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 parts of Berlin, associated with “bohemians”… But 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”.
If you keep walking straight you arrive on colorful Dunckerstraße around Helmholzplatz, an area packed with restaurants and many bars.
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
- The Zeiss Planetarium on Prenzlauer Allee
Let’s talk about Coffee & Food
Most restaurants and coffee places are around Helmholzplatz, at Kollwitzplatz and along Kastanienallee, but hidden gems can be found also in Winsviertel.
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. Café Kraft 📌 Schivelbeiner Str. 23, 10439. Went for the specialty coffee and continued to return also for the banana bread and the cakes. Very modern space.
3. No Fire No Glory – another place for specialty coffee, including “affogato” as in Italy, and cakes 📌 Rykestraße 45, 10405
4. Café Anna Blume, a breakfast & Brunch restaurant and location of my book club 📌Kollwitzstraße 83, 10435.
Visit Saturday morning or Thursday afternoon to combine it with the organic farmers market at Kollwitzplatz.
5. 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”.
6. Nothaft Café 📌 Schönhauser Allee 43A, 10345. Modern shop with homemade sweets and very good coffee. I always take my coffee to go and enjoy it inside Kulturbraurei, only a few minutes away.
7. Pastificio Tosatti 📌 Schliemannstraße 14A, 10437. I am very grateful for all the pasta, lasagna tiramisu from here and Italy /the world.
8. Umami P-Berg 📌 Knaackstrasse 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.
9. Maki Sushi, Unagi or Salmon crunat Roji – Godai No Sekai on 📌 Oderberger Strasse
10. Lastly, 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” 📌 Rykestrasse 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 is to go for a walk or 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.