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MARIA: COMFORT FOOD FOR HUNGRY HERBIVORES — RECOMMENDED BY STEFAN KEHL

MARIA: COMFORT FOOD FOR HUNGRY HERBIVORES — RECOMMENDED BY STEFAN KEHL

In late 2019, New Deli Yoga in Wrangelkiez transformed into Maria, and since then the restaurant has been delighting its guests with delicious, fresh cuisine. Owner Maria Koimtzoglou playfully conjures up tasty vegetarian and vegan combinations from all corners of the culinary world, like “The Stack” – a tower of potato rösti harmoniously layered with oriental aubergine and served on a homemade hummus spread. Also on the menu: Swedish Köttbullar with a creamy sauce and cranberries served with mashed potato. The carefully selected wines are an excellent accompaniment to Maria’s dishes, ranging from spicy, intense whites that bring out the roasted aromas of the dishes to milder more mineral bottles that are enjoyable on their own. By the way: There is also a lunch menu, as well as breakfast on weekends. Maria is the perfect place to enjoy comfort food that’s a little bit special. (Text: Stefan Kehl / Photos: Savannah van der Niet)

Stefan Kehl is co-founder of Berlin perfumer Aer Scents.

Maria, Falckensteinstr.37, 10997 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map 
Tue–Fri 12–22h, Sat 10–22h, Sun 10–18h
@maria.restaurant.berlin

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ICHI: INTIMATE DINING WITH DIVERSE REGIONAL DISHES FROM JAPAN

ICHI: INTIMATE DINING WITH DIVERSE REGIONAL DISHES FROM JAPAN

Since its inception in July 2019, Ichi has been creating chatter within my fellow Japanese community in Berlin. I finally made it to the cozy restaurant on the Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg border, and it did not disappoint. As you enter, you are asked to take your shoes off – something that may startle you at first but is quite familiar in Japan. You will notice the horigotatsu-style seating, with a low table and a recessed floor beneath it so you can stretch out your legs . Here you quickly feel at home, and the non-pretentious and authentic Japanese dishes are served in beautiful omakase-style. During our visit we had the crispy fried chicken nanban, dressed in sweet and sour sauce – a specialty of the Miyazaki region where the owner-chef Shunichi Nagamine hails from. Together with his lovely wife Ikue, he hopes to promote more local specialties like shochu and wine from his hometown at this perfect little joint they created together. Ichi offers a true Japanese experience in the heart of Berlin. (Text: Rei Matsuoka / Photos: Sven Hausherr)

Ichi, Straßburger Str.60, 10405 Berlin–Prenzlauer Berg; map
Wed 18–22h, Thu–Mo 12–15h & 18–22h
@ichi.eins.berlin

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VEGAN, REGIONAL, SEASONAL — FINE DINING DONE DIFFERENTLY AT KOPPS

VEGAN, REGIONAL, SEASONAL — FINE DINING DONE DIFFERENTLY AT KOPPS

Pure plant-based diets can be tricky – by day three you’ll probably have run out of recipes. Ilhami Terzi’s high-end vegan restaurant Kopps seeks to change all that. Although the cozy blue-green and dark wood interior has remained largely unchanged since the place opened in 2011, the menu is transformed, eschewing meat substitutes for varied, unprocessed ingredients. You see this both in the kale soup with roasted pine nuts and oat flakes, and the golden turnip with layered potatoes, apple and cranberries. These beautifully served dishes make up a dinner of up to seven courses, with the caramelized aubergine with pistachio semifreddo a firm favorite of ours. A little tip: be sure to accompany your meal with the perfectly-paired drinks menu and check out brunch at the weekend! Kopps proves that you can serve quality cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere and that it doesn’t take that much effort to be a full-time herbivore. (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Matteo Carassale, Hoederath for Kopps)

Kopps, Linienstr.94, 10115 Berlin–Mitte; map
Mon–Sat 18–0h
Brunch Sat & Sun 9h30–16h
@koppsberlin

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CRAZY KIMS: TRADITIONAL KOREAN CUISINE MEETS CUTTING-EDGE SEOUL FOOD CULTURE — RECOMMENDED BY HIEN LE

CRAZY KIMS: TRADITIONAL KOREAN CUISINE MEETS CUTTING-EDGE SEOUL FOOD CULTURE — RECOMMENDED BY HIEN LE

Amidst the hype of Korean Barbecue, bi bim bab and kimchi, Hae-Jung Kim, one of my favorite Kreuzberg locals, opened the doors of Crazy Kims in summer 2019, steps away from Lausitzer Platz and Markthalle Neun. It had been a longtime dream of Hae-Jung’s to open her own Korean restaurant infused with creativity, a love of good food and a real passion for showing Berliners how much the cuisine has to offer. She and her kitchen team combine traditional specialties from her childhood with the latest culinary trends straight from Seoul. One of my favorite dishes is Hae-Jung’s Mandus (Korean dumplings), which are covered in a thin, crispy rice flour crust. Biting into one is like breaking through the crust of a perfect crème brûlée. And while every stew is rich and delicious, the Galbitang (beef broth) is a truly special, yet simple delight. A wide range of tasty meat-free options mean the vegans and vegetarians don’t miss out either. Tip: reserve your table at the weekend – Kim’s fills up quick! (Text: Hien Le / Photos: Savannah van der Niet)

Hien Le is a true Berliner and a fashion designer based in Kreuzberg @studiohienle.

Crazy Kims, Muskauer Str.12, 10999 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map
Tue–Sat 17–0h, Sun 16–23h
@crazykims

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MIRIKA: COMFORT FOOD FROM THE FAMILY IN PRINZEN-KIEZ

MIRIKA: COMFORT FOOD FROM THE FAMILY IN PRINZEN-KIEZ

On cold gray Mondays and hungover Sundays, sometimes you’re just in need of some hearty comfort food. At Mirika they’ve got solid German classics including Käsespätzle, Buletten und Stullen, but they’re served not in an old-school pub, but rather in stylish, airy, modern surroundings bursting with beautiful houseplants. Behind Mirika are the three siblings Lilo, Jette and Moritz Klinkenberg, who know the Kreuzberg Prinzenkiez from their childhood days – bringing solid local connections. Together, the three serve authentic, down-to-earth food like vegetarian Swiss capuns (stuffed chard leaves with cream broth and alpine cheese). The seasonal menu changes weekly at Mirika, but you can always count on popular classics like Spätzle and Schnitzel, not to mention a hearty brunch on Sunday. This warm, inviting restaurant is exactly the kind of place that makes the winters a little bit cozier. (Text: Katie Burton / Photos: Mirika)

Mirika, Prinzenstr.103, 10969 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map
Mon–Fri 10–17h, Sun 10–16h
@mirikaberlin_

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