How to get in: Full disclosure -- this place isn't entirely hidden, but it does remain one of Berlin’s best-kept secrets thanks to the lack of hype about its location, its low-key facade, and its speakeasy attitude.
The bar: With its low-hanging saloon lamps, wooden paneling, and a large mechanical till, SL takes you right back to the prohibition era. The knowledgeable staff serves well-crafted unusual cocktails, but you might want to kick the night off with the Alabama Song if you really want to stay in context.
Buck and Breck
How to get in: Forget Google Maps if you want to find this place. Berlin’s crazy house numbering system will lead you a few miles from where you want to go. The most low-key of the city’s cocktail temples is disguised as a small art gallery near Rosenthaler Platz. Go up Brunnenstrasse and you’ll see the inconspicuous window on your right. The three oversized letters are actually an anagram for BAR. Press the buzzer on the wall outside and hope there’s a seat available.
The bar: The small dark interior has a large minimalist table at its center and can fit 14 people (which is why on weekends you might want to make a reservation). No standing is allowed. Seasoned bartenders will serve their signature drink, the Buck and Breck cocktail, the recipe of which (Cognac, absinthe, Champagne) is said to date back to the 19th century.