It doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist, a born Berliner or someone who has settled in Berlin for any variety of reasons: Cafe Einstein is an absolute must for anyone who steps foot in this fantastic city.
I find the history of this building particularly important, as it lends extra splendor to an already fantastically beautiful building:
In 1878, the sewing machine factory owner Gustav Rossmann commissioned this villa in the en-vogue neo-renaissance style, which would survive two World Wars unscathed. In the 1920s, the Jewish private banker Georg Blumenfeld and his wife Lucia Margarete bought the house, which would later be used as a secret gambling club for the high society of the Weimar Republic: aristocrats, intellectuals, the rich, famous lawyers and numerous stars. When the National Socialists took power in 1933, the club was publicly busted; Blumenfeld and his wife were disowned and finally driven into taking their own lives. Soon after their ousting, a Nazi agency moved into the premises and remained there until 1945. Paul Joseph Goebbels (a Nazi politician and the Reich minister of propaganda) supposedly gifted the Villa in the Kurfürstenstraße to his secret Mistress Henny Porten, a then-famous movie actress. Then, after Henny moved out, it was rumored to harbor an illegal SS officer’s casino. And, of course, Henny also died here, impoverished.
More that 300 air raids transformed Berlin into a sea of debris, but the villa was one of the few buildings in the Kurfürstenstraße to survive. After the war, its fate remained undecided for a long time until, to the day 100 years after the laying of the first stone, the Einstein opened in 1978 with the aim of creating a true Viennese-style coffee house in Berlin. Two memorial paving stones have been laid at the entrance to commemorate the Blumenfelds and their fate.
Today, the Einstein is world-renowned for its excellent cuisine, home-made pastries and coffee, as of course for its singular location and interiors. It is vital that you visit the ‘Stammhaus’ in the Kurfürstenstraße and not one of the small coffee shops that you’ll see dotted all over Berlin. It is only here that you will find the widest range of absolutely mouth-watering layered cakes, a hot chocolate lavishly topped with fresh, whipped cream (a must-have!) and the crispiest coated Schnitzel in the city. Their breakfasts are delicious, the two person tiered-breakfast is an absolute winner and will full you up well. Is it slightly snobby and somewhat pretentious? Perhaps. But look at your surroundings when you are there, sample as many different dishes as you can and take a home a piece of cake if you are too full to have one after your schnitzel, as you will most definitely not regret it. Any pretentiousness you might experience only adds to the atmosphere and the astoundingly interesting history of the Café Einstein.
Book for dinner or breakfast, or turn up during the day and you’ll always be given a table. In summer the outside garden is truly stunning.
Book well in advance to get a table for dinner in this hip and trendy Berlin location. No matter how often we eat here, neither the food nor the service ever disappoint. The interior is laid-back, yet chic and well-designed, the staff are friendly and casual but know their food, and wine as well, if you have questions. All of the meals are fantastic but you really can not have the true Katz Orange experience without ordering one of their ‘Candy on the Bone’ meals for two. Whether you have the lamb, beef or pork belly (my personal favourite!), you will find yourself wanting more. And what a delicious surprise: second servings of the meat will be brought out to you upon request and without any extra charge! You’ll need sides to accompany your mains and a refreshing cocktail to round it all off, of which there are many scrumptious choices to choose from. Don’t think twice about booking here, whether it’s for an intimate meal for two, or in a big round of friends – this is a restaurant that will please on all occasions!
Definitely more upmarket, as you would expect from a restaurant, which has held it’s Michelin Star for many years, but an absolute favorite of mine in Berlin! The food is flawless, the flavor combinations are unbeatable and the restaurant strives for and succeeds in providing a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere. You’ll definitely need to book and if the weather permits it, definitely ask for a table in the outside garden, which makes for a beautiful summer’s evening setting. Don’t shy away from unusual flavor duos: the mushroom ice-cream accompanied by candied eggplant was one of the best things I have ever eaten, as were the deep fried lamb’s brains. The more traditional meals of milk calf or poached fish were absolutely perfect, embracing and respecting the vastly regional products that they cook with here.
Out of all the up-market restaurants in Berlin, this is the one I will always keep coming back to!
Tapas, yes. Standard-fare, seen it a million times, boring and tasteless tapas as you’ll find in may joints across Berlin? Definitely not! I discovered Txokoa about four years ago and I have been coming back ever since. The menu has kept some of their signature dishes but there are always new ones to be tried and the old favourites have only gotten better with time. Do book, this hip area of Neukölln fulls up fast at meal times, especially in restaurants with a reputation like this one. The pork belly is an absolute must-try – I usually end up ordering it twice throughout the evening because it really is that delicious. Depending on your appetite, you’ll need between two and five tapas. My husband and I order five because we’re greedy and can’t get enough of their food, but we would be perfectly full after three of four. Order their long-standing octopus dish, even if you’re not a fan of seafood. Broaden your horizons and try this delicately poached piece of fish, it will have you licking the bowl once you’ve finished. Dessert is also always a highlight, whether you choose their signature chocolate fondant with wasabi cream or one of their creative weekly specials. And don’t leave without having tried one of their fantastic Gin and Tonics, which they are well-known for. Have one of the waiting staff advise you on which one would best suit your taste!
Greifenhagener Straße 15
We are big brunch eaters and so I couldn’t review my favourite five Berlin restaurants without including a breakfast option! Zuckerfee is the place to go, whether it’s early morning or late afternoon. You’ll be struggling to decide on what to eat as each and every option here looks appealing and trust me, they’re all as good as they sound!
The pancakes are a favourite of mine. Have them with bacon and the home made baked beans and freshly baked bread. Yum! Or go for the omelette filled with creamy gouda, crispy bacon, candied paprika strips and a balsamic glaze. I like to get a side of their smoky baked beans to accompany my egg dishes, they’re mouth-wateringly delicious! Behind the counter there’s a blackboard on the wall with daily specials and to the left of this is another blackboard with more ‘Lunch-type’ dishes. All of these options have been ridiculously tasty in my experience and definitely worth a try. The freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and coffees are all well-prepared and delicious. There’s really nothing to criticise here apart from the somewhat small dining room, which makes booking in advance absolutely essential!
Contribution made by Shavana Josephine