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Berlin: Need critique of several restaurants

I have done some fairly extensive research on the dining scene in Berlin, both on and off this board. Based on my research, it looks like these restaurants are worth a visit.

MITTE

Monsieur Vuong
Cookies Cream
W Imbiss
WKD Lebensmittel
Susuru
Toca Rouge
Lebensmittel
Zur Rippe

CHARLOTTENBURG

Engelbecken

KREUTZBERG

Sale e Tabacchi
Die Henne
Konnopke’s
Cafe Morgenland (brunch)
Defne

SCHOENBERG

Storch
Winterfeldtmarkt

Do you agree/disagree? All opinions are welcome. I'd like to keep my meals under $60/person and am looking for places that would appeal to single diners in their early 30's.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Your Mitte list: unfortunately I haven't been to half of them, but Zur Rippe, despite being a very nice restaurant, is the type of place I would take my 70-year old uncle and aunt (I actually have, and they had fun), so while I am sure that by "single diners in their early 30's" you have meant no agism, Zur Rippe is quite "an old people's place".

    Konnopke's is not in Kreuzberg, but in Prenzlauer Berg. Its "achrival" (not really, but sort of East/West competition) in Kreuzberg is probably Curry 36.

    I don't think that Storck exists anymore, perhaps I am wrong.

    If you like food, I think that your list is really lacking on Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain eateries. Besides, if you like Asian (Toca Rouge, Susuru, etc.), there are several good places that you should try, like Ishin.

    1 Reply
    1. re: polyg

      Thanks for your response. Zur Rippe has been struck from the list.

      Do you have any suggestion for places in Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain that I should try?

      Your input is much appreciated.

    2. I like your Mitte list. Monsieur Vuong, despite its fame & popularity, remains a winner for cheap, delicious Vietnamese. Just don't try to hang out there.

      Henne is one of my faves in Xberg, just know that they basically only have fried chicken. Which is damn good. Oh, and have the Bavarian Landbier, it's excellent. You have to get a rez, tho, otherwise, it's hard to get a spot.

      Café Morgenland is one of my favorite brunch spots; I've not heard good stuff about Defne -- overpriced, overwhelmed staff, food mediocre. It's sad that good Turkish sit-down food is so hard to come by in Berlin.

      Storch is closed, but Renger-Patzsch is in the same premises and offers great regional cuisine at very decent prices.

      And Winterfeldtmarkt is a must.

      For more tips, check here http://bitchinberlin.wordpress.com

      15 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        I have been taught once that a lady doesn't speak if she has nothing nice to say, but I agree with Linguafood regarding Defne.

        1. re: polyg

          phew. good thing i'm not a lady '-)

          1. re: linguafood

            Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.

            If anyone else has thoughts on other spots worth visiting or comments on my list, please chime in.

            1. re: Desidero

              I'd be more than happy to. Any particular cuisine you're interested in?

              1. re: linguafood

                I do not discriminate. I'd love to hear some of your favorites. I live in NYC and have access to very good food, but I'm looking to try some gems in Berlin.

                Thanks!

                1. re: Desidero

                  Well, the best burger (beats any burger in NYC - I know, them are
                  fightin' words '-)) is available at The Bird in Prenzlauer Berg. Great steak, too.

                  Good Italian -- Trattoria Paparazzi, Femmina Morta (P'berg) or Noodles & Figli in Kreuzberg.

                  If you have money to throw around, give Reinstoff in Mitte a shot -- experimental/molecular cuisine, or Pata Negra, a really excellent modern Spanish place in Mitte with slight molecular tendencies, but fantastic pata negra ham, pork, and veal (!).

                  No visit to Berlin is complete w/out great döner (dürum döner @Hasir in Schöneberg, or Imren for a different döner experience, located in Neukölln).

                  You can get great Kaiten sushi at Mr. Hai Kabuki sushi bar in Wilmersdorf.

                  For a fantastic slice of pizza, go to Dolce pizza. Imported Italian flour, great toppings, and made fresh all day.

                  Down-home AND excellent Greek food at Berkis on Winterfeldtstr. in Schöneberg.

                  Quadmous for Lebanese in P'berg. It's a bit out of the way, but there's a bus going there. It's on the border of Pberg and Friedrichshain.

                  Great cocktail bars: Reingold in Mitte, Beckett's Kopf in P'berg...

                  that's all I can think of right now. feel free to inquire more.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    These are terrific suggestions. Thank you so much for your input.

                      1. re: linguafood

                        Could I trouble you (or any one else in the know about Berlin) with 2 more questions:

                        1. Among the restaurants I name above that you are familiar with and the places you recommended, are there any for which I must make a reservation in advance? If so, would this also apply if I plan to dine solo? (I'm thinking some of these places may be able to accomodate a single diner at the bar.)

                        2. NYC has some great prix fixe lunch deals at top restaurants. For example, you can have a 2-course $24 prix fixe lunch at Jean Georges, which is an absolute steal. Does Berlin have any comparable lunch deals? I do not want to blow the bank on dinners at extravagantly priced restaurants, but I would still like to see what Berlin's high-end restaurants have to offer. Any suggestions?

                        Thanks again for all your help.

                        1. re: Desidero

                          Oh man! You HAVE to go to Mâ / Tim Raue for lunch, then. They have a 4-course prix fixe for 48 €. From what i've heard, you get all kinds of amuse bouches before the actual lunch starts, and it's totally worth it. Be aware of how much water & wine you order, tho, it tends to add quite a bit to the check (ok, that's a 'no duh' I guess).

                          Also, the only 2-star Michelin resto in Berlin, Fischer's Fritz, has a lunch deal for 2 courses at 28, 3 courses at 39 Euro. Again, beware of the wine. It's 14€ per glass.

                          As for the other restos you mentioned, I don't see any necessity to make a rez if you're a single diner. There's always room for one '-D

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Lilnguafood - thanks for all the recs, my wife and I are heading over to Berlin this weekend and looking forward to trying a few!

                      1. re: BobB

                        Hope you have a great time!!! And pleeeaaaaase report back on your experiencesa? Thanx!!!

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Just got back (we also spent five days in Prague, which I'll report on elsewhere.) The last time I was in Berlin was New Year's weekend in 1975. Things have changed a bit. ;-)

                          Our top food experiences were:

                          Dinner at Renger-Patsch - crisp tender slices of octopus with white beans and chorizo, braised veal cheeks with artichokes, rabbit three ways (roasted legs, stuffed breast, and sauteed liver & kidneys), all superb. What a talented chef! Thank you so much for the rec.

                          Dinner at Engelbecken. Great classic German food - assorted wursts, Wiener schnitzel, and the best potato salad I've ever tasted, made with lightly marinated thin-sliced cucumbers. I want the recipe. Seriously, if you know anywhere it might be published (in German is fine), please let me know.

                          The food porn displays on the sixth floor of KaDeWe.

                          Breakfasts at our hotel, Askanischer Hof on Ku'damm. Farm-fresh eggs with bright orange yolks, fine fresh fruits, and high quality wursts & cheeses, in a lovely old sitting room with 1920's furnishings.

                          Biggest disappointment: Rogacki. The food displays were a delight, in a more down-home way than KaDeWe, but alas, our lunch there was not. Boring tiny shrimp (krabben) flavored with vinegar and not much else, and a fish soup that was a heaping bowl full of practically tasteless overcooked fish. If not for a bit of fresh dill on top it would have had no flavor at all. Maybe we ordered the wrong stuff?

                          At any rate, on the whole we had a fantastic time and are eager to return. I could even see myself living there at some point, my rusty German started to come back quickly and the city has a great lively feel to it. If I can ever bring myself to give up Boston.

          2. re: linguafood

            linguafood, based on my exhaustive reading of this board and your reco's before our trip to Berlin last week, we did try to go to Renger-Patzsch and Henne. Struck out on both--Renger-Patzsch never picked up their phone, and Henne was booked solid for all three nights that we tried to go there (Fri, Sat, and Sun). Pretty disappointing. If Renger-Patzsch is open, maybe you can post a working phone number for them--for the benefit of future travelers.

            1. re: travelmad478

              Sorry to hear about that!

              Henne can definitely be difficult to get into. I've had trouble getting a rez on severeal occasions this summer as well. It's such a popular place, even a spot for two is hard to come by. A little tip for your next visit: the Kleine Markthalle, a place catty-corner across from Henne, serves the same chicken. The beer ain't as great, but they also have a beer garden outside. We've had to go there twice instead of Henne...

              With regard to RP, I doubt their phone# has changed recently, but I generally contact them via email. It's also not _that_ difficult to get a spot during the week, unless you're in a large group or insist on sitting outside.

          3. I'll be in Berlin from 3-14 September, staying 5 nights in Mitte/P-Berg and 5 nights in Schoeneberg. I really appreciate this thread.

            I was a student in Muenchen in 1988 and am craving some Bavarian food. I did a Google search and came up with Maximilian's on Friedrichstrasse. Can anyone say ANYTHING about it - good or bad? I'd be appreciative.

            2 Replies
            1. re: denholt

              You know, Berlin's probably not the ideal place to get Bavarian food. I've seen very mixed reviews about Maximilian's, which is no surprise as it is located in an area with a high frequency of tourists.

              But if you're looking for hearty German fare (Schweinsbraten, Knödel, Kraut, etc.), you might want to give Engelbecken in Charlottenburg a shot (closer to Sch'berg than Mitte).

              There's decent Swabian and Austrian food to be found, but Bavarian's just not our forte '-)

              And what about Berlin food, anyway? Berliner Leber -- sautéed calf's liver with apples and caramelized onions, usually served with pillowy, buttery mashed potatoes? We make some good Eisbein, too.

              In any event, you won't go hungry!

              1. re: linguafood

                Believe me: from reading this thread and others, I have a very long list of Berlin's best. I was hoping just to sneak in one lunch or dinner with some Bayerisches essen, but I'm confident that I won't miss it if I don't!

            2. I'd recommend Schneeweiss, for Alpine-comfort food, in a cool neighborhood:

              Schneeweiss
              Simplonstraße 16
              10245 Berlin
              Fon 030/29 04 97 04
              Fax 030/29 04 97 05
              http://www.schneeweiss-berlin.de

              ...and, would highly recommend a trip to a currywurst/pommes shack at least once while you are in Berlin. There's even a museum dedicated to this delicious street food http://www.currywurstmuseum.de/en/

              Everyone has their favorite(s)...we always go to Ku'damm 195.

              2 Replies
              1. re: elyser

                I used to like Schneeweiss for their unbeatable prices, but have found them to be rather inconsistent. There's always been something wrong with the food, i.e. over- or underdone, slow service, etc. Can't really recommend it anymore.

                1. re: linguafood

                  Oh no, how disappointing! It's a favorite restaurant of our friends, and the time I went the food and service were both outstanding. We arrived a bit later, so perhaps being less busy they were able to spend more time with us (and on our food) but everyone was really friendly and the food was delicious. Sorry to hear that's not always the case.