Kotti for… hipsters

Our guide to four parallel universes around Berlin's most loved/hated square.

Image for Kotti for... hipsters
Voo Store. Photo by Maria Runarsdottir
Your friends might all live in Neukölln, but you know better. Where else can you find junkies, old Turkish ladies and authentic Berliners side by side with all the third wave comforts of home?
Image for Kotti for... hipsters
Illustratoin by Agate Sasiuk
With Nietzsche in your tote bag and the usual stream-of-consciousness narrative running through your head, you hit the streets of Kotti for your morning rounds. First, Kremanski (Adalbertstr. 96a) for the free wi-fi alongside an energising ginger tea and chia seed pudding (you also love their eggs Benedict, but you’re after something paleo today). Next, a brief cigarette and espresso at Cafe Kotti (Adalbertstr. 96b), where the mix of refugees and international lefty types makes you feel all worldly and inspired. A short walk to Oranienstraße brings you to Museum der Dinge (Oranienstr. 25), a collection of miscellaneous everyday “things” that only design junkies like you appreciate. This month, it’s showcasing a retro communist magazine. You leave hungry, and thankfully Kotti has no shortage of artisanal lunch spots to suit your picky palate. After contemplating an €11 plate of ceviche de pescado at Spanish-Peruvian Cevicheria (Dresdener Str. 120) and the €6.50 “Korean business lunch“ (vegan bibimbap, miso soup and tea) at Mercosy (Dresdener Str. 11), you decide to cheat on your pescetarianism at the Kotti branch of Burgermeister (Skalitzer Str. 136), where your favourite burger in Berlin runs just €9.50 (depending on fries). It’s good to reward yourself.
As a Berlin expat who’s spent time in New York, you were eating matcha cupcakes before anyone else.
To help you digest, you go for an espresso at Ora (Oranienplatz 14)… your Instagram followers will eat up the money shot of you reading your vintage copy of Also sprach Zarathustra against that old-school pharmaceutical background. One of them alerts you that Voostore (Oranienstr. 24) is having a release party for its new Scandinavian shoe shelf, so you take a peek and end up leaving with an €80 gold Boy Scout ring, the perfect accessory to the fair-trade sandals you’ve copped for €16. After yet another espresso (at the in-store Companion Coffee) you head to Charlie’s Asian Bakery (Oranienstr.187) because as a Berlin expat who’s spent time in New York, you were eating matcha cupcakes before anyone else. Last week you finally got into Berghain (after all those rejections), so you’re basically a techno expert now, and a stop at Record Loft (Adalbertstr. 9), hidden deep in a Hof, will help you beef up your collection of obscure records with cool covers to spin at friends’ birthday parties. By now the sun is coming down and it’s time to eat again, so you head out to Maroush (Adalbertstr. 93) for an authentic shawarma, not a döner like all the clueless tourists walking slowly through your Kiez. And at only €3 you can save the money for booze. You take your wrap zum mitnehmen and grab a Berlin-brewed Stone Arrogant Bastard IPA at the Biererei (Oranienstr. 19), an upscale bottleshop with all the craft beer you can drink. As you’re rolling a fresh cigarette, Tinder tells you that one of your cutest matches happens to be around the corner at Würgeengel (Dresdener Str. 122). It must be fate. Together you splurge on a round of proper gin drinks made by real mixologists (between €7.50-11). That trust fund isn’t going to spend itself, right? After you’ve started feeling the juniper buzz, you pull him up the dingy stairway leading to Paloma Bar (Skalitzer Str. 135), and show off the minimal techno dance moves you spent all summer long practising at Club der Visionäre. But the laid-back atmosphere is harshing your vibe after all that alcohol, so you hop over to Monarch in the same building complex (Skalitzer Str. 134) and dance ironically to some old-school hip hop, romantic ambience provided by the U1 flashing past the window in the background. At some point you notice that you might have misplaced your date. Oh well… you remember that “we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once,” thus spoke Zarathustra. You’re happy. You love Kotti.