What was once the sleepy, albeit upmarket, corner of West Berlin, Charlottenburg is rapidly developing a name for itself as being home to some of the city’s finest bars. Although drinkers are able to find classic Kniepen or a Späti or two if that’s more their thing, Charlottenburg really shines as the home of destination bars that make the trip up from Kreuzberg or Prenzlauer Berg worth the BVG ticket. Here are five of the best establishments in the area.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Fusion, Cocktails, $$$
Perched on the very top of Bikini Berlin, not far from the infamous Bahnhof Zoo station in Charlottenburg, Monkey Bar offers unparalleled views across the city. From the sun-drenched terrace, guests can watch the sun dip below the horizon and the Fernsehturm slip into the evening. Monkey Bar is relatively pricey, especially the cocktails, but this is an excellent spot for drinking in the view whilst indulging in something sweet. The bar is paired with NENI restaurant next door, and there are regular DJs playing over the weekend.
Doubling as a restaurant, Paris Bar is a legendary part of Charlottenburg’s history. Having long served as a meeting point for West Berlin’s artists and filmmakers, it maintains its reputation as the home of chic food, excellent drinks, and a deeply creative crowd. The walls are decked out with the work of local artists, and guests are as likely to meet a local art student as they are to bump into a gallery director. The venue boasts a sophisticated atmosphere, from the starchy table cloths to the dark paneled walls.
Weighing in at a whopping 23 pages, the drinks menu at Juleps sets the bar high for excellent drinks. Juleps is laid out as a classic New York bar, all high stools and glittering optics. Peruse the extensive menu to find the exact combination that suits your needs. While the restaurant serves a cheery combination of American classics (including a truly decadent cheesecake), it’s the cocktails that people come for. Happy hour (daily from 5pm – 8pm) is enormously popular, and of course, any bar that offers cigars and cigarillos has got the whole who-gives-a-damn vibe solidly nailed down.
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Quasimodo is one of the oldest jazz bars in Berlin. It has played host to a number of the city’s finest musicians, as well as international artists. While Quasimodo’s roots are firmly in jazz, guests are just as likely to hear ’70s disco, funk, soul, or blues on any given evening. Quasimodo is open from 5pm each day, and it serves as an ideal spot for locals to catch the last of the evening sun or huddle together away from the cold. Not far from Zoo UBahn and Kürfustendamm, this is one of the city’s best kept secrets.
Das Klo (that’s German for ‘the loo’) is easily one of the strangest bars in Berlin. A bunch of the chairs at Das Klo are toilets, and for those with more gory tastes, there are a few coffins nestled about the establishment. Beer is served in specimen bottles, and the food is served in potties.