The Scene – Summer’s Hottest Openings

The sun’s shining, dresses get shorter by the day and the hipsters on Torstraße can finally drink their club mate until sunrise on the street again. Even if you’re not looking to get your party game on, summer is a hugely interesting time. New restaurants and eateries sprout up in spring, and summer shows who’s on the road to full bloom. Naturally you can’t check them all out, so trust your favourite lifestyle agency to find  the best ones. We compiled a list of 8 hot new restaurants this summer. Each and every venue is a real tongue pleaser.

Gärtnerei
With all the hedonism at night, it’s no wonder there’s a craze for healthy food temples. Gärtnerei in Mitte is the latest landmark for exceptional vegetarian restaurants. The interior is an atmospheric oasis boasting green plush couches and a small bar counter. The menu is minimalistic – just the three main ingredients per dish are revealed. Fear not – for unwavering carnivores there’s also a few choice dishes with meat.

Golden Phoenix
Duc Ngo is Kuchi’s founder and the mastermind behind 893 Ryotei. He’s also one of the most formative wizards behind Berlin’s young dining scene. In Hotel Provocateur’s in-house restaurant Golden Phoenix, he’s fusing french and asian cuisine. His aim is to cook the dishes from his childhood, just even better. Is it even possible to top grandmother’s recipes? Find out in good old West Berlin.

Katerschmaus
You’ll find this new gem in recently opened Holzmarkt. It boasts lovely modern cuisine right by the Spree on the former premises of Berlin’s notorious Bar25. Kitchen head Hayk Seirig was already chef when they were serving beats rather than food, but how times change! The real candy: You can stay at surrounding Holzmarkt for beers, laughs and company after or before dinner. It’s an urban getaway for locals and travellers alike.

PeterPaul
Let’s face it: If you’re super hungry, you’ll need to make quite an order at PeterPaul. They serve delicious German cuisine (yes, it exists) in snack-sized portions. The recipes are a blast from the past, served as modern interpretations. Think Königsberger meatballs, rolled beef, Swabian ravioli in exciting new variations. What made it stand out: The great atmosphere mixed with rich flavours and a superb Austrian wine selection.

Vertikal
Vertikal’s house facade is covered by an impressive ocean of plants. Their food is just as exciting. Contemporary European cuisine with Asian and African influences. Now, if that doesn’t sound promising! Owner Claire from New York came here 7 years ago – for love. After trying her toast with roasted onion, pickled avocado, goat cheese and poached egg, we know it’s the same reason we’ll be coming to Vertikal for the next 7 years.

Con Tho
Con Tho’s a culinary oasis in the middle Neukölln’s hustle and bustle. They put emphasis on serving “healing” food, so 2/3 of ingredients stem from regional productions. Their amazing selection of drinks was made with the knowledge of buddhists monks. Expect vietnamese vegetarian & vegan cuisine cooked to perfection.

Good Bank
Innovation done right: Good Bank grows its own food. Behind the small venue’s counter there’s an in-shop farming system that grows salad. Obviously they can’t grow all their ingredients in their restaurant, but it’s still a definite step towards more urban sustainability. You can choose your ingredients and create your own super-fresh food experience as you sit. The future is now.

Spreegold meets Bikini
Spreegold is the perfect all-rounder for upscale fast food in atmospheric venues. They serve great breakfast, salads, pasta, burgers, steaks and bar food at night. Their outlet at Bikini Berlin is their third venue in Berlin and stretches across three floors. First floor – to-go area for quick eats. Second floor – restaurant, lounge areas and workspace with 350 seats. Third floor – rooftop bar with great views of the surrounding area. When the weather’s good you can dine al fesco on their spacious rooftop terrace.

The Scene meets Kleine Nachtrevue

Love is in the air. But not here. Here, it’s raw attraction. Arousal. Temptation. The first round of drinks has been served, the light is dimmed low. Is it just us or did it get hot in here? Two beautiful burlesque dancers appear on stage. It isn’t long until they start slipping out of their sparkling red dresses. The energy level rises. A woman sitting next to us in the dark whispers “God, even I would take these beauties home”. 

In Berlin wet dreams are never far, but finding something sophisticated can be challenging. Luckily, Kleine Nachtrevue isn’t a strip club but an intimate burlesque venue tickling your erotic fantasies. It’s a haven for erotic theatre, nude ballett and all things kinky. It makes you smirk, cheer, admire and of course – aroused. The easy play with nudity makes you want more at one second and lets all sexual appeal disappear in the next. Suddenly, you see it clearly: it’s just naked bodies dancing. Only a moment later, the show shifts back to its seductive play and temptation returns with a bang. Wonderful!

The show has its edges (super weird scene including a baby costume) but they just make it more likeable. It’s raw, authentic, honest and doesn’t crave for perfection. It’s Berlin in a nutshell, with all the hedonism, twists, turns and kinkiness. When the curtains fall and the star of the show enters the stage, you realise maybe you were wrong. Love IS in the air. 

Opened Tuesday to Saturday, shows start 9pm. Swing by and be amazed!

On Tour – Living (in) The Dream

It’s a horror story come true. Brexit is real. Trump is real. The Kardashians are still famous. In short: It’s the perfect time to move to Berlin. 

Berlin’s upscale real estate is developing rapidly. As trend scouts it’s our holy duty to always be one step ahead. Take that step with us and join us for our brand new & hand-tailored Real Estate Tour! It’s designed for people looking to escape the boring monologues of real estate agents. Instead, we’ll reveal all the neighbourhood’s secrets, tell you about its residents and what makes the district’s heart beat. You’ll get a glimpse at the real Berlin. Rough, raw and strictly off the list of property agents. Together we’ll discover the Berliner in you and find the perfect place for your desires.

So, what could these places look like? We helped a young entrepreneur couple from UK with property inspiration, real estate insights and our know-how about Berlin’s lifestyle scene. This is the lustrous list we compiled:

Sapphire - Stylish apartments by Daniel Libeskind. Mitte
Sharp corners, sleek edges and twisted perspectives. The sapphire-shaped house is the talk of the town. Every flat is unique in shape and size. It faces the new headquarters of German’s national security agency BND. Not recommended for mafia bosses!

Penthouse Bevernstraße – Work & live. Kreuzberg
A custom-made rooftop space right on the Spree. A sun-filled, calm environment above the purr of the city’s hustle and bustle, just steps from Kreuzberg’s Schlesisches Tor. The perfect mix between urban cool and upscale living.

Urban Treehouse – Green getaway. Grunewald
If you like a metropolis’ flair but still want perfect calm when coming home, this treehouse in Berlin’s greenest district is the place to live. It boasts 2x28sqm treehouses and a 650sqm garden property. It’s proximity to lush swimming lakes and a major forest put it at #1 for picturesque getaway homes.

Villa Hartneck – Luxurious interior design.
Sounds good so far? It get’s better. In a neoclassical villa that can be rented for events, we connect you with interior design wizards. They’re the geniuses behind numerous luxury properties in Berlin, but also worked on millionaire’s wet dream Marco Polo Tower in Hamburg. Whatever your desire, they’ll make it come true.

So you see, there’s no need to worry about the Trumps and Brexits in this world. Berlin has you covered. Contact us now and we’ll arrange a tour with you that fits your needs.

Insiders – Dirk Dreyer / General Manager 25hours Hotel Berlin

This month’s interviewee is hotel director and former DJ Dirk Dreyer. He’s been well-known in Germany’s house scene and was a DJ from 1995-2009, before becoming hotel director for Berlin’s Lux 11, Indigo Hotel, nHow Berlin and finally 25hours Hotel. His career has been stellar behind the decks as well as behind the desks, and we’re thrilled to have hime for our interview series!

Hey Dirk. First things first. From DJ to hotel director – you’ve made quite a career. How did it all begin?

When I was a kid I used to record tapes from the radio and play them on the school bus. Even then I would secretly observe how everyone reacted to the songs. At 18, I had my first residency in a Frankfurt club, but it wasn’t until the mid 90s that I really started digging house music. My job at BMG back then was a perfect fit. I was sending new tracks to DJs to get feedback, so I had an almost unlimited access to fresh music. At some point I had collected 15000 vinyls! When I started working for Sony, we created the dance department and signed hits like Run DMC’s “It’s like that”. The platin disc is still hanging on my wall today. In the bathroom.

You were born in Frankfurt – a city rooted deeply in electronic dance music, much like Berlin. What was the 90s Frankfurt scene like? Sex, drugs and hedonism? 

I was too young to actually understand what was going on behind the scenes. The techno scene had very distinctive marks. Short hair, bomber jacket, combat boots. Not nazis, but very martial looking. Berlin already had a flourishing gay scene in the 90s, while Frankfurt was very hetero, very straight. The gay scene was small, but it was there. In the end, going partying with my gay friends was what really shifted me towards house music. I was the only hetero in that clique. I enjoyed everything from going out with them to their hysterical fits!

So, why come to Berlin? 

Sony’s headquarters moved to Berlin. As a DJ in his late 20s I was absolutely thrilled. My own office at Sony Center and the city was waiting to be discovered. It was what everyone was dreaming of. I had only been to Berlin for the love parades until then and all of a sudden I would live here! I went to five parties a night. We turned days into nights and nights into days. Berlin’s culture and nightlife is still a major drive in my life. The experiences, the endless possibilities, the unexpected encounters and most of all – the people. It’s like the whole world is sending their best folks to Berlin.

Berlin has a firm grip on its night owls. Are you still going out?

Well, the last time I went to Berghain was 2 years ago. I wanted to see Danny Tenaglia and he was playing at 6 in the morning. I was really worried maybe I couldn’t stay up so long anymore. We arrived at 2 in the night and my worries were soon gone. We left at 2 in the afternoon. It was then I knew I still had it in me! Not without a hang over for several days, but still. These days I mostly party in the first half of the night. And I usually sit. 

From DJ to hotel director – quite a jump. Why did you make the change?

I met my wife in 2005 and she already had a kid. We became a small family. It didn’t really feel good anymore to come home from parties and sit down at the breakfast table. So one night, I had a fateful dinner with a hotelier. I was hoping he’d connect me to one of his clients like Adidas, Red Bull or T-Mobile. It seemed to make sense to find a job at a music affine lifestyle brand. Two bottles of wine and a few shots later, he convinced me to become hotel director for Lux 11, Mitte’s first boutique hotel. He said he needed someone who knows the city and who’s known by the city. Next morning I woke up with a hangover and thought: Well, that didn’t go to plan. It was a jump into the deep end, but an amazing chance at the same time.

It worked out perfectly. Since your successful start at Hotel Lux 11 in 2009, you also ran hotels like Indigo and Berlin’s music hotel nHow. What do you think are the hotel trends for the future? 

There are two major trends right now. First – huge standardized places like Motel One. They’re big, affordable and efficiently designed. The services and equipment are reduced to a minimum, guests only get what they really need. The other trend is boutique and design hotels with a distinctive atmosphere, just like 25 Hours. Style and form create individual experiences for the guests. I think in the future we will see a repositioning of older hotel brands. Today’s travellers have grown up in the world’s Motel Ones and many express themselves through their choice of hotel. These people will opt for stylish places that fit their needs for individuality. So, the new mainstream hotels will be more stylish by default and adjust to the trends we see now. 

In your eyes – how has Berlin changed in the last 15 years?

The city has become a lot more organized. When we were throwing parties in the early 2000s, you’d call some phone number, arrange a location with some random guy and you would be lucky if things went halfway according to plan. It’s on a really professional level now. It lost some of its charming spontaneity, but that has more reasons. 15 years ago there were many free spaces for up for the taking. That was all part of the zeitgeist, you can’t keep the same state forever. I really like the new internationality. I feel that just the right people are coming to Berlin, from all over the world.

What’s you favourite place for food and drinks?

My favourite restaurant is the Pantry. Only few restaurants manage to create great all-round experiences, there it’s just right. Cozy armchairs, an harmonious concept, great design, music and a very friendly staff. My insider tip would be Korean restaurant Maru in Friedrichshain. The owner has dyed peroxide blonde hair and looks a little bit like a villain from a Hollywood movie. It’s an uncomplicated venue with great food. I often go there with my family.

If there was one thing in Berlin you could change, what would it be?

Berliners just love complaining. Not everything new is a threat. Cheer up people!

On Tour – Wild Wild Warsaw

14 missed calls. The world is spinning. This is NOT your bed. You know your tour was a blast when you wake up at 4pm in a Warsaw hotel room. Some people have prejudices against Warsaw. It’s outdated, they only eat pirogis and women are sexier than they have any right to be. Not true. They’re SUPER sexy and have every right to be so. And not just them. The whole city has a sexy and edgy appeal. It’s the ideal place for Berlinagenten tours.

We presented Warsaw’s temptations to a Swedish event agency. At the heart of Day 1 was an exclusive tool designed especially for urban city explorers – the Berlinagenten Geo Rallye App. Soon a horde of aspiring Indiana Joneses chased hints and discovered the city in an interactive social experience. The app lets you exchange pictures in real time, so you stay in touch with your team via our custom social media app as you go. Turns out it’s also great for party pictures. Now we’re sure – we have the prettiest customers!

For the evening, we arranged our gastro-rallye at unique eateries in Warsaw. We had starters on a breath-taking rooftop (level27), mains at a former castle (Qchnia Artystyczna) and cocktail drinks at the hippest venue (NaLato). We wrapped up the tour with a VIP table at a beach club by the river. The next day was off in the morning, as we hit the clubs at 3 in the morning and danced until sunrise.

Sunday saw us cruising in a Cabrio bus, fighting for the tastiest dishes in an epic kitchen battle and rounding it off with a glamorous gala dinner at night. Our fearless leader Henrik was on his feet for 48 hours straight to make it all happen seamlessly. Of course he was polite enough to join guests for drinks (for every round) – it comes with the job.

Long story short. No matter if in Kreuzberg or in Warsaw – we love to entertain you! Join the dark side and enjoy the coolest tour of your life.

Red Carpet – Henrik’s World of Glamour

No matter if Henrik’s wearing a shirt, a smoking or just his slippers: Red carpets unroll in front of him faster than you can say “why is he naked”. As the foremost Berlinagent, he carries a heavy burden. He has to represent a whole company, and so he parties like he was a whole company. No oyster is safe, no champagne glass escapes his sight, no party goes crazy before he turns up! Before we take off for summer vacation, we want to share some wet memories with you.

ic! Berlin Flagship Store Opening
Berlin’s favourite brand for screwless sunglasses has new headquarters! Naturally the manufactory threw a major party sure to get you screwed anyway. Finest drinks, a sneak peak at the upcoming summer collection and celebrity Friedrich Liechtenstein singing – all under one roof. Lovely! By the way, you can come check out the store even if you’re not looking for glasses. Free co-working and co-playing all week long.

The Grand – 5 Years Jubilee
The hidden gem near Alexanderplatz is well known for its excessive parties. An upper class restaurant at daytime, The Grand turns into a jungle of beats and grooves at night. Unsurprisingly, their 5 year jubilee party was more crowded than Berghain on Sunday, but no less heavy on the liver. Among the happy faces were Till Schweiger’s buddy and movie producer Tom Zickler and gastronomy baron Jesko Klatt.

COS Opening at KuDamm
Houston, the eagle has landed. H&M’s premium brand COS has re-opened and redesigned their Ku’Damm outlet. Premium brand means premium guests. It was little wonder the party was crowded by stylish fashionistas and curious onlookers, who tried to conceal their lack of style with an extra beer or two. Just the way we do it in Berlin.

Global Destination – Warsaw

Warsaw is the Phoenix among Europe’s capitals. It was conquered by Prussia, France and Russia. It regained independence in 1918 just to be almost completely destroyed by the Nazis during WWII. The following Soviet regime rebuilt the city with hammer and sickle, creating a similar contrast between communist and classical influences that you’ll also find in Berlin.

Since the fall of the iron curtain Warsaw’s reputation as a gloomy concrete jungle in social fashion has been shifting. The unique blend of Baroque palaces, concrete blocks, museums, modern architecture and green parks undermine its aspirations to become Eastern Europe’s culture capital. We discovered a diverse mix of neighbourhoods from post-industrial, edgy Praga to the restored Old Town with its rich cultural heritage.

Warsaw isn’t just about history however. You’ll find a pleasing amount of concept stores, galleries, cocktail bars and edgy clubs as you stroll through the streets. In the hotspots of Warsaw’s culture there’s a rich art scene with exhibitions, plays, performances and of course a certain amount of sophisticated snobbery. In short: These days, Warsaw is a whole lot of fun. 

Highlights

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews – Created by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute, work on this museum commenced in 1995 and continued until 2005, when it was officially instituted by the Polish president 

Museum of the Warsaw Uprising – Dedicated to the military uprising of the Polish army against Nazi Germany on 1st of August, 1944. 

Palace of Science and Culture – An eye-catching high-rise building built during the Soviet reign in 1955.

Old Town (Stare Miasto) – Warsaw’s historical center was beautifully restored after its destruction during WWII

Weekend Breakfast Market – Dozens of local food producers, farms and restaurants invite you to shop fresh food and spend time with your friends

Zlota 44 – Designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, Zlota 44 is the tallest residential tower in its class in the European Union

Keret House – An art installation in the form of an insert between two existing buildings, representing different historical periods in Warsaw’s history

Royal Lazienki Park – Warsaw’s biggest park boasts a royal palace, a theatre, a water tower and numerous landmarks

Copernicus Science Center – In the city center, neighbouring the Vistula River and the new Warsaw University Library, you’ll find one of Europe’s best science centres.

Neighbourhoods

Vistula River Boulevard 
Vistula is Warsaw’s biggest river and splits the city in two. It’s always been a life-giving vein for the city. Over the last couple of summers, it has also become an fun-giving vein for party hunters. With more than 20 clubs, it’s one of the most frequented areas during summer. Drop by at one of the food trucks, hang out at the beach or chill with the locals to store-bought beers at a camp fire. If there’s any place in Warsaw that spells cutting-edge, it’s here.

Poznanska Street
If you’re looking for great restaurants, this is the place. The lively Poznańska Street is popular with both locals and tourists. Outstanding venues like Beirut, Tel Aviv, Bez Tyulu and Nolita put it on any well-informed gourmet’s map.

Francuska (Praga)
The neighbourhood that makes you fall in love in Warsaw. While the whole city is intriguing, it’s here that the magic happens. Praga is an formerly neglected part of town that was revived by artists who moved there for the cheap rents. Now you’ll find bars, cafes and vintage shops next to towering concrete buildings. It’s a little rough and was even considered dangerous some 10 years ago. While it’s perfectly safe now, you still don’t see too many tourists. Perfect!

SoHo Factory
Located in Praga, SoHo Factory is a post-industrial zone that formerly housed weapon and motorbike factories. Following its re-development, the business complex and cultural hub is now home to artists, architects, restaurants, cafes, fashion boutiques and design stores. It boasts an unique Neon Museum and even a theatre and tattoo studio. The location where daring plans meet actual possibilities.

Plac Grzybowski / Prozna
Plac Grzybowski and Prozna Street (Empty street) were part of the Warsaw Ghetto. Prozna Street still features four tenement houses and is one of the few left-overs of “Jewish Warsaw”. During the annual Festival of Jewish Culture, the neighbourhood catches the pre-war climate and reminds of the Jewish quarter it used to be.

Art in Warsaw

As a city on the cultural rise, Warsaw boasts a flourishing scene for modern art. Here’s our Top 5 galleries and museums!

Galeria v9 – urban art and in-depth looks at the graffiti and street art scene http://v9gallery.com/

Raster Gallery – Contemporary art gallery established in 2001, exhibiting and representing emerging artists from Poland and abroad 

Museum of Modern Art – Contemporary art from around the world and especially young Polish artists working across media, video, installation, performance, and sculpture.

Neon Museum – Dedicated to the documentation and the preservation of Cold War era neon signs 

David Bowie Mural – A tribute to David Bowie’s time in Warsaw, which inspired him write his 1977 song Warszawa 

Restaurants

Warsaw is packed with culinary delights, but just like in Berlin, it took a while until the culinary scene really had found its flavour. The trend of small food trucks is complimented by the first Michelin stars rising over the city’s horizon, promising more to come over the next years. Warsaw is an exciting place to be for foodies. If it’s international flavors you’re after or traditional pierogi and bigos, you’ll definitely not go home hungry. Here are our favourites:

L’enfant Terrible  (top pick)
Chef Brys is among the most innovative chefs in Warsaw, having worked in outstanding restaurants in London, Zwolle and Copenhagen. In a venue boasting dark, sober colors and minimalistic design he serves mouth-watering gourmet cuisine.

Senses
Italian-French chef Andreas Camastra, whose restaurant Senses (sensesrestaurant.pl) recently snagged Warsaw’s second Michelin-star, brings a global sensibility to bear on Poland’s classic cuisines and generous natural larder

Atelier Amano
Atelier Amaro only uses seasonal Polish products and is considered one of Poland’s most modern venues. Their slogan is “where nature meets science” and obviously, they’re doing their laboratory work. It’s the first restaurant in Poland to land a Michelin-star.

Chef’s Table
This four-seat, one-table restaurant is a hidden gem and undoubtedly the most exclusive restaurant in Warsaw. As the name suggests, those lucky enough to indulge do so at the exclusive invitation of the Chef. Legend has it, that Vladimir Putin and Steven Segal are among the select few to have enjoyed this honor. True to its exclusivity, the exact cuisine of the restaurant remains a mystery.

Warszawski Sznyt – Steak & Art Kitchen

Restauracja Warszawa Wschodnia by Mateusz Gessler – Mix of Polish and French cuisine

Boat House - Boasts a glass wall through which you can see the Vistula

Tel Aviv - Vegetarian restaurant with Middle Eastern kitchen

Koszyki – Delicacies from around the world under one roof

Strefa - composition of food from many corners of the world with many Polish accents

Cafes

Milk bars, or bar mleczny in Polish, are remnants of days past, when fresh food was rare and state-run venues served affordable food – mostly vegetables and dairy. They now serve a wider variety of dishes, but the concept is unchanged: inexpensive comfort foods like soups, pirogi, meat and potatoes.

Milk Bar Prasowy – Instead of the usual basic seating and tables of most milk bars, Prasowy offers modern, sleek design and traditional dishes sure to please eyes and tongues alike.

Milk Bar Maslanka – The communist era exterior is complimented by coca cola umbrellas. The interior’s light blue colours remind more of a frozen yogurt bar.

Bistro Charlotte – Rough and rustical charm with great breakfast. A hipster’s favourite. 

Pozegnanie z Afryka – The first coffee-specialised shop in the country with grains from South America, Africa and even Asia. 

Telimena – One of the oldest cafes in Warsaw, boasting an art gallery and a small concert hall

Party

In Warsaw there’s plenty of ways to roast your liver. During the summer you’re best off with the beach clubs on the banks of Vistula river. Can’t find them? Just follow the river until you hear basslines. Warsaw’s bars range from rough and shabby to sophisticated, but all of them will close around 02:00am, clubs at about 06:00am. Many clubs take residency in empty warehouses, so be prepared for big stages, massive sound systems and anything from techno to Balearic house.

Bars

Na Lato (top pick!) – Na Lato serves superb Mediterranean cuisine at night and turns into Warsaw’s hottest bar at night. With a picturesque setting in an urban park’s pathways, innovative cocktails and DJs on the weekend, Na Lato is Warsaw definite number one.

Warszawa Powisle – A formet ticket hall that’s now home to clubbers and night owls

Plan B - The true heart of Hipster’s Zbawiciela square

Panorama Sky Bar – Amazing views over the city

Charlie Bar – Cocktails with attitude

Pies Czy Suka - High-end design boutique with cocktail bar and part time club

Dom Wodi – Modern looking bar specialized in Vodka

Clubs

Luzztro (top pick!)
Dark, intimate atmosphere, pumping tunes, cheap but good drinks and a chilled-out crowd. Luzztros an unlisted underground electronic club that attracts both locals and tourists looking to party until daylight.

The View - Hyperposh rooftop nightspot. The #1 place to see and be seen in Warsaw.

Level27 - An amazing rooftop space with breathtaking vies over Warsaw. Top notch cocktails and A-List DJs guaranteed!

Smolna 38 - Rough, shadowy and simplistic design, three dance floors, two outdoor areas, a chill-out room, an indoor air-conditioned smoking room and three bars

Pomost 511 - One of Vistula’s best beach clubs

Hotels

H15 Boutique Apartments (top pick!)
Located in the heart of Warsaw, H15 is a renovated 19th-century building combining history with contemporary luxury.

Autor Rooms - A small four-bedroom boutique hotel. Very private and personal atmosphere for guests who want to experience a unique hotel

Marriott Hotel - Major hotel with 523 rooms and a bar on the 40th floor offering spectacular views over the city

Bristol Warsaw - Founded by the famous pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Bristol is one of Warsaw’s most remarkable landmarks blending history and contemporary luxury

Hotel Bellotto - Located in the heart of Warsaw’s Old Town, within the walls of a sixteenth-century Primate’s Palace, Bellotto offers classic luxury

For more information about Warsaw, check WarsawTour and inyourpocket guide!

The Scene – 10 New Hotspots in Berlin

Spring descends upon Germany’s capital of cool. Berlin’s hipsters, foodies, lovers, bar hoppers, clubbers and lunatics curiously stick their heads out of the holes they have been hiding in during the freezing winter. Time to discover what’s new and trendy in Berlin city! We’ve compiled a list with the best new hotspots, from bars and clubs to restaurants and breweries.

Cafés

Mario Kaiser Patisserie
When Mario Kaiser left Berlin to work in kitchens around the world 8 years ago, Berlin’s trendy food scene was still a long way coming. With Mario having refined his skills in Paris, London, Zurich and the USA, he now offers delicious pastries in his brand new Prenzlauer Berg patisserie. Berlin is finally ready for upscale confectioners and Mario is planning to expand his menu soon. Just like trendsetting Coda Dessert Bar in Neukölln, he’s planning to add alcoholic beverages to pair with the delicacies soon – a promising concept.

The Visit Roastery
A bar-raising new addition to Berlin’s flourishing specialty coffee scene. Located in a Kreuzberg backyard near Kottbusser Tor, the coffee bar creates a strong contrast to its somewhat shabby surroundings. The stylishly decorated space inside is both welcoming and inviting, its openness allowing you to relax at either a regular table or in the MacBook-loaded sitting corner. The place feels very clean  – and a little sterile. As soon as you take the first sip on your specialty coffee, that’s easily forgotten.

Restaurants

Mine Restaurant
Mine’s Owner Aram Mnatsakanov is often considered the Russian Jamie Oliver. His Italian restaurants in Moscow and St. Petersburg rank among the best in their category and he’s been a prominent host for TV shows like “Hell’s Kitchen Russia” and “Hell’s Kitchen Ukraine”. With his intriguing modern interpretation of classic Italian cuisine and a premium selection of ingredients from all over Europe, you’ll find Mine’s dishes to taste familiar and yet refreshingly different.

Izakaya at Sra Bua
Renowned fine-dining restaurant Sra Bua by Tim Raue located on Hotel Adlon’s ground floor is surprising gourmets with a new concept this year! While the main room is still dedicated to classic menu service, the Izakaya section pays hommage to Japan’s dining culture, essentially creating two restaurants under one roof. The concept is to sit back, enjoy drinks (sake anyone?) and socialise as light dishes are shared family style. The delicacies range from spring rolls with green applesauce to delicious beef tartar “japan style”.

Bars

Mampe’s neue Heimat
Strictly speaking, Mampe isn’t a bar. It’s Berlin oldest existing liquor brand, on its way back to world domination. Their new location “Mampe’s neue Heimat” is an all-in-one museum, exclusive liquor store and event location housing its own distillery. With distilling workshops, liquor tastings and a strict Berlin-only delivery policy, Mampe is setting sail to once again become Berlin’s most prestigious and exclusive liquor brand.

Wine Bar
Mine restaurant’s bar is located in the neighbouring building and one word sums up the space perfectly: small. In fact, it’s better known as Berlin’s smallest bar and invites guests to sip on tasty aperetifs before dinner or tol roll over for a nightcap after a long meal. Don’t forget to check out the space at the back as you’ll find some hidden corners ideal for mingling.

Clubs

Beate Uwe
A small and intimate club hidden right under the noses of most tourists. Despite its close proximity to Alexanderplatz it remains a refuge for a very leaned back crowd. It’s the perfect start into a wild night out, but it’s just as perfect if you’re looking for an electronic club night without stomping on people’s feet. Probably the only club in Berlin where you can dance barefoot.

Haubentaucher
When Haubentaucher opened its doors two summers ago, it immediately drew a huge mixed crowd of sun-hungry Berliners, hipsters and tourists. Within weeks, it became the “in” location of the summer 2015, and 2016 was no less busy! What most people don’t know – they boast a small but high quality club with great lineups and even better party. Check it out!

Breweries

BRLO
The slavic word “BRLO” is the origin of “Berlin”. While they have strong roots to our beloved capital, BRLO is a creative brewery also inspired by international influences. With their German IPA, Pale Ale, Weisse, Helles and Porter they offer a solid selection of high quality beers. Brewmaster Michael Lembke secrets range from ecological malt to brewing water energized with gemstones. Added value: a fabulous food concept with shared vegetarian dishes (meat comes as sides) and a huge terrace for sunny days. They stick to the motto “Save the planet, it’s the only one with beer“.

BrewDog
Us Germans, we love beer. We absolutely worship it. Hence we’re thrilled to welcome Scottish brewery BrewDog to Berlin, where they opened their first craft beer bar in Germany. With its typical Berlin industrial charm, brick walls, vintage lamps and pinball machines, it’s the perfect location for thirsty beer lovers.

The Scene meets Nithan Thai

Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Mumbai, Prague, Tel Aviv and now Berlin. Chef Shahaf Shabtay’s impressive resume sounds like a rockstar’s tour schedule. Though he may never become a guitar hero, his restaurant series Nithan Thai is sure to strike a chord with foodies all over the world.

Shahaf learned his handicraft in Paris, the undisputed Capitol of gourmets. His talent landed him jobs in world class kitchens, but his inspiration stems from more exotic environments.

Every now and then he packs his bag and travels small villages all over Southeast Asia, returning home with unheard-of cooking techniques and culinary wisdom beyond his years. His aim is to promote a food language that is relatable, down-to-earth and yet innovative. Why not focus solely on French cuisine, though?

“French food takes too long to cook. I prefer the fast-paced Asian cuisine” Shahaf tells us with a grin. While his French teachers doubted his vision for a long time, the exceptional blend of Asian and French cuisine that Shahaf has brought to perfection is now held in high regard even by his old masters.

Tasting his Thong Kum, a roll filled with Bangkok style beef, calamandi orange, smoked sesame and Tia-To Nanami, we can’t quite believe our tongues. A slowly unfolding taste explosion. It’s meaty, fruity, sweet, bitter, salty and even a little crunchy. While chewing, the rest of the world seems to fade away as our brains try to process the firework of sensations. What many chefs struggle to accomplish in a whole menu, the Thong Kum does in one bite. Amazing!

The exceptional menu is complimented by an elegant and laid back interior design, held in a discreet mix of grey, green and yellow, topped off by dark wood elements. The Asian touch shows on the decor. A golden elephant here, a few white flowers there and golden vases around the room remind you where Shahaf finds inspiration.

Now, for the best part. Main courses are around 20€. That’s 20€ for dishes that easily compete with michelin-star kitchens. Nithan Thai’s pricing fills the gap between high class cuisine and your usual neighbourhood restaurant, while the taste is nothing short of spectacular. 10/10 from Berlinagenten!

Insiders – Marcello

He’s celebrities’ secret bogeyman. His words can set reputations on fire, or catapult them to the top of olymp. He’s Berlin’s cheecky whirlwind and possibly the coolest gossip columnist EVER. We present: Marcello!

We’re glad you could make time for us, Marcello. How does one become a gossip columnist?

Berlin’s nightlife always played a major role in my life. I started going out at 16. Two years later, I became a gogo dancer. I met lots of people during that time. From David Bowie to Blondie, everyone was thriving on the hedonistic Berlin nightlife. When I took up a job as make-up artist and worked with the likes of Marlon Brando, I had to cut down the partying. In the early 90s a friend of mine founded the 030 magazine and said “Hey, you know everyone! You should write about it!” So that’s what I did. I was sick of actors anyway. They’re all crazy. I work as a Berliner now (laughs).

So… how do you learn people’s secrets? Surely they don’t just tell you everything because you ask nicely.

My former column was called “Marcella’s heiße Spalte”. I was living as a transsexual back then – not a trash tranny, always with style. It was the perfect image for my column. I went to the parties looking totally normal, so no one expected that I was Marcella. People told me their secrets and soon Marcella would pick them up in her column. They never figured out it was all one person. These days I’m not Marcella anymore. My column is now published in somewhat bigger newspapers. Look for “Partyspionin Rita Bond” in the B.Z.!

Secrets… what kind of secrets?

Oh, this and that. Who’s opening a new club, who is fighting whom, the small-scale wars between different scenes… sometimes I spilled a few secrets I probably shouldn’t have. I admit I enjoyed that a little bit.

Don’t people get pissed off when you write about them?

Oh, they do. Tough luck! But I don’t just write to expose little stories. My column has always depicted trends, too, like the nightlife scene moving from “one love, one family” to the separatism that clubs like Berghain and Kater Blau celebrate so much. Some people do get pissed, though. Once author Benjamin von Stuckrad Barre wanted 18.000€ for the use of ONE word. It ended in court with the payment of 150€. Then there was this girl. She climbed Kingsize’s bar counter on the closing night, got her boobs out and splashed champagne all over them. A person who does that obviously wants to be at the center of attention. I took a lovely picture and sent it to the 24h B.Z. live ticker. A year later she sued us for 4.000€. We took the picture offline of course. But we don’t pay for stupidity.

How do you know where the celebrities hang out?

From my spies in the gastronomy scene! Often I’m simply invited to celebrity events though, after all they need gossip to remain the talk of the town. I approach them, tell them I work for a newspaper, do a little small talk and that’s usually all it takes. The trick is to be as tipsy as they are, otherwise they think you’re plotting something.

What’s your craziest story?

Some time ago Kate Moss was in Berlin to present a new perfume series. I was invited too, so when she was finally done getting drunk and we were allowed in, I asked her for a picture. She became very rude and insulted me, so I thought to myself “Allllright baby. I will not be treated this way!” She was so drunk, I knew it would just be a matter of time until she’d do cocaine on the toilet. So I waited. It paid off. I took a lovely picture of her, coming out of the cabin, white crumbs still dripping from her nose. She snapped and punched me in the face. I have a great picture of that too. 

Do celebs NEED gossip?

Oh yes! Celebs below B-list will do anything for a bit of press coverage. What people don’t realise is most celebrities aren’t rich. They live on fame and attention.

What do you think about famous “underground” club Berghain being talked about on US Television?

No point complaining. Berghain is a tourist club. If Bill Kaulitz from Tokio Hotel is telling everyone how great Berghain is, there’s no need to be surprised. What’s still cool about the scene – celebrities don’t automatically get into clubs just because they’re famous. They have to wait in line like everybody else. 

In 3 words, what does Berlin mean to you?

Freedom. Innovation. Hedonism.

Can you recommend a good restaurant?

I don’t eat anymore, I drink supervised! (laughs) My favourite bars are local pubs like Victoria Bar and Erna P.

Thanks for taking the time, Marcello!