Slowing down is the mode currently around the globe. Interestingly enough, in Berlin I was not rushing here and there. Compared with other European capitals, what is the difference that makes the difference? I believe the city has a rare energy. Prenzlauer Berg’s architecture in particular is esthetically beautiful with many historical Wilhelmine buildings.
Prenzlauer Berg is today one of the most popular part of Berlin. Even though is associated with “bohemians”, in fact it was founded for the working class in 1920, so a hundred years ago. Is part of Pankow neighborhood and is without a doubt one of the best places I’ve been privileged to call home.
As previously mentioned, goes without saying that best way to discover a big city as Berlin is by neighborhoods.
Walk along busy and loud Schönhauser Allee and turn left on Stargarter Strasse. Here, Gethsemane Church was a shaping site and an important symbol of the Fall of the wall in 1989 during the “peaceful revolution”.
Other important landmarks in Prenzlauer Berg include:
- Bornholmer street barrier was the first to open to former West Berlin, since Prenzlauer Berg played a shaping role in that year of change 1989
- Former brewery “Kulturbraurei”, now a cultural space that hosts dance schools, club FRANNZ, a biergarden, a cinema, a yoga studio even .. and a street food market on Sunday and a Nordic inspired Christmas market from late November. And the brewery “Pferfferberg”, with a Theater and a Biergarten
- On Rykerstrasse: the largest Synagogue in Germany and the Water Tower nicknamed “Fat Hermann”
- Kastanienalle (chestnut alley) for vintage shopping and small boutiques, including Kauf dich Glücklich, that is also a café
- Mauer Park (Wall Park) for the ultimate type of flea market on Sundays
- Arkonaplatz near Zionskirchplatz for a different and smaller flea market, also on Sundays
- Bernauerstrasse area and Berlin Wall Memorial
- Starry Nights at Zeiss Planetarium on Prenzlauer Allee, as the most modern science theater in Europe.
About Coffee & Food
Most restaurants and coffee places are at colorful Dunckerstraße around Helmholzplatz, at Kollwitzplatz and along Kastanienallee, but hidden gems can be found also in Winsviertel. My favorites below:
1. Café Bekarei 📌 Dunckerstraße 23, 10437. In this charming little café on the corner with chic Stargarter street I had my first coffee in Prenzlauer Berg. And the first Portuguese-Greek unique mix of a coffee place. Many first for one paragraph. Really good coffee. Great Pastel de nata and cakes. Friendly staff. I truly recommend!
2. Nothaft Café 📌 Schönhauser Allee 43A, 10345. Modern shop located very conveniently, I went for the good coffee and continued to return also for the banana bread and the cakes during the first lockdown. I always took my coffee to go and enjoy it inside Kulturbraurei, only a few minutes away.
3. Café Anna Blume, a breakfast & Brunch restaurant and location of my book club 📌Kollwitzstr. 83, 10435. Visit Saturday morning or Thursday afternoon to combine it with the organic farmers market at Kollwitzplatz.
4. Bonanza Coffee Heroes 📌 Oderberger Strasse 35, 10435, the coffee shop is “responsible” for starting the wave of specialty coffee in Berlin. While the coffee roaster is in Kreuzberg, the small café near Mauerpark is home to coffee connoisseurs.
5. Cookies & co 📌 Senefelderstr. 4 for gourmet croissants and cookies with exotic ingredients as yuzu cream, white chocolate, matcha, misso butterscotch, topped with esthetic merengue.
6. Italian – LOLA Pizzaiola 📌 Winsstr.21, Pastificio Tosatti 📌 Schliemannstr. 14A, and Estelle Dining 📌 Kopenhagenerstr. I am very grateful for all the pasta, lasagna, pizza, tiramisu from here and Italy / the world.
7. Umami P-Berg 📌 Knaackstr. 16-18 for fusion asian food in beautiful decor – Vietnamese kitchen mostly and affordable price prices for good quality. Summer rolls with salmon, Ho tay’s pancake, Pho, calamari and many vegan options.
8. Maki Sushi, Unagi or Salmon crunat Roji – Godai No Sekai on 📌 Oderberger Strasse and on Sasaya on 📌 Lychener Str
9. Of course, quick comfort food – good burger & fries from MarienBurgerie 📌 Marienburger Strasse and falafel in brot from Zweistrom 📌 Kollwitzstrasse 104
10. Last but not least, for ice cream, gelateria “Eispatisserie Hokey Pokey” at the same 📌 Stargarden Str. 73, “Oak & Ice” on 📌 Schönhauser Allee 52, only plant based options at “Tribeca Ice Cream” 📌 Rykestr. 40 and “Rosa Canina” in Winsviertel for (obviously) good ice cream and not good well kept secrets, so expect big lines on sunny days.
Sometimes, one ritual after work was to walk at Wasserturm or go for a run to see in Spring the cherry blossoms at Schwedter Strasse and always the sunset at Schwedter Steg, a bridge in Berlin. A reminder how beautiful is every day.