Despite its central location and charming vibe, Moabit is still largely unknown in Berlin. Moabit is now making a name for itself, however, and as it gains in popularity fantastic venues and bars are opening their doors across the neighbourhood. Here’s Berlin-based writer Fabienne Lang’s pick of the top bars in Moabit.
Having been described as one of the last centrally located neighbourhoods to still have a “Berlin” feel to it, Moabit is a down-to-earth area of the city. And its watering holes are no exception. From craft beer pubs to upscale cocktail bars, you won’t be disappointed about making your way to this unassuming, yet lively neighbourhood. Many of Moabit’s bars are nicely tucked away, so Culture Trip has put together a list of favourite spots to help you easily find them… just don’t go telling everyone.
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Well-known in Moabit, the relaxed and welcoming vibe at Kallasch makes it the ideal space for chatting with others while you unwind over a drink. Between stand-up comedy events, indie and singer-songwriter live music shows, open mic nights and music quizzes, this bar has enough to keep you entertained any night of the week. Make sure to check the website ahead of time to find out which experiences to expect, or pick a night at random for a surprise.
As soon as you step into Kowski, you’ll notice the soft flicker of candlelight setting the minimalist space aglow – it’s the perfect spot for an intimate date. The two exposed-brick walls on either end of the two-roomed bar wouldn’t look out of place in a typical New York watering hole. But the cocktails are the real draw – shaken, stirred and blended behind the striking wooden bar, the drinks at Kowski are enough to make you come back for more. Make sure to try either the Black Hazel, Smoke and Salty or Rum Sour options, all of which are beautifully blended with great attention to detail. When asked where the name Kowski originated from, an easy breezy “it just happened” response from a bartender explains it perfectly.
For a lively yet relaxed atmosphere in Moabit, head to Kapitel 21. The crowd is hip, young and lively, yet it never feels overcrowded, and the space never gets too loud. Settle into one of the plush upcycled cinema seats and sofas at the back of the room, or at one of the cosy front-room mismatched tables and chairs with friends to drink the evening away. For those looking for a bit more action, you can partake in a foosball game at the back end of the bar, guaranteed to get the group cheering all night long.
Built in 1911, the listed building that houses the Kulturfabrik Café has seen a number of different uses but has always kept its façade, as well as the red and white tiling that spreads across its five floors. The Kulturfabrik Café is part of a collective that hosts art exhibitions, has a cinema (which becomes open-air in the summer months), workshops, live music and theatre performances, making it a cultural and vibrant neighbourhood hub. Don’t be duped by the fact that it’s called a café, as Kulturfabrik mostly serves alcoholic beverages, and is only open from 5pm onwards, making it more of a collective bar than anything else.
Take a step back into the Prohibition era as you enter this hidden, upscale cocktail bar in Moabit. With its speakeasy theme and maximum of five people per party ruling, George R feels delightfully intimate. Its dark wooden furnishings, dimmed lighting, drawn blinds and dark gold and red wallpaper all add to its personal feel. As the chef de bar, Patrick Degenhardt, explains, the place is named after a German pharmacist who lived in Moabit, moved to the United States during Prohibition and smuggled alcohol across. It’s quite the background story, but what you’ll really want to come here for are the strong yet perfectly blended cocktails. Each one is carefully concocted and, with a monthly menu change, the tastes remain “current and seasonal,” as Degenhardt explains. If they’re on the list during your visit, sample the Herr von Ribbeck, Green Garden or Rosemarie Raucht cocktails; you won’t be disappointed.
A list of bars in Berlin would be incomplete without a craft beer spot, so this one is for the beer lovers out there. Showcasing a number of German beers, from southern Germany breweries in Bavaria all the way to locally made Berlin brews, Mauerwerk’s selection is one to behold. Served on tap, in a bottle or in a can, the choice is yours. Even though it’s a typical neighbourhood pub, you’ll have no trouble ordering in English here and meeting fellow beer fans. Make sure to try the Berliner Berg Pale Ale for a local brew, otherwise an extensive list of international beers is also at hand.
Zaffke is Moabit’s equivalent of a hip ‘Kreuzberg bar‘, but without the crowds. Barely recognisable at street level, with little to no decoration on the wallpaper-peeling walls, candle wax melting onto the wooden tables, and no sign to speak of outside, this is the cool kids spot in the neighbourhood. Located on a residential street and only open from Tuesday until Saturday each week, you have to know where to look in order to find Zaffke, but you’ll be oh-so-glad that you found it when you do. It’s a great spot to meet up with friends for a beer or wine after work, or for a late-night digestif.
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