On this #TravelTuesday, we think you should give Berlin a try – next to its array of history and culture and insane nightlife, the culinary scene has absolutely taken off. Here’s our insider’s guide to five of the hottest restaurants and bars in Germany’s capital so you can dine like a local in Berlin on your visit.
Chutnify offers South Indian street food curated for eclectic tastes and those looking for a healthy alternative to the usually heavy conventional Indian food. So, if you are curious for chutney, mad about masala, or digging the much-loved dosa, Chutnify should not be missed. Interesting fact: the restaurant’s name stems from a Salman Rushdie book in which so-called chutnification adds excitement to language. Continuing with this tradition, to Chutnify is taken here to mean “to add spice and color to dishes.” The two restaurant locations in the heart of Berlin clearly testify to that. It simply shines through every little detail that owner Aparna Aurora and her team love what they do. The two Chutnify restaurants are in two of Berlin’s hippest districts at Pflügerstr. 25, 12047 Berlin and Sredzkistr. 43, 10435 Berlin, respectively. Make a reservation at Chutnify-Neukölln and Chutnify-Prenzlauer Berg.
Nobelhart & Schmutzig
Berlin’s current hot spot is Nobelhart & Schmutzig, which opened its doors in 2015 and only nine months later received its first Michelin star. “The restaurant of the year 2017” (as voted by Germany’s most prominent food magazine Der Feinschmecker) is a holistic eating experience. A prix-fixe, 10-course menu (for 80 Euros) focuses on ingredients from the nearby region, deeply influenced by modern Nordic cooking and carefully selected for internal harmony. The prime directive is seasonal products, sourced locally. If Mother Nature doesn’t offer it here in the surrounding region, then the owners, chef Micha Schäfer and sommelier Billy Wagner, won’t either. As the pair put it: “Food is “(ful)filling” — at an emotional and physical level. That rush is what we’re all about. Our most intense experiences are almost always tied to food that is simultaneously sumptuous and simple.” Twenty-eight guests can watch the magic happen: there are no secrets at this kitchen table as guests are seated right at the center of the action. The restaurant is at Friedrichstrasse 218, 10969 Berlin, just south of Checkpoint Charlie. Make a reservation at Nobelhart & Schmutzig.
NENI has a stunning rooftop location at the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin and scores above all with its breathtaking panoramic view of City West. While choosing your dish from the international menu – chef Haya Molcho does not like restrictions: her creations are influenced by Persian, Russian, Arab, Moroccan, Turkish, and Spanish as well as German and Austrian cuisine – you can watch the monkeys play as you dine as the restaurant borders Berlin Zoo. The restaurant itself resembles a secret botanical garden, and despite the array of visual pleasures around you, the menu’s mouthwatering dishes add to the fun factor. A must-try, for instance, is the Jerusalem Plate, which consists of grilled chicken with pita bread along with their famous sweet potato fries. Make a reservation at NENI.
When you’re done dining at NENI, you’ll find this rooftop bar next door at the 25hours Hotel Bikini, which shares the stunning views of the city from its 360-degree terrace that make the visit memorable. Like the vistas, the cocktail list does not disappoint either. It includes a broad selection of signature drinks and classics with a modern twist. The Monkey Bar also has an extensive gin and rum collection. Take your pick, settle down on one of the Moroccan cushions outside, and enjoy watching the sun set behind Berlin’s skyscrapers.
Bar manager and creative genius Arnd Heissen applies the techniques of a perfumer to his drinks creations and turns a visit to his bar Fragrances, situated in the five-star Potsdamer Platz Hotel The Ritz-Carlton, into a spectacular journey for all the senses. As soon as you walk through the grand marble lobby and catch a glimpse of the black mirrored walls, orchid bouquets, and black-gold columns, you might ask yourself if you have just entered an incredibly sophisticated version of Alice in Wonderland. Heissen’s cocktail menu features drinks that capture the fragrance of 15 niche fragrances, such as Penhaligon’s Vaara.
Visit OpenTable to discover more restaurants in Berlin. And then be sure to share your spots for travelers looking to dine like a local in Berlin here or on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Freelance journalist Beatrice Clark has written for Vogue, Glamour, and Vanity Fair, among others, and has spent the past 15 years living in France, England, and Scotland. She is currently based in Berlin and is always on the hunt for the perfect Eggs Benedict.
Photo credits: Adam Berry (Chutnify); Marko Seifert (Nobelhart & Schmutzig); Stefan Lemke for 25hours Hotels (NENI); Natalia Kepesz for The Ritz-Carlton (Fragrances).
* This article originally appeared on //blog.opentable.co.uk/.