A beautiful, eye-catching building in Schöneberg is the home of the new cocktail bistro Bonvivant. Inside the pastel-colored furniture and soft lighting exude quality and attention to detail – the perfect setting for an unforgettable dining experience. To start, try an aperitif mixed by award-winning Yvonne Rahm and served with a dash of aromatic bitters to intensify your sensory experience. The weekly-rotating dishes from top organic chef Ottmar Pohl-Hoffbauer are seasonal, local and all vegetarian. We tried everything: from a ravioli with blue banana and zappho pumpkins and king oyster mushrooms to the gnocchi with chanterelles, broccoli, almonds and lemon. But there is more to Bonvivant: the back room acts as a séparée with a round, revolving table perfect for special occasions. Head further in through the dark curtains past the freezers and you come across a hidden gallery in the basement. No matter how much you feel like a regular here, there’s always more to discover. (Text: Sophie Herzberg / Photos: Johanna Rademacher-Flesland)
Whether you’re a beer pro or merely curious about ale, you’ll definitely want to try the entire menu at Straßenbräu, the Friedrichshain brewery and pub where experimentation is very much the norm. Since 2015 founder Timo Thoennißen and his team have been on a mission to bring an endless variety of ales, wheat beers and stouts to Berlin drinkers. But what makes this craft beer pub different? For one thing, it’s the team’s willingness to be bold. Head brewer Sebastian Pfister isn’t afraid to challenge German beer orthodoxy, recently causing a storm with the “Coconaut”, a chocolatey stout that rather improbably contains coconut. Like the team, the offerings are international, with the “Sonnenallee 20″ pale ale that combines German and American hop varieties for a truly transatlantic brew. Beer making is onsite, and you can swig your brew amongst the very kegs and brewing tanks from which it came, or simply head outside to one of the traditional beer tables and bring your own food from the surrounding imbisses. Not enough time to taste everything? You can also take the brews home in 1L bottles. (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Johanna Rademacher-Flesland & Straßenbräu)
No, this place doesn’t have any bananas, but they do have authentic food and drinks from the Aegean Sea. Eat, Drink & Share is the motto of No Bananas, explains Nevzat Ataray, the Istanbul-born owner of the Mediterranean restaurant. I discovered No Bananas by chance on my way home one evening and know I’ll never miss it again – because this place is special. No Bananas is refreshingly different: Fine multicultural dishes from Istanbul are celebrated and skillfully reinterpreted. For Nev, food is a form of expression, a common language that we all speak. The atmosphere in the restaurant is warm, cozy and relaxed. Food, culture and music intermingle harmoniously and guests instantly feel at home here. I usually like to come with friends after work for drinks and meze on the petrol-blue bench in front of the restaurant, or enjoy a delicious, ambient dinner on the weekends. Allow Istanbul’s cuisine to surprise you: Order the sardines, the manti (easily the best in Berlin), crispy fresh salicornia, artichokes with burrata and miso or the fava bean puree – and share some unforgettable moments with each other. (Text: Lisa Strube / Photos: Johanna Rademacher-Flesland)
Walking along bustling Weserstrasse, you might easily overlook Jungbusch. But once you’ve discovered this gem, hidden behind two knocked-down windows and a graffiti-tagged wall, you’ll never miss it again. The bar, which Mertol Akinci and Alfonso D’Angelo opened in 2013, scores points with its seasonal cocktail menu that currently features the “Cardamom Collins”, a creation of Darjeeling cordial, honey, Amaro, blood orange and lime juice. In addition to classics such as Boston Sour and Sazarac, you can also enjoy a selection of Amaro and red vermouth, as well as port-based long drinks topped with soda, tonic water or bitters. Beyond the drinks, the atmosphere in Jungbusch is just plain fun, with friendly bartenders playing consistently good playlists and a backdrop of exposed walls, minimalist wooden furniture, and plants. What’s more the owners often give a platform to new artists and their work, so it’s always well worth a visit. (Text: Karin Zweidler / Photos: Johanna Rademacher-Flesland)
Growing up in a small town in Switzerland, author Karin Zweidler now lives in Berlin. Here she does what she’s been doing since her journalism studies: writing for various print and digital outlets.
A charming new restaurant opened its doors in June 2018 in Kreuzberg. Boatfarm‘s concept revolves around an impressive selection of bio-dynamic wines with unexpected tastes and a good deal of creativity. Inspired by the drinks, a European-style menu includes stand-out dishes such as arctic salmon, fine ravioli and delicious mussels, all prepared from scratch and sourced sustainably. Founders Benni Bräuninger and Patrick Kilborn combine many years of experience in the world of gastronomy. Benni, the chef, used to run the kitchen at the excellent Lavanderia Vecchia. They have painstakingly refurbished a small space, miraculously making it look twice as big. It is luminous and welcoming: most of the furniture was handmade by them, each detail elegantly chosen. As the icing on the cake, a record player hides in the corner where the record-collecting owners draw on old genres to create the perfect atmosphere. The special dinner nights are a real treat, featuring six courses paired with wine, allowing Chef Benni to show off his skills. (Text: Ana S. Pareja / Photos: Johanna Rademacher–Flesland)
Ana S. Pareja is a publisher and bookseller. She runs a Spanish bookshop based in Kreuzberg, Bartleby & co.