MiAM | Giovanni Dominice/Courtesy of Maim
Courtesy of Cecconi's

Cecconi's

Mitte

Berlin is full of Italian spots serving handsome, plentiful plates, but Cecconi’s has raised the bar once again. The restaurant, which opened in February, is located on the ground floor of the members-only Soho House (fortunately, this part’s open to the public). Get the Instagram-worthy grilled octopus to start, and finish with the decadent lobster spaghetti.

Lode & Stijn

Lode & Stijn

Kreuzberg

Lode & Stijn, which opened to high expectations in April, is the creation of two Dutch chefs known for doing buzzy pop-ups around town. It’s definitely lived up to the hype, delivering the same eclectic cooking -- although now inside of a beautiful refurbished interior. Book well in advance for the four- or six-course dinner, or also to nibble from a quirky bar menu that includes Dutch bitterballen, panelle (Sicilian fritters), and pavlova cake.

Courtesy of The Pit

The Pit

Kreuzberg

BBQ junkies, rejoice -- you can now gorge yourself on The Pit’s melty-good Texan brisket not just at pop-ups and markets, but five days a week. In case you haven’t heard already, the famous brisket is wagyu imported from the US, and slow-smoked for 18 hours. Just a stone’s throw from Görli Park, the restaurant serves a full meat-filled menu with Stone Brewing beer and a dangerous stock of bourbon.

Wild Things

Neukölln

You could say Wild Things is just another dark, rough-and-ready Neukölln bar, but then you’d be forgetting its concept: a menu that consists solely of natural, additive-free vino. Potent flavor, earthy currents, and a considerably less punishing hangover are all the name of the game here. Definitely worth a stop on your next pub crawl across Weserstraße.

Restaurant Anjoy

Anjoy

Prenzlauer Berg

This Vietnamese restaurant breaks the mold in that it offers more than just your typical pho and curries: grilled eel gets wrapped in pandan, and a range of bright salads and other dishes are made according to the owner’s family recipes. A proper cocktail list and a few beer choices (Saigon, Tiger, and German favorites) all help Anjoy make for one relaxing dinner spot.

Brammibal’s Donuts

Brammibal’s Donuts

Kreuzberg

Brammibal’s is the latest food truck to get its own brick-and-mortar shop, right on Maybachufer near the Turkish Market. Here you’ll find vegan donuts in playful, artisan flavors like salted caramel, matcha strawberry, and pistachio. Although drier than your regular gluten-packed dough bomb, it's not a bad addition to a scene that’s overflowing with pfannkuchen.

Shiori

Mitte

This intimate 10-seater restaurant is the most underground Japanese dining you’ll find in Berlin. Eight-course omakase menus start at 7:30pm every night. With secretive vibes and upscale touches like handmade wooden bowls and volcanic stone cups, it’s an experience that's worth shelling out for.

Oak & Ice

Oak & Ice

Prenzlauer Berg

All-natural ice cream, a rustic café, and a family-friendly atmosphere is the recipe behind Oak & Ice, a new addition to Prenzlauer Berg. Close to Eberswalder station, here you’ll find gluten-free ice cream sandwiches, and flavors ranging from traditional to far-out. Pistachio and salted caramel are solid choices, but if you’re feeling adventurous try the foie gras, buckwheat, or gorgonzola.

Kanaan Express 

Kreuzberg

Now that Kanaan has a location in Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg, you have no excuse for sleeping on its Israeli-Palestinian fare. The new location near Südstern is small, but the food is hearty and indulgent, from homemade shakshuka (eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce, aka God’s gift to hangovers) and hummus slathered in olive oil and amba-mango sauce.

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1. MiAM 5 Spreewaldpl., Berlin, 10999 (Kreuzberg)

At MiAM, right in the center of Kreuzberg, you will probably never eat the same thing twice. This street food eatery enlists a different local chef each week to run the operation and create his or her own menus, which means thing here change often and drastically. This is where to be if you're feeling adventurous because when you roll up to MiAM, you don't know if you're getting Mexican or Thai or Southern American. The space it occupies is also a mecca for other local pop-up businesses like coffee shops and record stores.

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2. Cecconi's Torstr. 1, Berlin, 10119

Inside the ground floor of the Soho House building lies Cecconi's, a modern-day answer to the classic Italian restaurant. Its chandeliers, white table cloths and bright leather seating host all the beloved dishes of Northern Italy including wood-fired pizzas, hand-made pasta and risotto and mains like chicken paillard. Brush up on your wine lingo before you go; the bottle list might be intimidatingly long for perpetual beer-drinkers.

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3. Lode & Stijn Lausitzer Straße 25, Berlin, 10999 (Kreuzberg)

The brainchild of two Dutch chefs who have been doing popular pop-up dinners around Berlin, San Francisco and Amsterdam, this contemporary spot offers up multicultural and seasonal food like the Czech beef dish Svíčková and decadent pavlova cake (essentially, a giant merengue topped with cream and fruit) for dessert. It's right by the canal, so feel free to walk off the meal afterwards.

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4. The Pit Reichenberger Str. 120, Berlin, 10999 (Kreuzberg)

Real Texas BBQ is hard to come by in most parts of the United States, let alone Europe, but somehow The Pit managed to pull it off in the heart of Berlin. Probably because all of the meats are cooked in a pure steel smoker (imported from Texas, of course) that any barbecue master would be proud of. Try the Smoked Wagyu, The Pit's signature dish, and feel right at home in the restaurant's wood-and-brick interior.

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5. Wild Things Weserstraße 172, Berlin, 12045 (Neukoln)

Coming across a wine bar that isn't stuffy or expensive is rare. Luckily, Wild Things is neither of those things. This artsy spot in Neukolln has mastered the difficult process of natural wine making (no fungicide or additives here), and serves just as much delicious food (meat and cheese plates among other finger-friendly feasts) as it does beverage. Wild Things staunchly opposes wine bar stereotypes with round-the-clock music and encouragement of actually drinking instead of tasting, so add this one to your bar crawl bucket list.

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6. Anjoy Rykestr. 11, Berlin, 10405

Anjoy is a Vietnamese restaurant in northern Berlin breaking past the bounds of pho and curry with inventive and gorgeously presented dishes. The specials menu rotates every week but the dinner menu offers mainstays beef wrapped in betel leaves, ravioli stuffed with beef and avocado and, of course, its own take on traditional pho. Add a reasonably priced list of beer and house cocktails, and you'll find yourself replacing your tried-and-true pho joint.

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7. Brammibal's Donuts 8 Maybachufer, Berlin, 12047 (Kreuzberg)

This vegan donut shop used to be a food truck, but now the brick-and-mortor location in Kreuzberg makes it even easier to indulge in these donuts dripping with vibrant icing and toppings. Although a bit drier than regular, gluten-heavy donuts, they make up for it in artisanal flavors, such as pistachio and matcha. The donuts are also free of any artificial products, so you can chow down on these desserts while feeling a bit less guilty than normal.

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8. Shiori 13 Max-Beer-Straße, Berlin, 10119

Shiori is one of the most exclusive dining experiences in Berlin, with only 10 seats for dinner every night. A eight-course omakase meal that renews every month is what's on the menu, and you won't know what you're indulging in until you get there promptly at 7:30pm. The secrecy is worth the price at this underground Japanese restaurant that includes special touches such as handmade wooden bowls and volcanic stone cups.

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9. Oak & Ice Schönhauser Allee 52, Berlin, 10437

This Prenzlauer Berg ice cream shop has something for everyone, with all-natural ice cream, a kid-friendly atmosphere and gluten-free ice cream sandwiches. You can stick with classic ice cream flavors, but Oak & Ice also features outrageous offerings, such as buckwheat or foie gras. The menu also features seasonal flavors sourced from ingredients provided by local suppliers, but naturally, the more exotic flavors come from all over the globe. In addition to ice cream, you can also order cold-pressed juices, smoothie bowls or fresh-brewed coffee.

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10. Kanaan Express Blücherstraße 37, Berlin, 10961

Kanaan Express' Israeli-Palestinian dishes might be entirely vegan/vegetarian but it doesn't mean they aren't hearty, flavorful and filling. For a low price, even for health-food standards, you can chow down on as much hummus, falafel and yemeni your hungry heart desires. Authenticity here can only be matched by Israel itself, and the fast and friendly service will have you in and out the door in no time. That is, unless you want to sit back and drink on the beach-y patio for a while.

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