Berlin’s oldest beer garden is an idyllic spot for corralling good company together, with wooden tables parked underneath chestnut trees and huge umbrellas. Find a beer bank, squish everyone in, and spend all day and night gorging on a traditional German menu. Prater serves its own signature pilsner, schnitzel, goulash, and one mean apple strudel.
How to reserve: Online for groups of up to four, or by phone +49 (0)30.448.5688 in the restaurant. Beer garden reservations aren’t allowed, so arrive early to save a spot.
Café am Neuen See is a little slice of paradise off a large pond in Tiergarten, Berlin’s largest park. Think plentiful outdoor benches for cozying up, and German countryside vibes (herding your group onto the regional train is so unnecessary!). Sit down for all-day beer, pretzels, pizza, and flammkuchen (a German delicacy that’s like pizza, only better, as it’s slathered with creme fraiche, bacon, and onions).
How to reserve: Email email@example.com or call +49 (0)30.254.4930.
Besides being a pioneer in the local craft-brewing scene, Brauerei Eschenbräu also happens to have one of the best outdoor beer gardens in Berlin. It’s hidden away inside a residential courtyard in Wedding, and when you come, you can order from a smorgasbord of seasonal beer, flammkuchen (seriously, you need try this), and pretzels. As is traditional in beer gardens, you’re also allowed to bring your own picnic baskets packed with goodies -- plates and cutlery are even available on pre-order.
How to reserve: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +49 016 249 31915.
Earn serious props for picking Clärchens, a century-old ballroom in Berlin, for your next crew rendezvous. It’s a massive venue with a lot of options for group members to splinter off and do as they please. Start with a dinner reservation in the outdoor garden or the jaw-dropping mirrored ballroom, and let the evening cascade into tango dancing and/or jumping around to German pop music and live bands.
How to reserve: email@example.com or call +49 (0)30 2829295 only between 9am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
3 Schwestern is located in the eclectic-yet-old-world Kunstquartier Bethanien, formerly a hospital, and now an arts centre. The restaurant is bright and roomy, leaving lots of space to push a few tables together, with a lovely outdoor garden as another option for large parties. Just like Kunstquartier, 3 Schwestern’s menu is also diverse, so there’s something for everyone, from pasta, steak, and wild game at dinner, to German cold cut platters, and even huevos rancheros for breakfast.
How to reserve: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +49 (0)30 600318600.
One of the most longstanding and beloved Italian restaurants in Berlin, Lavanderia Vecchia is perfect for a gang dinner thanks to its four-course set menu at €58 per person, which includes dessert, an espresso, and half a bottle of wine (though you’ll probably end up ordering more). Located inside what was once a big old laundromat, Lavanderia has many tables, but you’d be wise to make a reservation as far out as possible.
How to reserve: Email email@example.com or call +49 (0)30 62722152.
Walk into Berlin’s oldest restaurant, Zur Letzten Instanz, almost any night of the week and you’ll find it packed to its antique wooden rafters with groups of German and international tourists (as well as students on field trips). Be prepared for chaos, and undoubtedly the city’s best traditional Berlin dishes, like Prussian meatballs and a bright-pink pork knuckle that’s prime Instagram material.
How to reserve: Online.
This Michelin-starred restaurant -- which exploded on the scene around a year ago -- offers a real-deal communal dining experience. Nobelhart is cozy, with space enough for just 28 guests per night (14 of which get seated around one massive table). Everyone’s served the same 10-course menu in one sitting – and along with a serious wine, beer, and schnapps list, it makes for the perfect atmosphere of buzzy, heady discussion.
How to reserve: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +49 (0)30 259 40610. The restaurant will also call the same day or day before your reservation to re-confirm, otherwise you could risk losing your table.
1. Prater Biergarten KastanienalleeKastanienallee 7-9, Berlin
2. Café am Neuen SeeLichtensteinallee 2, Berlin
3. Brauerei EschenbräuTriftstrasse 67, Berlin
4. Clärchens BallhausAuguststr. 24, Berlin
5. 3 SchwesternMariannenplatz 2, Berlin
6. Lavanderia VecchiaFlughafenstr. 46, Berlin
7. Zur Letzten InstanzWaisenstr. 14-16, Berlin
8. Nobelhart & SchmutzigFriedrichstr. 218, Berlin
A venue that once served as a political meeting space, performance venue, theater, and public house is now one of Berlin's oldest outdoor beer gardens. Ideal for big group outings, this chesnut-shaded yard sports yellow picnic-styles tables, doused in light from string bulbs above. The attached Prater restaurant serves as much more than an alcohol sponge, featuring a seasonal menu with classic German fare like schnitzel, meatballs, and an egg/mustard mash called Senfeier mit Quetschkartoffeln, all accompanied by fresh vegetables from nearby farms.
On a large pond in Tiergarten (Berlin’s largest park), Neuen See Café is as close as it gets to a countryside vacation without shelling out for a regional train ticket. You’ll find both tourists and local families here eating Bavarian specialties all season long (try the Flammkuchen, best described as a German pizza).
Although the 2000s baby brewery Brauerei Eschenbräu is know for its seasonals that dominate the beer garden's menu, its still got a handful of mainstays to satisfy beer drinkers of all kinds: a malty pils, a chocolatey dark, a fruity wheat, and a citrusy wheat. They're all easy to drink, and they all pair well with the snacks and other fare that rotates frequently on the beergarden's menu. The cellar's got a traditional German style and plenty of tables, but an evening under the beer garden's winding tree branches and string lights is not to be missed out on.
Clärchens, a combination bar, restaurant, and dance hall has been around for more than a century and is still going strong in Mitte. Many come for the cheap (and a lot of the time, free) dance classes that rage in style from salsa to swing, but they always end up staying for a live set of traditional Russian music in the Gipsy Restaurant or take a break for a wood-fired pizza, sandwich, or German dish like fried perch or meatballs from their kitchen.
3 Schwestern is a real trade-up from the all-too-familiar traditional German fare and atmosphere found all over Berlin. Pulling inspiration from European, Mediterranean, and Asian countries, this modern-industrial space hosts breakfasts, lunches, and dinners of vast variety with dishes like huevos rancheros, lamb kibbeh, and olive gnocchi. The bar offers a rarely seen combo of wine and hard rock with a winding list of reds, whites, and sparkling choices with an always-packed live music schedule.
Bathed in white light and decked in white cloth from table to ceiling, this Neukolln spot transformed completely when the sun goes down with neon blue and purple lighting for two completely different eating experiences. Lavanderia Vecchia's Italian menus change every week -- at lunch meals are ordered a la cart, and at dinner, the lucky patrons who managed to score reservations pay around 60 Euros to have their four courses and a half bottle of wine chosen for them.
Dating all the way back to 1621, Zur Letzten Instanz's more than kept its medieval vibe that its had going since its creation all those centuries ago. At the head of a quiet three-way intersection in Mitte, the restaurant beckons to hungry passerby (and famous faces like Napoleon, French President Jacques Chirac, and Jack Nicholson) as the only labeled building on the block and keeps them inside with its carved-wood lining, vintage beer stein collection, and German comforts like meatballs and seasonal fried fishes.
Given its earthy vibe with a sky-blue tile- and wood-paneled interior, its no surprise Nobelhart & Schmutzig is all about taking fare straight from the farm. Their approach that they call "vocally local" sources everything on its short and simple menu from within and arms reach of the restaurant, and diners a part of every step in the process -- guests who reserved a spot for supper are seated along the bar that wraps around the kitchen, and menu items like venison, verbena trout, and chanterelles are labeled with the chef who prepares it right in front of their eyes.