel office and many more.
The most pressing issue after a bike tour is often enough the acquisition of food, tasty and cheap in an ideal world, with perfect service and a nice atmosphere. Well, you came to the right place. The diversity of eateries in every price range in Prenzlauer Berg is simply stunning. In Kastanienallee and Oderberger Straße there’s a restaurant in virtually every house. From the cheapest Italian, selling a dish of Pasta for as little as 4 € (don’t, just don’t) to the posh Japanese BBQ there is something for everyone. For a selection of different affordable restaurants scroll down or click here Aside from food, fashion is another hot topic, both streets mentioned above sport a variety of small fashion shops, some of them vintage, some by Berlin designers like Jimi Ato, but all of them are far from being mainstream and a viable alternative to the worldwide chainstores of inner-city malls.
If you take the other direction from our headquarters and start along Knaackstraße, you reach Kollwitzplatz with its weekly markets (Thu, Sat). About midway along the plaza, there’s a small cast-iron gate inset with the star of David, that is the entrance to the so-called Jew-alley, along which jewish funeral processions were routed to the graveyard. Up ahead the inofficial symbol of Prenzlauer Berg peaks through the trees, a huge 19th century water tower. In the basement you find a small museum and on it’s roof locals meet to enjoy the last rays of the sun and romanticize their significant other.
Thanks Jenny for providing the picture.
A little to the side, just inside Rykestraße lies Germany’s largest synagogue as visual reminder of the strong jewish community that had one of it’s epicenters here. Another is the jewish cemetery that lies between Kollwitzstraße and Schönhauser Allee.
Clubbing has been admittedly slow in the last decade or so, the truly wild times of the district are definetily over, but if you know where to look, you’ll find establishments that survived all gentrifying efforts. Bassy Cowboy Club in another old brewery down the road exclusively plays pre-70s vinyl to a mixed crowd and Kaffee Burger on Torstraße is always a good place for a last drink or ten, and you never know where the night will take, so prepare yourself for some Berlin-style debacuhery.
Mauerpark Mauerpark is a bit like our extended living room. Built on a stretch of No-mans-land where watchtowers and armed guards used to protect the border, it is now THE central gathering place for locals and guests alike. While it is relatively quiet during the week, when mainly the residents use it to walk their dogs, shoot some hoops, let kites fly with their kids or just plain chill. On weekends the park is home to an impromptu festival week after week. Up to 40.000 people come to explore Berlin’s biggest flea-market, listen to bands or join Joe Hatchiban for his bearpit karaoke in front of 1500 spectators. A small part of the Berlin wall still stands and has become one of Berlins top grafitti spots, that at least in summer is repainted daily on its entiere 150m-length.
Tasty food in P-Berg
Berlin’s food scene is something of an upstart. While it was always to fill your belly quick & cheap in the past overall quality and diversity left a lot to desire compared to cities like Paris or London. To proove you, that you can satiate yourself with something other than Kebab or Currywurst without breaking the bank we have a selection of selected eateries. All of those have been tested personally more than just once and are located roughly in a half-mile radius around our shop.
If we missed something, feel free to educate us with a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon moved to Berlin from Manchester in 2015 to open the city’s 1st raw and vegan restaurant. None of the food served at Rawtastic is heated above 40° to preserve all nutrients. Instead they have a lot hightech like dehumidifiers that enables them to create textures akin to frying and baking. Actually this is one the places where you can convince carnivores (like myself) to finally give it a try once in a while
www.rawtastic.de Danziger Straße 16, 12-23 Uhr täglich, vegan/international Preisklasse €€
is a real Sout-Italian pizza family using their grandmothers recipes to bring an authentic piece of Naples to Berlin. They serve large slices for 2,50 € or a whole pie for as little as 7,50 € and it’s always fresh. Definetely a pizza place for every top 5 list and just 100m from our shop.
www.pizzanostra.de/ , Lychener Str. 2, 12-00 Uhr täglich, Pizza/Italian,
since the fall of the wall Berlin has gotten more Vietnamese restaurant than we can count and they all offer basically the same 4 dishes. Koreans are much less numerous and their cooking style is a little bit more diverse. From the garlic-laden Bulgogi to spicy KimChi, the Berliners took to the new style pretty quickly. Ky isn’t really anything special although the quality/price ratio is really good, and Koreans told us, it’s rather authentic. Just to make sure, they sell decent Sushi as well.
www.sushiky.com/, Oderberger Straße 40, 17-2330, Dienstag geschlossen, Sushi/Koreanisch
. is not your typical bland, red-curry-with-bad-meat-Indians. As the name suggest their craft is based on home-made chutneys. We suggest you try one of their platters combining several of these tasty concoctions. And even if you are not especially into Indian food, the interior is definetily worth a visit.
www.chutnify.com, Sredzkistraße 43, 12-23 Uhr täglich, Indisch/Streetfood
Beergarden, is the oldest of its kind in Berlin and for more than a 100 years people were sipping their beers under the shade of old chestnut trees. While the garden closes for winter, the restaurant is open year-round and one of the best locations for a Wiener Schnitzel north of Munich.
www.pratergarten.de/ Kastanienallee 7-9, Biergarten im Sommer tgl. geöffnet, im Winter geschlossen, Restaurant, ganzjährig: Mo-Sa ab 18 Uhr, So ab 12 Uhr, Bürgerlich/Deutsch
Die Fischfabrik on Danziger Straße is entirely dedicated to everything that swims and breathes under water. If you need it quick and dirty, they serve a mean fish & chips (with vinegar nonetheless, if you’re so inclined). The best thing you can do though, is to just ignore the menu and ask the staff to let it fly and have something from the daily specials.
www.fischfabrikberlin.de/ Danziger Straße 24, 10-22 Uhr, Fisch/mediterran
is one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in the district. The whole set-up is a bit colonial although we still haven’t found out, how serious they are about that. What sets Ho apart is the little platform where you take of your shoes and sit on the floor with tiny tables.
onkel-ho.net/ Gleimstraße 10a, 12-00 Uhr, Vietnamesisch
is a small tapas shop that creates an atmosphere like that of your best friend’s living room. The love for their products shines through every dish. DEcent wine menu, reservation suggested.
Tapitas bei yelp, Gleimstraße 23, 16-00 Uhr, Tapas/Spanisch
offers extremely tasty Blinis/Pelmeni, some other Russian and a couple of International dishes. Has to be authentic, since there are always a couple of Russians in the shop and I guess they have to know if it’s good or not. Nice, relaxed atmosphere.
www.restaurant-pasternak.de/, Knaackstr. 22-24, 09-00 Uhr, Russisch/International
Suppe & Salat
When a restaurant is called soup & salad it’s not hard to guess what’s on the menu. They serve a mix of their own creation and classics. The selection is quite limited but that just means, everything is fresh. Prices start at a very reasonable 5 € for a soup.
Suppe und Salat bei Facebook, Eberswalder Straße 27,
French cuisine without too much hassle. A bit upscale but not ridiculously so. Meaning you can eat there without dressing up – as if anybody in Berlin would dress up dinner. Main dishes are around 20 € in the evening, lunch is a bit cheaper. If you prefer to eat at home, they have a small Delicatessen where they sell wine, cheese, sausage and other guilty pleasures.
www.chez-maurice.com/, Bötzowstraße 39, 11-01 Uhr, Sonntags erst ab 1800, Französisch (Reservierung notwendig, etwas teurer)
Of course no list of restaurants is complete without a place for burger. Even though the time, when it was really hard to get a decent burger in Berlin are over, it still pays to know where to go, if you don’t want to end up with an overdone, spongy patty. Marienburger has been around for a while and they offer a consistent quality, organic meat (if you 1 € extra) and cool music.
www.marienburger-berlin.de, Marienburger Straße 47, 11-22 Uhr, am WE erst ab 13 Uhr, Burger
Even for Berlin African Restaurant are something special, and as far as we know, Massai is the only Ethiopean restaurant. The ambience might be a bit too folkloristic for some, but not so much, that it’s unbearable for cynics like me. Service is stellar and I know no other place to get a decent Zebra steak. Reservation recommended.
www.massai-berlin.de/, Lychener Straße 12, 13-00 Uhr, Mi/Do ab 16 Uhr, Äthiopisch/Ostafrikanisch
Cotto e Crudo
An Italian restaurant that doesn’t sell Pizza. But they make their own pasta and create some amazing seasonal specialities.
www.cottoecrudo.de/, Eberswalder Straße 33, 12-00 Uhr, Montag geschlossen, Pasta/Italienisch
W der Imbiss
Is an Indian/Mexican/Italian fast-food joint whose logo ‘accidently’ resembles the McDonald’s Logo upside down. Why anybody would like to be associated with those guys is a mystery, but W’s food is above all critique.www.w-derimbiss.de/
, Kastanienallee 49, 12-22 Uhr, Fusion/ital./mexik./indisch
Sleep well in P-Berg and beyond
Beautiful hostel at Warschauer Brücke with a view on the TV tower from some rooms. Located in an old factory building it retains a familial atmosphere despite it’s 400 rooms. The offer everything from 8-bed room to a single for reasonable prices. Very friendly and personal service.http://ip-hostel.com/
If you prefer your own four walls you will surely find a nice holiday apartment through wimdu In Prenzlauer Berg
alone are more than 500 apartments and private rooms listed. Prices start at 16€ per night/person, with basically no limit on the top end, if you really need your own swimming pool on the roof.http://wimdu.de
Family hostel just opposite Mauerpark. The young and friendly team are happy to help with anything and the new construction offers all amenities you expect. And you can start your Berlin Wall tour right here, since the building sits on a piece of No-Mans-Land, where the wall used to be.
Small boutique hotel in a typical turn-of-the-century (the one before last) house. Large rooms with high ceilings and a spectacular breakfast buffet, mid-price range.www.kastanienhof.biz
is a privately owned and managed small Hotel just a couple of steps from our shop. Beautiful and familial.
ExpediaWenn Sie ein attraktives Hotel buchen möchten, sollten Sie einen Blick in das Angebot von Expedia werfen.
Mid-range Hotel surrounding an empty block that offers some apartments as well. Nice and large garden to recover from your taxing sightseeing activities – or the Berlin-style debauchery everyone seems to fall victim to.bornholmer-hof.de
East Seven Hostel
already has a couple of awards to it. Very relaxed, mixed clientele – maybe a bit on the youngish side, it’s a hostel after all. Cozy garden and rooms, small enough to not make you feel like a number and with prices starting at 14€ for a bed more than affordable.www.eastseven.de/
ocated in another old brewery from the 19th century the compound itself is something of a major landmark of the district. Stunning architecture, a beergarden, galleries and a club all add to this unique location, Rooms are nonetheless quiet and affordable, doubles from 19€/night.www.pfefferbett.de/
It’s an art to create something that evokes the feeling of classical luxury without becoming stuffy and boring. An art, Myer’s staff has long mastered. If you’re looking for something extraordinary and a bit upscale without entering aseptic 5-star-territory this is your choice.www.myershotel.de