DJ Oskar Melzer has been the music mastermind behind some of Berlin’s most prime parties, including Pogo Club, F.U.N., and Weekend. With his modern Jewish deli Mogg & Melzer, he’s now bringing New York-style pastrami to the city. And while he technically lives in East Berlin, the self-described Berliner wants you to stop snubbing the West. We sat down over a slice of the deli’s incredible cheesecake (so difficult, we know) to get the lowdown on this guy’s favorite Berlin pit stops.
I think my favorite restaurant in Berlin is called Edds, a Thai restaurant. It’s in Schöneberg. That’s, like, the only restaurant that I know of that people from outside Germany also know, and they’re like ‘Wow’. The others you can find all over the world, but that’s amazing. They have this big shrimp, I don’t even know the name of the dish because always when I come in, she’s like, ‘Oh, you want the shrimp’. And as a starter there’s a cold noodles dish with peanut sauce and peanuts... that’s amazing. Those two dishes are my favorite dishes there. But everything is amazing. I think the grandmother of the chef used to cook for the Thai king, so that’s where he learned all the dishes.
I‘m not really into brunch, but I really like the old Café Einstein in West Berlin.
Actually most of my coffee I drink here. I think Mogg & Melzer’s my favorite coffee. It’s because we’re doing amazing coffee, and I’m here all the time. It’s coming from a guy called Andraschko, he’s from Vienna, he’s our coffee diva, and he’s like the coolest guy in the world. Most of the time I drink espresso.
I think The Bird is a good burger place. I get a cheeseburger with bacon. Classy.
Best Fine Dining
Bandol Sur Mer is my favorite because the great thing about Bandol is you are getting this amazing food which is on the Michelin level, but they don’t do all this bullshit around it. They are super cool.
Best Late-night Eats
[Mustafas] Gemüse Kebap is amazing, the best döner in Berlin by far, but I never go there late, that’s the funny thing. I’m not doing late night food. I’m super boring. But I’m always hungry.
Döner Kebab or Currywurst??
It’s complicated. For sure döner kebab because I think currywurst is the most overrated thing in the world. But I’m allergic to sesame, and it’s really hard for me to find a döner kebab where I can make sure they aren’t putting any sesame seeds inside because most of the time the bread has sesame seeds. There’s this amazing kebab place in Kreuzberg, Adana Grill House. It’s at the end of Oranienstrasse. I’m eating the kebabs there. It’s really good.
Best German Grub
They do a good schnitzel at Borchardt, but that’s really boring. That’s where I would send my parents.
Best Dive Bar
I don’t know, King Size, although it’s not really a dive bar. I like it when I DJ there, but I’ve never been there private. I think I only like clubs when I DJ there and am going out with money. Great answer for an interview. I just came back from Munich, yesterday. I have a monthly night in Munich at a club called Bob Beaman. Then I DJ at my club in Frankfurt called Lido. I DJ’d in Tel Aviv two weeks ago. It’s usually like house and techno.
I like Café am Neuen See, it’s super not trendy. All the places I tell you are not trendy. You should write about it as: these places are not for hipsters.
Like for trendy young people? I don’t know,Club der Visionaere or Chalet. I was running a big club in Berlin, and after almost 16 years in nightlife, it’s enough, I saw it all. It’s great, I think nightlife is great when you are young, but if you have a girlfriend, there is no reason to go out.
Best Place to Party
It depends whose playing, what’s the night. I think there are a lot of places, I think Panorama Bar can be amazing, for tourists who have never been in Berlin you should go to Panorama. There is nothing like this in the whole world. And any club in Berlin is better than any other club outside of Berlin, that’s for sure.
Best Live Music?
I like Huxleys Neue Welt in Kruezberg. It’s a nice venue.
Best way to enjoy the outdoors
The Tiergarten is amazing, I love the Tiergarten.
Kantstrasse is pretty cool, in West Berlin. Paris Bar’s a great place to go. There’s a great Chinese restaurant called Good Friends. Because it’s so old school Berlin Kantstrasse, nobody goes there. Everything is going on in East Berlin and Kreuzberg and everybody forgets West Berlin.
Don't leave town without...
Go to Neu National gallery, because the building is one of my favorite buildings in the world. It’s built by Mies Van der Rohe. And Mogg & Melzer of course. There’s also one thing you don’t have to see while you are in Berlin, it’s Potsdamer Platz.
1. Mogg & MelzerAuguststrasse 11-13, Berlin
2. EddsLÜTZOW ROAD 81, Berlin
3. Cafe EinsteinUnter den Linden 42, Berlin
4. The BirdAm Falkplatz 5, Berlin
5. Bandol sur MerTorstr 167, Berlin
6. Mustafa’s Gemüse KebapMehringdamm 32-34, Berlin
7. Adana Grill HausManteuffelstr 86, Berlin
8. BorchardtFranzösische Str 47, Berlin
9. Eismanufaktur BerlinAuguststr 63, Berlin
10. WürgeengelDresdener Str 122, Berlin
11. King Size BarFriedrichstr 112, Berlin
12. Bob Beaman Music ClubGabelsbergerstr 4, München
13. LidoMoselstraße 32, Frankfurt
14. Café am Neuen SeeLichtensteinallee 2, Berlin
15. Club der VisionäreAm Flutgraben 1, Berlin
16. ChaletVor dem Schlesischen Tor 3, Berlin
17. Panorama BarAm Wriezener Bahnhof, Berlin
18. Huxleys Neue WeltHasenheide 107-103, Berlin
19. Galerie NEUPhilippstr. 13, Berlin
20. neugerriemschneiderLinienstraße 155 , Berlin
21. Hamburger BahnhofInvalidenstraße 50, Berlin
22. CFA - Contemporary Fine ArtsAm Kupfergraben 10, Berlin
23. TiergartenStr. des 17. Juni, Berlin
24. Paris BarKantstraße 152, Berlin
25. Good FriendsKantstraße 30, Berlin
A former Jewish school for girls, Mogg and Melzer is a chic, cozy deli decked in emerald tiles and blood orange colored picnic tables. A hot spot for breakfast and lunch, they serve staples like smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, pastrami sandwiches and matzo ball soup. Stray off the reservation and try the chicken liver creme brûlée for dessert.
A former chef for Thai royalty, owner Edd's grandmothers' talent must have been recessive. An international destination for authentic Thai cuisine, Edd's has been crafting dishes like chicken in steamed banana leaves and duck "fried twice" for over three decades.
A combined coffee house and arts and culture epicenter, Cafe Einstein attracts locals and international travelers alike. The owner, Gerald Uhlig is an artist and gallery curator himself and hosts famous artists and authors to hold readings and display their work in his gallery. The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating and serves classics like wiener schnitzel as well as house-made pastries, craft teas, and coffees.
Opened by a pair of dudes from the Big Apple, The Bird brings a little New York dive ambience to Berlin, pouring brews and serving grub like burgers, steaks, and chicken wings.
One of Berlin's best spots for fine dining, this cozy establishment plates French cuisine in a sublte, but elegant space.
You might have to wait in line for awhile to get a kebab from this tiny street-side stand, but once you take the first bite, you'll understand why you did. Kebabs here are loaded with crispy chicken, fresh feta, and a secret ingredient that, undoubtedly, sets this place apart.
This 40-seat resto might be the best spot in Berlin for kebabs, but it serves up plenty of other dishes that are inspired by the fare from the city of Adana in Turkey.
This Berlin hotspot features menu options that change daily and exhibit flavors of both German and French cuisine.
This little shop features some of the tastiest Eis in Berlin and serves the stuff in a number of unique flavors you can only find here.
If you're looking for a place that has terrific cocktails and a number of tasty tapas menu items, look no further than Wurgeengel.
King Size Bar is hardly king size, but it's a sweet spot to hit up for a few drinks and live music in a lively environment.
Bob Beaman Music Club is one of the premier spots in Munich to grab some drinks and check out live music ranging from bass-pounding club tunes to classical orchestra "jams".
If you're into music, booze, and live dancin' ladies, you'll definitely want to check out Lido, which promises a "professional and exciting club atmosphere".
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).
Located literally right on a canal, Club der Visionäre is both a bar and club that's a favorite among Berlin's hipster crowd. With a deck sitting right on the water, CDV is ideal for any number of things -- early evening cocktails, a pre-clubbing drink, or an all-night party, thanks to the fact that there's a dance floor downstairs that gets crowded quickly once the sun goes down. Since this place has a penchant for blasting electronic and techno jams, expect to leave a little sweaty. If it's too much to handle, though, you can always cool off in the canal.
Chalet can be found on a small island in a canal not far removed from the center of the Kreuzberg area of Berlin. With a laid back and fairly serene outdoor setting, you may be surprised to find that Chalet is a lively spot that's frequented by the coolest Berliners for its house party vibe, great drinks, and bumping music.
Panorama Bar shares a space with nightclub Berghain in a building that looks like a former prison. Despite its name, Panorama isn't all about the drinks, as both establishments are passionate about putting on great clubbing nights and combine to create what many consider one of the best house & techno clubs not only in Berlin but perhaps even Europe as a whole. With stellar lineups practically every night, you may as well just go for a week straight. It wouldn't be that uncommon anyway.
Huxleys, in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin, is one of the German capital's premiere concert venues. With a long history and well-deserved reputation, this spot has been hosting concerts for over a century, drawing such names as Jimi Hendrix, The Ramones, and The Clash.
Galerie NEU is an art gallery that's home to a number of contemporary artists' work and is well worth a visit for your cultural enrichment.
Found in the Mitte area of Berlin, neugerriemschneider is an art gallery that was founded in 1994 and is today driving the city's blossoming gallery scene by representing a number of international contemporary heavyweights.
The Hamburger Bahnhof, in the Mitte area of Berlin, is a beautiful, sprawling museum that's focused on contemporary art. The building was erected in the mid-19th century as a terminal station for the railway system and while there may be no tracks nowadays, the original architecture is still noticeable thanks to the Neoclassical façade. Inside, the museum has been the home to works by Andy Warhol, John Cage, and Cy Twombly.
CFA is a contemporary art gallery that was founded in 1992 and is currently located in the Mitte area of Berlin. The gallery has displayed works from some of the best German artists of recent years and continues to do so today.
Berlin's Tiergarten is the second largest urban garden in Germany (behind Munich's Englischer Garten), and it's among the most beautiful in Europe. Founded and designed way back in the 16th century as hunting grounds for the king, today the Tiergarten is a bit less violent and more about relaxing, whether that means having a picnic, going jogging, or playing a little fußall. While you're there, make sure to check out the famous Victory Column monument, too.
While you're in Berlin, there's no need to gorge yourself exclusively on brats, pretzels, and beer, although that doesn't sound like a bad plan. Take a break from German fare and head to local-favorite Good Friends, a great, authentic dim sum restaurant in Charlottenburg.