Destination: Germany: Berlin
Bandol Sur Mer
No longer the hidden spot it once was (thanks to several Brangelina visits), this French bistro is a local favorite. The often-changing menu is written on a chalkboard, the small Parisian-style tables spill onto the street (the dining room is tiny) and the atmosphere is laid-back and fun. After a meal here, you can stroll to Clärchen’s Ballhaus for some cha-cha or swing dancing, or have a night cap at popular Weinbar Rutz.
This restaurant and café is located in the quiet Sophien Höfe (interconnected courtyards in the Mitte neighborhood). It’s owned by Seattle expat Cynthia Barcomi, the café serves delicious homemade baked goods as well as light lunch fare (salads, sandwiches, soups and yes, bagels in a nod to Barcomi’s roots). It’s not as touristy as the lunch spots in the nearby Hackesche Höfe and a good place to map out a walking tour of this nice neighborhood, which includes the Great Synagogue, c/o Berlin , shopping streets like August-, Mulack- and Neue Schönhauser Strassen, as well as a host of galleries like Eigen + Art.
Le Cochon Bourgeois
A delightful French bistro that embraces its multi-cultural Kreuzberg neighborhood and all-things Gallic (think of a soundtrack of Piaf, Benabar and Brel) but without any semblance of snobby attitude. Its cheeky name, after all, means the bourgeois pig. It’s cozy and romantic, and the food is consistently good. It’s about a 10-minute taxi drive from such hotels as the Mandala and Hotel de Rome. Dinner only and closed Monday and Sunday.
The name of this charming spot in Mitte translates as “girl-Italian” because when the restaurant first opened, the staff was exclusively made up of (extremely attractive) women. It’s a good spot for a late meal of pasta and red wine, when locals sit at the communal beer-garden-like tables outside and the vibe is so gregarious and fun you cannot help but want to join in. Cash only.
If you’re craving an American-style lunch spot (and have already eaten at Barcomi’s), head to the Barn, on a fun corner of Mitte’s Auguststrasse. A deli, restaurant and café, the Barn focuses on organic, healthy snacks and dishes. Its location also makes it a good place for hanging out and people-watching. It’s a good place to map out a walking tour of this nice neighborhood, which includes the Great Synagogue, c/o Berlin , shopping streets like August-, Mulack- and Neue Schönhauser Strassen, as well as a host of galleries like Eigen + Art. Best of all, it’s open every day of the week. Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-6pm.
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