photo: Hara Katsiki
As mundane as it may sound, Berlin is the very definition of a melting pot. It has always reminded me of an immense theater stage, where all countries take their position and as soon as the lights start to dim, they begin interacting with each other; they fight, they love, they live, but most of all they constantly try to make their stories get heard as loud as possible. There is one thing they have always in common: they are fully in sync with their multicultural environment and in the case of Greece miles away from the picture drawn by Nia Vardalos’ Big Fat – filled with stereotypes, yet utterly entertaining – Greek Wedding.
Several Greek places around the world – cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, concerts etc. – have always made me feel like Alice in Wonderland, but to a more twisted and disturbing extent than Lewis Carroll’s bizarre universe. It is mostly the image of people being lost in their Greek microcosm, fully ignorant of the overwhelming benefits life abroad has to offer, that brings discontent to me. And it is then, when you realize that for some coming from the same place has developed into the one and only criterion of socializing with people.
However, this story is about those who have become citizens of the world and their Greek identity represents a part of it and not vice versa. Here a few examples of Greek businesses and artists active in Berlin who choose to work and live through the aforementioned identity.
photo: Shan Rahimkhan
Our restaurant guides are among the most popular features here on the blog and we love to come up with new themes and topics to curate the gastronomic gems of the city for your enjoyment. Among all our culinary guides, the most successful turned out to be the one with the most unusual restaurants – this seems to have been a particularly fun one, both for our readers and for us.
To give you something new in a similar spirit we have teamed up with MasterCard who have a really exciting program going on that is a perfect match for us. I’m sure you’re heard of the term “Priceless” in connection with MasterCard, which they use to cherish all those unique moments in our life that you just can’t put a price tag on. In continuation of this idea they initiated MasterCard® Priceless® Cities – a program that grants MasterCard® cardholders access to exclusive and “priceless” experiences in selected metropolises in the world – including Berlin, of course – and let’s them discover their cities in exciting new ways.
For our new guide we have chosen some of the most extraordinary restaurants that are part of the Priceless® Berlin program and that offer you an experience that goes way beyond a great meal in a nice ambience. Enjoy our selection of 8 priceless restaurant experiences in Berlin.
Berlin is certainly not Paris. It’s not known for being a city of love, maybe more for short-lived adventures? But regardless of Berlin’s rough nature, it does have an utterly romantic core. Something that you will only discover when you take the time to get to know it, and look underneath all it’s layers.
Beside the obvious places such as techno clubs, hipster cafes, co-working spaces, and cheap tourist attractions Berlin has a couple of truly unique places that a particular charm that I would describe as traditionally romantic. Imagine greek columns entwined by ivy, boot rides in fairytale-like forests, hidden rose gardens and bridges leading to palaces. It’s the stuff of Disney movies and Berlin has these kind of places too! Maybe you know some of them, but didn’t pay attention to recognize their true beauty. Or maybe you have never heard of them. Either way we would advise you to seek them out, maybe on your next date, maybe on your next family visit, or maybe by yourself with a good book. Enjoy our selection of the most romantic places of Berlin masterfully captured by some of our favorite Instagrammers (and myself).
photo: Ailine Liefeld
With a couple of brand new, awesome vegan restaurants and cafes that opened in Berlin recently we thought it was about time to put together a new vegan guide for Berlin. Veganism is probably the biggest “trend” in gastronomy right now, though it is inaccurate to consider it a trend, I like to call it an “awakening”. I think with all the information we have nowadays about industrially produced food and its effect on the eco system and on our health it is only a natural reaction that people start to change their consumption and eating habits. I personally really like vegan cooking, mainly because it requires a certain creativity that makes us break out of our decade long food habits of what goes with what and how you prepare certain things. Vegan dishes, no matter if they are simple or elaborate, open up another world of taste experiences and I think that’s really exciting for everyone’s palate. Enjoy our selection of the most interesting vegan restaurants and cafes in Berlin.
Twingpigs, photo: Daniel Müller
For our latest guide we have once again teamed up with the lovely Laura Le Marchand from Down by Retro and Neukölln Shopping Nacht to give you the best of her favorite district: Neukölln. After we extensively covered all the shops and cafes in our previous collaborations we thought we’d give you something different this time: A nightlife guide including some of the hottest bars, parties and clubs of the popular district. All of these serve as perfect spots to drink and dance after an evening full of shopping and mingling at the Neukölln Shopping Night, which goes into its 6th edition this coming Saturday (May 7, 2016). Once again all the trendy spots in various neighborhoods of Neukölln will be open until 22h and offer some kind of special or mini event in their stores. More infos on the event and our new Neukölln Nightlife Guide curated by Laura after the jump.
AURA, photo: Dress Me Guide Me
The vintage and 2nd hand scene in Berlin is a very diverse world covering some rare vintage from golden times, contemporary high end brands as well as thrift stores where you can buy per kilo. The criteria which makes the difference between all those types is the selection of garments itself. While vintage is the label for clothes that were distinctive to a specific era that’s at least 10-15 years in the past, 2nd hand generally just describes clothes that have been worn by someone before. This could be anything ranging from 2000er high street pieces or last season’s designer stuff. Especially vintage stores pride themselves with the originality of their selection of pieces, that are mostly stand-outs, clean and in good condition. Just like well-curated 2nd hand shops they are usually done with a lot of love and passion, therefore vintage is usually more expensive than your average 2nd hand or thrift store.
Regardless of your personal preference, whether you buy 2nd hand or vintage as a political statement, to get trendy or luxurious brands for cheap or because you are searching for the pearl in a pile of random stuff to get that triumphant feeling of a precious discovery – Berlin’s got you covered!
Our guest contributor Emilie from Dress Me Guide Me selected some of the most awesome shops for you!
Kanaan, photo: Kfir Harbi
Berlin never ceases to amaze me in terms of its relentless ability to open new places. I was reposting our “new restaurants” guide from last year only a couple of months ago only to realize that it’s already been a year. So I thought, with all the news of new places popping up recently, it’s time for a brand new “new restaurants” in Berlin guide – the 2016 edition, so to speak. And again here I was thinking it would be a quick piece with maybe 6 or 7 fresh new restaurants. Well, think again, Frank – it’s BERLIN – there is not gonna just be only 7 new places… My list ended up including 15 (!) exciting new restaurants that opened their doors in the past few months. And I’m just talking about the places that stand out and already experience a good portion of hype! Of course we’ll add new ones along the way this year, so stay tuned for more. But for now here is our fresh pickings.
Berlin rarely comes short when it comes to original and unique ideas to make ordinary things more interesting. Take restaurants, for instance: Why eat in a normal place if you could also eat inside an old bus, in a greenhouse or in a gondola that came all the way from the snow covered Alps. For some dining experiences you just need a very special location for that extra amount of oohs and ahhs. We compiled a list of the 13 most unusual restaurants and cafes in Berlin that won’t disappoint you with their unique locations.
photo: Alicia Kassebohm
Berlin is a city that ends up in smoke. No hard feelings here, if we’re being real: a cigarette with a good drink is one of the most oddly satisfying things. It is bad though. For the environment, others and mostly you. We all know this moment the next morning when smelling your hair and clothes from last night. It’s a rough one. Suddenly, all of your choices from last night are just the burn mark on your new sweater that smells like it was manufactured out of ash in a volcano. Not only non-smokers, even the toughest chain-smoker must be grossed out in this moment. Not to mention: hangovers are way harder when you didn’t only have Mr. Gin and Mr. Jack Daniels with you, but also the Marlboro Man. Or Pepe.
If you’ve had enough of all of the smoke and fire and want to burn the bad choices, we have some addresses for you where you can get a drink or dance without the fumes. Right after the jump is our list of favorite non-smoker friendly bars (which by our definition are bars that have separate smokers and non-smokers areas or are completely smoke-free).
Berlin is a modern, contemporary city like any other, but in one respect it has an awfully bad reputation: Credit cards – let alone any other modern-day form of payment – not accepted! You will read this as a warning in any guide book or hear this from any visitor of the city who complains that they had to pay in cash in the restaurant, couldn’t pay with credit cards in a big electronic stores or with any card whatsoever at the cinema. Germans really seem to value cold hard cash…
But this is changing right now, we just haven’t noticed it yet! With my last visits to the IFA consumer electronics fair I have come across new forms of digital payment multiple times and I wondered, how these are already implemented in Berlin so far. I investigated a bit and made some practical tests.
One of the technologies that I found especially intriguing is the so called mobile wallet that you have on your smartphone. They exist on multiple platforms, the one being interesting for me as an Android user is called MyWallet and it’s available for free at the play app store. What it is is a digital version of your wallet that includes your credit cards, right on your smartphone. Another technology that I tested is the mobile app of Paypal that let’s you use your Paypal credit to pay in stores. More about that and my favorite stores, cafes and restaurants that offer mobile payment after the jump.