Escaping the city and al fresco dining are two essential Berlin summer activities, and Gaia has both on offer. Since June 2021, founders Julia Heifer & Zsuzsanna Toth have been serving seasonal, farm-to-table focused á la carte lunches and aperitifs amongst the overgrown pastures and poppy-filled fields of the repurposed Großer Garten. The restaurant is located in Gerswalde, just one hour’s drive from Berlin in the Uckermark. Inside the glass-paned Palm Haus and former orangery adjacent to the garden which previously hosted Café Zum Löwen, the culinary team crafts an array of rustic dishes, building a menu that is ever-changing and dependent on which organic produce is growing on-site that month. Julia Heifer, one-half of Gaia, believes that the eyes eat too and that cuisine should appeal to all of our senses. It’s a philosophy that the team executes well.

To start, the freshly-baked focaccia and light, fluffy Buchteln bread are prime examples of Gaia’s simple and honest approach to gastronomy. Vibrant plates of pickled produce and artisanal raw-milk cheese from the neighboring Alte Milchcrew exemplify what living off the land has to offer. Homemade pasta, topped with sautéed zucchini blossoms, preserved lemon pesto, and newly-harvested herbs, is a menu mainstay composed of ingredients that change with the seasons. This is true too of the crispy glazed galettes, which come filled with tangy rhubarb stalks and rich, elderberry custard. For those with a sweet tooth, the ice cream topped with a drizzle of decadent fig-leaf oil is not to be missed. All dishes are best served with Gaia’s special edition sencha- and Rwanda tea-infused Bouche kombucha, a curated selection of natural wines and the fresh, countryside air that is one of the restaurant’s greatest offerings.

Text: Claire Mouchemore / Photos: Ina Niehoff & Gaia

Gaia at the Großer Garten: Dorfmitte 11, 17268 Gerswalde; map
Sat–Sun 12–18h

The best way to get there is by car or the RE3 regional train.

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