For two and a half years, people asked me how long I planned to stay in Berlin. Every time, I answered: “Indefinitely.” I left Berlin almost six months ago, but it’s stuck with me. Here are some of the things I loved.
- Luiban, an immaculate stationery shop. Vintage finds interspersed with Japanese imports.
- Modulor, the best art supply store I’ve ever been to. Three floors of raw material, with an atmosphere halfway between a laboratory and a warehouse.
- Type Hype, an alphabetical emporium. Find notebooks, mugs, pillows, and more, all emblazoned with individual letters in surprising styles.
- Do You Read Me?!, a place for magazines from all over. Come here when you’re in the mood to glimpse other ways of being, or angling to construct a collage.
- Trippen, a spot for strange and beautiful shoes designed from first principles.
- KaDeWe, a gleaming department store; a trip. Don’t miss the top floor, where expensive luggage mingles with oversized stuffed animals.
- Deliveroo and Lieferheld for food delivery.
- BVG FahrInfo for transit. (Buy tickets on your phone!)
- MyTaxi for cars.
- The Juicery, a weekend haunt. Right across from Mauerpark. I especially liked their “Immunity” smoothie, packed with avocado.
- The Juice Company, a place worth becoming a regular. Delicious smoothies, plus tacos and other treats.
- Goodies, the classic. “Deep Purple,” featuring blueberries and cinnamon, was my go-to.
- Bonanza, a pristine café on one of the best streets in Berlin, Oderberger Str. The ceramics sport their name in gold.
- Godshot, a multi-level space in Prenzlauer Berg. Downstairs, it could be a living room you snuck into.
- Hermann Eicke—old familiar. Candlelit year-round.
- Distrikt, airy and grounded. Try their banana bread.
- ORA, once an apothecary. Everything you’d hope.
- Companion Coffee, inside a boutique called Voo. Visit after a trip to Modulor.
- Five Elephants. Truly the best cheesecake.
- Father Carpenter. Tucked into a courtyard; splashes of blue abound.
- Industry Standard. Honest and elegant. A real find for brunch.
- Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Local in the extreme. Unforgettable. The hush, the low lights; the wide, smooth bar we sat at side by side. My phone was stolen on the way home and the memories are still warm.
- House of Small Wonder, sister to a restaurant by the same name in Williamsburg. Lush greenery at the entrance, and a spiral staircase to boot. Just-so Japanese dishes and delicate matcha lattes.
- Habba Habba. Mediterranean food, fast. I’m sure I ordered their fattoush salad over a hundred times.
- Fine Bagels at Shakespeare and Sons. Bagels and lox in an English-language bookshop. A Sunday ritual.
- The Bowl. Rice bowls galore.
- Ashtanga Yoga, a home for Mysore instruction. Go at your own pace.
- Dance Works. I took a beginners’ modern dance class here and loved it. It was late summer; we opened all the windows to keep the room from getting too humid. So much sweat produced by leaping and twirling.
- Bicycle paths everywhere.
- Monster Kabinett. Weird and wonderful animatronics, underground.
- Liquidrom and Vabali. The best spas in all the land.
- Hamburgerbahnhof. Modern art in an old train station.
- Bike from Berlin to Potsdam. Invigorating and not too exhausting.
- Christmas markets. I went to my first Christmas market the night before I left Berlin. I wish I’d gone sooner! What could be better than spiced nuts eaten with gloves on?
- The Transparent Factory in Dresden. Marvel at a state-of-the-art Volkswagen facility.
Originally published on Medium.