Kottbusser Tor is home to more than just neon lights and satellite dishes. In the streets branching from the station in this neighborhood there are dozens of bars, all serving up great beer and good times. Here is a list of the best ones to stop in at for a drink and a bit of authentic Berlin culture.
All you need to do to get to Fahimi Bar; find the door, carry on up the graffitied stairwell and you’re in the bar. The panorama windows running alongside the U12 line provide a view of that Kotti-commotion without being in the midst of it. Fahimi’s interior design is sophisticated; industrial parquet, wooden beams and befitting lighting garnish the square-shaped bar.
Behind the intersection of Kottbusser Tor lies Dresdenerstrasse, a street full of old-world charm. Not far from the famous Babylon Kino is Würgeengel; an elegant 1920s-inspired cocktail bar. Despite the white apron-wearing waiters and sophistication, this bar is relaxed; it had to be to endure the years of transformation in the area since its opening. Würgeengel has more than just picturesque qualities; the menu is full of elaborate cocktails and classics.
Oranienstrasse’s Luzia feels like an entire world away from Kottbusser Tor. With exposed brickwork providing a backdrop for light installations and beautiful people, Luzia is a social place to catch up with friends or mingle. It is cozy during winter, and in summer, its patrons can perch outside to watch the world and the eccentricity of Kreuzberg prance, stumble or swagger by. You can also enjoy a classic cocktail while checking out the street art by Chin Chin.
The laid-back bar Cafe Kotti is situated upstairs on Adalbertstraße. It opened in 2009 as a space to meet new friends and catch up with old friends. The décor is very eclectic; plants and lamps line the windows, and the roof is illustrated and full of neck-cricking entertainment.
If Kottbusser Tor is one of the city’s wonders of peaceful co-existence, then Möbel-Olfe is the bar equivalent. Both are places where different communities meet, such as the bohemian, Turkish and gay communities. At the base of the heart of Kotti, in the giant 1060s housing complex, is Möbel-Olfe. The original giant illuminated sign can be seen along Reichenbergerstrasse. Disco balls, plastic fish, and antlers hang from the ceiling under which there are some trippy squished chairs that pay homage to the history of the venue.
Paloma Bar is nostalgic with typical 1970s German style and offers a view of the U-bahn station from what feels like Grandma’s living room. Paloma Bar serves Berliner classics; Paloma Mule, Leffe Bier, Mexikaner and Vodka Ahoi are the some of the favorites. Weekends in this mini-club are always buzzing with well-versed DJs pumping house music. The dance floor is small, cozy and welcoming, making it hard not to dance.
If you’re a lost tourist in Berlin and you find yourself at Das Hotel, then you’re doing alright. Das Hotel is on a charming street and is a popular bar all year-round. Just a short walk down Kottbussor Damm, Das Hotel provides relaxing afternoons and very social evenings. The bar feels more Kreuzberg than Kottbusser Tor; it’s a unique split level maze of a place, with flowers hanging from the ceiling, a piano and burning candles.