Food culture is nothing you are supposed to take lightly. Especially when you have Italian origins. Food is love, passion, dedication and joy. There is no better way to get closer to other human beings than sharing a meal and a good drink. When I was younger and living in a smaller town (in East Germany) a good meal was something I could only enjoyed at home (because restaurants in East Germany pretty much failed at that). When I moved to Berlin I discovered the diversity of the gastronomy here and I was especially surprised that I could enjoy so many authentic Italian meals so far away from the land of my origin (now I sound like a grandpa).
But let’s face the facts. Berlin is also full of places that are not authentic and not the best. Our friends and food lovers from Berlino Magazine did not stand the fact that there are so many wannabe Italian restaurants only serving the mediocre cliche dishes (Pizza, Pasta, Lasagne, you name it) and so many Berliners did not get to enjoy the real authentic and special recipes only Italians know and like. Italian food culture has such a variety of amazing dishes that deserve to be known and appreciated that they started the 72hrs True Italian Food Festival. Starting this Thursday September 22nd at 19h until Sunday evening September 25th, 47 Italian restaurants, pizzerias, wineries, bakeries and bars will offer their own specialties to all Berliners for just 6 EUR.
The best thing about Berlin is, how it consists of cultural pieces from every part of the world. Some further some closer. Italian culture is most definitely one of the most established ones here. Our friends from Berlino Magazine, a Blog run by – and written for Italians in Berlin, decided to create an event that lets you enjoy the wonders of italian cuisine and culture for 72 hours, which is called True Italian. We got inspired by this and thought it is about time, we created a guide to true Italian lifestyle in Berlin just for you.
There is so much more to it than Pizza and Pasta (don’t get us wrong, they will always be our best friends). Find your way into art, music, food and fashion from Italy in Berlin.
Having studied at another culturally forgettable -yet very beautiful in the summer – German town, I always thought that the main difference between living in the capital and living in a place, where breathing large amounts of non-polluted air almost didn’t feel right, was the night life. What differentiates Berlin from other smaller cities is not just its numerous wild parties, where the right drug combination can bring you to euphoric levels of happiness despite the insufferably monotonous beats and pull you into a life crisis the next day, while wondering how you managed to look like you already had a divorce and a few heart-attacks. Luckily, Berlin is so much more than that.
The main difference lies in the possibilities awaiting when the sunlight starts to dim and the city puts on a new outfit, less fancy but always stylish; not the let’s-have-a-reunion-at-the-cemetery-kind, but in a far more original way.
Blame it on your insomnia, your constantly unsatisfied desire to explore as many as layers of this city as possible, your biological needs, or simply your Fear Of Missing Out, Berlin is here to keep you company through the sleepless nights, when doing anything other than “sleeping, because I am working tomorrow” could feel just a little bit abnormal; to be your remedy.
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.
A few months ago my neighborhood in Prenzlauer Berg has been enriched with a great new Vietnamese restaurant that I would like to introduce to you today. We have already a couple of Vietnamese place and fusion restaurants here, so did we really need yet another one? I can confidently answer this with: yes. Because Anjoy is really quite something. It’s run by a charming young lady who’s mom used to cook in the Dong Xuan center in Lichtenberg. Her kitchen there was super popular, so it made a lot of sense to give a bigger audience a chance to taste her amazing cooking. At Anjoy you’ll be served traditional Vietnamese dishes, but the menu was curated in a way that it stands out from the typical Vietnam restaurants. Here you can enjoy a beef stew so rich in taste it almost reminds you of a Gulasch, crunchy pork belly and lemongrass skewers and a platter full of delicious sea food, to name only a few of the options. Even the drinks are little pieces of artwork. We tried almost everyone of their mixes and we couldn’t get enough of them.
Berlin never seizes to surprise me with new amazing things. In a city so full of cultural influences, new ideas, an ever changing population, and so much diversity it’s practically impossible to know it all. So whenever you go out you will likely learn something new.
This is exactly what happened to me at the Fashion Kitchen event of Priceless® Berlin. The event hosted by MasterCard during Berlin Fashion Week brought together the genres of food and fashion with a colorful program including a live cooking and flying buffet by two all-round talents and Priceless Berlin Partners – celebrity chef Kolja Kleeberg and star coiffeur Shan Rahimkhan – and a fashion show of Berlin-based design favorite Michael Sontag who presented his brand new collection. But even though these two elements were already big highlights there was quite a bit more going on. So let me tell you a bit more about these culinary wonders of the Priceless Berlin world that I discovered at the event…
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 really good at re-purposing old places. Factories turn into clubs, old bunkers turn into art galleries, and in Wedding, a crematorium has been converted into a very nice restaurant and art gallery space. It’s called Moos, and it sits in the middle of an old cemetery.
The food is wonderful, as is the architecture. It feels very refined and classy, but not in a stuffy, expensive way. It’s chic and sophisticated, but approachable.
photo: I Heart Alice
Today I want to tell you about one of my favorite cafés that I visit on a permanent basis. Quà Phê in Max-Beer-Strasse in Mitte has opened its doors for the first time not too long ago and was from the beginning on something very special for me. Here you don’t only get delicious cappuccinos with cute mild foam drawings but also many different Vietnamese dishes and they’re all very special.
The café is located on a small side street near to the Schendelpark, more precisely near the Alte Schönhauser Straße. You can sit inside and outside, which is particularly pleasant at this quiet side street. The interior is beautifully decorated and authentic. Between old fans and ancient rusty gates there are long rustic wooden benches and small seating areas, where you can make yourself a comfortable place.
After the jump you can read more about the food in Quà Phê.
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.