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Restaurants and bars: The best new spots in May

May was a big month! This bumper edition is a run down of the best new restaurants and bars we visited in Berlin last month.

Dig in, Berlin! Photo: Clemens Niedenthal

We’re always on the hunt for delicious new spots for food and drink, and last month did not disappoint. There was plenty of new stuff on the menu in Berlin this May thanks to some awesome recent openings. So what were our favourite places last month?

Ember RoofTop: Fiery feast

For a short time only: The Ember’s fire kitchen moves into this rooftop structure in Kreuzberg. Photo: Ember

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire here at Ember RoofTop – in a good way, we promise. You may already be familiar with Ember Open Fire Cooking, but did you know they’ve started grilling, roasting, and smoking above the roofs of Kreuzberg just in time for summer? Twice a week, you can enjoy a four-course menu prepared over an open flame – and an unbeatable view of the heart of Berlin.

  • Ember Roof Top Wiener Str. 10, Kreuzberg, details

Tokyo Gohan: All things onigiri

Tokyo Gohan is home to the best onigiri in Berlin. Photo: Jonas Sjarov

Onigiri may look simple, but these savoury stuffed rice balls wrapped in seaweed are packed with flavour – and nobody makes them better than Tokyo Gohan. Alongside classic fillings like salmon and tuna with mayo, the menu also offers plenty of vegan variations on the traditional Japanese dish, like avocado or pickled radish with yukari seasoning. They’re delicious enough on their own, but if you’re extra hungry, you can also order them as a bento with crispy fried chicken, edamame, and other yummy sides. 

  • Tokyo Gohan Dieffenbachstr. 68, Kreuzberg, details

Aerde: Farm-to-table

Innovative dishes by Flaschenhalspark. Photo: Clemens Niedenthal

Farm-to-table is a rare enough concept in Berlin as it is, but it’s even rarer at the level Aerde is operating at. Their mouth-watering menu includes expertly-prepared produce like potatoes, Bärlauch, and fermented garlic as well as freshly caught char from 25 different ponds alongside wild horseradish. And with its scenic location above the Flaschenhalspark, Aerde offers the kind of dining experience that’s hard to come by in the city. 

  • Aerde Am Lokdepot 6, Schöneberg, details

Bisou x Treat: Pizza paired with natural wines

Wine and pizza is always a winning combination. Photo: Marianne Rennella

The pizzas at Bisou may be smaller than you’re used to, but what they lack in size they more than make up for in flavour and variety. For something a little different than your standard pizza, we recommend the ‘arty chic’ – it’s served without tomato sauce, but is topped with delicious artichoke hearts (get it?), parmesan, and thinly sliced fennel.

Pair it with a drink from Treat’s curated selection of natural wines from France to Portugal – or, our favourite: The Hungarian ‘liquid sundown’, an orange wine made from pinot gris and chardonnay that’s both sweet and sour. It goes especially well with their surprisingly delicious corn ice cream with caramelised kernels. 

Wash Bar: From laundry to longdrinks

A Purple Negroni in The Wash Bar. Photo: The Wash Bar/Dustin Render

Like its name would imply, this new bar in Mitte was once a laundromat – though its moniker doubles as a nod to a process for alcohol fermentation known as ‘washing’. Now, the owners are reinventing classic cocktails the same way they reinvented the space they serve them in, incorporating homemade liqueur, syrups, and infusions. Bottoms up!

  • The Wash Bar Brunnenstr. 163, Mitte, details

Il Piccolo: Pasta and Wine Bar

Cacio e Pepe Blue at Il Piccolo Pasta and Wine Bar. Photo: Il Piccolo Pasta and Wine Bar

No, you’re not seeing things – that pasta really is blue. Chef Matteo Finetti has put together a menu that’s one of a kind at Il Piccolo, including everything from classic crowd-pleasers like carbonara and truffle pasta to unique dishes like tarallo-cheesecake with stracciatella-cheese and shrimp-tartar. 

  • Il Piccolo Pasta and Wine Bar Gärtnerstr. 15, Friedrichshain, details.

Wine bistro JaJa: Countryside pop-up

Owners Hannes Bröcker and Claude Schötz in Großer Garten Gerswalde. Photo: Clemens Niedenthal

This summer, the owners of Neukoelln’s beloved JaJa bistro will be serving pizza fresh out of a Naples dome oven every weekend in Gerswalde. Between the lovingly made meals and the beautiful surroundings, the Großen Garten is shaping up to be the perfect summertime spot for appreciating food as well as nature.

  • Großer Garten Gerswalde Dorfmitte 11, Gerswalde/Uckermark, details.

Bostich Bistro: Swiss specialties

Züri Gschnätzlets is a staple of Swiss cuisine. Photo: IMAGO / imagebroker

Swiss artist and electro musician of the band Yello Dieter Meier first established himself in Berlin’s food scene with an Argentinian restaurant near Ludwigkirchplatz. Now, ten years later, he’s starting a new venture in Wilmersdorf: A casual bistro called Bostich. Named after the band’s first song, the restaurant serves seafood as well as Swiss specialties like Züri Gschnätzlets (strips of veal with cream sauce) with truffle mayo-stuffed eggs.

  • Bostich Ludwigkirchstr. 10a, Wilmersdorf, details

Café de Luna: Asian persuasion

Café de Luna: A Korean-inspired cafe in Prenzlauer Berg. Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia

This quaint café in Prenzlauer Berg not only serves highly instagrammable cakes, tarts, scrambled eggs, coffee, and soft drinks, but also classic Korean bulgogi. Full of natural light and decorated with leafy and prickly plants, Café de Luna provides a comfortable place to eat whether you just want a snack with your coffee or a solid helping of Korean bbq. 

  • Café de Luna Kastanienallee 36a, Prenzlauer Berg, details

Blumental: Vegan cafe Kreuzberg

Blumental: Sustainable and delicious. Photo: Blumental

What was once Kreuzberg’s Tropical Institute is now a vegan-slash-vegetarian cafe run by a collective of restaurateurs, cooks, patissiers, and designers. The kitchen is whipping up a variety of delicious dishes from savoury sourdough sandwiches and fermented veggies to sweet pancakes, cakes, and tarts. And they do it all with an eye towards sustainability: Organic waste gets composted and used to nourish the cafe’s plants. 

  • Blumental Engeldamm 64, Kreuzberg, details

Sweet Capital: Coffee and confections

Need a sugar fix? Sweet Capital has you covered. Photo: Christian von Polentz for Wöllhaf-Gruppe

Originally a staple at BER and other airports, Sweet Capital is now offering passersby at Potsdamer Platz their daily sugar fix in the form of high-end chocolates and regional specialties: You can also grab a cup of coffee and other snacks.

  • Sweet Capital Potsdamer Str. 7, Tiergarten, details.

This article has been adapted from the German by Seraina Birdsey.