Best of Berlin

Big cities are constantly changing, shops and restaurants opening and closing, neighbourhoods gentrifying, others being re-discovered, some declining or simply becoming sleepier.

Big cities are constantly changing, shops and restaurants opening and closing, neighbourhoods gentrifying, others being re-discovered, some declining or simply becoming sleepier. Berlin is all of that and then some. We wanted to offer a sampling of the great places in the city but instead of trying to capture that in a list of our own favourite places, a list which would have been based on only a few weeks, we turned to the people who welcomed us and to their friends. We asked nine locals (and one fan) what their favourite places are and decided to add the twist of asking for four times of the day, 9am, 1pm, 8pm and 3am.

We also used this opportunity to include a little startup twist. Berlin is currently home to a booming tech scene with startups and incubators multiplying rapidly. But that's not really our 'scene' so as a nod to the phenomenon and to give you a small glimpse of the startups, four of the people featured are part of startups, so you can get a slight glimpse of them and of what fuels them.

Of course, ask our same ten again in a few months or ask a slightly different crowd and you're sure to get an entirely different list but for the hectic period during which The Alpine Review's inaugural issue was being created, these were the places our friends and their friends were enjoying.

Henrik Berggren

Henrik Berggen is a tech-music-biz-nerd that loves the web. He is the co-founder and CEO of Readmill, a social layer for ebook readers that lets you share and discover new and better books using your social graph.

9am — Café Fabisch for a yoghurt, müsli & fresh fruit breakfast.

1pm — Lunch at DUDU, Rosenthalerplatz. Their seafood bowl is a killer_._

8pm — Neue Odessa Bar for a pre-dinner drink.

3am — Stattbad Wedding. Great vibe, great crowd, great music. Also, Buck And Breck is good. And Brooklyn Beef Club. Oh, And I loooove Tausend Cantina.

Caroline Drucker

Caroline Drucker is the head of Etsy Germany and has survived a decade of Berlin's manic regeneration."Anyone who tells you it was better before hasn't been here long enough or doesn't realize that this city is never what it was and will never be what it should."

9am — Mogg and Melzer for their Shakshouka (I'm still smarting from the brioche getting removed from the menu due to neighbours who don't like the smell of truffle butter. Monsters.)

1pm — Paris bar - it may be incredibly old-school and listed everywhere, but you can't beat their oysters and you won't see a soul from Mitte there.

8pm — In my kitchen, trying out a new curry if I've been able to go to the Asia Supermarket near Alex to get ingredients - but if I'm eating out it has to be Little Otik.

3am — Stattbad Wedding, depending on the lineup.

Edial Dekker

Co-founder and CEO of Gidsy, “a place where anyone in the world can find something to do.”

9am — The Makers Loft - our office space is always filled with high energy, good espresso beans and great people. At 9am, I'm usually one of the first to come in (that's how great it is).

1pm — 3 Schwestern - this is a great place for lunch, whether it is winter or a beautiful summer day. It's a beautiful old hospital with a great garden and friendly waiters (which is rare in Berlin)

8pm — Tempelhof Park - the old abandoned airport that turned into a park. This is probably the most open space in Berlin and is beautiful when the sun is low. For me, 8pm is a great place to water my plants in the urban garden I have there.

3am — Circus Lemke - great, hidden, dive bar in Neukölln as long as you don't drink anything fancy. Just stay with beer, to be safe.

Christoph Fahle

Surfdude and founder of betahaus. Leaving Berlin soon to find new adventures. (soon = someday)

9am — Backshop Reuter

1pm — People-watching at betahaus (fab)café.

8pm — Sundowner, Müggelsee. Secret Bay.

3am — Kuschslowski Weserstraße, Grasofska mit polnischen coktailhäppchen with brokeback mountain crowds. Afterwards party. If too crowded, second best: "Tier" a couple of meters further down Weserstraße.

Caitlin Winner

Reading and writing, sometimes painting. I co-founded a company called Amen: an app for creating, sharing and discovering the best of everything.

9am — Antipodes on the weekend for the eggs benedict and flat white. Cafe Lois if sunny and a weekday (that corner is somehow in the sun all day long).

1pm — Alte Nationalgalerie, second floor in the impressionist room staring at the Cezanne attached.

8pm — Leibhaftig German Tapas (seemingly an oxymoron, I know). They brew their own beer, which is a rare thing in the land of Berliner Pils. Family run, the owners are always happy to see me.

3am — Riding my bike home taking the scenic route around the Volkspark Friedrichshain.

Peter Bihr

Peter Bihr co-founded the Berlin-based digital strategy consultancy Third Wave. He frequently organizes or curates events like Cognitive Cities Conference, atoms&bits Festival, Ignite Berlin, TEDxKreuzberg or NEXT Berlin.

9am — Simitdchi, a fantastic Turkish bakery-and-cafe smack in the bustle that is Kottbusser Tor.

1pm — 3 Schwestern, a restaurant that just radiates the Berlin vibe. Based in Bethanien, a former hospital-turned-squat house-turned artists' resident-turned, well, restaurant and arts space, the friendly staff serves modern German food. The restaurant theme? "Fine food and primitive Rock'n'Roll."

8pm — After work, nothing beats the gorgeous cocktails at Würgeengel, a true Kreuzberg institution.

3am — There's pretty much three places I could be at 3am, in order of descending probability: In a deep sleep, in front of my laptop on the kitchen table, or at a friend's place, winding down with close friends.

Michelle Thorne

Michelle Thorne is the Global Events Strategist for Mozilla and is a Creative Commoner.

9am — _Five Elephant: _a tasty, local roaster and cafe. Famed for its cheesecake, stellar coffee and reclaimed schoolhouse maps.

1pm — _Prinzessinnengärten: _An urban garden offering workshops, lunch and a shady spot at Morizplatz. Their permit allows for full use of the space, as long as everything can be carted out on short notice. Hence all the plants in bags and crates.

8pm — Locke Müller

3am — _Monster Ronsen: _Japanese-style karaoke with a Berlin twist. Wide selection, small singing cabins and occasionally a big stage with Guitar Hero and drag queens.

Martin Spindler

Martin Spindler is a freelance strategy consultant focussing on the Internet of Things and Smart Energy.

9am — Five Elephant Coffee, a small café close to the canal, who do their own roasting.

1pm — 3 Schwestern, a restaurant located in an old abbey which now serves as an contemporary arts center.

8pm — Liesl, a new bar in up-and-coming Neukölln serving beer from a nearby micro-brewery.

3am — Bar Buck und Breck, arguably one of the best cocktail bars in Berlin

Marguerite Joly

Marguerite Joly is the co-coordinator for Hybrid Plattform, a transdisciplinary project-laboratory and network for boundary pushers and lateral thinkers, based in Berlin.

9am — On a weekday morning, Giro on Knesebeckstr has great teas, good coffee and a nice mix of students and real West-Berliners plus it's situated on Knesebeckstr. one of West-Berlin's finest streets.

1pm — On a weekday, for the view but not the food, the cafeteria at the top of the Telekom building on Ernst-Reuter Platz has a truly stunning view of the city from the West -- the opposite to the Alexanderplatz view, plus it's free!

8pm — I've been living here for 14 years and only recently found a Chinese restaurant to rival Toronto and Vancouver... Peking Ente sits on the site of the former Reichskanzlei on Voßstr. 1 and has been there since the GDR (although the current team took over in 1999). I've never had the eponymous Peking Duck but the Gung Bao Chicken, Mapo Tofu and Fried Pork and Green Beans are highly recommended.

Andre Schaminee

André Schaminée works for Twynstra Gudde, one of Holland’s leading independent management consultancies. Together with Jaap Warmenhoven he founded Geen Kunst, which now is a new division of Twynstra Gudde. André also founded Living Room Records and Singlesclub in the 90’s.

9am — There is only one place to go for coffee in Berlin: Bonanza Coffee Heroes.

1pm — On my way to the studio, I don’t do U-bahn, I ride a bike (you can get the guy out of Holland, you can’t get Holland out of the guy). I notice a new stencil piece by SP18. It says Berlin is a beach. I’ll have to make a picture of it tomorrow. It’s time for lunch: Chinese Dumplings at Yumcha Heroes.

8pm — Why cook when the best affordable meals are just around the corner? All right, it looks dodgy, but Arirang in Wedding has the best Korean food you ever tasted!

3am — Antje Oklesund: I knew it’s a hard place to find, but I didn’t even see the entrance being just a few feet away. Well, anyway, after we get in (the entrance fee turns out to be merely a suggestion), I find an interesting place with great bands, a wide variety of people, great electro music and a lot of Czech beer.

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