Berlin is both praised and lamented as a city of singles. According to city records, over 50% of Berliners are registered as partnerless and living alone. Dating in the traditional sense involves commitment, and the act of going on a ‘date’ implies conforming to a plan. Berliners don’t like either, so tend to prefer open-ended, casual drinks at one of city’s many bars. We’ve shortlisted the places in East Kreuzberg which are especially romantic in one way or another – offering cosy conversation or, if needed, valuable privacy.
Kirk is an institution lying at the eastern end of Skalitzer Straße. Although the bar provides the same hazy, bare-walled and candlelit atmosphere as many other places, table service provided by black-shirted servers adds a subtle element of class. The real romantic value of Kirk is found in its lounge at the back, lined on three sides by a deep, U-shaped sofa, and invigorated by a stylish fireplace in the corner. Secluded and trendy, Kirk can be a beautiful setting for a date night. Consider this a venue for a slightly more sophisticated occasion.
Kirk Bar, Skalitzer Straße 75, Berlin, +49 176 21885145
Zur Fetten Ecke
Zur Fetten Ecke is situated at the northern region of Kreuzberg’s ultra-desirable Wrangelkiez, and wins points because of its extra dark interior. In keeping with its understated rock and roll vibe, the floor, furniture and walls are all painted a deep black. Aside from candles, the only other light is produced by small red lamps placed in corners, infusing the room with a seductive atmosphere. Flopping down onto one of the plush sofas in the drinking saloon, you’ll find a mood stimulating enough to encourage deep and meaningful conversations.
Zur Fetten Ecke, Schlesische Straße 16, Berlin, +49 30 44651699
Kaiser Bar offers its mostly older clientele a bastion of tradition in an area increasingly defined by global hipster culture and party tourism. Although the place occasionally gets busy, it’s rarely packed. This means that many ‘prime’ seats are often available; the booths in the raised section are perfect for intimate conversations. Drinks are modestly priced, and owner Alex attends the bar with leisurely but watchful table service. Although a perfectly good place to spend the night, Kaiser Bar also serves as a great location to to start the evening off before visiting the heavy-duty clubs nearby.
Kaiser Bar, Oberbaumstraße 7, Berlin, +49 163 4694066
Eschewing the minimal and gender-neutral aesthetic of the typical city bar, Vögelchen instead projects a homely, snug vibe. Its interior is a melange of eclectic furniture vaguely referencing a jungle theme – potted plants have been left to grow wild and some of the tables are covered in grass. This generates plenty of talking points to comment on or quietly ponder during gaps in conversation.
Vögelchen, Eisenbahnstraße 6, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 60031865
Despite its bawdy weekend reputation, Bohnengold is a brilliant early-week date venue. For conversation, the foyer and main bar area are full of shadowy nooks and crannies. Walk through the corridor to reach the games room, which features a peppy mix of social table-top classics like foosball as well as various arcade games. Finally, the dance floor itself is in a separate, musty club area in the back. On a quiet night, you may often find this space empty giving you the area to yourselves.
Bohnengold, Reichenberger Str. 153, Berlin, +49 30 78958410
Although technically positioned just across the canal in neighbouring Neukölln, taking your partner to Damensalon on Reuterstraße can make for the perfect date night. Cut through the bar to the discreet backroom, which in a former life served as a storage area. The wooden loft here is one of the quirkiest and most intimate public drinking spaces in the city. Decoration is sparse, with micro furniture seemingly the theme – you’ll find the likes of pygmy lamps, head-sized cushions and tiny vintage television units. This area is private, elevated and the perfect setting to get to know your partner.