Berlin with NICASCONCEPT
We started our Town Tales' articles with a guide through Berlin including wellness, food, culture and drinks but Berlin is such a big and colourful city it's not likely that you will get the same recommendations if you'll ask a second person. From time to time, even one person's answers might vary – so do ours. Thus, it wasn't a surprise that our second Berlin guide turned out to be completely different from the first when we asked Nika and Carolina of NICASCONCEPT to tell us their favourite spots in the German capital. The sisters created a great mix of recommendations with hip culinary places, peepholes into Berlin's creative scene and some more relaxed insider-choices. But their great taste doesn't stop with writing lists and city guides, it flourishes in their brand NICASCONCEPT. By merging great design, sustainability and unique prints, the brand releases only limited edition handbags. NICASCONCEPT is partnering with interior designers who provide premium leftover fabrics in order to fashion exceptional and hand-made accessories. Likewise, here's their exceptional selection of Berlin places:
In Nika's and Carolina's eyes, you can find the best coffee in the city here. The café in Mitte is specialized in everything concerning the brown bean. This year, they even opened their own coffee roastery Symple in Berlin, which makes it possible to provide Milchhalle with their self-roasted beans. But to round the experience, Milchhalle offers some great brownies, peanut-butter-banana bread or goat-cheese-beetroot-sandwiches.
ABC - Allan's Breakfast Club
In Berlin, you can get breakfast everywhere and whenever you want – on a Monday morning or at six in the afternoon on a Sunday. Allan's Breakfast Club perfected the game with time-specific dishes and drinks by erasing them altogether. At the breakfast club and wine bar, you can drink your first glass of rosé before going to work or have one of the best Eggs Benedicts of the city for a late lunch. Allan's Breakfast Club serves hearty BLTs and fresh smoothie bowls, Croque Monsieur and Mussel Bowls à la Allan's French mother. Go here to get the real Mitte-feeling and meet the girls of NICASCONCEPT.
Where does a hip girl, working in the fashion industry, go for lunch? This Berlin quiz-question would unanimously be answered with: KlubKitchen! Nika and Carolina are going here three to four times a week – and why wouldn't they? Their signature-dish, the salmon with avocado and edamame is spectacular (We even tried to make it at home) while the changing menu includes great stuff like pumpkin ragu, truffled vegetables and ginger pulled chicken. If you go here for lunch, you might even meet the one or other celebrity. Either way, KlubKitchen isn't only as successful because it's hip and in a great location, its food is also bonkersly great!
Sometimes, one just needs to eat a good burger... and fries, onion-rings, milkshakes or six different kinds of mayonnaise. Grindhouse Burger will definitely satisfy your fast food needs. Originally from Düsseldorf, the restaurant moved one of its locations to Berlin and now serves the favourite burger of Nika and Carolina. Their secret tip: Ask for the MARKO burger, it's not on the menu, but the staff will know what you're talking about and serve you "the best cheeseburger".
Even though it's one of the things in life that can make us most happy, life's not only about food. Berlin has an amazing culinary scene but it's also known for its art galleries. One of it being the König Galerie located in St. Agnes, a former brutalist church. Johann König represents 40 international artists covering different artistic disciplines. Just pop by to discover up-and-coming contemporary talents or invest into the next, less-commercial Jeff Koons or get yourself some König-souvenir merch like a Katharina Grosse kitchen-towel, the EUnify hoodie or a face mask designed by Friedrich Kunath.
Another one of Berlin's gallery gems is Sprüth Magers. Located in Cologne and Berlin, the gallery spread to London, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The gallery features some of the most influential artists in the world – Jenny Holzer, Cindy Sherman, John Baldessari and Andreas Gursky all exhibited at Sprüth Magers. To get to know the current art-world a little bit better, hop over to Oranienburger Straße and get yourself inspired!
EVENING AND NIGHT
La Premiata Ditta
Nika and Carolina seem to like the Italian lifestyle: For aperitivo (a drink and some snacks before dinner), they like to frequent La Premiata Ditta located at the perfectly fitting Weinbergsweg to order their favourite drink: La Bicicletta – Campari Soda with Prosecco. But also the pasts here is nothing to sneeze at, it is home-made and might come with truffles.
If you know Berlin or Germany, you also know that Turkish culture plays a big part in this country. Osmans Töchter is the perfect example of that: The Anatolia tapas place serves traditional food in a lovely ambient. The two founders, Arzu and Lele, transfer their family-recipes to the restaurant-table while keeping all their love. The mezze selection reaches from vine leaves with cherries over Turkish ceviche to white jack-beans in tomato-sauce. But also classics like kofta, borek or manti made it into the menu. Nika and Carolina are fans!
Al Contadino Sotto Le Stelle – Mozzarella Bar and Bottega
This bar is a mix of everything good: You can find the best DOP certified products here to take home with you, you'll get an amazing menu and some truly great drinks. Al Contadino is a mozzarella-heaven in the middle of Berlin. Nika and Carolina like to get the caponata (the best in town!) and order some burrata on the side. But the "bar and bottega" doesn't stop there, it offers a great selection of prosciutto, alici, mortadella, bresaola-carpaccio or ravioli with gorgonzola and radicchio.
Club der Visionäre
A club on a boat? It doesn't get a lot cooler than that! Close to the Spree, in the middle of Kreuzberg, one can find the club and bar on a little canal. Meet with friends, have a talk, get your electro dance-moves on, get yourself a drink and swing your legs in the water.
Even though it's still Corona and every one of us needs to keep their distance, we're providing you with a tip for after vaccine-times: Heideglühen ist currently closed but usually one of the coolest places in Berlin to have a little rave. The NICASCONCEPT girls even say that Heideglühen plays the best music in the whole city. It's definitely a spot to consider when looking for the best party – with its open-air space and festival feeling, the Heide is one of the last places that is mostly untouched by tourist-masses.
For a more relaxed weekend, rent a bike or uber jump and drive to Kreuzberg or Charlottenburg. The Maybachufer between Kreuzberg and Neukölln offers fleamarkets, great food- and drink-places and the most beautiful backdrop for your social media posts. In Charlottenburg, you might want to have a ride through Tiergarten to wind down from the hectic city-life – like Nika and Carolina of NICASCONCEPT are doing.