Walking into St. Bess, the first thing to catch your eye will undoubtedly be the smooth, white wood-fired oven, made by hand and radiating heat as vegetable laden pizzas emerge from its dome. Peek into the brick-lined dining room tucked down on the lower level, accessible by polished concrete stairs, and you’ll want to stay a while. The first floor is dedicated to the open kitchen — designed with purpose by co-owners Katelyn Fricke, Logan Ross, and Ole Wiechern, to keep what matters, the pizzas and the process, in the spotlight. Longtime friends and California natives, Katie and Logan prepare their pizzas California style — using bread flour in lieu of the traditional Italian 00 flour used in Neapolitan-style pizzas, cold fermenting the dough for two days, and focusing on fresh, seasonal vegetables — in fact, you won’t find any meat on the menu. With eight pizzas ranging from classic tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and basil (known here as the Greta) to the more innovative (and may we add, excellent) eggplant purée, shallot, basil, and seasonal greens (order the Eisenhut) they also offer a few small plates for sharing, plus house-made sorbets, beer and wine. Simple and straightforward, with a contemporary yet cozy vibe, St. Bess is more than worth the venture north. (Text: Devan Grimsrud / Photos: Luke Marshall Johnson)
Since March 2018, Kristof Mulack and Martin Müller have been bringing new German cuisine and drink culture to the plates and glasses of their guests at Tisk Speisekneipe. While Mulack, known for his supper clubs, came under the spotlight when he took home the winning prize on TV show “The Taste”, Müller worked in upscale establishments like Tim Raue for years. When the two Berliners met, it became abundantly clear that they had to start their own project. Tisk is done in the style of a modern local pub, where, between terracotta tiles and a central bar, the duo serves the best the region has to offer. The fixed menu ranges from blood sausage croquettes, sauerkraut soup and cucumber salad to traditional milk rice pudding: All excellently executed and fairly priced. This concept continues through to jars of preserves which contain, for example, the Spreewald cucumber pickle “Tisk Fizz”. Seated at the counter, foodies have a direct view into the open kitchen, and the tables were made for friends to share plates over — like the mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes and Polish-style cauliflower. At Tisk, everything is as down-to-earth here as its surrounding kiez. (Text: Susanna Glitscher / Photos: Tisk)
Tue-Sat 18-24h, book online.
Susanna Glitscher is a born and raised Berliner who lives in Kreuzberg. Since having completed her studies, she’s worked in the food industry, curating events, writing and advising restaurants on their communications strategy.
Martin Scorsese once said: “If your mother cooks Italian food, why should you go to a restaurant?” For those of us who had to grow up without an Italian mother, La Bologninais the place to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine. The small shop is really more of a kitchen table with a large counter that makes up the heart of the space. Two to three types of fresh pasta are prepared anew every day: Tagliatelle, strozzapreti (which literally translates as ”priest strangler”) and filled varieties such as tortellini and ravioli, which are also offered to take away. La Bolognina was opened in December 2014 in the shadow of the Neukölln town hall and derives its name from Bologna’s train station district. The liveliness of the area is what reminded owner Luca Spinogatti of Neukölln. He wants his food to be inexpensive and simple, and knows that the right ingredients, sourced directly from their producers, are the decisive factor when it comes to quality – his olive oil and wines are imported from Abruzzo, for example. Summery dishes like tagliolini with lemon, parsley and colatura di alici di Cetara, an anchovy sauce from the Amalfi coast, evoke – at least in me – childhood memories of days spent under pine trees and an azure blue sky – despite never having had the experience myself. (Text: Marc Holzenbecher / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)
Marc Holzenbecher is the founder and executive editor of Still Magazine. After having worked in Paris, New York and Santiago de Chile, he is currently back in Berlin.
Candlelight flickers behind pale sheets of hand-dyed linen, framing a sunken wood table that sits 12. You’re invited to take a seat, leave your day behind and allow chef Makoto Ishii and Head of Service, Shuai Wang, to guide you through an elegant culinary and sensory experience inspired by the spirit of a Japanese tea ceremony. Opened in March 2018, Arai is the second restaurant from Shiori Arai and Flora Choi of Shiori. Like its forbearer, Arai offers an omakase (Japanese for “entrust”) set menu. At Arai, however, the cuisine is Chūka Ryōri: Chinese fare, reinterpreted through a Japanese lens, and distinguished in its flavours, plating, and menu composition. Of the 10-course crescendo, it’s the seafood that shines: Jellyfish in yuzu sauce. Surf clam marinated in sake. Potato with caviar. Fresh rose fish with vinegar. Chilled shrimp. Fried oyster. A communal hotpot of mapo tofu was presented at the table before the finale of dessert: a silken blood orange and mango pudding. To accompany the courses, a sake pairing is offered, which comes highly recommended — Arai works with Born, a traditional sake producer founded in 1860, and based in Shiori’s hometown of Fukui. Should you take it up, you’ll be presented with a wooden tray of individual sake cups to choose your favourite for the evening. They’re sourced from traditional Japanese and Korean ceramists, as are the dishes; while the chopsticks are made in Kyoto from bamboo cane. Every detail is chosen with great care and impeccable taste. Make a reservation the next time an occasion to impress presents itself — here, your evening is in the best of hands; the only thing you have to worry about is emerging again when the time comes. (Text: Anna Dorothea Ker / Photos: Sasha Kharchenko)
Tue-Sun, meal begins at 19.30. Reservations here.
Please note the omakase menu does not cater for vegetarians.
As I enter Kreuzberger Himmel, the first thing I notice is the wonderful scent of cardamom and cloves in the air. On long dark wooden tables, Syrian specialities such as “Kabse”, “Kibbeh” or “Samak” are laid out, garnished with dates, nuts and plenty of spices. Some of them are classics, such as hummus or baba ganoush. Others are rice dishes, prepared as meat, fish or vegetarian options. Kreuzberger Himmel brings the tastes of Syria to Berlin, as a positive example of integration: The restaurant opened in late 2017 and is run by refugees, offering Syrians, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans — among others — an opportunity to gain their footing in Germany. The driving force behind this idea is Be An Angel e.V., a charitable organization founded by journalist Andreas Tölke with the aim of connecting communities and sharing culture. And what better way to do that than over a shared meal. (Text: Laura Pausewang / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)
Laura Pausewang has been living in Prenzlauer Berg since early 2017, following stints in Lisbon, London and Paris. She is a freelance copywriter and a trend researcher. As an ideal place for observing trends, drinking coffee and meeting riveting people, Berlin allows her to live out her passions.