Welcome to Eat, Drink, See. A new blog series I have devised to pretend that eating good food, drinking choice beverages and seeing extraordinary places across the globe is somehow more altruistic than self-indulgent and get you excited about a few of my favourite places and a little more off the beaten path in unique quarters and districts of the cities I love from Paris to Hong Kong. I will start in the leafy district of Kreuzberg in Berlin. Long known as experimental alternative lifestyles capital of Europe, this area south of the chic monument filled Mitte in central Berlin is a youthful eclectic cosmopolitan mix of the diverse cultural life, with trendsetting cafes, punk and electro music, and it encourages art and artists from every walk of life.
See: Berlinische Galerie
With art being so central to the fabric of Kreuzberg, I made my first stop the Berlinische Galerie. I would be lying to say I went there deliberately for I was actually seeking a nearby building that was purported to have an astonishingly beautiful hidden courtyard, complete with early 20th-century-period architecture and dense thickets of climbing vines. Sadly when I arrived, I was greeted with scaffolding and concrete mixers. As is the way of Berlin, the city is in a state of flux and is constantly changing. What is hip today, is gone tomorrow; Berlin doesn't stand still.
My quest did let me stumble across the Berlinische gallery though, Museum of Modern Art, Photography and Architecture with its gigantic word puzzle forecourt drawing you inside the former glass factory turned multimodal art space housing Berlin's most important modern art collections. The Gallery tells the story of contemporary art from 1840 onwards and puts on through provoking temporary exhibitions by Berlin's productive artists. Works encompass all media from photography to painting, architecture to installation. Expressionist, Dada and New Objectivity movements are the main focus of the museum.
Alte Jakobstraße 124–128, 10969 Berlin
Wed - Mon 10:00 - 18:00
Under 18yo: Free
Drink: Biererei Bar & Vintage Cellar
I travel often, and sometimes the jet lag hits hard, so I would be lying if I never had to ask someone “What city I am in?" I was pretty sure it was Berlin because I was doing research for this blog, but when the sun disappeared, and the thunderstorm hit like a torrential tropical downpour, I swear I could have been in the tropics, somewhere near the equator.
I took refuge in Biererei Bar & Vintage Cellar, a cosy beer bar not far from Kottbusser Tor, the nightlife central in Kreuzberg. Carefully choosing from the rotating selection of 20 top quality beers on tap, I settled on an intense Quadruple from La Trappe, and it hit the spot. The sweet tones of date and caramel warmly filled me up as I gazed at the unashamed Berliner's saturated by the ever pounding storm and let the thunderous roars of the lightning strike be my soundtrack. They also have a well-stocked cellar of vintage and rare beer, although the draught beer was a decent prices, you will need deeper pockets for the vintage vault with some beers reaching 26€ for 375ml.
Biererei Bar & Vintage Cellar
Oranienstraße 185, 10999 Berlin
Mon - Tue - Wed : 16:00 - 24:00
Thu - Fri - Sat : 16:00 - 02:00
Sun : 18:00 - 24:00
Eat: Street Food Thursday at Markthalle Neun
Once the rain had passed, I took a short walk and absorbed the elaborate street art that adorns the vast walls of Kreuzberg, brightening up the otherwise drab Berlin architecture. Following my nose, I ended up at the historic Markthalle Neun. This classical roofed market first opened in 1891, is now reinvigorated and is the epicentre of Berlin's ultra-modern food scene. One half is reserved for permanent vendors such as butchers, bakers, grocers and your regular market fair; while the other half is an open changeable space that hosts different events such as a snack market four times a year, breakfast market every third Sunday, or more often than not, a quality farmers market.
You will want to come along on a Thursday evening to see the very best up and coming street food the city has to offer. 'Street Food Thursday' sees about 20 competing food trucks with a dazzling array of mouthwatering dishes to entice your palate. Everything from British pies, Thai tapioca dumplings, Allgäu cheese spaetzle, Mexican tacos and Nigerian FuFu. The market has long been a petri dish for Berlin's thriving food scene, and it isn't uncommon to see a stall do well at the market, turn into a permanent fixture on the food truck route before finally establishing a brick and mortar, so the market makes for fertile ground to taste tomorrow's flavours today. After careful selection, I went with the MiBap; a Taiwanese crispy rice kebab served in toasted seaweed. I honestly didn't know what to think when I was ordering it, but I had to pull myself back from ordering a second one.
Street Food Thursday at Markethalle Neun
Eisenbahnstraße 42, 10997 Berlin
Thu 17:00 - 22:00
If you enjoyed the images in this article and would like to get to know how to use your camera better during an outing to Kreuzberg, or any other part of Berlin, join Aperture Tours for a guided photo walk led by a professional photographer.
Author: Alexander J.E. Bradley
Alexander is the founder of Aperture Tours which run photography tours in the most photogenic cities across the globe. A professional photographer for over a decade, Alexander enjoys shooting the surreal by mixing dreamlike qualities into his conceptual images.