Like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, Berlin keeps adding new feathers to its cap, from ghetto gourmet dinner clubs to romantic cuddle bars that rarely make it into the tourist guidebooks. To lift the veils that shroud these hidden delights, head for these eclectic hotspots where you can rub elbows with the coolest crowd in town.
Flohmarkt am Mauerpark is Berlin’s newest flea market and definitely qualifies as bargain hunter’s dream. Rummage through booths brimming with reclaimed treasures from the 50s to the 70s and relish the thought that you could pay lots more for the same goodies in high end collector’s shops. Established in 2004, Flohmarkt takes place every Sunday under the beautiful chestnut trees in Prenzlauer Berg next to Mauerpark. Besides the novel antiques, art supplies and homemade curiosities prepare to be tempted by the delicious treats like waffles with Nutella and fresh squeezed orange juice.
Dedicated to art created solely by women, the Verborgene Museum is a non-profit organization who unearths and displays works by relatively unknown ladies that might otherwise be forgotten. Focusing on 20th century German female artist, this museum is not considered hidden because it’s tucked away, it’s relatively easy to find at its location at Schlüterstrasse 70. But the focus on the obscure works of women painters, photographers and even architects is what makes this museum a one of a kind exploration into the sacred feminine.
Make new friends and indulge in gourmet German food at the intimate dining experience offered exclusively at Zuhause. Seating is limited to 12 people per evening and the dinner menu driven by the seasonal harvest so they never serve the same menu twice. Although you will be presented with eight courses, it’s not an eating marathon; it’s a tasting menu complete with appropriate wines for each serving. The elegant yet relaxed atmosphere fosters a sense of geniality where fun is shared regardless of language barriers.
Known as “the ghetto gourmet,” Fisk & Gröönsaken in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg serves you dinner in their living room. That’s right, their living room. Only eight lucky people at a time get to savor this exclusive menu served on a rather erratic basis. So, to know when they are serving, you have to sign up for the newsletter available on their website. With emphasis on locally produced ingredients, you’ll find inventive salads with ingredients like with scallops, couscous and oranges. Fresh fish dishes are sautéed in mushrooms swimming in cream sauce and complimented with fresh picked parsnips. The lemon tart topped with thyme ice cream is an unexpectedly divine combination.
This place is too cool to have a phone or even bother with putting their name on the door, so when you make it to Gipsstraße 5 Mitte, just walk into The Greenwich like you knew it was there all along and you’ll be cool, too. Prepare to be enchanted in the dreamy atmosphere created by the huge fish tanks flanking both sides of the narrow lounge that’s covered in lime-green upholstery. It really doesn’t look as gaudy as it sounds –must be the green lighting that makes it work. Hang with Berlin’s totally hip crowd while sipping exotic drinks and trancing on tunes.
If you get a kick from the music of the fifties and the sixties, head to the Soul Cat at Reichenberger Straße 73, one of Berlin’s secret hideaways that deliver more for less. Not only is it cheap in comparison to other venues around town, dressing down is considered hip, so there’s no need to put on the nines to have a great evening.
For the hard core rock and punk, Dazzle Danz club at the corner of Danzigerstr and Schönhauser. The venues attracts some of the best acts in the biz. On weekends you will find the place packed to the rafters with locals dancing to live bands in a concert setting, but during the week DJs rock the house spinning hot tunes in a chill atmosphere.
Considered one of the best cuddling bars in Berlin, the laid back music you’ll find Ä Neukölln on the corner of Weserstraße 40 and Ecke Fuldastraße fits perfectly with the retro ambiance. Billed as Berlin’s only live music and soap opera venue, this cozy pub offers delicious drinks and nibbles in a romantic, relaxed atmosphere where you can curl up on a comfy sofa in a corner booth lit by candles and indulge in a little friendly one-on-one fraternizing.
To find out what’s happening during your visit to Berlin, check out their underground magazines Tip and Zitty that feature weekly club listings and the articles on the hottest places that have mushroomed from the fertile streets of this blossoming city.