If you like your hummus with a side of atmosphere, look no further than Yafo. Inspired by the 4,000-year-old port city near Tel Aviv where Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived side by side, an ethos of openness is at the heart of one of Mitte’s best Israeli restaurants. To reflect this multiculturalism, the menu reads in Arabic, Hebrew, German and English. And, contrary to Berlin’s reputation for brusque service, expect unrestrained hospitality when you walk into Yafo. It’s as if you’re entering a family member’s buzzing living room, especially if you have the type of relatives who freely pass around shots of arac, a quintessential Middle Eastern liquor. To eat, you’ll find hefty helpings of creamy hummus, whole heads of perfectly charred cauliflower and ever changing lamb options served minced, spiced or kebab-ed. Yafo is open for lunch, but dinner at the bar is a favorite choice. (Text: Yasha Wallin / Photos: Mina Aichhorn & Yafo)
A native of sunny California, Yasha Wallin has called Berlin, Mitte home since 2013. To finance her hummus habit, she works for Business Development at H&M and as European Editor of A Hotel Life.