If there’s one thing in Berlin which seems will forever be a constant, it’s the struggle of finding an apartment. Any expat in Berlin will tell you the trouble of finding an affordable apartment in a decent location and for more than just a one-month sublet. It’s not easy, but with Berlin being oh-so-über cool, it’s just something we have to put up with.
And being the optimist that I am, despite having to move around apartments several times this summer, I’m making the most of it. Each new apartment provides a new neighborhood, or kiez, for me to explore. And with each new kiez I’m living in, it’s a whole new slew of opportunities to become the Foursquare mayor of local spätis, shawarma imbiss shops & other neighborhood shops.
VisitBerlin.de has a nice little description of what a kiez really is all about:
The word “Kiez” is used by Berliners to describe the neighbourhood where they live and feel at home. And in Berlin there are many of them, from Akazienkiez in Schöneberg to Wrangelkiez in Kreuzberg. It is the place where you buy your food, go out and have your home base, all in one. Each “Kiez” contributes to making the city an endearing metropolis.
I’ll share a few of my local favorites from my current kiez in Berlin’s coolest district: The Kreuzberg.
Reichenberger kiez (Kreuzberg)
On the western side of Görlitzer Park (my favorite hipster park in Berlin), Reichenbergerstraße is a stretch of street from Kottbusser Tor to the Landwehr Canal. Kreuzberg is Berlin’s epicenter of cool, and this little corner is part of the epicenter of the epicenter. SO COOL.
Here are a few of my favorite places in Reichenberger kiez:
- Zad falafel: I first went here when I was just a Couchsurfer and my host took me here for a falafel sandwich. I recently re-discovered the shawarma stand when I moved in nearby and now it’s become a regular stop on my weekly restaurant run
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- Zik Orangerie: I discovered this restaurant & cafeteria when working at a nearby travel start-up company. It’s a great place for lunch with some of the most affordable quality meals. They’ve also got a great purpose where they provide jobs for the under-privileged and hold weekly seminars to promote HIV, AIDS and hepatitis awareness. They publish their weekly menu online, too!
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- Zypyz nightclub: It’s a small place tucked away in the back room of a relatively hidden building. Often crowded and full of sweaty hipsters.
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- Soulcat music club: Just about every day of the week you’ll find a bunch of skinny, tight-jeaned hipsters outside this music-oriented club. DJs are playing vinyl here all the time and it’s a great place to chill out in the early evening, and then rock out at night.
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Just one block off Reichenberger Strasse is Weiner Strasse with a handful of other favorite places. Yellow Sunshine offers up some great veggie burgers and right next door is Tiki Heart Cafe which will serve up a real burger if you fancy that. On the nearby Ohlauer Strasse is Wowsville, a very Americanesque record shop & bar.
Explore other local neighborhood tips from more expat bloggers in Germany as part of the monthly Blogger Stammtisch. Check out the links below to see what’s up in other cities around Germany!