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The owners of Filterhouse have their priorities in order. By day, they serve an impressive selection of filter coffees, and by night, a full menu of gin and tonics. Replacing the reliable Café Matilda, Filterhouse is ramping up the hipsterfication of our beloved Graefekiez with cold brew and cold drip (where did summer go?) and paleo options which taste as good as real Homo sapien food. We can recommend the pancakes with blueberries, coconut, syrup and mint, the (non-paleo) roast chicken with lime and spinach pesto in coffee-encrusted bread, and the coffee… Oh, the coffee! I tried a Gichathaini from Kenya, which was like a rhubarb-y kick up my arse – and I can’t wait to try the rest of the extensive selection. If you like coffee and/or food, check out Filterhouse. If you don’t, get out now!
Photos by Zoë Noble Photography
One of our first ways of bringing the überlin community to life was with our Berlin Burger Tour. The plan was to chomp our way across the city, make new friends, while at the same time settling that important question: where can you get Berlin’s best burger? It was a great idea, but we cut the tour short after just three evenings, as Zoë and myself went to The Bird – and we decided that we’d just eaten the best burgers in Berlin! The only problem? We had to go all the way up to Prenzlauer Berg to get them…
Well we have good news for all lazy burger fans who live south of Pberg – The Bird West is now open on Kottbusser Damm, on the border of Kreuzberg and Neukölln! Larger than the original American expat hangout, and much bigger, the new Bird was nonetheless packed when we first visited. Luckily, we managed to get seats at the bar, conveniently close to a broad selection of beers from the US, the rest of the world, and even back home (Brew Dog FTW). A psychic chef surprised us with what we were planning to order anyway – a succulent beast of a burger topped with bacon and cheddar (The Filthy Harry) and an immaculate fillet steak, both accompanied by a epic stacks of perfectly-crisped fries. The New York cheesecake that followed was both totally uncalled for, and an absolute treat.
If you’ve been to The Bird East, you know what to expect from their Western outpost. If you’ve never been to either location, you’ll probably feel like you’re stepping onto American soil when you walk through the door – a sensation supported by the food, the buzzing atmosphere, the excellent customer service… everything about the place. We’ll leave the investigative reporting to Stil in Berlin and declare the Bird our favourite burger in Berlin, and our favourite environment in which to enjoy it.
La Ultima Cena is a special place. A taste of Mexican authenticity in a city dominated by Tex Mex joints, a shining cultural light glowing among the sex shops and Möbel sellers of Urbanstrasse, a bar/eatery/exhibition space/venue for experimental, industrial music – there’s simply nothing else like it in Berlin.
The founders of La Ultima Cena, meaning “The Last Supper”, have taken inspiration from both the Catholic symbolism and the street life of their home countries of Mexico and Spain, and created a totally unique space. In the front room, decorated in gold and concrete and traditional plastic tablecloths, the food is free – paid for, and washed down with, Corona and tequila, mescal and killer black shots with chillies in. Behind this, a cluster of exhibition spaces show video art and darkly ritual installations, and host the odd musical performance.
La Ultima Cena is an edgy, night-or-day night alternative to the more chilled out spots in neighbouring Graefekiez. We can’t wait to take visitors there in summer to show just how weird and wonderful Berlin can be. ¡Salud!
Photos by Zoë Noble Photography
There are so many good places to eat and drink in Graefekiez that if we ever tried to feature them all, before we were finished, a bunch of new ones would have opened up around them. We walked passed Marqués Rene Maschkiwitz many times, mistaking its crisp tableware and affluent-looking guests for an air of stuffiness. For sure, the food isn’t cheap, but it is far from old-fashioned – the restaurant’s refreshing take on Mediterranean adds popcorn to pork and curry paste to pasta. The combinations are better than they sound, honest (just check out Zoë’s beautiful photos!), especially when washed down with the bar’s specialty cocktails – we enjoyed a gorgeous Melon Ball. Add this one to your list of places to eat at when the parents are visiting… and paying
Marqués Rene Maschkiwitz, Graefestraße 92, 10967 Berlin.
(Photos by Zoë Noble Photography)
The Eat the World Kreuzberg Tour started in our beloved Graefekiez, although luckily – and shamefully – we had never eaten in any of the places we visited before. As we walked from the Sudanese Imbiss Nil, which we’re now regulars at, to a lovely bio bakery – via an unremarkable Indian restaurant – we learned all about what apparently gets called “the Tuscany of Berlin”. We were told that much of our neighbourhood is under landmark protection, including the beautiful Admiralbrücke, which, according to our guide, is why (cringe) all the rich people live here!
Crossing the Landwehrkanal, we passed the grand sculpture on Admiralstrasse, with punk figures making for a suitable entranceway to SO36, and sampled the freshest, tastiest börek we’ve ever had at Leylak on Kottbusser Strasse. We then stopped for great dürum and a decent slice of pizza, before walking to Oranienplatz and checking out the site of the former Luisenstadt Canal. We’d never heard of this waterway before, which used to run north-south between the River Spree and the Landwehrkanal, but we were more excited about getting to Küchenkaiser around the corner, where delicious cake has been baked since 1866!
Overall, we had a very pleasant few hours with our nice, knowledgable Eat the World guide. The Kreuzberg tour showcased the range of food on offer in this colourful neighbourhood, although not necessarily the best it has to offer. As we live locally, we’re probably spoiled for choice, and a little picky, but we were happy to try out some new places (especially Nil and Leylak!) while learning a lot more about our immediate area. Not necessarily for the most demanding of foodies, the Eat the World Kreuzberg tour is a good introduction to Berlin’s most (in)famous ‘hood, as well as a tasty way to spend a day!