Tucked away along the bustling Skalitzerstrasse lies a watering hole with international roots. Those with a partiality to California, Yosemite, or the Sierras will be enticed by John Muir, named after the Scottish-American naturalist who championed wilderness preservation. Vestiges of John can be seen throughout the dim-lit bar. After walking down the few steps into the bar, high-top dark wooden tables can be seen sprawled out through this intimate and cavernous joint. The staff is amicable and happy to sling distinctive and well-balanced cocktails. The exposed brick behind the bar is the perfect backdrop to the high caliber rye whiskey and bourbon selection. Come for cocktail-appropriate glassware or the antelope collection and stay for the subtle wilderness education which becomes increasingly enticing after a few libations at this bar.
John Muir, Skalitzer Str. 51, 10997 Berlin, Germany +49 162 1611130
Conveniently located across the street from the Schlesisches Tor station, Tante Emma keeps the fluidity between travel time and leisure time. The muted wall paper, the wing-backed furniture, and the glass-encased cakes delineates this watering hole as a mix between a relative’s house and a swanky lounge. The laid back atmosphere makes this an excellent place to unwind with a simple cocktail. This place has a separate but connected indoor smoking lounge which is a beacon of light for smokers in the cold months. Tante Emma is the kind of bar where people can have conversations because no one is yelling, and despite the popularity of this spot, it’s never too crowded. No sitting underneath someone who is ashing on your head at this Ubahn neighbor. There’s plenty of places to post up in this spacious low-key bar, where the drinks are satisfyingly straightforward.
Tante Emma, Köpenicker Str. 1, 10997 Berlin, Germany +49 176 56381318
Noer, a freshly welcomed addition to the area, is receiving much deserved praise. Balancing opulence and a casual air, this high-caliber wine bar doubles as a place to purchase and a place to enjoy. Come for the extensive selection of wein and stay to relish a nice glass paired with a delectable meat and cheese board. The owner is packed with insight and knowledge, assisting in choice and light conversation. An elegant yet playful inside pitches wine barrels as tables against park benches in this bastion of Dionysian delicacies. Noer is only open until 10pm so it’s definitely the place to start the evening or spend a more sophisticated one. This affordable yet upscale gem is a nice departure from the fun yet banal batch of dive and dance bars in the borough.
Noer, Falckensteinstraße 10, 10997 Berlin, Germany +49 30 67516285
Madame Claude is a trendy yet unpretentious joint that takes manifesting a concept to a whole new level. The bar itself feels drunk, which makes it fun to navigate. Is it the art of feng shui, or are the drinks too strong? It’s not the booze, it’s the décor — tables indelible to the ceiling and furniture turned upside down give this place an extra dose of hyper funk, which it already has plenty of. This topsy-turvy bar with inexpensive drinks holds its own on the live music scene, as well, offering a variety of shows throughout the week. The ambiance of the bar is moody and dark, which is fitting for the vibe.
Madame Claude, Lübbener Str. 19, 10997 Berlin, Germany +49 30 84110859
Konrad Tönz Bar
Following the theme of the neighborhood, Konrad Tönz Bar is a place where you can drink with a crowd, without being overcrowded. This unique retro bar never gets too hectic, which is perfect for the snug and living-room-esque atmosphere it boasts. This libation venue is laid back and etched in a subdued red hue thanks to the funky lighting. The drinks are reasonably priced and served in the old-school glassware that one would expect in a libation-heavy time capsule such as this. This understated and eclectic bar makes traveling back in time possible and boozy.
Marabu likes to call itself the neighborhood bar of Görlitzer Park, and it’s not in vain. This corner-hugging establishment is just a stone’s throw away from all that greenery. This bar has plenty of tables outside and inside, so no matter what the weather, drinking can commence. The inside is welcoming, with its hodgepodge of comfortable furniture and makeshift candle stick holders fashioned out of wine bottles. This homey watering hole placates the community with its effortless café sipping vibes in the daylight and its beer guzzling, foosball playing, time-to-unwind vibe at night. The drinks range from light to heavy, and any of them pair perfectly with the quizzo night on Mondays.
Marabu Bar, Oppelner Str. 23, 10997 Berlin, Germany +49 30 53060252
Club der Visionäre
Club der Visionäre is an institution in Berlin. Its minimal and casual atmosphere make it a go-to spot on a lazy Sunday afternoon to enjoy a drink coupled with some electro. The inside contains four locations to wet the whistle in addition to a pizza place for when hunger takes hold. The outside is a dream in the summer. Makeshift canopies hang over the wooden tables and vast deck adjacent to a towering weeping willow to take solace in. At night this places kicks it up a notch with electronic DJs, dance floors, and even some sand to waltz in. This place works well all year around but is a unique hangout haven in the summer.
Club der Visionäre, Am Flutgraben 1, 12435 Berlin, Germany +49 30 69518942
Like many places in the Hauptstadt, Café Wendel showcases its duality by offering different endeavors to the night and day crowd. By day, this café is a cozy spot to snag some Wi-Fi and a frothy cappuccino. Its understated atmosphere allows for total immersion in a book or on the laptop, distraction-free. The calligraphic walls pose as an excellent backdrop to its taciturn funk. At night, Café Wendel takes on a different shape, shifting from subdued café to dive bar. The bathroom graffiti becomes more apparent and the velvet couches become more languid. The drinks are honest and fair and reasonably priced. Watch out for the stochastic jazz performances in the evening.
Café Wendel, Schlesische Str. 42, 10997 Berlin, Germany +49 30 61074029
Oberbaumeck is a local favorite, only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Ubahn station. The inside is reminiscent of a Dutch brown café, where the dark and table-packed space seems like an extension of the home. A number of tables dot this bar, and it is easy to drink and lose track of time. The inexpensive drinks add to its timelessness. A number of interesting beers are on tap. The owners keep it effortlessly hip without being overly trendy. This funky bar keeps its cool by staying inconspicuous and economical.
Oberbaumeck , Bevernstraße 5, 10997 Berlin, Germany +49 30 6111617
A Berlin institution, Barbie Deinhoff’s marries uber-eclecticism and outlandish fun into one queer-friendly dance bar. It doesn’t fit into one category. It’s a bar that happens in stages: first drinking then dancing, as if one could ever exist without the other. This truly funky bar carries an aesthetic ostentation without being too over-the-top. The gregarious staff serves killer cocktails with a smile. The owner is performance artist Lena Braun, which explains the heterogeneity in events. This kitschy, multifaceted legacy directly caters to the cross-dressing crowd and the LGBT community but invites everyone for a fun, properly hydrated night out.
Barbie Deinhoff’s, Schlesische Str. 16, 10997 Berlin, Germany +49 30 69531053
By Brienne Pierce