After visiting Berlin for seven years in the winter, I really couldn’t understand why my friends loved living in this city. Sure, things were cheap, but damn that ice-cold wind! Then it finally happened: I arrived in Berlin in the summer time and I got it. This city is built for the summer months. Suddenly there are people relaxing and smiling with friends in the street and parties everywhere, music and festivals all over the city, and it’s the greenest city in Europe for crying out loud! Even the architecture comes to life - all those beige walls turn amber and peach in the evening Mediterranean-style light, and everyone goes crazy for ice cream. I mean, who knew Germans loved ice cream so much?! So. In a city of a thousand summer options, how do you possibly choose what to do and where to go? Well, if you’re looking to do more than sit on the canal with your friends and a radler (also a very valid past time round these parts) here are our favourite Folkdays spots right now. See you there!
Who likes coffee? Oh, great! What’s that? You also like records and good food? Then Gordon is set to become your new favourite spot. As a long standing Shakshuka fan, a bowl of that magic hangover-fixing egg joy would be enough to keep me coming back, but team it with a great selection of vinyl to be tempted by while you wait for brunch and you’ve got a top ten hit!
Although we’ve mentioned this little gem before, it wouldn’t do not to have Stella in our summer round up. Suzy Fracassa - one of our favourite Berlin chefs - has taken her particular blend of healthy comfort food to a new location on Weserstraße and a new lunchable format. Everything is served fresh and deli-style in a perfect lunch-box to take down to the canal (see, we do spend all our time there!) and share with a friend. If you go there with me though, you’re going to have to get your own box.
Columbiadamm 160 & Kiehlufer 75
If you don’t like Korean food, there’s probably something wrong with your mouth. I really don’t know what else to say… meat: good. Dumplings: good. Kimchi: goooood. I can only assume the name of this place is based on the noise you’ll definitely make when you eat there. Mmaahhhhhhhhhhh!
Berlin is famed for its impeccable service standards. HA! I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve sat with a table of friends watching a waitress talking to her friends and completely neglecting to give us the drinks that are ready and in front of her for delivery to our dry thirsty faces. So from time to time I have to schedule a visit to Silo. Now, this place is small, busy, and not specifically geared for summer aside from the fact that they make the best, most satisfying brunches. Oh, and all the staff are great at their jobs. Sure you’ll wait a bit for your food, but it will come to you piled high, lovingly prepared and with a smile. Sometimes (especially on a hangover Sunday) it’s everything you need in the universe.
Sometimes you need a great-looking place with a certain calmness and a great cocktail to sooth the nerves or wind down from a busy day. So it makes total sense when you find the perfect tonic in an old Apoteke. Waiting for you on the corner of Oranienplatz, the team at ORA are very gently carving a special place for themselves in our hearts, and once I’ve indulged in one of their perfect looking pastries, I’m sure the affair will only deepen. Only a few hours till Feierabend-spritz-o-clock…
Now this is in no way a new spot, but it is always a pleasure to watch it transform every summer as the new season of planting comes in, vegetables begin to get plump on their respective vines, and the urban planting strategies become more elaborate and inventive. The Prinzessinnengarten on Moritzplatz is a bold urban statement. What was a vacant, unsightly lot for over 50 years is now a beautiful place to take coffee, a moment’s reflection or gather inspiration for your own window farming projects.
If the weather can hold somewhere in between so-hot-you-wish-for-ice-bucket-challenge-2015, where-did-all-that-water-come-from-storms, and Summer? What summer?, then we firmly recommend a visit to the autokino. Who knew Berlin had one, let alone multiple autokinos?! All you need now is a car and someone to smooch in the back seat with!
Hans Grade Allee 54
Text and pictures by Ruth Bartlett