City Break Guide: Berlin, Germany

My Berlin city break guide on where to stay, what to eat, and what to do, based on my short trip in the summer of 2016.


Stay

We stayed at Sana Berlin Hotel, in the Charlottenburg area. The room was spacious, clean and modern; and the staff was friendly and helpful! Another plus was the hotel was in a very convenient location, located near two train stations, making traveling around Berlin accessible and easy. The only complaint would be their wi-fi signal was terrible as we were only able to access the internet from the lobby. 

Travel 

Public transport is the ideal way to discover the city. So, definitely purchase a train pass for the duration of your visit. It will get you everywhere. If you’re familiar with London’s tube map, then navigating your way around Berlin will be a breeze. And of course, download Citymapper so you’re informed of any disruptions during your trip.

Eats: 

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Breakfast pancakes at Distrikt Coffee

For breakfast or brunch, head over to Distrikt Coffee in Mitte, a Insta-worthy and aesthetically pleasing coffee shop.

Treat yourself and order their buttermilk pancakes and prepare to be amazed by the complimentary flavours of their house-made berry compote and fresh basil with their fluffy pancakes. For something savoury, order their avocado toast with beets and radish. (4/5) From here you can make your way to the remnants of the Berlin Wall on foot.

Alternatively, go to Silo Coffee in Friedrichshain, an Australian coffee shop serving classic Aussie brunch dishes. We ordered ‘The Silo’ which is an big order of pancakes, bacon and poached eggs, their shakshuka, with a cappuccino and iced latte to cool down. It was a pricey brunch, at €30 for two. (3/5)

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Zeit fur Brot

For a pick-me-up, go to Zeit fur Brot, located in Mitte. Grab a cappuccino, along with their freshly baked in-house buttery croissants and cinnamon buns. (4/5)

A savoury snack option would be köfte sandwiches from Gel Gor Inegol Kofteci in Kreuzberg. The ultimate cheap eat – good quality, delicious meat and cheap! (4/5)

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Köfte sandwiches
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Lunch at Gasthaus Kromach

 

For lunch, head over to Gasthaus Kromach in Charlottenburg. It ticks all the boxes: friendly and cosy atmosphere (check), delicious large portions of traditional German food (check), and reasonable prices (check)! Recommendations include their pork schnitzel and bratwurst sausage. (4/5) Burn off the calories and make your way to the shopping district, Kurfürstendamm, and shop till you drop!

Saving best for last, for dinner make your way to Henne in Kreuzberg, home to the best fried chicken. Filled with locals, you know this is the place to be at. The menu is simple and to the point – fried chicken with side options of slaw and potato salad. (5/5) Unlike other recommendations, I suggest you make time for dinner here. Reservations are a must so remember to book in advance.

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Fried chicken and sides at Henne

Do.

Take photos in an old Photoautomat. Whilst other cities have digital photo booths, in Berlin, you can find vintage chemical photo booths plotted around the city. Remember to have some change (€2 or so) with you, pop it in and take a series of four photos, which will be printed out in black and white. A great experience and a little something for you to bring back home with you instead of a tacky souvenir.

Have lunch at the Reistag. It offers a beautiful view of the city and you also get a free and queue-free peak of the government building.

Visit the East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie (and all the other places of historical significance). 

Sample Vietnamese food! Berlin is home to a large Vietnamese community, so you’ll find an array of Vietnamese restaurants plotted around Berlin.

Spend an afternoon at Tiergarden especially if the weather is nice too!

Sosharu

Restaurant review of Jason Atherton’s restaurant, Sosharu.

Tucked away near Farringdon station, resides Sosharu – a hidden gem of London. Jason Atherton’s restaurant portfolio is extensive and impressive, with a variety of restaurants scattered across London.

What you’ll find in Sosharu is fresh, quality ingredients; friendly and helpful waitstaff; and minimal, clean interior design – and it ranks as my favourite Japanese restaurant in London.

Cold Soba

The a la carte menu changes to accommodate for seasonal produce, so hopefully any recommendations I make here are still on the menu or something similar. First, my favourite and best dish – their cold soba. The soba is presented on a traditional bamboo colander with a plate at the bottom to catch the melted ice water, served with deep fried vegetable tempura, a dipping sauce and other condiments – everything compliments each other. The soba has elasticity and bite, the tempura is crispy and not greasy or oily, complimenting the soba’s texture, and the dipping sauce coats the noodles and soaks into the tempura, giving you the ultimate bite of umami. Initially I was sceptical but I’ve only come back to order it again (and again).

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Vegetable Tempura

As you can imagine, my next favourite is their tempura. So good that we ordered an additional dish of tempura with our cold soba. It was crispy, not soggy or oily. Both the vegetables and tempura batter was seasoned, not leaving any bite bland.

Another favourite was their octopus seaweed salad, it’s hard to explain how good this dish is, but it will just leave your mouth wanting more and more, wishing you had ordered another portion to share with the table. A must order if you are a fan of seafood.

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Octopus Salad
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Ramen

Unfortunately, although their chashu pork belly ramen is very Instagrammable, resembling something from a Japanese anime, the ramen was average, and nothing special to report about it. The broth was very lack-lustre and didn’t leave me wanting more.

Other notable dish is the seafood clay rice pot. Unlike other restaurants with a similar menu item, Sosharu were very generous with the seafood, and not single thing was overcooked – something I find very often in other restaurants, where the seafood is extremely tough, chewy and bland. However I do believe they have removed it from their menu unfortunately  and now only serve the chicken yakitori clay rice pot.

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Bingsu

Save room for dessert and skip the temptation of ordering their matcha mille crepe and order their bingsu (shaved ice), with fresh strawberries, topped with strawberry sauce, matcha powder and icecream. You will not regret it. It’s definitely a treat. 

Rating 5/5

Address
Sosharu,
64 Turnmill Street,
London, EC1M 5RR

 

[Note: Sosharu is now closed down, but they are currently looking for a new location!]