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Oct 26, 2010 07:02 PM

Christmas in Berlin

We are going to Germany for the Christkindl Markts and will be in Berlin for about a week, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We are looking for ideas on where to eat Christmas Eve when alot of restaurants are closed and also Christmas Day. We would like to eat at a traditional German restaurant both of those nights.
We would also like suggestions for a turkish restaurant to eat at (a regular meal - not donenr kabobs.) Does have anyone have a suggestions on the best place for doner kabobs?.
Some of the restaurants we are thinking of eating at and have eaten at some of these restaurants are Lubtisch, Lutter and Wegner, Schneissweiss, Florian, Vau, and Marjellchen. Your comments on the food and the ambiance would be appreciated as well as the cost.
Also does anyone have ideas on a good pastry shop or cafe? We have eaten at Opernplais Unter Den Linden. Is Literhaus and Wintergarten a good place to eat? I know the outdoor cafe is a beautiful setting in the spring and summer?

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  1. It's a great (if cold) time to visit the city! Definitely check out the xmas market on Gendarmenmarkt - it's the nicest one in the center, and if the booth is around, you MUST try the Rahmbrot: fresh baked bread with sour cream and speck. There's also a place with great cabbage and pork dishes.

    I hear great things about the xmas market in Spandau, but never been - a bit of a haul...

    For Xmas dinners (and any other German meals, frankly), I highly recommend Renger-Patzsch in Schöneberg, and they are usually open on Xmas, but do check their website or send them an email. If you are willing to splurge, try Facil, Margaux, or Weinbar Rutz.

    I haven't been to Schneeweiss in a while because I felt it was going downhill.

    Opernpalais has pretty awesome cakes, but you know that already. A wonderful pastry shop is on Husemannstr. in Prenzlauer Berg - Werkstatt der Süße. Just fabulous tarts, pastries, etc.

    You could also check out the original Einstein Café on Kurfürstenstr.

    Not sure about meals at Literaturhaus - just like you, i've only been to the outdoor café for coffee.

    Please don't go to Hasir on Oranienburger Str. in Mitte for your Turkish meal. The place caters to busloads of tourists, and the food is a rip-off.

    Best to either go to their main location in Kreuzberg on Adalbertstr., or - even better, check out the small Turkish restaurant on Wiener Str. (also in Kreuzberg) near Görlitzer Bahnhof U-Bahn stop. I can't for the life of me remember its name, but it has a small front yard, and it offers home-style Turkish cooking at very, very decent prices.

    Best döner is to be had at Imren on Boppstr. in Neukölln.

    43 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Thanks for your suggestions. We had heard that Spandau had a good Christmas market so we will check it out
      My husband really likes Schnitzel and all kinds of German food and my two 20 something adult children like beer. What do you think of Welt Restaurant Markhalle and Jolesch? Who has the best Schnitzel in Berlin? And if we can combine the Schnitzel with a micro brewry that would be great..
      As you can see from my first post, we were eating around Savignyplatz since that is near where we are staying. But we are willing to travel. Transportation on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn are so convenient.
      I was also reading the threads about Reinstoff. That would be a splurge. Any thoughts on that restaurant?? We ate at Facils a year and 1/2 ago and the roof was closed which was too bad. I will goggle those two other splurges you suggested.
      Can you eat at Henne for lunch or is that definately for dinner? The food sounds great and the old world Berlin sounds great.

      1. re: suzieq4

        I haven't had the schnitzel at Weltrestaurant Markthalle, so I can't comment. I absolutely LOVED the food at Jolesch -- tried both their schnitzel and the saftgulasch (their dumplings converted me from a dumpling hater)!

        Wirtshaus zum Mitterhofer is another excellent Tyrolean place on Fichtestr., unfortunately, it's a bit of a bitch to get there with public transportation, but if you were to go there, Brauhaus Südstern is *relatively* nearby (on Hasenheide).

        Henne is only open for dinner, unfortunately, but worth it. Just make sure to get a rez. They are closed on Mondays, btw.

        Haven't had the chance to try Reinstoff yet. It sounds VERY fussy i.e. 'experimental' -- if that is your thing, go for it. I think Rutz or Weinbar Rutz might be nice, too.

        Hartmanns (also in the Fichtestr. neighborhood aka "kiez") is also good for fancier German food.

        Or Perkeo in Charlottenburg, if you like a really good wine list.

        1. re: linguafood

          Thanks for all your great ideas. I am checking them all out and will probably have some more questions. We have 8 nights in Berlin so I want to have a varied experience but we plan to eat German food except one night we will eat Turkish food. We plan to go to KaDeWe for weisswurst and the Christkindl Markts, donner kabobs, currywurst, bratwurst and pastry places for lunch. Thanks for your suggestion re food at the Christkindl Markt and cafes. Hartmanns look great. I sent them an email to see if they are open Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for dinner. I can feel the pounds coming on - have to do alot of walking and exercise.

      2. re: linguafood

        Could the Turkish restaurant be Hasir on Adalbertstr. at #12, linguafood? I couldn't google or qype up anything Turkish on Wiener Str.

        1. re: amyzan

          Yes, the "original", first location of Hasir on Adalbertstr. is the one I was referring to - they have since expanded to Mitte and Schöneberg. Their dürüm döner is excellent, but I find their sit-down meals to be lacking & overpriced. Plus the service can suck.

          The Turkish home-style meal place on Wiener (it's near the very mediocre Thai resto Paillin) probably can't be found online. it's not the type of place that would register on qype, I think.

          1. re: linguafood

            Mercan! Mercan! Mercan! Turkish food on Wiener Str. so nice, I said it thrice! ;)

              1. re: linguafood

                Thanks so much. We will definately try this restaurant. Do you have any suggestions on what to eat?

                1. re: suzieq4

                  I don't remember Mercan having a menu. Basically, there will be a bunch of daily specials to choose from.

                  1. re: suzieq4

                    They have a blackboard on which the daily dishes are written, and from which you can choose.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      I have been to Lutter and Wegner now three times for business lunches, and all trips have been disappointing. The food was cold one time, while the second time the veal chop was like rubber. The third time we had a mixed group that included English speakers, and the staff were horrible to us. Avoid.

                      In terms of Wienerschnitzel, Malzbach behind the Marheinekehalle market is worth checking out. Note that the Marheinekehalle is a recently restored old market with something like 24 food stalls. Bergmannstrasse, which is where the market hall is located, is worth a stroll, although the restaurant scene is otherwise not stellar. My favorite Italian place is on Chamissoplatz, which also has an organic market on Saturdays.

                      1. re: packerbacker

                        Well, I've never been to Lutter & Wegner, so I can't say anything about it, dito for the schnitzel at Matzbach. I'd DEF avoid Austria, b/c they are just living on their hype now.

                        As for the Italian, I'm guessing you mean Grünfisch. Agreed - very good food at decent prices, VERY good wine list.

                        Noodles got a younger vibe...

                        1. re: linguafood

                          We have a reservation for Reinstoff for Christmas Eve. It is in a hotel and they are open. I had tried Hartmanns but they are closed since it is Christmas Eve. Christmas Day we are going to Marjellchen. These restaurants are a nice contrast, I would think since Reinstoff is modern and Marjellichen is tradition Prussian. We are also going to get a reservation for Renger Patzch. Can't wait.
                          Re the Christkindl Markts, I am looking forward to the speck and kase on bread since my grandmother used to make something like that. Any other suggestions on food to eat at the Markets? Do the markets have places to sit down or do you just wander from stall to stall and eat?
                          Also does anyone have a website for Evangelical (Lutheran) Christmas Eve services? Someone on a post said that Reinstoff took 4 hours for dinner. I hope not - we have a 7 pm reservation and I would like to go to a church service too. Maybe if we only get 4 courses rather than 6, we will be okay. Any comments will be appreciated.
                          Right now I am on overload - I have to look through all of these responses and other ones and get organized and then I will be asking more questions.

                          1. re: suzieq4

                            As for the xmas market, I'd just wander around and see what floats your boat. There are some sit-down places (which I think I mentioned further up-thread) with very hearty German fare - think pork & cabbage & potatoes. Good eats in the cold Berlin winter months.

                            Other typical offerings are sautéed mushrooms in a very garlicky sauce, waffles, steamed sweet dumplings (Dampfnudeln), and of course, bratwurst. Most booths only have standing tables.

                            Pretty much ALL evangelical churches in Germany are Lutheran, so my guess is you won't have a hard time finding one. I think there even is an English-speaking church on the border of Schöneberg & Kreuzberg.

                            1. re: linguafood

                              We heard about Sasha Waltz and Guests (a dance company) at the Radialsystem V at Holzmarktstr 33. When we went to the website to get tickets, the tickets are sold out for when we will be there for Dec. 18 and Dec 19 for this dance company. Are there places you can buy scalped tickets in Berlin and do you know if we can buy them over the internet or by phone before we arrive in Berlin? We won't be getting to Berlin until Dec. 18 and our hotel is a nice hotel but more like a pension so they don't have a concierge.
                              Also Lingua and others gave some great bakeries and sweet places to go (Backerei Balzer and Werkstatt der Susse) and they are on my list - are their any bakeries or sweet shops in the Savignyplatz area where we will be staying? I also read about Soluna Brot and Ol in Kreuzberg. It sounds like the bread is great and we could have a picnic with the bread for lunch. Any comments on whether we should try to stop there.

                              1. re: suzieq4

                                YES Baeckerei Balzer is just wonderful! I highly recommend their Apfel Ballen if you can get them - really incredibly done. If not, the pfannkuchen are great as are most of their other pastries, but the Apfel Ballen and the pfannkuchen were truly outstanding. Konditorei Krautzig up on Schoenhauser Allee in PLBerg had wonderful pfannkuchen as well as amazing rhabarber streuselkuchen - to die for. I have been meaning to try out Baeckerei Siebert which is even farther away, but I'm leaving Berlin tomorrow morning and don't know if I'll wake up early enough to trek over there....

                                I went to Renger Patzsch tonight based on linguafood and my friend's rec and I got the flammkuchen there (the tarte flambee maison) and it was absolutely SUPERB! With a nice glass of Gruener Veltliner, it was one of my best meals in Berlin ever. When you go there, please be sure to get a flammkuchen. The crust was thin, crispy, but slightly chewy in the best way. The creme fraiche on top was rich and creamy and slightly tangy. The speck and onions on top were just perfect. Really made my trip.

                                Hasir on Adalbertstrasse was also very good. I was skeptical, as it can be quite touristy, even in the Kreuzberg location. But the kebabs were cooked very well and the Turkish bread that came with the meal was ridiculously addictive. I think it is made there. There is probably even better Turkish food, but if you don't have a recommendation from a local, it can be scary to try some of the more "authentic" looking places. Hasir was really good and pleasantly surprised me. linguafood seems to have great recs, though, so if he/she recommends that other place, you should try it. I'll definitely try it next time I'm here!

                                I had schnitzel at the original Cafe Einstein and believe me, the half portion is a normal full portion for anyone. It was very well done, but I feel like there must be better. If that's as good as it gets, then I'm fine with not having schnitzel again for the rest of my life. The Kaiserschmarrn, very kindly comped to me by my ancillary waiter, was also delicious.

                                I really enjoy the bread from Beumer and Lutum as well as the Dinkelbrot and the Kuerbiskernbroetchen from Weichardt. At Beumer and Lutum there is this very interesting bread that I've never had elsewhere that you should try if you can - it's flat, shaped into a circle, very dark, filled with seeds, and sort of sticky. It's so unique, so delicious with hummus or any spread, or plain on its own. I forgot what it's called, but you won't be able to mistake it when you see it.

                                I heard that Jolesch is very good, though I haven't been there.

                                Last time I was here, I had a great tagliatelle with black truffles and parmesan at this nice neighborhood place in PLBerg on Hufelandstrasse called Opitergium.

                                I love Berlin and hope you do too. Enjoy your Christmas here!!

                                1. re: j.jessica.lee

                                  Thanks for the kind words, j.jessica.lee!! I am always happy when my recommendations are a success (and hopefully, I'll be able to add some new things come spring...).

                                  Jolesch is indeed excellent, and you should give their schnitzel a try, also the saftgulasch with dumplings (which I HATED up until that meal).

                                  Another great German/Austrian/schnitzel destination is Wirtshaus zum Schweighofer (mentioned further upthread) - small, friendly, really really good comfort food.

                                  Opitergium sounds worth a try - is their cuisine largely Italian, or eclectic? I've found that Paparazzi, one of my old faves, unfortunately isn't keeping the quality it used to have, and am always on the lookout for good Italian places. Even tho Pregnant Hill (PBerg) isn't my kiez, exactly.

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    We're leaving tonight for 4 nights in Munich and then 8 nights in Berlin. Any suggestions for bars or nightclub, music venues near our hotel for us old people -50s-60s and also for our kids who are mid to late twenties.
                                    Thanks for all your good recommendations re restaurants, donners, currywurst, sweets, Christkindl Markt food, etc. I will let you know how it goes for us. .
                                    Some one had listed a list of Berlin specialities in another post and I was going to print it out. Now I can't find it. One was on Wikipedia, which I can't find either. So if someone could help me out that would be great.

                                    1. re: suzieq4

                                      New to posting and not sure this is the correct method, so fingers crossed that you just jump in when you think relevant. I jumped in here because we have just arrived in Berlin for 6 nights specifically in Prenzlauer berg which at first glance seems like a great choice. Any suggestions as to mid price restaurants in this area would be much apprciated.

                                      Ps if this is not the correct way to post can someone tell me how...sorry to be a dummy!


                                      1. re: midgee

                                        There is nothing inherently wrong with posting on a thread that already deals with Berlin restos. And you also don't need to start a new thread on the Europe board either.

                                        What would help, however, if you could perhaps narrow it down to cuisines that you are particularly interested in, as Pregnant Hill aka Prenzlauer Berg is a rather large district & there is lotsa stuff out there.

                                        So please - ask away! :-)

                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          Thanks linguafood for being a fabulous resource for visitors to Berlin. As we have just come from Vienna and had our fair share of superb Viennese cuisine. Probably looking for slightly lighter but main deal is that the food is fresh and cooked well so happy to consider all you have to offer. Last night we tried Monsieur Vuong and it was 'just what the doctor ordered"! so fresh and perfect. We are staying on Marionburger strasse. Thanks again for your generous time,


                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            Hi linguafood, if you are online now that would be great as we are just heading out and realise that the one thing we need each day are terrific lunch places. Love the whole kaffeehauser culture in Vienna where a good soup reigns supreme! Could you suggest mid range places with food cooked well and if some ambience thrown in that would be great. Staying on Marionburgerstrasse so walking distance would help but not essential.


                                            1. re: midgee

                                              Sorry I missed yer lunch run (being in the US means I am 6 hours behind).

                                              Try Yama on Marienburger for fairly good sushi. You are in an area with lots of restos. If you're not tired of Vietnamese yet, Si An on Rykestr. is a good option. Paparazzi on the corner of Danziger/Husemann has excellent homemade pasta, as does Teigwaren on Oderberger Str. (a little further west from you towards Mauerpark). Oderquelle and Pratergarten Restaurant serve regional, light German fare.

                                              If you head down towards Mitte, check out Cocolo for awesome Ramen (Gipsstr.). Clärchens Ballhaus on Auguststr. is a great place for dancing & people watching - a true Berlin experience.

                                              Yum Cha Heroes on Weinbergsweg has great dumplings, as does Wok Show on Greifenhagener. Maria Bonita on Danziger for Mexican.

                                              Restauration 1900 on Kollwitzplatz is also a good German resto.

                                              Anywhos. Let me know if there are other cuisines you are specifically interested in, and whether you are at all interested in leaving your neighborhood!

                                              Also, I suggest you check out some of the other Berlin threads on the Europe board, lots of good ideas there, too.

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                Fantastic!!! You are our guru, thanks so much linguafood, lots to try here. Actually dont laugh but you know what we really crave, a simple great sandwich. Made freshly, terrific bread and interesting fillings. I know we seem like we are not venturing far but the truth is after a long day seeing the sights, its dark and cold and all we want to do is drop into a local on the way home for some interesting fare before we collapse. Tried Yam Yam last night, never had Korean before ...converts! Many thanks again. Will report back.


                                                1. re: midgee

                                                  Hmmmm. Sandwiches, eh? While I can't think of any place that would be as good as any sandwich I've had in Amsterdam (Singel 404 and Small World Catering in particular come to mind), a decent bet is the Le CroBaq chain. Yes, it's a chain, but the bread is fresh and they have quite a variety of toppings. They're pretty much all over the place.

                                                  But you can't leave Berlin without having had Currywurst (Bier's Curry & Spieße beneath S-Bahn stop Friedrichstrasse) or Döner (Imren on Boppstrasse in Neukölln, but there's a decent one to be had in your neck of the woods - it's more of a shwarma, tho) on Marienburger towards Kollwitzstr. - can't think of the name right now. Something Arabic.

                                                  Keep on eating!

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    Ok nightly report ...tried Si An tonight, fantastic especially after a serious calorie lapse at lunchtime at a cute little patisserie called Albrecht in Rykestr, Yummy cakes and nice homey feel. Please tell me its not a chain as it felt 'loved' by someone.

                                                    Now linguafood here is a test for you ...where to eat for the big NY? Know we have left it late and so fine dining probably out because hav'nt booked but then we tend to love mid range but interesting just as much. We were thinking German after a few nights of Asian inspired. What about your suggestion of Restauration 1900 or Blaues Band? Open to any or all suggestions. Love to know name of local Doner as again not really familiar with this type of food. Yes yes! I know we come from Melbourne which is the food capitol of Australia but there you go. Thanks for sandwich tip, will be on the look out. Thought we would head to Ka De We tomorrow to oggle their food hall.


                                                    1. re: midgee

                                                      Glad you liked Si An. I had a wonderful Vietnamese grilled asparagus salad there one spring.

                                                      Albrecht is not a chain, and you won't find too many of those in town anyway, save for supermarkets, bakeries, and drugstores (and, of course, the imperialistic golden arches, BK, etc.).

                                                      How about Renger-Patzsch for NYE? I happen to know that they are open, and you can check out their NYE's menu online:


                                                      It's a bit of a haul from where you are, but you could cab it or take the U2 to Nollendorfplatz and cab it from there.

                                                      Blaues Band is also a good choice, tho I've never personally eaten there.

                                                      I'll try to find the shawarma place on Marienburger, but you'd probably see it (it's a small take-out place on the lefthand side if you're heading towards Kollwitzplatz.

                                                      Babel on Kastanienallee is also hugely popular, they have great falafel, too.

                                                      And there is an Israeli hummus place on Husemannstr. you might want to check out as well.

                                                      Lastly, if you like pastries, you MUST stop in at Werkstatt der Süße on Husemann.

                                                      Seems like you won't be going hungry '-)

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        Me again ! And a little desperate now as we have left booking anywhere for tonight till last minute and have tried Blaues Band ( shut) Restauration 1900 ( full) and Renger Patzsch ( not answering phone). Really favour authentic good German food and happy to travel anywhere with U bahn access and short taxi ride. Hope you get this soon and can help,


                                                        1. re: midgee

                                                          Go to Renger-Patzsch. My guess is they are not full. Keep calling.

                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            NYE report. Well, we got a little caught out by not pre-planning. Ended up walking around Prenzlauer Berg and hoping for an off chance table. Tried Restauration 1900, Gugelhof, Pasternak (all full) and finally when Pizza was looking the go managed to get a table at Mao Thai. It was your standard accomplished Thai, nothing really special but fine. Lesson learned. Tonight we went to Restauration 1900 and it was terrific. My goats cheese salad with couscous and mixed green was a work of art, husband's pigs cheek with pumpkin dumplings, crushed peas and tiny onions was wonderful. So that is us done and dusted for Berlin. Off to Jerusalem tomorrow. Any tips greatly appreciated. Linguafood you have been a legend. Thank you. Oh! Yes. Lunch was at 'November' Husemannstr and that is just the sort of cafe we love, good food, great atmosphere and time to linger.

                                                            Auf Wierdesehen


                                                            1. re: midgee

                                                              Glad you had some nice meals! Mao Thai used to be The Thai Place to go, but they've long outlived the hype. Plus they're overpriced.

                                                              Bon voyage to Jerusalem.

                                      2. re: linguafood

                                        I forgot to mention that our Hotel is in the Savignyplatz area.

                                        1. re: suzieq4

                                          Ya know, it's not all that unusual for "old" people such as yourselves to go out and have fun in Berlin. Many bars and pubs are filled with people ranging from 20s to 60s, particularly in Charlottenburg, which is the neighborhood you are staying in.

                                          Zwiebelfisch, Bar Gainsbourg, Paris Bar (more hype than anything, but I suppose one should've been there at least once - for full disclosure, I haven't) are all valid candidates in the vicinity or smack dab at Savignyplatz. Union Jack if you like Scotch.

                                          Berlin specialties, in no particular order: Pfannkuchen (donuts known as "Berliner" anywhere else in Germany), currywurst, döner, falafel & shawarma, walleye, game, pork knuckle....

                                          Not sure if I mentioned it, but an absolute MUST are, of course, KaDeWe and Rogacki.

                                          PS: Best sushi in town (kaiten-style) at Mr. Hai Kabuki on Olivaer Platz. Go for their excellent lunch deal 9.50 Euro for miso soup, bottomless tea, and most plates going around the bar. Which is where you should sit.

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            Thanks for your suggestions.Any suggestions on Vietnamese rstaurants. Also we like KADeWe. What is the Siberterrrace like? Do we need reservations?

                                            1. re: suzieq4

                                              Mr. Hai & friends is on Savignyplatz. Same dude who runs Mr. Hai Kabuki, the sushi place, but the one on Savignyplatz is Vietnamese.

                                              Check out the German version of yelp, qype, too, for suggestions, particularly in your neighborhood.

                                              I've only browsed the KaDeWe food section and dream of one day going to one of their AYCE parties, so I couldn't tell ya. They do have a website.

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                Renger Patzsch was fabulous. We all really liked Mercan, the Turkish restaurant. Will provide a complete report of meals later. Tomorrow we go to Mr. Hai and friends before the symphony..

                                                1. re: suzieq4

                                                  So glad you had a good time, and good food! Can't wait to hear about Mercan, since I haven't eaten there yet myself.

                                                  Enjoy Mr. Hai & the symphony!!!

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    Lingua and everyone else who participated,
                                                    Thanks for all your great suggestions. Even though the weather was cold and snowy when we were in Berlin, we had a wonderful time. Today I will focus on the restaurants we ate at for dinner and then comment tomorrow on all the other wonderful foods we ate thanks to this board.
                                                    Non - German - we ate a Mercan on Saturday when we arrived from Munich.. It was so authentic. They didn't have a menu so they took us up to the front and showed us what they had and it was delicious - alot of it was lamb based. And we liked the Turkish beer and the fact the other dinners were turkish. (Plus we had had a long train ride to Berlin from Munich so we were glad to eat and run).
                                                    We ate at Mr. Hai and company before the symphony on Tuesday. It was upscale compared to Mercan. Thanks Lingua -it was just what we needed since it was in Savignyplatz. and very quick . All four of us had Pho - a noodle soup. Two of us had noodle soup with duck and leaks and the other two had rice noodles and chicken, shrimp and veggies. We also had the overpriced special drinks which I would skip next time. I think we had a singapore sling and daquiris.
                                                    We ate at Renger-Patzsch on Monday night. It was wonderful. The plaumkuchen was wonderful. We had the tarte with eggplant, chevre, rosemary, onions and capers. We also had the rabbit two ways with lentils and veal chops with gratin potatoes. My husband and son lost out since their soccer game was changed to Monday night so they missed out. We also had a great Lemberger trocken plus I made friends with some guys sitting at our table and they gave me a taste of their red wine. It was the other wine I was thinking of ordering.
                                                    We ate at Thiels on Giesebrechtstrasse 19 near the Ku Damm on Sunday night. It was a recommendation of our hotel which scared me but we had had a mix up getting a reservation because we had thought the guys were going to the soccer game. It ended up being very nice. It is modern European. You can check out their website. It is a new restaurant and the chief is Alexander Thiel. They had a nice wine list. My daughter had a pasta dish with cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and spinach, my husband had wiener schnitzel, and my son and I had venison with burssel sprouts, plum polenta and jumiper berries. It was very well prepared. Pat said the schnitzel was okay but not the greatest.
                                                    Wednesday night we ate at Florian. The room was packed with people. We had the normal complimentary appetizers - lard and chive dips with bread. We also had an artichoke dip with garlic but the artichoke was tough. I had duck with red cabbage and my daughter had lamb with green beans and potatoes. The standout dish was boar roulade that had olives it. It was outstanding and my son and husband had that dish.
                                                    Thursday night we went to Lutter and Wegner on Schulterstrasse near Savignyplatz,. I talked with the next table when he complimented me on my red wine selection and found out that this is the original Lutter and Wegner restaurant. The owner sold the name to the guy who owns all the other restaurants that get the bad reviews but he is allowed to run this restaurant. I was told that Lutter and Wegner at the Gendarmemarkt and Potsdamer Platz has a great wine list but not so great food. We all had wiener schnitzel with austrian potatoe salad. It was fabulous. Three of us had the small schnitzel and still it was huge. You can guess who had the big schnitzel. He really liked it.
                                                    As you can see or will see after I continue this saga, we have been eating very well and will need new clothes. I must run now but will post later the rest of our meals- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and our snacks, lunches, etc..
                                                    Thanks for the great recommendations Lingua.

                                                    1. re: suzieq4

                                                      And also thanks to SB Russell who helped Lingua figure out Mercan. It was really a find. Tomorrow more on the currywurst debate and we weren't drunk when we ate it.

                                                      1. re: suzieq4

                                                        We enjoyed Reinstoff on Christmas Eve. It is a beautiful place in probably a former warehouse in Mitte. It was very elegant. We first had 4 appetizers, Nishiki nero and shrimps, iced goat milk and beetroot ice popicle, herbal quail egg and whitefish caviar and sour chips. We then could have as many as 8 small courses. We choose 4 courses but picked different courses. The raw marinated scallop, brussel sprout and sunflower seeds was superb. We also had mushrooms with perigard truffles but that was not as great as we thought it would be. One of us had goose liver, witrh garpacho and hazelnut and vinaigrette. We also had hake in thistle oil, artichjokes, tonburi and miso which was very good. Another one of us had pear sorbet, juniper and black forest gin. The main course was wild duck, braised cabbage, appple and dried berries. That was delightful. We skipped the dessert and had little treats of macarons, dark chocalate with parmeasan and a lolipop. All in all it was a relaxing evening. We had the wine pairings with the meal. The riesling from the Nahe was very minerally and not sweet. It was great. I also really liked the Beerenauslese from the Pfalz. We went to the Kaiser Wilhelm Church beforehand so we were not rushed which was good since the meal was over 3 1/2 hours.
                                                        On Christmas day we ate at Marjellchen, a Prussian, Eastern Germany type of place, and had comfort food. We enjoyed Konigsberger Klopse with potato salad and red beet salad. One of us had lamb stew with vegetables and another one had wild boar and vension with cabbage and berries. I also had the beet soup. It was a very cozy atmosphere and while it was heavy old fashioned German food it was very good. It was quite a contrast with the evening before.
                                                        Lingua,- the Rahmsbrot at the Gendarmenmarkt was delicious. I would have loved to go back there every day. We also had Kaiserschmarrn which was so yummy.We also went to Spandau on Sunday (it is supposed to be very lively on weekends). We bought stoellen to take home and baumkuchen and had wonderful waffles as well as brats. There was a section where people were dressed in mideval costumes and they served all sorts of interesting foods. They were also playing instruments.
                                                        And of course the gluhwein and all it variations. It really helped keep you warm. We also went to KaDeWe and I bought some wonderful zimsterne cookies, dominos and other German cookie delights. The store was decorated for Christmas and I went to the top floor- where they had food and wine and had a glass of champagne. We had already eaten downstairs - had weiss wurst, curry wurst (curry wurst not that good) and I had the loaf that looked like meat loaf -(I am doing a blank on the name) and potato salad. So we were stuffed. One day we stopped in Gallerie Lafeyette and had french pasteries and wonderful thick hot chocolate.
                                                        On Christmas Eve morning we went to Backerei Balzer - had the apfelballchen and a plum coffee cake with streussel (I remember my grandmother's plum kaffee kuchen) among other treats we bought. It was a delight. They wrapped the purchases that we bought up in paper and tied it with a string just like the bakeries used to do many years ago. My kids said their coffee was the best they had had on the trip.
                                                        We ate currywurst at Bier's Curry and Spiesse without the skin. My husband and kids also had currywurst at Witty's outside KaDeWe and my husband had currywurst at KaDeWe. He didn't think the currywurst at KaDeWe was that great. He loves KaDeWe's weisswurst.
                                                        Thanks everyone and especially Lingua for all the great recommendations. We have many happy memories of the great food we ate. And my son and I went to A-Train and saw a jazz performance. I can't wait to go back to Berlin because there are so many places we missed. Thanks again.

                                                        1. re: suzieq4

                                                          well, suzieq, sure sounds like you made the most of your trip! glad you had a great and culinarily rewarding trip! i miss that rahmbrot (haven't been in berlin around the holidays in a while), but you couldn't pay me to drink glühwein '-)

                                                          the meatloaf is leberkäse. tasty stuff. a-trane is a great bar for live music. hopefully, one day i'll get to sing there (maybe open mic)....

                                                          happy returns!!!

                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            Thanks again for all your tips. It really was a nice time with all the lights, snow, markets etc. The downside was that we didn't walk around as much since it was so cold so I didn't get to all the other places that sounded so great. Want to go to Clarchen Ballhaus sometime. Well - that gives me another reason to go back soon.
                                                            A-Trane was really nice. It was such an intimate space. Hope you get to sing there sometime.
                                                            Actually, I think my German butcher had better leberkase. Question, do you have a special key so you can put the umlaut in ? I don't have it on mine.

                                                            1. re: suzieq4

                                                              i have a mac, so it's option plus vowel.

                                                              i miss good leberkäse!

            1. Great posts and places for our upcoming visit to Munich, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, and Berlin for the 2011 Christmas markets. Looking for a place for Christmas eve and Christmas day dinners in Berlin.

              Sent an email to Renger-Patzschand learned that they will be closed on both days. Considering Marjellichen, but can't find an email address to send a note.

              I'd welcome a suggestions on best possible choices for this year.

              Thanks for the help,


              12 Replies
              1. re: joe_biotech

                You'll find most of the German restaurants are closed on Christmas eve and Christmas day. I do remember Marjellichen being open last year, though. Just give them a call to confirm.

                If you don't have your heart set on German, you'll find that a lot of places are open. I usually hit the Bird on the 24th, and go for Vietnamese on the 25th.

                1. re: S_B_Russell

                  Ooooh! Bird boyguhs for Xmas eve! Nice. What's your choice for Vietnamese? I've found most of them rather underwhelming -- been to Si An & Monsieur Vuong (of course) as well as Via He (probably the most "authentic") on Heimstrasse in Xberg.

                  Any good pho anywhere?

                2. re: joe_biotech

                  I skimmed thru the thread, and according to suzieq4's post, Reinstoff is open on Xmas eve (or was when she was in town).

                  It's a fancy place & pricy, not sure if that's what you had in mind, but open.... it is.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Yes they were open on xmas eve and they have a special menu which was very good. It was the same price as other nights. The portions are small so you probably want to have 3 or 4 courses or maybe even five. They just got their second Michelin star so if you want to reserve, I would do it now. It is pricey but has an interesting modern decor.

                    1. re: suzieq4

                      Just heard back from Restaurant Reinstoff. closed on both Christmas eve and Christmas day. Any other suggestions for an upscale Christmas eve/day dinner?

                      1. re: joe_biotech

                        Hartmanns is open Xmas day. Hugos is open Xmas eve.

                        I'd recommend Hartmanns, as I haven't been to Hugos myself, but both would be upscale options.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Thanks for the suggestion. I was able to make reservations on Christmas day via OpenTable for 6:30 pm. Will let everyone know how it turns out next year.

                          Thanks to all.


                          1. re: joe_biotech

                            The menu looks great. If only they hired a professional translating service... I'm not sure what some of those things are.


                            1. re: linguafood

                              Hartmanns sound great for Christmas Day. Another restaurant that would be open on Christmas Eve is Duke in the Hotel Ellington. It is a very mod restaurant in a Bauhaus building and has some interesting offerings. It is in Charlottenburg. I have not been able to figure out how to translate the menu.

                              1. re: suzieq4

                                Oh? That's weird. Looks like Duke's got an English website with their menus posted, too....

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Guess I mised it. Will look for that. THE Restaurant looks interesting. Also isn't Rutz Wein Bar open? I vaguely remember it was open for xmas last year but that I am not positive on that one.

                                  1. re: suzieq4

                                    Good catch! They are open xmas day, but not xmas eve....