Long known for its vibrant LGBTQ community and famous for being the neighbourhood that hosted John F Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, Schöneberg, which boasts wide boulevards and beautiful parks, has recently transformed into an area full of lively bars and appealing eateries.
Culture Trip spoke to the owners of Chinese restaurant Tianfuzius, the Wang family, to discover their favourite restaurants in Schöneberg. Whether it’s for a cheerful family reunion or a romantic date, this list distills Schöneberg’s restaurants down to the very best: from a modern restaurant overlooking Park am Gleisdreieck and Viktoriapark to a traditional Korean hole-in-the-wall.
Bonvivant made a splash when it opened in summer 2019 with its elegantly decorated interior space, which features brass accents and a rich colour scheme of greens, mustards and reds. And the hype hasn’t died down since: the vegetarian restaurant by top organic chef, Ottmar Pohl-Hoffbauer, requires reservations for the chance to try its dishes. The fresh, all-organic ingredients are sourced from producers in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Berlin’s organic market, Markthalle Neun. Dishes are full of flavour, especially the signature buffalo burrata, with horseradish and dark-red beetroot. The cocktails stand out too, and were devised by 2019 Bacardi Legacy winner Yvonne Rahm, who can often be found behind the bar.
At Michelin-star Kin Dee (which translates to “eat well” in Thai), a seasonally changing menu of eight to 10 dishes for €55 (£46) per person, has been created by chef Dalad Kambhu and artist Rirkrit Tiravanija. The Wang family suggest that “everything should be shared” at this restaurant to give diners a chance to try as many as possible of Kin Dee’s array of loud, flavoursome, modern Thai dishes. The two essential elements to chef Dalad Kambhu’s cooking? Never compromise on the freshness of ingredients and always stay true to traditional Thai cooking techniques. This means that, in Kambhu’s kitchen, kohlrabi (German turnip) becomes an alternative for papaya in som tham salad and endive leaves are used instead of betel leaves as part of miang kham wraps, an explosion of peanuts, lime and chillies.
LOK6 is a breezy and photogenic modern restaurant in Schöneberg run by owners Julia Heifer and Tobias Wallenstein. With its rusty-red concrete walls, bursts of green from cacti of various sizes and expansive panoramic windows overlooking Park am Gleisdreieck and Viktoriapark, it’s a wonderful environment for a bite to eat in Berlin. The delicious Mexican breakfast bowls are the perfect way to start your day, packed with eggs, corn bread, salsa, black beans and baby kale, all of which comes drizzled with green goddess dressing. Arrive during the later hours of the day to catch a glimpse of the sunset, perhaps accompanied by a glass of wine.
Tianfu II’s Sichuan menu specialises in spicy yet subtle cuisine, including traditional dishes you would expect to find in restaurants in Chengdu and Chongqing. The Wang family suggest: “Visit Tianfu II on Berliner Straße if you want to experience the traditional Chinese hot pot dinner,” a popular meal shared between friends and family from the Sichuan region. How does it work? First you choose your soup base – spicy, beef, herb or vegetable soup – then add vegetables, meat and tofu of your choice, simmering them in the pot. Additions at Tianfu II include cauliflower and pork belly, as well as many more options. A reservation is recommended even on weekdays, but it’s certainly worth a visit.
This low-key, welcoming spot in Schöneberg has been slinging some of the city’s best Indian, Mexican and Hawaiian food since it opened. On its glass window, a McDonald’s logo is flipped, symbolising the restaurant’s ambition to serve tasty, fast and healthy meals. The signature dishes are the naan “pizzas”, which come exactly as they sound: authentic Tandoori oven-baked naans drizzled with different toppings. If you have some time on your hands, why not try the €20 (£17) taster menu for two, which consists of Indian dhal, kohlrabi, olive tapenade, eggplants, Mexican salsa and salmon.
This article is an updated version of a story originally created by Eliza Marin.
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