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CHRISTIANE HUMMEL RECOMMENDS: BUCHHAFEN

CHRISTIANE HUMMEL RECOMMENDS: BUCHHAFEN

When I stumbled across a bookshop tucked between Hermannstraße and Tempelhofer Feld, I was immediately drawn to its inviting entrance: a comfy-looking bench amidst two small trees. A closer look at their window display revealed a number of intriguing titles. The front part of the book shop is filled with works of fiction in German, from the classics to the most recently published nominated authors of the German Book Prize but also a vast array of books on political theory, philosophy, and cultural and social sciences. Making my way to the back, I walked into a cozy room furnished with a piano and an antique grandfather clock where I found a large selection of English and Turkish literature along with children’s books and second-hand books. It is easy to let yourself be inspired by the carefully selected books and trust the recommendations of the knowledgeable owners, a cultural scientist and a Turkologist. You are encouraged to stay and relax for a cup of coffee or tea, and readings take place on occasion. More information can be found on their website and in their newsletters. (Text: Christiane Hummel / Photos: Emilie Wade)

Buchhafen, Okerstr.1, 12049 Berlin-Neukölln; map
Mon-Fri 11–19h, Sat 12-18h

Christiane Hummel is a student living in Berlin since 2014. She loves films, botanical gardens and cycling in the surroundings of the city.

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LAURA SOPER RECOMMENDS: COOKIES CREAM

LAURA SOPER RECOMMENDS: COOKIES CREAM

As you set off down an alley around the side of a hotel in Mitte, you might be skeptical that you’re about to take part in one of the finest vegetarian culinary experiences in Berlin, but this is simply the beginning of your Cookies Cream adventure. Concrete walls are mellowed by inviting red fabric benches, creating a trendy, yet cozy feel in the modern restaurant. Heinz Gindullis, known fondly as “Cookie”, created the restaurant in 2007 as a place to hang out with friends — and even the artwork is an homage to that, as many of the pieces are gifts from friends and local artists that give the space a unique character. Chef Stephan Hentschel has created a wonderland of no-nonsense fine-dining dishes, playing with vegetables and herbs from Cookie’s own garden. The grilled leeks with black sesame are quite simply sensational, while the blueberries with celery present the most surprising combination of textures with delicious nuggets of candied celery dotting a refreshing sorbet. The wine pairing is a cherry on top of an evening to remember, although the imaginative plates speak for themselves and are hands down what has kept Cookies Cream at the top of the list when it comes to not only vegetarian, but any restaurant in Berlin. (Text: Laura Soper / Photos: Rene Rils, Joe Sarah, c/o Cookies Cream)

Cookies Cream, Behrenstr.55, 10117 Berlin-Mitte; map

Tue-Sat 18.30-24h

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Cookies Cream with a special 6-course birthday menu available until this Saturday (11.11.17); reserve a table

Laura Soper is a marketer with a passion for writing and food. Now settled in Kreuzberg, Laura has been sampling the many vegetarian delicacies Berlin has to offer since relocating from the UK in 2016.

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JANINE HÄRDTER RECOMMENDS: BAGEL, COFFEE & CULTURE

JANINE HÄRDTER RECOMMENDS: BAGEL, COFFEE & CULTURE

Living just around the corner from your favorite café must be one of the best things in life. My café love affair? Bagel, Coffee & Culture. I could spend hours sitting in their reclaimed wooden theatre seats, watching busy life go by on Mehringdamm. Apart from the usual breakfast classics, such as croissants and granola, what really matters here is – of course – the bagels. You can choose from seventeen (!) toppings and, from time to time, additional specials like the “Eilaska” with homemade guacamole and a fried egg. My personal highlights? The “Londoner” (cream cheese, smoked salmon and a fried egg) and the “Veggie” (cream cheese or hummus with grilled vegetables). Fresh smoothies and juices complement the food, and great coffee is also taken care of. However, food and drink aside, the owners are one of the best parts about this place. They make you feel welcome even if you’re just walking by on the street, and special wishes are fulfilled without hesitation. That unsolicited friendliness reminds me of home, and anyone who visits Bagel, Coffee & Culture will undoubtedly feel the same way. (Text & Photos: Janine Härdter)

Bagel, Coffee & Culture, Mehringdamm 66, 10961 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map
Mon-Fri 8-20h, Sat 9-20h, Sun 10-20h

Janine Härdter has been living in Berlin since 2014 and recently left the agency life to freelance in field of social media. She’s on the move all over Berlin, but calls Kreuzberg 61 her home and favorite Kiez.

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TINA MÜLLER RECOMMENDS: CON THO

TINA MÜLLER RECOMMENDS: CON THO

One of my favorite lunch spots of late has been Con Tho (“The Hare”), located across from Volkspark Hasenheide in Kreuzberg. Huy Thong Tran Mai, the creative mind behind the restaurant’s concept, takes Vietnamese classics and combines them with herbs and locally-grown vegetables to create deliciously innovative vegetarian and vegan dishes. I highly recommend the wafer-thin crêpes that are made from rice flour and red beets, then wrapped into delicious rolls stuffed with crunchy lettuce and fresh herbs. Paired with a homemade lemonade garnished with limes and a bamboo straw — it doesn’t get much better. The spacious terrace is lush with greenery during the summer and has a relaxing atmosphere, while the warm bamboo interior with its large lanterns lends itself best to cozy meals for the cold winter months ahead. (Text: Tina Müller / Photos: Tina Müller, Con Tho)

Con Tho, Hasenheide 16, 10967 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

Daily 12-24h

Tina Müller is the co-founder of the design agency MüllerValentini in Kreuzberg, which focuses on brand and visual development. She has called Mitte home since 2009.

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CAMILLE DARROUX RECOMMENDS: ISLA BERLIN

CAMILLE DARROUX RECOMMENDS: ISLA BERLIN

The newly opened concept shop Isla Berlin, is putting the area between the Heinrich-Heine-Straße and Märkisches Museum U-Bahn stations back on the map. The space, which was created by women for women, boasts an excellent selection of streetwear by brands like Fila and Daily Paper, a premium nail salon, and an exhibition space equipped with brand new DJ equipment where various workshops and events are held. Their talented, multilingual nail artists are able to bring your wildest design ideas to life, and their clothing selection is affordable and perfectly on-trend. However, what really sets Isla apart from most other shops is that it is, first and foremost, a great space to just hang out in. No snobbery here! Whether you’re coming to get your nails done, to hone your skills on the decks or to find your next party outfit, you well might end up with a drink in your hands and a couple of new friends. (Text: Camille Darroux / Photos: Isla Berlin)

Isla Berlin, Inselstr.13, 10179 Berlin-Mitte; map
Mon-Sat 10-20h

Camille Darroux is a digital consultant, freelance writer, DJ and the co-founder of Mimosa Agency. She currently calls Neukölln her home and has been living in Berlin since 2014.

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