A treasure trove of culinary wonders, Berlin has a gastronomic scene to rival its world-famous hypnotic nightlife. In addition to abundant street food and relaxed, budget-friendly options, Berlin has a stellar selection of elegant Michelin-starred restaurants.
With 23 restaurants boasting Michelin stars, Berlin is not short of gourmet dining spots. Among the city’s most exciting Michelin-starred restaurants are a dessert-only eatery, a pioneering Asian-German fusion experiment and the ultimate vegetarian dining experience.
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CODA Dessert Bar
Neukölln’s CODA received its first Michelin star in early 2018. This chic spot is a trailblazer in concept dining, famed for its menu that solely focuses on delectable desserts and mouth-watering cocktails. Choose from CODA’s selection of tasting menus, which features such experimental dishes as rhubarb tarragon tofu and aubergine with pecans and liquorice salt. Fitting right into the surrounding edgy neighbourhood, the restaurant’s décor is dark and minimalistic, showcasing cool concrete tables with a touch of warmth added by simple wooden chairs. Head Chef René Frank ensures that you always have space for (another) dessert, as his recipes are based on light ingredients with no added sugar.
Golvet blends fine dining with a casual vibe. Located near the sprawling Tiergarten park, the restaurant is perched on the eighth floor, 32 metres above ground, offering sweeping city panoramas. Adding to its relaxed atmosphere, bright and eye-catching urban art pieces are dotted across the restaurant – the women’s restroom even features original graffiti by a local street artist. Regroup and enjoy a drink seated at the 13-metre-long nordic-inspired bar – sip on a Princess Charlotte cocktail with cherry, mezcal and pineapple – before continuing the evening in the main dining room for a menu of dishes from across Europe. The gourmet selection includes marinated king crab and salt marsh lamb with watercress and shallots.
Bandol sur mer
Set right in the heart of Mitte, Bandol sur mer is hard to miss: bright red neon signs direct you to this modern French restaurant, which offers one of Berlin’s most exciting dining experiences. An evening at Bandol sur mer is one full of contrasts, not least in terms of the refined French cuisine set against a backdrop of hip hop music. With only enough space for 20 people, the restaurant offers an intimate experience very different from the more formal, almost corporate feel of many gourmet establishments. Meat-eaters will love the locally reared venison with wild cabbage, black garlic and pine needles, while vegetarians will swoon at tempting dishes like forest mushrooms with pumpkin seeds, currant wood and celeriac.
Set on an unprepossessing street in the central Mitte district, Cookies Cream greets guests with a plain door and a simple sign. Not your typical Michelin-starred entrance, but the worn-out doorbell is a sure sign of this seemingly unlikely spot’s enduring popularity. Serving exclusively vegetarian dishes, Cookies Cream offers a choice of three-, four-, or five- course menus, paired with the perfect wine. Don’t get attached to your favourite dish, though – the ingredients change seasonally, so you may not find the same items on the menu the next time you visit. Recent menus have included white asparagus with rhubarb potato and chervil, along with celery ice cream with apple, walnut and herbs.
Showcasing contemporary Austrian cuisine using local ingredients from the Berlin area, Horváth is situated on the leafy Paul-Lincke-Ufer, besides the meandering Landwehr canal. One could quite easily walk past this small, unassuming building; once you step inside the two Michelin-starred restaurant, however, it’s a different story. Cosy yet sleek wooden décor transports guests to Head Chef Sebastian Frank’s home country, Austria, while his dishes are a journey into the flavours of Austrian comfort food. Dinner guests can choose from 6- or 8-course tasting menus, which feature such locally sourced dishes as Brandenburg asparagus with cured rabbit and lemon.
Asian and German cuisine may not seem like an obvious pairing, yet chef Tim Raue has achieved two Michelin stars for his innovative fusion of flavours from Europe and East Asia. The menu at his namesake restaurant brings together Japanese produce, Thai spices and Chinese cooking philosophy with European touches, resulting in dishes such as mazara prawn with chioggia beetroot and strawberries with rhubarb and Japanese Calpico soda. Just steps away from the famous Checkpoint Charlie, the restaurant offers a combination of a la carte menu options as well as two six-course menus. The stylish eatery’s interior has a distinctly retro vibe that is in keeping with the quirky menu.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Lily Cichanowicz.
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