Anne Raber, concierge at Hotel de Rome, Berlin, reveals what you can’t miss in a trip to the German capital.
Loved by locals
A restaurant that’s really popular with locals is Lode & Stijn, just off the canal in Kreuzberg. It serves a five-course menu with beef tartare, herring roe, cod and veal. I dream of their Belyzium chocolate crème and blood-orange sorbet.
Katz Orange really shows off Berlin. It’s hidden in the Neo-Gothic backyard of a former brewery and has quite a bohemian atmosphere. They slow-roast their Duroc pork for 12 hours and it’s to die for.
Best for business
Pauly Saal is housed in a former Jewish girls’ school and has a great bar, terrace and beautiful dining room. But it’s the food at this Michelin restaurant that’s most impressive. Try the local game.
A night on the town
If you want a nightclub experience, go to Kater Blau, beside the Spree River. It’s a hole-in-the-wall bar with fabulous house and techno music, pretty decent food and a large outdoor area.
My favourite breakfast place is Hallmann & Klee, where modern comfort food meets gourmet fare. Germans love their bread and here, freshly baked and served with butter and fleur de sel [flower of salt], it’s delicious. Try the insanely fluffy pancakes with maple syrup, roasted nuts and blueberries.
The best coffee is found at Double Eye. I’ve been going there for 15 years and people still queue outside. Drink your espresso and eat pastéis de nata [Portuguese custard tarts] while sitting outside on a chair, observing the street life.
Escape to the country
On a lazy weekend, visit Winterfeld (winterfeld-berlin.de); it’s the place to go on Saturdays. I grab a glass of freshly squeezed juice then head to Bauer Lindner for lamb sausage. Finally, the most difficult decision of all: strudel or cannoli?
For designer fashion, I recommend the Les d’Arcs showroom in Pankow. I recently stumbled across this label by locals Jess Kahlke and Anna Ingensand, who create extraordinary scarves and unisex pieces.
Blast from the past
And for vintage fashion, check out Aura for beautiful kimonos from the 1920s to ’80s. Then visit West Berlin, where you’ll find upscale designer fashion at Madonna & Adon on Mommsenstrasse. My favourite store is Lunettes Selection (lunettes-selection.de) for vintage sunglasses.
One stop gift shop
You’ll find the perfect gift or memento at Bikini Berlin. It’s a trendy concept mall with pop-up stores and often hosts art installations. Upstairs, on the Monkey Bar’s open-air terrace [atop the 25hours Hotel in the Bikini complex], you can get a coffee and wave at the real monkeys in the nearby zoo.
Oasis in the city
If it’s raining, relax at Vabali Spa, where “ze Germans” get naked. There’s plenty of space in this Balinese-inspired spa.
The city’s best outdoor experience is the Berliner Philharmoniker orchestra’s last concert of the season [on July 1] in the Waldbühne amphitheatre. Bring a food basket – and Champagne.
SEE ALSO: One Perfect Day in Berlin