I go to Berlin a lot. Here are some of my favourite places:
Ramones Museum: I like to tell people I broke in here after dark in a punk rock kinda fashion. Truth be known, if you pay the entrance fee they’ll let you sit and have a beer from their bar amongst the exhibits. It has recently moved. Check its website for updates
West-End Klaus: My grandad drank here circa 1946 when he said the beer was like water. That’s not the case these days. Eckhart bier flows freely and strongly – brilliant for pre and post Hertha Berlin football matches.
KeDeWe: Although this is Europe’s largest department store, or some such boast, I’ve included it in this list. Not for the overpriced slacks on floor 4, but the food and drink on the top tier (floor 6). Champagne, beer, cheese and fresh fish bars are a great place to sit, consume and watch the world go by, or go buy. I have also cured a severe hangover with white wine and oysters there. In fact, the Oyster Bar is the best bit IMO.
Goldesel: Another Hertha fans’ favourite. Off the beaten track, great beer, friendly people. I used it for my mate’s 40th party. He’s 47 now. Both bar and friend doing well.
Bonnholmer Hutte: A famous family-owned pub from the DDR. A simply brilliant to watch football or mix with locals. I lost my favourite silk scarf here.
Zweibelfisch: I don’t know if I’m fond of this place because of its name or the nights out I’ve had in here. It’s a traditional bar right in Savignyplatz. I’m not sure the people are even that friendly here. Must be the beer. Classic Charlottenburg bar.
Dick Wirtin: Can’t remember the staff being that friendly here either, but the food (asparagus) was pretty ace (and cheap). Another typical west-Berlin bar.
Babette’s: This is a place of beauty. A former hairdresser and laundrette next to Cafe Moskau. I found it attempting to get to a party at Cafe Moskau. The bar is in Karl Marx Allee, the last great European boulevard. Take in the DDR architecture of the Kino International, Babette’s and Cafe Moskau. Stunning.
Hip City Soul Club: My mate Marc Forrest runs this superb all-nighter at various locations across Berlin. His music knowledge and rare soul collection is a force to be reckoned with.
Volksbuhne; Roter Salon, Gruner Salon; So many good times after midnight in the Roter and Gruner Salon – everything from Northern Soul to indie nights. Just love it. Gruner Salon was used in the hit German film, The Lives of Others.
Deponie: A classic Berlin bar and restaurant. Well worth a visit. Traditional Berlin fare from big baked potatoes and Quarck (white, soft cheese) to very pork based dish ever…
Schwarz Cafe: This place is so laid back. Great food/beer menu. Star of David on the floor outside adds to the intrigue. Brilliant breakfasts especially if you love avocado.
Wilhelm Hoeck 1892: This bar is visually stunning inside, very old fashioned and original Berlin. It was used a setting in the Tom Hank’s movie Cloud Atlas, to portray a traditional; Dublin bar, so you get the picture.
Zur Linde: So traditional there’s no website. Trust me it’s a great place. Warning: smokers allowed.
Cortina Bob: See new Punk bands play here. Brilliant. Cheap drinks, loud noise, old punks and hipsters.
Lido: Great nightclub, usually has something decent on. Indie typically.
12 Apostel: If eating is not cheating then this German Italian is pretty ace. Has two restaurants on in Charlottenburg (west) and Freidrichstrasse (East).
Puschels Pub: If you can find it, this is a great football bar.
Soul Cat Bar: It only plays 50s and 60s Vinyl records, which was enough for me to track it down ( after a long walk).
Monkey Bar: It’s a swanky bar selling flash cocktails at the top of the new Bikini Hotel but it offers a spectator view of Berlin. Sometimes (weekends) you have to queue to get in.
BRLO Brauhaus: First time I went it was a shipping container and some picnic tables, now its a beer garden, pub and restaurant. It’s contracted from shipping containers selling its own craft beer. It’s a great place to visit.